December 1, 2008

Future grace affects me today

My mother had an aversion to drunkenness, but she told me about one uncle who was often in that state and she seldom got angry at him. She said, that was “just Willie.” Of the same person she might say, “Oh, he meant well.”

I’m not sure about that uncle; he was before my time, but I do know what it feels like to mean well and not quite measure up. Sometimes I want to say just the right thing and the words won’t come out. Sometimes I want to do something good and my efforts fall short.

When it comes walking with God, meaning well and doing well often have a gap between them. I want to serve God with all my heart, but don’t realize how contrary my heart can be. Days go by and I’ve not accomplished anything for Him, not even had a decent time of prayer. I long to change that and mean well, but more often than not, I fall short.

For that reason, today’s reading comforts me. It is Psalm 65:1 and says, “Praise awaits you, O God, in Zion; to you our vows will be fulfilled.

One day all the promises I’ve made to God about my own behavior and commitment to Him will be true and fulfilled. One day my praise will not be interrupted or sound hollow. One day my love for Him will be perfectly expressed. One day He will perfect me.

This is not an excuse for here and now. I’m still wanting to be a more dedicated follower of Jesus Christ and more deeply committed to the will of God and serving Him. However, knowing that in redemption and His plan of salvation, God also includes provision for the fact that I continue to fall short in every way, is a blessing. Because of His love for me and His great plan and gracious power, one day I will be all that I want to be, even all that He wants me to be. This is an amazing promise.

It is also reassuring, even exciting, but practical too. Knowing that His future grace will transform me totally when I enter into the fullness of His presence has the effect of turning my heart toward Him. With that, it also has the potential to shorten the gap between meaning well and doing well — even today.

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