Have you ever heard someone say: "people are all the same"? I usually reject all-inclusive statements or phrases such as this one unless it can be followed up with some dialogue. A statement like this could be made to describe a gender, a nationality, a skin color, a denomination, a profession or any number of other groups of people and the person uttering the phrase has already dug themselves in such a hole they're not likely to get out of anytime soon. But step back a little, take away the specifics of race, gender or any other classification, are there things that are true of all of us regardless of race, religion, skin color, gender, past mistakes, socioeconomic status, education...? From a Biblical worldview perspective, with every fiber in my being I fully believe that there are and I would like to zero in on three of them"
- In John 10:10 Jesus states that there is an enemy and his mission, while he still has life is to steal & bring death & destruction whenever he has a chance to do so. The flip side of that though (thankfully) is that Jesus came to bring abundant life to humankind and at the same time destroy the works of the devil (1 John 3:8).
One of my many pet peeves is when God gets blamed for something he didn't do and, like it or not, God chose to keep that piece of dirt (the devil) around for a little while longer. But make no mistake about it, he will get his very, very soon. In the meantime we (the church) have been granted the authority to put/ keep him in his place but instead we often forfeit that very authority. This is when theft, death and destruction rear their ugly heads. It's sad, infuriating and even down-right heartbreaking, but let's not blame God as He is the author of life & not just life, but ABUNDANT life.
- With that said, Paul tells us in Romans 8:28, through the Holy Spirit, that regardless of what happens, in all things God will work toward the good of those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. This verse gives me great comfort to know that even when things fall apart around me, even when the enemy seems to win a round or two, God has the final say. I especially take great encouragement and comfort from the phrase "called according to His purpose".
Did you ever stop to consider that you are called according to His purpose? You may not be called to be a pastor (God help you if you are), or worship leader or a missionary... but that doesn't mean you are any less called nor have any less of a purpose! The problem we get into is that when things go sideways in our life our initial reaction is to try & WORK some miracle to turn the tide or right the ship. I'm not suggesting that we necessarily do nothing but I'm thrilled to read that "GOD WILL WORK..." & I know if He's on the job, everything will be OK.
- And speaking of works, the 3rd universal truth for today is that when God begins a work in yours, mine or someone's life, He is faithful to complete it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil. 1:6). I'm a big fan of the Avett Brothers and I especially identify with their lyrics from the song Incomplete & Insecure: "I haven't finished a thing since I started my life".
It is so very easy to allow those feelings of incompleteness, insecurity and downright failure to overwhelm us at times and outside of Christ I am, without a doubt, all of those things a thousand times over. However, because of Christ and the abundant life he gives I am able to yield every fiber of my being to be swallowed up in his grace, his purpose, his identity.... and so can you.