In Christ Alone

I've been meditating on the all-sufficiency of Christ lately.  Desperately, we try to atone over and over again for our sins, don't we?  We just want to "do better".  There are countless reasons why we want to do better, ranging from satisfying God to looking good to others.  But, in this despair we forget that Christ has paid it all.  Our merit is secured by His perfect life and perfect death in our place.  Let's not wallow in a place of insecurity; our Father loves us because His Son ransomed us!  When we grasp this, we can move forward confidently in the good works that God has prepared for us to do. Let me share with you a poem from The Valley of Vision that beautifully captures this truth.

Love, Wendy

Reliance

My Father, When thou art angry towards me for my wrongs I try to pacify Thee by abstaining from future sin; But teach me that I cannot satisfy thy law, that this effort is a resting in my righteousness, that only Christ's righteousness, ready made, already finished, is fit for that purpose; that Thy chastising me for my sin is not that I should try to reform, but only that I may be more humbled, afflicted, and separated from sin, by being reconciled, and made righteousness in Christ by faith; that a sense of my sufficiency and ability in Him is one means of my being immovable; that I can never be so by resting on my own faith, but by trusting in Thee as my only support, by faith; that if I cast away my faith I cast away Thee, for by faith I apprehend Thee, and as Thou art very precious, so is my faith very precious to me; that I fall short of the purity Thou requirest, because in thinking I am holy I do not seek holiness, or, believing I am impotent, I do no more. Humble me for not being as holy as I should be, or as holy as I might be through Christ, for Thou art all, and to possess Thee is to possess all. But to make the creature something is to make it stand between Thee and me, so that I do not walk humbly and holily. Lord, forgive me for this.

 

Salvation at its Fullest

Oh, the joy of full salvation!Sin and death defeated Glory, to His Name!

I sang these words Sunday during our Easter worship. The word “full” stood out to me. My salvation, given to me through the death and resurrection of Jesus, was not stingy. It was not a tiny scoop, or a glass partially filled.

It was full.

Full:   containing as much as possible, having no empty space, not lacking anything.

The work of Jesus is complete. It is a full salvation.

When I think about this, I am humbled. There is no place in this salvation for my teaching a Sunday school class, or leading a Bible study, for my witnessing to a neighbor, home schooling my children or even being obedient. I am not capable of doing any work that will bring about my salvation.

The salvation of Jesus is full, done totally by Him.

Yet, God does desire for me to teach Sunday school, witness and to do many other works. These works are my response to the abundant filling that Jesus has given me when I received this “full salvation.”

What does your day look like? Do you wake up thinking about what will make you happy? Are you impatient with your children when they mess up the floor you just mopped? Are you quick to gossip about a friend that hurt you?

If Jesus is your full salvation, there is no room for sin. His righteousness, holiness, perfection has been given to you. It is full, and God calls us to walk in it.

This is hard, because even as our salvation is full, we still live in a body that is sinful. Praise God, He is patient with us. He is a gentle Father who is quick to restore us to Himself when we are humbled by seeing our sin.  He is kind to call us to repent and to depend on Him.

Does this cause you to be humble? It does me. To realize that while I was full of sin Jesus drank my glass and filled me with His righteousness.

When Jesus fills you with His righteousness, He gives you the ability to do what is right:  to say no to sin, and yes to obedience. He forgives us when we repent and strengthens us to walk back out in the righteousness of Jesus.

Let’s be women that have a growing sense of our sin because that leads to a stronger faith, a fuller hope and a deeper love for God and others.

Let’s be women that imitate Jesus, in His holiness and righteousness, not because it brings us salvation, but because it is the only real response to the full salvation of Jesus.

Contributed by Cheryl Bayly