He Did It!
Remember? When you were a kid. Someone would catch you doing something that were not supposed to - or find the evidence that someone had done something! Then the blame game would begin. "He made me do it!" Or, better yet, "He did it!" It didn't matter what it was. It really didn't matter if you knew what had happened. Someone else did it, not you! If you never played this game (Yeah! Right!), your children did.
Well, this is nothing like that.
This is about who is responsible for every good thing in our lives, and particularly for our salvation. When it comes down to it, He did it. He, of course, is Jesus.
The beautiful day - and the rainy day - are His handiwork. Your health and life are from Him. The financial well-being you enjoy, or the lack of it you endure, is by His hand. Jesus tells us that the very hair on our heads are all counted. That is not to say that the number is important, but that the attention of God to us in our lives is inconceivably close and precise and aware. When you need it, your heavenly Father will provide it.
Of course the problem with that is that idea of need. God has our eternal well-being in His hand and heart, and sometimes that means that the momentary, day-to-day stuff is not just as we would have it. I could not tell you how something you consider inconvenient or painful is working for your eternal joy, but I have seen repeatedly, both in my life and the lives of others, how things that happen (or fail to happen) and situations that we would not willingly enter or endure produce good things in our lives, and in the lives of those around us.
So, we often feel a need that is not exactly a need. We simply want it. But God sees a different need, a different path, and a different story than we have constructed in our minds. Faith knows these things, and so when something comes along that is less than delightful, we bow our heads to ask for the patience, skill, grace, and what-not that we will need to accomplish what He would have us accomplish in the situations which confront us, and we trust God is blessing us, so we can also give thanks. We cannot name the specific thing for which we are thankful - except that God is watching over us, guiding us, and blessing us so that all things work together for good to those who love God (and that would be us) for those who are called according to His purposes.
In particular, I have in mind our salvation, when I say, "He Did It!" Every bit of saving us was accomplished by Jesus. He left nothing for us to do before we are 'saved', or during the "process" of being saved, or after we have been saved, at least that contributes to our being saved - or our 'saved-ness'. Jesus recognized our limitations and weaknesses, so He came and performed all righteousness by keeping the whole will and Law of God, something that none of us has ever been able to do, or particularly cared to do. Oh, yes, we wanted to be "good", but we wanted to define the terms, and have the right to step out of holiness for a moment when personal need or personal pride calls us to do something not quite kosher. Jesus did it all perfectly.
Then, when he had earned life everlasting as a result of His perfect righteousness, He died. He died deliberately in our place and for our sins, to suffer the death we deserved and the wrath of God against our sin, in order that He might bequeath to us the eternal life that He has earned. Now He simply pours out forgiveness of sins (already paid for and available) for everyone. Even those who refuse it and go to hell ultimately have had their sins atoned for, and forgiven. They are just in the awkward position of having full and free forgiveness, but refusing it, and demanding what they have earned, or what they "have coming to them" for all that they have done, or who have insisted that they must have a part in their salvation, or not be saved at all!
Talk about stubbornly wanting your own way - foolishly!
This pastor's letter is short this month because my computer died an ugly death, and took a lot of my programs and files with it. The process of replacing the machine and rebuilding the files and re-installing the programs has consumed a large part of the past week. It is one of those situations that could almost make a preacher swear. It demonstrates how dependent on technology we are (or I am!), and yet highlights how abundantly blessed we are in this technological age. God is so good to us!
Now, if I had my way, I would rather have avoided the sudden necessities of the past week. I had something entirely different in mind to write (I think) when I titled the page and began to compose this message back in September. But the excitement and frustration of the computer stuff has wiped that from my brain. All I have left is the simple truths of the Gospel. Perhaps the message I would have written would have been delightful, perhaps not. It surely would have been longer. But this is what I have for you, and, in the end, it is all you really need to hear or read. Christ has done it all for you. He has prepared the way, and called you into it. He has given you your daily bread, and invites you to look beyond how it seems to you, and trust Him, and know (by faith) that He is watching over you, and guiding you. Whether you look at your life here, or your life hereafter, in the final analysis, He did it!
Yours in the Lord,
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