November 3, 2014

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

Once again we are in extremely familiar territory. Sometimes I almost wish I were reading the Bible for the first time, so that I could be totally blown out of the water by the incredible riches in it. However, if I were reading it without a commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord, and the consequent help of the Holy Spirit, I would grasp only the smallest fraction of what is in it. We have a man who attends the church frequently and has done so for years, yet who has never made a commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord. He has read through the Bible from Genesis to Revelation, but got next to nothing out of it because his spiritual eyes aren’t open yet. When we read the Bible, for the first or the 100th time, we need the help of the Author to be able to take it in. Especially with familiar passages we need to remember that our understanding isn’t perfect yet because we aren’t perfect yet, just as this verse says. We need to seek and ask the Lord for fresh revelation, not that it would contradict what we had understood before, (though it occasionally does) but so that our faith, knowledge and wisdom may be deepened to make us more available, more useful to Him.

It’s been almost 59 years since I committed myself to Jesus. At the time it was a very immature commitment, but it was sincere. Jesus said we are not to keep the little children from coming to Him. (Matthew 10:14) My mother was baptized at age 5, after a genuine experience of repentance, and she went on to become a missionary. We are not to discount anyone on the basis of insufficient maturity, because that sets us up as the “fully mature” ones, and as Paul said, even he wasn’t there. I am to be discerning of where people are in their spiritual walk, but I am to rely on the Holy Spirit rather than on even the most spiritually mature believer – and certainly more than myself! As I recognize where others have room and need to grow, I am to allow the Holy Spirit to show me where I likewise need to keep growing, so that all of us together may be transformed more and more into the likeness of Jesus Christ our Lord. (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Father, thank You for this reminder. Thank You for what You did in the service yesterday, drawing all, I believe, closer to You. May we all be continually filled with Your Spirit so that the old may be washed out and we be made new indeed in Christ, for Your glory. Thank You. Hallelujah!


About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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