Did you know you are completely supplied for successful living? If you know Jesus Christ as your deliverer, that is a truth to live on!
“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.” 2 Peter 1:3 (Berean Study Bible)
As I thought about the reality of my supplies for life, I was gathering school supplies. One particular item on my list stood out: an eraser! We all need an eraser in this life, because mistakes are part of being human. That is a truth I am only beginning to accept. I have known it in my head for years, but permission for imperfection has been hard for me receive.
Paul phrases it beautifully as he speaks to his brothers and sisters-in-Christ at Philippi. “It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel.”
Partakers with me of grace.
When we fail to embrace the grace we need by striving for perfection—and demanding it of others—we do not have fellowship with others. Philippians is an amazing look at letting go of confidence in the things we do well. Those areas of life (even Christian life) that we excel at can easily become areas of shame.
“…their glory is their shame” says Paul.
As Christians, we are certainly called to excellence. We are being transformed into the very likeness of our beloved Savior. But only by the work of God within … “it is God who works in us!” Not only is the fact that God works in us a beautiful definition of grace, it is the only way to transformation.
Right living comes out of His work; we do not work ourselves into right living by Bible study, Christian service or determination. Our efforts become things we glory in—and Paul says that is our shame. So, here is the hardest truth of this piece. The way to transformation involves suffering.
“I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death … ” Philippians 3:10
The fellowship of suffering means more than “doing” what is in the Law. It is feeling the pain that comes with “being” the Law. Our transformation into Christ-likeness requires that we feel the pain of what is not as it ought to be—and absorb the cost because of Christ. We are not doormats; we are victorious conquerors who lay down our earthly concerns for eternal victory. We are never to use the Law to batter another—only to better ourselves. It is then that the power of the resurrection becomes visible for all to see!
What part of your faith walk needs the Eraser of Grace? Where are you trusting in your personality, knowledge, position or ability instead of Christ? Will you suffer the loss of what you trust to receive His grace?