The Christian's Ordinary Day
8 May 2004, Pr George Porter
(George is Thornleigh's Church Pastor)
Title : The Christian's Ordinary Day
Scripture Reading: Colossians 3:12-17
Theme: Doing God's Will 100% , 100% of the time!
In our last service we discussed the topic of Spiritual Discipline. That Christians are continually training to be "In Christ" not trying in their own strength. It is, "Christ in you the Hope of Glory," Col 1:27
Now how does that concept work in the ordinary day of a Christian? How does it work in the life of Mothers in particular? We need to review that for mothers this Mother's Day. How do you do 100% of God's will, 100% of the time? Is it possible?
PASTOR PAUL'S ORDINARY DAY WITH CHRIST
In Colossians 3:17 Pastor Paul says, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks and the Father by him." (KJV)
The NLB gives a n interesting slant on the original, "Whatever you do or say, let it be as a representative of the Lord Jesus, all the while giving thanks through him to God the father." Wow! That implies doing 100% of God's will, 100% of your time!
Notice 100% of His will includes the ingredients for living that Paul lists for us. In verse 12 he instructs the "elect", "chosen of God"- Christians, to put on (wear as dress) holiness, compassion, kindness, humility of mind, and gentle patience. Again in verse 14 he mentions love as the most important catalyst to bind all other ingredients in a perfect unity and bond. Love not only binds all the ingredients together in the individual it binds the Christian family together in harmony. A final ingredient is mentioned in verse 15. The peace of Christ within the "heart" or the mind. The tranquility of knowing that we are doing His will. Christ controlling the cognitive processes couched in Spirit filled emotions. It is all there in this ordinary day of the Christian. In Christ 100% of the time!! WOW!!
Wait a minute! Where did the 100% go when you read verse 13. Verse 13 is a brush with reality. "Forebearing one another, and forgiving one another" KJV or as the NLB says, "You must make allowances for each other's faults and forgive the person who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others." So, we do not do His will 100% and 100% of the time!! Our humanity is so weak, frail, feeble and fragile. We cannot do it 100% alone. Paul here outlines for us the goal that is expected of us. The pattern we must copy is found in Christ. He has the ingredients we need for success.
So HOW can we daily reach the 100% goal that God expects of us and Paul lists for us here, especially his climax in verse 17? First, we must take as our coach, Jesus Christ. We must be in Christ the hope of our glory, both now and finally. Do not stress over our inevitable mistakes. Trace our failures, face our failures and replace our deficiencies with Christ's Spirit. Play and walk on with the coach. It is all about growth and development. Don't feel guilty. Do be repentant. Know you are forgiven and move on with Christ. He covers for your mistakes if you are genuinely repentant and God counts you as 100% in Christ. All by faith.
God's desire is to walk together with us in the ordinary days of our lives. An ordinary day of your life doing things you normally do with Jesus. Waking, eating, working and sleeping in Jesus Name. Name meaning His character. Now that could be different for most of us at times! It is Christ in you. His power in you. He is in residence with you. You do life with Him in Partnership, not alone as a solo performer. Partnership, no solo performance. These ordinary days as outlined by God through Paul come in one day doses, in the name of Jesus.
One ordinary day. What would it be for you? When observed waking up? Would Jesus be seen? Eating breakfast in Jesus name. What about the pace and gratitude? Driving in Jesus name. Is He always your passenger? What does He hear? At work in Jesus name. How is the partnership at work, school home, or wherever? Watching TV or any other visuals in Jesus name, can you do that 100%. Paying accounts in Jesus name including tithe and offerings. How do relationships with family, friends, work- mates, neighbours, acquaintances and strangers go when it comes to words and actions in Jesus name?
God expects Every Relationship, Every Activity, Every Situation to be in and with Christ. Christ came to give us this fullness of life. His presence 100% of the time. Christ provided for us an Insurance policy. Righteousness 100% by faith in Him. We are all covered if we depend upon Him and repent daily. We are covered in case of accidents. Why are we in our frail, feeble, fragile humanity covered?
Bruce Machiano in his book, "In the Footsteps of Jesus One Man's Journey Through the Life of Christ," p. 78, says the following,
"The joy of Jesus, I discovered, was wrapped up in His living in all the fullness of life's ultimate adventure-a bigger-than-lifeness, robustness, victoriousness that comes with living 100 percent in the Father's will 100 percent of the time."
