"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"You talkin'ta me?

Yes! You doobee talkin' ta me, Lord.
Colossians 1:21-23 ESV And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, (22) he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, (23) if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.
            Every one of these words strikes home to me with divine power. Vs. 21 pinned me like a moth to a specimen board; Guilty As Charged!
            Colossians 1:22 is the good stuff ... not that it's not all good. Reconciliation is what life is all about. Never mind possessions or position or career, much of which is gained through compromise. As Scripture so eloquently says, But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed. (2Pe 3:10)             John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, wrote something that can help us prioritize:
1 John 2:15-17 ESV Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world--the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions--is not from the Father but is from the world. (17) And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.
            Of course, this principle almost suffers from too much exposure from the pulpit. If we're not careful we'll dismiss it as we do tinnitus(ringing, hissing, ticking, roaring, pulsating sounds in our ears ... you do have tinnitus, don't you? All the best people suffer from tinnitus). Trouble is, over exposure to the truth is not an excuse for loving things rather than the Lord. Jesus requires that we be "holy and blameless and above reproach" when we stand before him(refer again to 1 John 2:15-17 above if you've forgotten).
            Colossians 1:23 is the part some folks like to ignore(there's always a catch, isn't there). In case you've forgotten what it says, go back and read it again. The word if is the biggest word in the English language. Technically, it's a conditional conjunction that says, "Hey, what follows is an essential condition."
            By review, that verse is saying we must continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, to be presented holy and blameless and above reproach before him. That's more airtight than a highfalutin' lawyer could write a contract. And it is part of the contract we call the New Covenant.
            Yes, lest we forget; God is "talkin'ta me," and you, throughout his word, our Holy Bible.

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