Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Ash Wednesday Reflection: You Are Perfect ... Really?


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will. 
(Romans 12:2)

Today is Ash Wednesday. As we begin a journey to a deeper understanding of and closeness with Jesus, here's a great mystery to ponder about what he accomplished on the cross, For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14).

I don’t know about you but, when I look at my life, I don't see perfection at all. Yet, the Word tells us that we have been made perfect, even as we are “being made holy.” 

Really?

When we look at our lives, we see neither perfection nor complete holiness. We see victories and brokenness; we see mistakes and success. We see our humanity. And, though at times we feel redeemed, we don’t always act like it.

Yet, by God’s grace, the reality of our lives as Christians is redemption, restoration, and growth in holiness. It is impossible to stay with Christ and remain unchanged. It is not possible to behold Christ’s holiness and continue to willfully sin. The Holy Spirit living in us is always at work, as it was in Jesus. Jesus’ presence changes us—we begin to crave his righteousness. God’s promise of maturity in Christ is accomplished in us as we stay close to him.

Our destiny in Christ is not one of doom, gloom, and persistent sinning. Our destiny in Christ is to mature in him and grow in holiness. 

If we’ve been stuck in a rut feeling like we can never do what God calls us to do, our thinking needs to change. We need to fill our minds with the truth of God’s Word, which reminds us that we are not our own, we were bought with a price, and God’s plan for us is good. 

Lent is a wonderful time to dwell in God's Word daily as a new spiritual discipline. Reading the Bible helps us not conform to the pattern of this world, which can so quickly become our default in life. God's Word renews our minds and transforms us, making us more and more like Jesus. God’s Truth empowers us to surrender to His perfect will—like Jesus did. And His will is that we should be holy.
    
Ponder with me: Are you resisting God's will to make you holy in a particular area? Why?

Pray with me: Heavenly Father, strengthen me with power through Your Spirit, so that Christ may dwell in my heart through faith (Ephesians 3:16-17), and help me grow in holiness.

Have a blessed and meaningful Lent, 
Dr Mari 

This excerpt was adapted from my study of the book of Hebrews (The Radiance of God's Glory) published by Bible Reading Fellowship in the current edition of The Journey.

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