Some people have the knack for repairing old things and making them look new–or at least cute and semi-presentable. They’re like, “Oooh look I found this old vase from Goodwill and it was only twenty-seven cents and I cleaned it up and now it’s my new fruit bowl for my vintage kitchen!”
Never mind the fact that it was actually a chamber pot for someone’s great-aunt Hilda Matilda like two hundred years ago…but yeah, you can keep your apples in it.
Anyway, I don’t have that skill. I can see the object, find a glorious Pinterest-y idea…and yet, it will still remain an ugly piece of junk.
Sad. Face. 😦
Until today, I’ve maintained that we Christians are kinda like pieces of rubbish that God is in the business of fixing up. Perhaps that sounds harsh, and a bit offensive, but how often do we hear phrases in sermons, books or lyrics which put unnecessary focus on our worthlessness apart from God, or our insignificance without Him?
Hang tight for a minute.
Before we came to know God, yes, we were worthless.
Before we accepted salvation, yes, our life was insignificant.
But that was before, and this is now.
If God has made us new (and He has), then we are no longer our old selves. We are no longer worthless or insignificant. We are valued, valuable, and now have a reason for our often hum-drum existence on this planet.
So, we are not fixer-upper projects slowly accruing value. We are who God made us to be–even though we are continually being renewed to be more like Him. God destroyed the old house and gave us a new one. I don’t think we quite know where all the rooms are yet, or how all the windows open, but they’re certainly all there.
He didn’t use any of our shattered remains either; He used His wood, His nails, and His blood to build our new life. All-new material, for an all-new creation.
He has given us a new foundation and so much can be–and is being–built on it!
We were made in the image of God; now we can live with His identity.
Someone once shared with me their dislike of a certain worship song. The opening lyrics begin with, “I am nothing, yet You bid me come to You…” At the time I didn’t understand the concern. However, today it clicked.
Biblically, isn’t the approach incorrect for those who have been made new in Christ? Shouldn’t we be rejoicing in our divine citizenship, in our inheritance in the kingdom of God, and for our adoption as sons and daughters? Shouldn’t we be coming to God, rejoicing in who we are now, instead of bemoaning the old life from which He saved us? Are we identifying with the past or with the present?
There are times we may be overwhelmed by the all-consuming grace of God. When we add up our plethora of shortcomings and sins and shameful actions and try to understand how God has separated our transgressions from us as far as the east is from the west–so we could be intimately close with Him–yes, the magnitude is intense.
But weep with gratitude, weep with reverence, weep in awe. Don’t shed the tears of a wretched sinner…shed the tears of a redeemed saint.
We are all made in the image of God, and hallelujah, we have no control over that. It is our choice, in accepting God’s grace, whether or not we claim His identity, however.
And yet–it is still not about us. Our image was designed by Him, and now our identity can be Him.
No longer should we focus on our once-wretched state–because that was about us, and now we’re redeemed by Jesus.
You see, Satan focuses on our past–but we don’t have to. We are not re-purposed junk. We are new treasures, new riches.
Rejoice in your salvation.
“As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.
But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages He might show the incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
– Romans 2:1-10