Saturday, May 10, 2008

Working as unto the Lord in a cement factory.

It's nearly half a year now since my last post. Life goes by at a fierce rate, and our glorious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is our rest. Since my last post, I couldn't begin to describe all the trials and tests that the Lord has brought me through. I continue to be overwhelmed by God's grace to such a wretched sinner as myself.

So many things that the Lord has been teaching me are coming together and I am being refined and transformed by them. The Lord Jesus is precious and supreme. Whatever the Lord pleases, He does. Eternal life is knowing Jesus Christ. Nothing compares with the greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.

I continue to ask myself questions and try to keep the beautiful law of liberty in front of my face as a mirror to examine myself and be a doer not just a hearer. I was thinking the other day of writing on another t-shirt. On the front, I would ask the question, "Are you crucified to the world?" and on the back I would ask, "Am I crucified to the world?"

We are here as ambassadors of Christ, as if God were making His appeal through us. We are the agents of God's overwhelming and arresting grace in this world. We have been given the ministry of reconciliation. I am reminding myself of some of those great truths that I learnt when the Lord first called me. The Gospel is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to those who are being saved, it is the power of God. For God in His wisdom made it impossible for people to know Him by means of their own wisdom. Instead by means of the 'foolish' message we preach, God decided to save those who believe. For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes.

The Lord's way is narrow and on it there is no room for any other saviour, but there is room for everyone who believes and repents. In love he predestined us for adoption through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of His will, to the praise of his glorious grace.

In January I started working as an Environmental Engineer at a Cement Factory. It's been an amazing experience to be learning how to live and work for Christ in the workplace. How can I proclaim Him as Lord in all that I do? How can I live and work as a witness of Him among my work colleagues? How should I treasure Him supremely and be an ambassador everywhere I go? Needless to say, it has been a learning experience and God has done all the work.

I am convinced that there is in me no good thing, that is, in my flesh. But praise the Lord for the glories of the riches of His grace, by which and for which, I have been raised to life in Christ Jesus my Lord. It's been tough going, as we should expect, since God desires that we die to self and that our flesh is crucified and that we are dead to the world. If anyone loves the world or anything in the world, the love of Christ is not in him. You adulterous people, do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity towards God?

God has been teaching me to work as if working unto the Lord. I must offer myself up as a living sacrifice, this is my spiritual act of worship. Reading Leviticus, it is gruesome to think about the preparation of a sacrifice. A burnt offering must be flayed to remove the skin, then chopped into pieces and the various inward parts removed. And finally burnt on the altar with its blood poured out to God. This is a Christian life. If anyone desires to live a godly life in Christ Jesus, they will be persecuted.

But my life does not belong to me. I was born in sin, I was dead in my trespasses and sins, I was an enemy of God, I was storing up the wrath of a holy, righteous, jealous, loving and omnipotent God against myself, my mind was enmity against God, my heart was deceitfully wicked beyond comprehension, my throat was a open grave, I was a white-washed tomb, I was a putrid stench in the nostrils of the holy God and for this reason the judgement is coming, the light came into the world, but we loved the darkness rather than the light because our deeds were evil.

Yet God had concern for His great name and He redeemed a people for Himself, to the praise of the glory of His grace. For this reason, God has redeemed me and called me by name, and I am His. I am not my own, I was bought with a price - the blood of the spotless Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus, whose name is above all other names and who is forever to be praised. I am a bondservant of Christ Jesus, and it is Christ who works in me, to will and to do according to His purpose.

When the angels fell, God did not spare them, but threw them into hell to suffer eternal torment, but for the praise of His glorious grace, God has redeemed a people for Himself and as He justified us, He will also sanctify us. As we are redeemed and saved, we are also adopted as His children and appointed as heirs, because He made Him who had no sin, to become sin for us that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

I was born a sinner, and I will die a saint, and be brought to life again. Did the cross happen because of the Fall, or did the Fall happen so that the cross could happen? I know it is the latter, because does not the Creator of the world have the right over the clay to make from one lump a vessel for dishonourable use, prepared for destruction by wrath, and from another lump, a vessel for honored use, prepared for glory by mercy.

To Him be the glory forever and ever, in all ages now and forevermore. For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive all glory and honour and praise. For He was slain, and by His blood, He ransomed people from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Yes, Lord God the Almighty, true and just are your judgements. Glory to God in the highest. Amen.

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