Inspiration: Today's Sermon at Seacoast
I'm sitting in the Harris Teeter parking lot, killing time waiting for Gilligan's to open so I can have my Sunday seafood outing, so hopefully this post will make sense. Also, it's coming from my phone, so hopefully it won't look terrible. But today's sermon inspired me, especially during my time of fasting, so I wanted to put this out there before I forget what I want to say...
I'm no theologian, by any means, but these three words are incredibly important in the life of a Christ-follower. Justification occurs when we become Christ-followers. Because Christ was the atonement of our sins, our sins have been justified. Once we choose to follow Christ and to live a life that glorifies Him, we are redeemed! Romans 3:21-26 defines this!
Glorification is what will occur when we reach Heaven.
Philippians 3:20-21 says "But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body."
When we become followers of Christ, we can be absolutely 1000000% positive that we are going to Heaven to be with our Maker and Creator and that because of justification, we'll be made perfect in God's sight and we will join with our brothers and sisters in worshiping God!
The, what Pastor Shaun referred to as, "bookends" of salvation are of Christ's doing. He is the one who justifies us from our past and He will be the one who transforms us into perfect heavenly beings. But sanctification - the process of being more like Christ - is what we do in the present time here on earth.
I, generally, refer to it as being "in process" because God is always at work in us and shaping us into who He wants us to be. The three adjectives Shaun used today in his sermon about this process were: ongoing, unpredictable, and messy.
1. God is constantly at work in us. But as it is, we will never be perfect as long as we are here on earth. We are constantly going to be growing in age, wisdom, spiritual maturity, etc. It's simply an ongoing process.
2. It's an unpredictable process. God moves and works in our lives different according to His will and plans for us. What caused a spiritual revival in us one day may not be how He speaks to us on a different day. Also, He often calls us out of our comfort zones in order for us to grow. As I've mentioned on several occasions, I'm a complete control freak. Predictability is good! I like predictability!! But God will not be shoved into my "one size fits all" T-shirt no matter how hard I try...
God is who He is and He will shape me into who He is calling me to be in the ways and on the timetable He has chosen for me.
3. Its messy. There are going to be a lot of things I don't understand and probably won't understand this side of eternity. But I trust that these are for my own good.
It's also messy because as we continue to grow and mature, we will realize just how much more growing and maturing we have left to do...
Shaun said, "the closer we get to Christ, the more we realize how much unlike Christ we still are". And that rings so true with me. In acknowledging all the ways I'm "better than I used to be", it never fails that my sense of control and my pride will hinder me.
The "unpredictable" and "messy" parts of my growth in becoming more like Christ are the hardest things to wrap my head around. It's particularly frustrating when it feels like He isn't "answering" me.
During this time sans Facebook, I've realized that "fasting" isn't going to instantly draw me closer to God. I've realized a few things about my "facebook addiction" that will hopefully change in the future (Ill blog about that later tonight). But I haven't felt any sort of "Aha! Jesus!" moments yet. But that's just part of the process.
And I have to be open-minded and patient throughout this entire process.
But in the end, it will make my faith in Him stronger and will make His glory shine. It always does.