DayBreaks for 05/27/13 – A Myth of Incalculable Harm
NOTE: I am back but weary! New DayBreaks will resume no later than the first week of June, 2013! Thanks for your prayers while I was away!!!
“There is a myth flourishing in the church today that has caused incalculable harm – once converted, fully converted. In other words, once I accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior, an irreversible, sinless future beckons. Discipleship will be an untarnished success story, life will be an unbroken upward spiral toward holiness. Tell that to poor Peter who, after three times professing his love for Jesus on the beach and after receiving the fullness of the Spirit at Pentecost, was still jealous of Paul’s apostolic success.
“We want ever-sharp spirituality (push-pull, click-click – one saint that quick) and attempt to cultivate a particular virtue at a given point in time. Prudence in January, humility in February, fortitude in March, temperance in April. Score cards are provided for toting up gains and losses. The losses should diminish if you expect to meet charity in May. Sometimes May never comes. For many Christians, life is a long January.
“Because salvation is by grace through faith, I believe that among the countless number of people standing in front of the throne and in front of the Lamb, dressed in white robes and holding palms in their hands (Rev. 7:9), I shall see…the woman who had an abortion and is haunted by guilt and remorse but did the best she could faced with grueling alternatives; the businessman besieged with debt who sold his integrity in a series of desperate transaction…the deathbed convert who for decades had his cake and ate it, broke every law of God and man…
“But how?” we ask. Then the voice says, “They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
“There they are. There WE are – the multitude who so wanted to be faithful, who at times got defeated, soiled by life, and bested by trials, wearing the bloodied garments of life’s tribulations, but through it all clung to the faith.
“My friends, if this is not good news to you, you have never understood the gospel of grace.” – Brennan Manning, The Ragamuffin Gospel
Have you known someone who has bought into this destructive myth? It may have been toward themselves – they become a Christian but immediately get discouraged as they find that their old temptations are waiting for them as they walk out the church building door. Or, it may be evident in the attitude of a so-called “mature” Christian and their lack of mercy and patience with other Christians – be they new believers or old. They might be tempted to say: “You should be farther along in your Christian walk by now. What’s wrong with you?”
Revelation 7:9 – “After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.”
May God keep us all from judgmental attitudes and a lack of patience with one another. God will complete His work with us in HIS time and on HIS timetable.
Copyright 2002 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>
Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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