Tuesday, November 07, 2006

October 22, 2006--God Wants You to Be a Saint

Note: Post taken from sermon given on date listed. Taken from loose outline notes of the Pastor....Actual delivered sermon may have varied. No video available....sorry

Text: Matthew 5:48; James 1:3-4; 2 Corinthians 6:16

We never wanted and never asked to be made into the sort of creatures God wants us to be. We rather want something in between, to just be nice folks, but not to be saints. But the wquestion is not what we intended ourselves to be, but what He intended us to be when He made us. He is hte inventor, we are only the machine. He is hte painter, we are onlyh the picture. How should we know what He means us to be like? We may be content to remain what we call "ordinary folks": but He is determined to carry out a quite different plan. To shrink back from that plan is not humility: it is laziness and cowardice. To submit to it is not conceit or madness; IT IS OBEDIENCE.

There is another way of putting this into perspective. On one hand, we must never imagine that our own efforts can be relied on to carry us even through the next twenty four hours as "decent people". If He does not support us, not one of us is safe from some gross sin. On the hotehr hand, no possible degree of hiliness or heroism which has ever been recorded of the greatest saints is beyond what He is determined to produce in every one of us in the end. The job will not be completed in htis life: He means to get us as far as possible before death, however.

That is why we must not be surprised if we are in for a rough time. When a man turns to Christ and seems to be getting on pretty well, he often feels that is would now be natural if things went fairly smoothly. When troubles come along, like sickness, money trouble, loss--he/she is disappointed. These things, he/she feels, might have been necessary to rouse him or her and make him repent in his bad days; but why now, when they are a Christian? Well, here is the answer. Because God is forcing him/her on, and up to a higher level: putting him into situations where they will have to be very much braver, or more patient, or more loving, than he/she has ever dreamed of being before. It seems to us all unnecessary; but that is because we have not yet had the slightest notion of the tremendous things He means to make of us....

Think of it this way....Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in, buys the house and means to rebuild that house. At frist, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that thsoe jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of--throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but HE IS BUILDING A PALACE!!! He intends to come and live in it Himself!!!!!

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