Friday, October 2, 2009

Being Human

by Marsha Loftis

This Week's Verse: Hebrews 2:14, "Because God’s children are human beings—made of flesh and blood—the Son also became flesh and blood. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the devil, who had the power of death."

I love being human! I love to revel in the marvelous things that God has done and made. I love to hear the birds sing. I love to taste the sweetness of honey. I love to feel the hug of a child. I love to see the sunsets. I love to sing His praises. I love being His creation.

Most of the time. Then there are times where being human is a very rough road to travel. Times when I feel every bump and bruise like a ripened apple! Times when somehow my size eight shoe fits snuggly in my size one mouth. Times when the pain of my broken heart is almost too much to bear. Times when I feel like God has stuck a fork in me and said, "Nope! She's not done yet."

I'm not. I'm not "there" wherever "there" is; I obviously haven't reached that point yet. None of us have and we never will until He calls us home. We are walking, talking, sometimes crawling and falling works of “undoneness”.

Even the great apostle Paul struggled with his “not quite done-ness.” He fought thinking what is right, knowing what is right, and doing what is right.

Romans 7:15-25: “What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. …But I need something more! I obviously need help! I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. I truly delight in God's commands, but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. … I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.” (MSG)

Being human is HARD! Don’t you think? If Paul struggled like this then who am I to think that I’ve got it all under control?! Have you ever told God, “I got this… I can handle this one alone.”? Well the human condition is hard enough. Why on earth would we want to go it alone?

We have been bought into a relationship with God through Christ’s death and resurrection. We don’t have to do this thing called life alone and we have been made righteous! I know it’s hard to think of ourselves as righteous. After all, we are only human, with all our baggage, our pasts, faults and flaws--a person who is still learning how to be the person that God wants, all the while being righteous and knowing without a doubt that God is not done yet. The same person who is standing on the promise that what works God has started will not cease until that work is done. That person is you! And me..... any one who believes that Jesus died for them AND now lives in them!

Father God, help me to know that I am nothing without You, your love and most of all your grace. Thank you for accepting me when I was not righteous and sending your Son so I may come to you, unashamed, washed, loved and forgiven. Help me to become the person You need me to be, the person I long to be. Help me to do what I know is right even when I feel UN-righteous. I ask all these things in Jesus’ precious name, Amen.

Being righteous doesn’t mean we are better than someone else. It only means that we have Saving Grace that allows us to come to God’s throne freely and present our worship, praise, and requests. Shake off that “human-ness,” that feeling of being “not quite done yet.” Let go of that guilt. Deny that shame, that feeling of being unworthy and present yourself to God as a sacrifice. Empty yourself of yourself and let God fill you up with HIM!

Power Verses:
Ephesians 2:4-10: “But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus. So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus. God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” (MSG)
Romans 8:5, "Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God's action in them find that God's Spirit is in them—living and breathing God!" (MSG)
Romans 5:18-19, “....Christ’s one act of righteousness brings a right relationship with God and new life for everyone. Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous.” (NLT)
Romans 8:3, “In his Son, Jesus, he personally took on the human condition, entered the disordered mess of struggling humanity in order to set it right once and for all.”

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