Striving Onward to ‘Greatness’?

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Every Living Thing Strives and Grows,

Trees Were Once Seedlings And Before That Mere Seeds In Pine Cones

Up to Be More Than They Started Out To Be

Psalm 102:26

They will perish, but you endure; they will all wear out like a garment. You change them like clothing, and they pass away.

1 Corinthians 1:8

He will also strengthen you to the end, so that you may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Words of Grace For Today

We humans strive.

It’s built into our DNA, that we strive.

We strive to provide the necessities of life for ourselves and those we are responsible for and those we are responsible to.

When we no longer need to strive to provide the necessities of life we continue to strive, to make life more, to make life easier, to make life more comfortable, to make life more secure.

Our striving requires that we persevere through even the apparently most unendurable circumstances in order that we can hope that we will emerge successful.

Our common, built into our DNA, sin is that in our striving we think highly of ourselves, and with our successes when we strive, we think even more highly of ourselves. This assessment of ourselves provides us a base, even if totally falsified, from which we operate with boldness, sometimes raw foolish boldness, to achieve what we strive for.

Besides falsely assessing ourselves, we falsely assess other people. We think less of them. If they have not achieved with their striving as much as we have (measured by what we have striven for) we devalue them. This gives us a greater assessment possibility for ourselves. If they have achieved more than we have (measured by what we have striven for) then we devalue their achievements in order to give us a greater hope of matching and surpassing their achievements.

The most deceptive part of our striving is that we also devalue God, the ultimate power, creator, and judge of us all, in order that we can move forward in our own ways (measured only by our own standards of what is acceptable and what is not). We throw off the inconvenient truth about the ethical value of our strivings, methods, and accomplishments. It is simply a drag on our confidence. We deceive ourselves into thinking that we are capable of god-like achievements, that we have out-paced other humans, that we have stepped above the rest, and even that God must be dead because we can achieve enough on our own to be able to prove that God cannot exist if God ever did.

Ah, yes, we become godlets to ourselves and those around us who worship us.

Until God changes us like clothing, and we pass away into oblivion.

To avoid such a terrible end, an end of the same kind of nothingness we’ve actually achieved with our lives founded on the sinking sands of deception, we know we must turn to God, confess our sins, and worship God. Thus we may remember who we actually are; mere creatures of God’s making.

We know we must pray (or when we are so lost we no longer remember to pray we need others to pray for us): strengthen us to the end, so that we may be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We know on our own we can strive all our lives long and achieve nothing worth anything. With Christ Jesus our Lord graciously forgiving us, redeeming us, and renewing us, there is no limit what God can accomplish in us, with us, and through us.

Always wretched sinners, simultaneously God-made saints, our lives lack nothing. Compared to the highest roller coaster ride, our lives require that we ‘hold on to our hearts, minds, and souls (and soles)’. There is never a dull moment. God walks with us, and moves us to places, events and endurance we could never imagine possible.

Hang on, here we go!