Friday, December 08, 2006

down but not out

Yesterday's thoughts on telling the truth about ourselves, from Scot McKnight's book, Embracing Grace: A Gospel for All of Us, and the little conversation that followed, along with my own experience of normal ups and downs, set me to thinking more on this subject.

Last night I ran across an excellent post by Jim Martin, related to what we're thinking about. God's grace is there for us when we're down because of sin, or a struggle of one kind or another. God's grace, and God in his grace, is there for us. To help us through the down time. So that we can rise up again. And again live and walk in newness of life, as the resurrection people of God in Christ.

I like the song by Rich Mullins (lyrics can be found on this website), We Are Not as Strong as We Think We Are. Struggling with sin, and sinning, frankly is a fact of life. We need to learn to deal with that. Not excusing ourselves, but learning to tell the truth about ourselves to God, and when appropriate or needed, to others. Anyone who says they have no sin are only fooling themselves (1 John 1). At the same time, as we confess our sins, God is faithful to both forgive us, and cleanse or purify us from all unrighteousness. So that we're truly down, but not out.

I come across in blogging kindly, for the most part. And for the most part, or at least a good portion of the time, I am, I think. However, I have my times when I can be a pain, especially when I think I'm trying to correct others or make a point, and especially at home. Now in that process, I work at it, so that I not only want to repent and ask for forgiveness, but improve, with the goal of not only doing better, but getting rid of what's wrong about myself. I find it amazing, in God's grace, and often exhilarating, to experience God's lift, out of my sin, and into his presence of grace. It is more like a steadying, oftentimes. With a peace and joy that accompanies it, in the renewed fellowship of God that I share with other believers.

Down but not out. This is a part of my ongoing experience. Because God lifts us up and in to his fellowship of love and grace.

How about you? Do you know God's gracious lift in your life?


Eric Spangler said...

Hi Ted,

Just found your blog! Looking forward to reading...


L.L. Barkat said...

Down but never out... out of His sight, that is...

"But you, O LORD, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head..." (Ps 3:3)

Ted Gossard said...

Thanks, Eric, for stopping by. And I like your blog.


Good words and verse. Yes, we're never out of sight; out of mind- to him.