Hello to you all
The beautiful weather has come to an end and the rain and cold has arrived.
This worked well for us as we need to wait for cooler weather to contiune our church fence re-vamp. So we got up early and started the top coat of exterior gloss paint. Roger painted the doors and I painted the fence. I had 8 panel sections to complete and I wanted to complete them by the end of the working day. Roger had three sets of doors to paint, the hall kitchen door, the hall front doors and the church front doors as well as the black notice board in the church porch.
Well, it took us all day, but we have finished one coat. We plan on doing another coat this coming Monday.
On our walk this morning, I was thinking about parables again, and realised that there is a parable in the work in getting the fence to look perfect.
Once we had decided to do something about the fence, we contacted the Dyers to replace the first section down by the Toy Museum. Then when that job was completed and replaced in the fence line, it was very obvious what a bad state of repair the rest of the fence was.
Jesus is like this for us - the plumb line for us.
“He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth” (1 Peter 2:22).
So Jesus is pure and holy, and when we compare ourselves to him the truth is that we are not pure and holy by our own nature.
At one time Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Matthew 12:34). He went on to say that a man’s words express the true spiritual condition of his heart. Jeremiah the prophet tells us that the human heart is “deceitful above all things and desperately wicked” (Jeremiah 9:17). However, what was in Jesus mouth showed what was in His heart. He always did what pleased His Father. (John 8:29) His holiness revealed itself by saying and doing all that was right. A full revelation of holiness does not merely consist in doing nothing wrong, but in doing all that is right. At one time in His ministry Jesus actually said, “Which one of you can accuse Me of sin.” Of course no one could because they knew He was right!
So we are rather like the remaining fence line in comparison with the new fence section.
Then when Roger and I started looking in depth at the remaining fence sections, it was very clear to see that there was a lot of work before we could paint the top gloss coat. There was some obvious rotten wood, so it needed removing, some had to be scrapped out from the very deep places that had rotten, some previous filling has become like sand and some wood was rotten with water ingress.
This can be a picture of each one of us.
We all have flaws, bad attitudes, character issues etc. We may have some deep seated things that need to be sorted out within us. We may have consistently bad attitudes to some things. We may not be showing love to those around us. I could go on….
Spend a bit of time in the quiet asking to Lord to show you what he desires to change in you.
I am not saying this for you to feel guilty about those things but more to allow the Holy Spirit to touch you and work I you so that your relationship with Jesus is deeper.
“God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ was made right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.” (1 Cor1:30)
We cannot boast in or rely on our own holiness. But through our belief that Jesus is the Son of God, who died, was buried and rose again we are made “pure and holy” and “freed from sin”.
“For God’s will was for us to be made holy by the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ, once for all time.” (Hebrews 10:10)
Similarly to the picture of the fence section repair is this image I took today of the Stop sign on Lynmouth Hill. The letters of the sign and the painted word in the road are obliterated by old dried leaves and new growth of the trees and bushes.
In the same way our lives can easily become overtaken by the dried leaves and new growth of ‘stuff’ in our lives.
I found this excerpt from a book
“Some Christians are stalled out in their sanctification for simple lack of effort. They need to know about the Spirit’s power. They need to be rooted in gospel grace. They need to believe in the promises of God. And they need to fight, strive, and make every effort to work out all that God is working in them. Let us say with Paul, ‘I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me’ (1 Corinthians 15:10). Without this biblical emphasis, we’ll be confused, wondering why sanctification isn’t automatically flowing from a heartfelt commitment to gospel-drenched justification. We’ll be waiting around for enough faith to really ‘get the gospel’ when God wants us to get up and get to work (Philippians 2:12–13). Because when it comes to growth in godliness, trusting does not put an end to trying.” (pages 90–91) (The Hole in Our Holiness: Filling the Gap Between Gospel Passion and the Pursuit of Godliness (Crossway; August 31, 2012)
This can be so true for each one of us.
How is your discipleship journey going?
Are you thinking to yourself, I’m OK? I don’t need to do anything about me?
Let me pose some questions for further thought:
1. What is the greatest thing God has ever done for you?
2. How are you pursuing Christ in your life?
3. Are you treasuring Christ more and more in your daily life?
4. Are you growing in Christ or growing cold?
This weeks youtube playlist is available here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHnJn7EgQjAx6hQovuR4eedUOos79OnPI
There are a few photos of the work on the church fence below
Do keep in touch with us and each other