The victory we have been given in Christ is not in denying who we are as humans, but it is in remaining faithful to Christ in the midst of all we experience in this life.
It is in our Now Faith life, in our sickness and health, in our failures and successes, it is in our weaknesses and strengths, it is in our trials and joys, it is in our sorrows and happiness, where we remain faithful to Christ no matter our circumstances, situations, mental and/or physical states.
The disciples of biblical days endured great suffering, both mentally and physically, so do we. Jesus endured great suffering , both mentally and physically, and through this learned obedience, so do we.
Our present Christian life is not in denying, rebuking, or dismissing the consequences of our humanity in this fallen world, it is in rising from the ashes of our own self, and learning to live in and by the empowerment of His spirit in us, where we remain victorious in continuing to remain faithful to Christ.
We do not succumb in living some super spiritual superiority in a façade of pretense that we do not suffer in this world. Nor it is living a life of pretending, we are always walking on water and the things of this world have no affect on us.
No, it is in recognizing, we will suffer the consequences of living in our humane frame, and all that God created us to be in fully expressing ourselves with emotions and feelings, realizing our own inabilities to live this life and having a trust and faith in the Christ who offered us His free gift of salvation, and filled us with the Holy Spirit, who gives us ability to carry out this faith life in the flux of life.
This is where His Grace abounds and becomes sufficient giving us ability by His ability in us, to do all things through Christ and nothing from our own energies, devices, methods, or merit. (2 Corinthians 12:9)
This means we have made a radical choice in faith in spite of all our own sinfulness, in spite of any wrongs we have committed, in spite of offenses we have done, in spite of the mistakes we have made, in spite of the many errors we have inflicted, to sustain this way of life, this lifestyle through the ordinary living of our lives in this world for Christ the Lord and His Kingdom, regardless of circumstances or situations.
This is the victorious life that He gives us the ability to endure in all our trials, sufferings, and afflictions, in and by relying and depending on His Spirit who gives us all ability to do what He has called us to do.
This victorious life is not about our strength, nor about us at all, it is about His Spirit who works in and through us as we bow to His will, lending ourselves to His desires for us in all we are and in all the moments we are gifted breath in our lungs.
“Faithfulness to Jesus implies that with all our sins, scars, and insecurities, we stand with Him; that we are formed and informed by His Word; that we stand beside the Prince of Peace and refuse to bow before the national shrine of security; that we are life-giving, and not a death-dealing people; that we live under the sign of the cross. (pg. 192 The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning)
“One morning at prayer, I heard this word: Little brother, I witnessed a Peter who claimed that he did not know Me, a James who wanted power in return for service to the kingdom, a Philip who failed to see the Father in Me, and scores of disciples who were convinced I was finished at Calvary.
The New Testament has many examples of men and women who started out well and then faltered along the way. Yet on Easter night I appeared to Peter. James is not remembered for his ambition but for the sacrifice of his life for Me. Philip did not see the Father in Me when I pointed the way, and the disciples who despaired had enough courage to recognize Me when we broke bread at the end of the road to Emmaus. My point, little brother, is this: I expect more failure from you than you expect from yourself.
The ragamuffin who sees the life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all. Winston Churchill said it well: “Success is never final; failure is never final. It is courage that counts.”
“In the beginning was the Word: the Word was with God and the Word was God. The Word became flesh, He lived among us.” (John 1:1, 14)
In the bright darkness of faith, he heard Jesus say, Yes, the Word was made flesh, I chose to enter into your broken world and limp through life with you.
On the last day when we arrive at the Great Cabin in the sky, many of us will be bloodied , battered, bruised, and limping. But by God and by Christ, there will be a light in the window and a “Welcome Home” sign at the door.” (pg. 194 The Ragamuffin Gospel, Brennan Manning)
Lorraine Taylor – Lay Minister
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