Welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner. My friend, may I ask you a question today? If Christ has perfected us from top to bottom with his consistent appeal to each of us to strive for perfection in and through him, is there a need to fear how we appear before God? Will we will pass final inspection because of his perfection alone?
My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day.
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When I added on to our home years ago I was confined to a fairly strict building code. The code dictated how the frame was to be constructed, the walls built, the plumbing run, as well as the electrical installed. Essentially it covered every facet of how the addition would be built from footings to shingles. To start the project I had to pull a permit based on a plan I submitted to the town building and planning committee. In turn they employed an inspector that checked on the progress of the project as each phase was completed. With each visit I would receive an inspection report from the inspector critiquing what had been accomplished and what needed to be changed, removed or added prior to continuing on to the next step in the construction process. The final step was a general inspection that procured the right to inhabit the new structure and make it officially part of our home. Although I possessed sufficient carpentry skills to complete most of the construction of the frame, walls, roof and interior finishing, and had hired someone to do the utilities, the structure I ended up with was far superior to the one I would have built if there had been no inspection. The changes I was forced to make due to the inspections made the addition better. In the end it reflected the vision the building and planning committee had in mind when they wrote the code.
While I was fully aware that my addition wasn’t perfect, I knew full well that it was perfected by the inspection process. The key to finishing a project like this with confidence is trusting in the inspection process. Even though it’s easy to become anxious as the end draws closer, the temptation to cut corners or even avoid that last inspection had to be avoided.
Here’s a story. The odds against bowling a perfect game in bowling are 225,000 to 1. When a bowler bowls through every frame perfectly and comes down to that last frame, the pressure is intense. Despite the fact that the odds have now been reduced considerably, some just can’t take the pressure. One bowler appropriately collapsed when he qualified to join that brotherhood of 300. Another bowler just couldn’t bring himself to play the final ball of an otherwise perfect game. Instead he silently packed his shoes and ball and walked out – and never again set foot inside a bowling alley! (Campus Life.)
Jesus taught. “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:20). On the surface Jesus’ teaching sounds severe and, like those building permits, it is not just surface, it’s impacting from top to bottom and inside and out. How do you and I accomplish this? We rely on the inspector to get us where we need to go. Jesus has redeemed us from death and the devil with his sacrifice that paid the price for our inability to achieve this level of righteousness. He perfected us from top to bottom with his consistent appeal to each of us to strive for perfection in and through him. There is no need to fear how we get there because the process of redemption is perfected in him. We can bowl that final frame and put in the last nail with confidence. We will pass final inspection because of his perfection in and through us.
We pray. Thank you Lord for your sacrifice on the cross that has caused us to be perfectly righteous in the sight of God. Sometimes, Father, we become anxious, even fearful, believing if but only for a moment that we are unworthy of your love because of our sin. Forgive us Father when we forget that Jesus has made us righteous in your sight and that there is no need to fear or draw back because of our own unworthiness. In Jesus name we pray. Amen!
Therefore my friend, Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. This Passing Day. (Matt 6:34)
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