Starting OverHave you experienced a fresh start in Jesus?
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I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved
these things or that I have already reached
perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection
for which Christ Jesus first possessed me (v.12).
In 1998, Dr. Larry Crabb wrote the book Inside Out. The book encourages Christians to stop pretending
they have it all together and to be honest about what’s going on in their hearts. As they do so, Crabb
reveals, God can free them up to become more of who they were meant to be.
After the book was published, Larry half-jokingly said that he wished it had been titled I’m a Mess, You’re a
Mess. He knew it wasn’t the most attractive title, yet it reflected something that is true of every one of us.
Take, for example, King David. Even though God considered him a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22),
he was not without his struggles and faults. Second Samuel 11 records a time in David’s life when he was
troubled by a lack of direction and purpose. Floundering in his kingly calling, David abused his power by
summoning a married woman to his bedroom, and then arranged for her husband’s death to cover up what he
Perhaps one of the reasons the Bible includes this sordid part of David’s life is to remind us that none of
us has arrived. It’s not an excuse to be a mess, but it’s a reminder that we’re a “glorious” mess in process. In other words, we all have room to grow.
It’s important to envision who we can be, but let’s not deny where we are today. Referring to the life that is
ours in Christ, even the apostle Paul acknowledged, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection” (Philippians 3:12).
Don’t pretend that you’re farther along in the Christian life than you are. God works in our lives where we are, not where we think we should be. —Jeff Olson
Solomon loved the Lord and followed all the
decrees of his father, David, except that
Solomon, too, offered sacrifices and burned
incense at the local places of worship
(1 Kings 3:3).
How have you pretended to be farther along in
your maturity in Jesus than you actually are?
What will you do to stop pretending?
- Starting Over - Have you experienced a fresh start in Jesus?...read more
- Genuine Love - How have you experienced the reality of God’s love?...read more
- Straight Up - Is there a current situation in your life where you’ve been less than honest?...read more
- He Saw Something - Have you seen something so true that you would be willing to live or die for it?...read more
- Higher Law, Higher Love - What choice of conscience faces you today?...read more
- Stay or Run Away - How might God want you to display His glory in your life?...read more
- Jealousy and Generosity - To help His followers understand what the kingdom of heaven is like and the dangers of comparison obsession, Jesus told a parable about a landowner who hired workers to tend his vineyard....read more
- On the Fringe - Who sits alone at church that you can befriend?...read more
- Taming Anger - Think back to a time when you lashed out in anger, or when someone lashed out at you....read more
- Full of Joy - How can you tap into God’s joy more fully?...read more
- Mistaken vs. Hard Hearts - How have you experienced a hard heart toward God in your relationship with Him?...read more
- The Narrow Door - How can salvation be a free gift simply received and yet still require our response?...read more
- Last Dance - How can you focus on thoughts that are lovely and admirable today?...read more
- Free to Forgive - How has God’s forgiveness changed your heart?...read more
- Friendly Wounds - What does it mean to “speak the truth in love”?...read more
- Hope Awakening - Do you tend to see the glass as half empty or half full?...read more