Monday, March 27, 2006

WordPoints - March 27, 2006

For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle,
because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am,
and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly
than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
1 Corinthians 15:9,10

Deep within us there seems to be a need to make progress. We appear to have a basic, built-in drive to get to higher and higher levels of quality -- and we're unhappiest when our lives have come to a standstill. The word "frustrated" means that we've stopped, we've been blocked in our effort to move toward something that's important to us. The things that frustrate us are often obstacles of our own making, but even so, frustrated people are unhappy people. When we're not getting better and doing better, we don't like being a human being.

From the standpoint of spiritual realities, sin is obviously the root of the problem. It is the fundamental explanation for both our failure to grow as we need to and the feeling of frustration that inevitably follows. When all has been said and done, it is God our Creator toward whom we must move and in whom we must grow. Apart from a right relationship with Him, no progress we can make will mean anything in the end. "Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it" (Psalm 127:1).

Yet even when we acknowledge the primary role God must play in our progress, we sometimes still don't move ahead. We fail to see the need on our part to take the spiritual steps we could take and to make the progress that is available to us each day. We can't, in this life, be perfect. But we can make progress. We can improve. We can make each day better than the last. We can make the conscious decision to upgrade something about our character and our conduct every day. We can reach forward. We can determine that the grace God has shown us will not have been in vain.

One way to understand the corruption by which sin destroys the human spirit is to think of it as a "stagnation." When we cease to move toward God, we stagnate. When we're not improving and making progress, we decay into a motionless death. To be delivered from this stagnation means that we are given God's help to get up and get going again -- toward Him.
Holiness is not the end of progress, but deliverance from standing still.
G. Campbell Morgan
Copyright © 2006 by Gary Henry - Visit the WordPoints web site:


Anne said...

I so needed to read this today.

Badoozie said...

good stuff, i'm always looking for things to do better.

EmmaSometimes said...

I have read two blogs today that are scripture oriented and so poigniant that I know it is Divine Intervention. Thank you for posting this.

I am at a time in my life where God is shaking things up. I pray for this to happen, am uncomfortable when it does, repentant when it is asked. I am then so thankful for the growth and pray again for more. My childhood has brought me so much pain and am almost angry that I am still dealing with it because I have not let go of it. Well, it's coming out now, it all it's ugly but I am already feeling the enormous weight that is being lifted.

Thank you for sharing this Anne! You have really blessed me.

Reverberate58 said...

Words so true. In my move this year one of the thing I left behind was a Church Family. And in the past month things have slowed so much that when I questioned why I felt so "stagnant" it came quickly back to me that I was lacking a place of worship. I realized that I had laid my Bible to the side, and had turned off my radio. So I now am getting back into the swing by doing a Bible Study, I leave the TV off and the radio on more often, and hubby and I are looking for a new Church Family. And I don't feel so alone any more.