Saturday, July 26, 2014

Tell me what you really think about me?

After 60+ years I still struggle with feelings of being unacceptable, not good enough, of having failed (and I have in many ways).  After 60+ years I know that I will never measure up to my own standards, let alone God's. That is why reading scripture like Philippians 1:1-2 still amazes me.

"Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"

I have spent weeks writing a Bible study guide on the book of Philippians for our church. Now I am reading Philippians again, only this time for myself and I am writing here my personal reflections. This time I write for me.

"all the saints" - the holy ones, the ones called by God into a special relationship with God himself.

I am a saint, a holy one, a called one - how can this be? I'm not saintly or holy. I struggle with temptation. I get angry and sin. I forget you Lord all the time. How is it you call me "Saint"? I'm not worried so much about not being qualified to be an overseer or deacon, or like Paul and Timothy - a servant of Christ Jesus. They seem like ranks above that of "saint" and I'm not qualified for that so how I be qualified for these other titles? And yet...

You proclaim that I am, that we are "saints in Christ Jesus". I am wrapped in Jesus, my life is in Jesus. You don't see me as separate from Jesus, but as part of Jesus. Any saintliness I have is "in Christ Jesus" and derives from Christ Jesus.

I dare not call you liar, so I have to accept that I am a saint. If God is for me, who can be against me? I dare not deny God, so I have to deny my feelings of inadequacy. I am not qualified in and of myself, but in Christ Jesus I am a saint. I am a recipient of grace and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I have received grace. I have peace with God. I am "saint Allan".

Lord, help my unbelief.