"Can you imagine the level of joy in your heart if you could live just ten seconds that way? Jesus lived every breathing moment that way. It's beyond comprehension! Love unbounded, truth unrestrained , purpose maximized, victory realized, enemy pulverized, humanity eternalized, God glorified - it's just too much to think about."
We must think about it. Bruce has made a profound statement. We need Christ in us if we are to be 100%. Look at what Scripture says, about Christ's values and character.
"Love unbounded," No one and no thing can separate us from the love of Christ, Romans 8:35-39.
"Truth unrestrained," "…His Son Jesus Christ …. Is the true God, and eternal life." 1 John 5:20
"Purpose maximized," "…our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ." 1 John 1:3
"Victory realized," "It is finished." John 19:30; "the propitiation (expiation), (or simply - forgiveness) for our sins." 1 John 4:10.
"Enemy pulverized," Jesus said, "I beheld, Satan as lightning fall from heaven." "And the devil that deceived them…the beast and the false prophet…. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire." Revelation 20: 10, 14.
"Humanity eternalized," " For God loved the world so much, that He gave His only unique Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16. (GCP) "…You that believe on the name of the Son of God; … know that you have eternal life .." 1 John 5:13. "..everyone that sees the Son, and believes on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day." John 6:40
"God glorified," Jesus said to the Father, "I have glorified you on earth: I have finished the work which you gave me to do." John 17:4
Pastor Paul in Scripture, supports all Jesus said and he makes it clear in his messages to us, that Christ's glory and success can be ours now by faith and finally forever when Christ returns. See Romans 8: 17-18, 30.
All of that in an ordinary day. Yes, we must have that in our ordinary day. Christ's character in a one day dose at a time. However, we come back to Colossians verse 13. Forgive one another's grievances. Make allowances for each other's faults and forgive is a huge component in the daily dose of ingredients for being like Christ. So we cannot go it solo. We cannot in our fragile weak and feeble humanity DO the performance. It is crucial to be in partnership with Jesus Christ, " who is our life." He is to perform in us if we allow Him to do it with us.
Ellen G. White had it all straight in her mind. I refer to her and if you can read the entire contexts of the following quotes it would be helpful.
"Our Lord and Saviour laid aside His dominion, His riches and glory, and sought after us, that He might save us from misery and make us like Himself. He humbled Himself and took our nature that we might be able to learn of Him and, imitating His life of benevolence and self-denial, follow Him step by step to heaven. You cannot equal the copy; but you can resemble it and, according to your ability, do likewise." Testimony for the Church Vol 2, p. 170 (emphasis mine)
Notice the words I have highlighted. Like, learn, imitating, follow, step by step, resemble, according to your ability. Particularly notice, "You cannot equal the copy." By copy she means blueprint or pattern. Wow! So we cannot do 100% without Him empowering us and covering for us with His Insurance Policy -Forgiveness. The premium is Partnership by faith. Believe in and walk with Him.
"Ministers especially should know the character and works of Christ, that they may imitate Him; for the character and works of a true Christian are like His. …. He is our Pattern. … He is a perfect and holy example, given for us to imitate . We cannot equal the pattern; but we shall not be approved of God if we do not copy it and, according to the ability which God has given, resemble it." Ibid p. 549 (emphasis mine)
Now notice she says, "Ministers especially". Ellen includes us all in the Church family but she includes Ministers especially. Please note the words underlined. Especially "ability which God has given. God has given Christ the Son. He is our ability to do 100 %. Again we see, "We cannot equal the pattern." He covers for our deficiencies.
A third quote says,
" We are so far beneath Him and so far deficient, that, do the very best we can, our efforts will be poor. We cannot gain and possess the influence that He had; but why should we not educate ourselves to come just as near to the Pattern as it is possible for us to do, that we may have the greatest possible influence on people?" Ibid p. 618 (emphasis mine)
All these statements declare our need to be like Christ. To imitate and resemble the pattern set for us. Our ability must be in partnership with His ability which is 100 percent. We must, "educate ourselves to come just as near to the Pattern as is possible for us to do. " "WE CANNOT EQUAL THE PATTERN."
So our ordinary day MUST be in partnership with Jesus Christ. Christian life is not to be a SOLO performance. May God bless you as you stay with your coach and go step by step and day by day with Him. Whatever you do and say do it all in the name of Jesus.
"It is Christ in you the hope of glory," Colossians 1:27; now and forever, by faith and trust in Him. Take courage Mothers, Fathers and all the families.
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