And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)
I wish my testimony was one of unwavering faith and steadiness. I wish that you could go and talk to anyone I went to high school with and they would tell you about my commitment to the Gospel and my obvious love for Jesus. Now, some people would, because I do love Jesus and am committed to the Gospel. But others wouldn’t because they’ve seen me fall to sin and act pridefully. In fact, I’d wager that many of us are this way. We wish that we could have another chance at past situations or seasons. These were my thoughts prior to writing this. Pretty grim way to spend an morning, right?
But here was God’s answer to my angst and self-disappointment: “I’m not done with you yet.” He brought Paul’s words to light in my dark regret. I’m not finished, he’s still making me! I’m still being molded and shaped and conformed to Jesus’ likeness (Romans 8:29). And here’s more good news– so are you. God’s not done with us, we are still being drawn and invited into relationship with him. Jesus served us first, and from that place of being served by him, we can serve him and his Church. What God did for me was turn my focus from myself and toward Jesus. This may seem simple, but it is a monumental gift of change and transformation.
This past week Amie and I went through a personal fire, where at the time we didn't know the seriousness of what we were getting ready to go through. But God had His hand on Amie(us) the whole time. God reminded us that God's not done with Amie. He is still working on her and through her. The key for us is to keep our eyes on him through the fire, knowing that our weakness is made strong...WITH CHRIST JESUS!
"So many times I've questioned certain circumstances
Things I could not understand
Many times in trials, weakness blurs my vision
Then my frustration gets so out of hand
But it's then I am reminded I've never been forsaken
I've never had to stand the test alone,
But when I look at all the victories
I'm reminded of all that God has done for me
Through the fire my weakness is made strong
He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
and the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered our victories without fighting
But He said help would always come in time
Just remember when you're standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And He will take you through the fire again"
When our hearts are focused on Jesus we see his servanthood and selflessness, we see his love for the Church (Ephesians 5:25), we see the image to which we’re being conformed. This changes us because we join Jesus in his mission and work on the earth. This is the context in which this molding, shaping and transforming takes place. No matter where we’ve fallen or cracked, our Maker has a grand design and intention for us that is not yet complete. Rest in hope and turn your focus upward and outward. Let the Father change your narrow scope from simply today, to that of eternity.
Lead Pastor @Genesee Road Church of God.