Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Faith, Hope, and Love... the greatest is Love.

I remember, back in the days of legalism, I had tons of scripture memorized, and would always plug a certain scripture in to combat a certain situation. Of course, nine times out of ten, these scriptures wouldn't 'work' and were simply a formula to solve a problem. When God just basically baptized my whole being into His body... His grace--over 90% of those memorized verses just flew out the window. However, I honestly believe this was the 'erasing the chalkboard" thing that Bob George spoke of in his books. Sure, there were a few 'good' things on my mental chalkboard... but everything needed to be erased--the good, the bad, the ugly, and God would teach me from ground zero... what HE wanted me to know. It's not as frustrating anymore, knowing I don't have those scriptures memorized. It's not me that leads people to Christ---it's the Holy Spirit. It's not me that teaches myself how to behave--it's the Grace of God. It's not me that loves my family or neighbors... it's Christ in me. It's not my good works that allow me to hope for a home in Glory--it's Christ in me that's my hope of Glory. 

I mentioned a couple of weeks or so ago that "I quit" has pretty much been my mantra. Not in a frustrated way, but in a good way. I am confident in the forgiveness that I have received in Christ Jesus. My confidence is in Him, not myself. I am confident that my Life is eternal with Him, not temporal. There's only one thing that remains--Love. I have faith--God has taught me to depend on Him. I have hope--knowing who Christ is; God Himself, my hope is placed in him. Now? The greatest of the three remaining things (faith, hope and love) is love. 
The door is finally shut on "faith and hope". Not that it's gone away, but that it's a done deal. For all my 'do goody-ing" I had a lot of outward signs of good behavior, but love for others wasn't necessarily in my heart. More of a tolerance for others. God leads me through this life.. it seems His focus for me is loving one another. Not just loving the 'nice folks', but the irritable ones... the annoying ones.. the whinny ones... etc. In word and in deed, He is teaching me to allow His love to flow through me. That is a lesson that will be with me for life. 

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