The bending of the mind by the powers of this world has twisted the gospel of grace into religious bondage and distorted the image of God into an eternal, small-minded bookkeeper. The Christian community resembles a Wall Street exchange of works wherein the elite are honored and the ordinary ignored. ~Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel: Good News for the Bedraggled, Beat-Up, and Burnt Out
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which He has called you, what are the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His great might that He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all… And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience—among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—and raised us up with Him and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. ~Paul, The Least of The Apostles, in Ephesians 1&2
Oh beloved, it is true. We who have been saved know that the saving He has done is an absolutely incredible thing. We were dead, and now we are alive. More alive than we had thought possible. But the problem, is that we think the limits of our
imagination really do approximate the boundaries of what He has done in our lives.
We need to be completely redone in our thinking. And unless we allow for this renewal of our minds, we are never going to begin to even touch what He has done.
We judge our success by how people see us. He sees us decked out in robes of luxurious royalty that would put the kings of the earth to shame.
We judge our progress by our ‘batting percentage’ in getting things ‘right’. He quit judging us altogether some time ago.
We gauge our progress in the Christian life by how little we seem to make mistakes. He gauges His power in our lives by the measurement of what it took to raise a dead man from death to forever alive.
We measure our world by how we see it. He already knows the entire landscape and merely shines across all of creation with a hope that will never fade.
We reckon our wealth by the money in our bank account. He simply laughs, knowing (do we) that we own the whole world already and are co-heirs of the entire new heavens and new earth to come.
We believe Jesus is Lord. But His authority is so beyond ours, that it matters not a whit whether we choose to believe or not.
We hope for some sort of position of respect. He has already seated us with Himself in this same incredible seat of authority.
We just try to ‘sense’ His presence once in awhile. He has already filled us with His very Self, and fully at that. (Read this again beloved.)
We still feel (often) that we are crashing our lives around the course of this world. He has already made us just as forever alive as Jesus (read: King of The Universe) already is.
We think some of this had something to do with us. It didn’t. Not. One. Tiny. Little. Bit.
And then it gets better…. He created eternity because it is going to take at least forever for Him to show us the measure of His Love and Grace and Kindness and Goodness and Amazingness.
So. Are you feeling like your faith is a little shallow? Tonight is your night beloved. Time to go deeper. He is amazing! And the more you find, the more there is to believe.
Written by Makala Doulos. Makala Doulos is a child of God, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, God’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.
Click Here to Download our 2016 Daily Bible Reading Plan
Daily Quote: “All men who live with any degree of serenity live by some assurance of grace.” ~Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ” ~Philippians 1:6 (NKJV)