November 26, 2010

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your love, O LORD, endures forever–do not abandon the works of your hands” (Psalm 138:8).

“Your love endures forever.” This little phrase forms the foundation for the doctrine of eternal security. It is often said that those who are saved are saved forever.  How do we know this is true?  We know it because God is faithful to keep his promises.  Our entire hope–both in this life and in the life to come–rests on the faithfulness of God. His faithfulness bears the entire weight of our puny efforts. We are saved because of God-and not because of anything we do in and of ourselves. He provides the grace that saves us and He also gives us the faith to believe (Ephesians 2:8). He even gives us the Holy Spirit who gives us the power to obey God.

“The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me.” What is “his purpose” for his children? He justifies us while we are still sinful (see Romans 4:5), and then begins the lifelong project of conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29).

All of us are works-in-progress. We’re not finished, not glorified, not perfected, not completed. We’re all “under construction.” And as someone said, construction is long, loud, noisy, and very messy.  That’s why most of us can hear the sound of hammering and sawing on the inside.  God never stops his work because there is so much work that needs to be done.

            *If you concentrate on your weakness, you will lose your confidence.
            *If you concentrate on God’s faithfulness, you will grow in confidence.

What makes us think that God will ever finish the job?  In my mind’s eye, I picture God as a sculptor working with a rough piece of marble.  He’s working on a big chunk named “Ray Pritchard.” It’s a hard job because the chunk is badly marred, misshapen, discolored, and cracked in odd places.  It’s about the worst piece of marble a sculptor could ever find.  But God is undeterred and he works patiently at his job, chipping away the bad parts, chiseling an image into the hard stone, stopping occasionally to polish here and there.  One day he finally finishes one section of the statue.  The next morning when he returns to the studio that section is messed up.  “I thought I finished that yesterday,” he says, “Who’s been messing with my statue?”

It turns out that I’m the culprit.  I’m my own worst enemy.  What I thought would improve things has only messed them up.

But God is faithful.  He patiently picks up his chisel and goes back to work.  He won’t quit half-way through a project. What God starts, he finishes. You can take that to the bank.

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