Wednesday, March 05, 2008
"Whoever hears my word and believes in the one who sent me has eternal life and will not come to condemnation." (John 5:24)
A reporter once asked Mother Teresa if she thought her work would be successful. She responded, “Young man, the Lord doesn’t call me to be successful. He calls me to be faithful.” That is really what Jesus is saying here. He knows that we all miss the mark occasionally, and when we do, he is not interested in dragging us through the mud. If we have put our faith in him and we are doing are best, we are not going to be condemned—period!
Although it sounds so basic, this can still be a hard statement to accept. We are so accustomed to being perfectionists in every area of life that we become legalistic about our walk with the Lord. We hear only the “shoulds” and “should nots,” and forget that we are in a love relationship with the living God! Certainly there’s no question that living an authentic Christian life is a daunting task. We are called to be holy, but God never told us to carry needless fear and anxiety.
The truth is, we can’t possibly begin to conceive of how much God loves us. Jesus tells us that he and his Father are always at work (John 5:17). The work they are doing is all for us; it’s about giving us every opportunity to spend eternity with them. It’s about keeping us in the grace of the Holy Spirit, and offering us forgiveness and reconciliation when we fail. It’s not about spotting our weak points and making us miserable. That’s the devil’s job, not God’s!
How do you approach the good news of God’s love for you? Do you feel confident and secure in it? Or are you afraid you don’t measure up? Are you convinced that your Father will deliver you through every storm, or does something in your mind cause you to doubt his faithfulness? If so, know that he wants to set you free. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal God’s love for you, and remember Jesus’ words to the apostles: “Behold, I am with you always, until the end of the age” (Matthew 28:20).
meditation: The Word Among Us!