Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Come to the Dark Side... we have cookies...

https://p.gr-assets.com/540x540/fit/hostedimages/1380422443/840534.pngBefore I realised the extent to which the fall of man (you remember the Adam and Eve fruit scandal) had affected me I considered myself to be a pretty average Christian who was doing OK as far as pleasing God etc.  This would lead me to become very frustrated when talking with other Christians who (unlike me, I thought) struggled with sin and continued to struggle.  I was sinfully tempted many times to throw my hands up in despair and yell at them “would you just get over yourself and move past this?  Can’t you do that?  This very little thing?” (like I didn't struggle with things that I couldn't get over!! But I wasn't ready to admit that yet) and certainly the logical thing for them to do was say “of course!  Thank you for pointing that out, I’ll get on it right away!” then give up the thing they were struggling with and move on with their lives.  If only it were that easy… 

Luther talks about this struggle in the life of a Christian by using the Latin phrase simul justus et piccator - we are at the same time saints and the same time sinners.  We have been bought by God through his precious blood and cleansed from all unrighteousness; we are perfect in God’s sight and we have a new heart with new desires and yet, we have this old heart left over from the fall.  This “old man”Paul says, is still a sinner and he still wants to chase after these things which are evil and foolish and bad for us.  Being a Christian doesn’t make us functionally perfect and good; we are declared that way by God; functionally we are still sinners, we are still in this body of death.  

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-VuqXbpDgGyU/Tbl2pvnx-CI/AAAAAAAAQrY/rxEMQLseydU/s1600/11755136a.jpgI think one of the greatest traps a Christian can fall into (and this is the one which I was living in for many years) with regards to their heart is to underestimate just how wicked it is.  Lord Vader’s warning; “you don’t know the power of the dark side” has never been a truer statement when it comes to the “old man” lurking in the shadows of our souls.  Paul warns the Galatian Christians that they have the potential to “consume one another”!!  I concur.  It only takes the slightest aggravation for me to turn from “sweet Christian wife and mother” (a rare moment believe me) to a “snarky, naggy, snapping at the kids and husband, hypocrite”.  I don’t seem to struggle to be that contentious woman I see in the mirror each day but I sure as heck struggle to be the good woman I want to be; a saint if you will.  

http://www.thefinancialblogger.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/a-new-hope.jpgPraise God that the way I get to sainthood is not by my own struggle.  It was already achieved by the struggle of Another.  He has given me “a new hope” that the war going on in my body has already been won, even if I won’t see the victory till my body has passed through the gates of death to life everlasting.  As Paul would say “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

For more food for thought (if our cookies weren't enough) go here.

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