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    Tears in Rain

    Psalm 45:1

    "My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer."

    Galatians 2:20

    I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.



    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Christ: The Perfect Penitent

    December 20, 2011
    “A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to. “
    —CS Lewis “Mere Christianity”

    The above passage concluded my reading yesterday and serves as a tremendous transition into the next chapter of CS Lewis’ Mere Christianity: The Perfect Penitent.

    It really is indisputable when you break it down like Lewis has—Christ is a lunatic, a liar, or LORD. Given the circumstances and any logical deduction considering the historical, spiritual, and physical reality of the human condition, the latter can be most certain as Lewis goes on to explain.

    “This man we are talking about was (and is) just what He said or else a lunatic, or something worse. Now it seems to me obvious that He was neither a lunatic nor a fiend: and consequently, however strange or terrifying or unlikely it may seem, I have to accept the view that He was and is God. God has landed on this enemy-occupied world in human form.”

    Furthermore, Lewis teaches that,  “A man can accept what Christ has done without knowing how it works: indeed, he certainly would not know how it works until he has accepted it.” It’s this acceptance part that many individuals have the most trouble with. They can suppress, and suppress, until the pressure they’ve put on the Jesus box per se overloads in an overwhelming realization that this is the truth. Some will go on to reject it completely or fall to their knees. “We are told that Christ was killed for us,” Lewis said “that His death has washed out our sins, and that by dying He disabled death itself. That is the formula. That is Christianity. That is what has to be believed.”

    Now being a Christian nearly all my life, I can tell you with sincerity that this is precisely what I believed. It wasn’t until I was much older that I would soon find out that this belief was not obtained by my own merit and that I wasn’t necessarily in complete acceptance of the truth. In fact, I still find it difficult sometimes saying that I am in complete surrender and submission to Christ my savior because I try so hard to be my own.
    “Can we do it if God helps us? Yes, but what do we mean when we talk of God helping us? We mean God putting into us a bit of Himself, so to speak. He lends us a little of His reasoning powers and that is how we think: He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another. When you teach a child writing, you hold its hand while it forms the letters: that is, it forms the letters because you are forming them. We love and reason because God loves and reasons and holds our hand while we do it. Now if we had not fallen, that would be all plain sailing But unfortunately we now need God’s help in order to do something which God, in His own nature, never does at all—to surrender, to suffer, to submit, to die.”
    CS Lewis claims that he has “heard people complain that if Jesus was God as well as man, then His sufferings and death lose all value in their eyes, “because it must have been so easy for Him’.” Of course, how ungrateful and arrogant such a claim sounds but I have found myself thinking the same way in one manner or another. More in the sense that I desire to overly empower myself into thinking that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. That if Christ could endure such pain, such suffering that surely I could do these things. The truth of the matter is I shouldn’t have to. Christ has conquered death for us and all the credit goes solely to Him. Some will complain that Christ has such an unfair advantage in being our Saviour because He’s God. Why would we argue of an unfair advantage when it is obvious enough that we desperately need the help? As Lewis put it, that would be like complaining to someone waiting on the bank of the shore  trying to help another from drowning, "That isn't fair; you're using your legs on the dry land!" Because we so desperately long to help ourselves, we lose site of the fact that we cannot. We never could. We never will.

    “The perfect surrender and humiliation were undergone by Christ: perfect because He was God, surrender and humiliation because He was a man.”

    My concluding thoughts of today’s study rest in a recurring theme of ‘waiting on the Lord.’ I read in another devotional this morning about how we tend to think we’re running out of time while waiting on God to fulfill our lives; how desperate, determined and defiled we can become by taking matters into our own hands. I remember talking with a friend about how just finishing up college a good quarter of our lives will be spent up and that is assuming we’ll even make it to 80. My thoughts when pondering this exact subject always tends to lead me into realizing that life starts now. We’re not trying to get through obstacles of youth, parents, education, job fairs, and bad economy for life to simply start. We’re not waiting for the perfect man or women to enter our lives to start living a life that’s already half spent. No, we’re living right now—never, never, never take that for granted.

    Also, never forget to realize that God intends to take good care of His children. Living in the expediency of our microwave generation has caused a great many of us to forget the importance of waiting, watching, and listening to everything God has given us right now. He is our great provider. All we have to do is obey and follow Him. “God doesn’t love us because we are good, but God will make us good because He loves us” Lewis said. And that’s what life is really all about and Christ expects us to do that together through Him all of the time. Ask a fellow minister friend of mine how to spell love and he will tell you, “T-I-M-E.”

    "My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer."

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