Every Sunday evening my wife and I sit down and align our calendars for the week. We started this a few years ago when we had doubled booked a few times within the same month. Our schedules had gotten busier with kids in school, evening meetings for myself, and meet-ups with others for my wife. The calendar was no longer our friend it seemed like our enemy, constantly reminding us where we missed it.
In my years of learning from, listening to, and leading others that sentiment shows up more than I’d expect in people’s views of God. Things get busy, life seems to spin out of control, suffering enters in, and we are left thinking God is out to get us, ready to remind us of where we are missing it. At times we even expect Him to take it all and be done with it. This is where the nuance comes in.
We must understand the distinction between what Jesus has already done for us, what is completed already, and what is still a work in progress. It’s the difference between what theologians know as justification and sanctification. It’s centered around the question – what is our part and what is God’s part. That is what Barbara Harper dissects in her post “God Is Not Going to Slap the Cookie From Your Hand“. In a very personal and relevant manner, she walks through how the gospel is not something to be earned, but it also is not something opposed to effort. Earning and effort are not synonyms.
What do you think? Does the Christian life require effort? How much? When is it too much? Too lacking? I’d love to hear your thoughts and responses to the article as it’s something I’m constantly analyzing myself. As always be with the Lord’s people on the Lord’s day.
Until Next Time,