I’m Not Too Bright!

I’m not, seriously! I can’t solve the mysteries of the universe. I don’t speak with impeccable grammar and diction. I sometime find myself confused when faced with a multitude of options, to the point of becoming paralyzed, in a state of indecision. I’m simply, not too bright.

But then, I’m not sure I would want to be either!

1 Corinthians 1:30-31 (NIV)
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”

I can give full credit to the Lord Jesus for any accomplishment, His power works through my surrender. This is a blissful feeling.  The load isn’t on my shoulders. I’m simply God’s water boy.

We tend to often put ourselves under a lot of unnecessary pressure. Paying the bills, keeping in contact with friends, maintaining our family, keeping pace with the job; and the list goes on and on. We walk around with a sense that we are overwhelmed with all that ‘we must attend to’.

Have you ever stopped to consider that there is no scriptural basis for doing this to ourselves?

Let’s step back a moment and consider what God says about all this. Perhaps we can modify out performance model to something that is more in keeping with His Word, and at the same time a bit less stressful.

I quoted the scripture above because we sometimes forget what gifts we are blessed with when we surrender our lives to Christ Jesus. Here is a little secret that neglect of those gifts isn’t because God would have us ignore them.  No, they are poured out on us, because in understanding them and using them we can reflect glory back to God who’s provided them.

Wisdom from God – Wisdom isn’t synonymous with intelligence. Where wisdom addresses understanding and insight; intelligence focuses around knowledge.

We live in the information age.  Never in the history of humanity has so much information been so readily available to so many.  The availability of knowledge is unsurpassed, in any other time.

Sadly, the world so lacks wisdom. Yes, they can apply functional application to the knowledge they possess, but true wisdom is lost to the world at large. The world would have us gather items and activities to ourselves; if you don’t own the right brand, or attend the right events, you simply are missing out!

James 1:5-7 (HCSB)
Now if any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives to all generously and without criticizing, and it will be given to him. 

But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind. 

That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.

The wisdom of God no further away than a petition to the Lord God. Really doesn’t leave us any excuse not to take full advantage of this.

Proverbs 2:6 (HCSB)
For the Lord gives wisdom; from His mouth come knowledge and understanding.

The bonus here is that along with that wisdom, God imparting knowledge to us as well. When Jesus ascended into heaven after his resurrection, He left with us the Holy Spirit to live in us and teach us all things.

John 14:26 (HCSB)
But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit—the Father will send Him in My name—will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you.

There is no understanding deficit, no knowledge deficiency: God has provisioned us to be equipped for whatever task He sets us out on.

Our righteousness – We; I am nothing but dirt in comparison to the righteousness of God. I would go as far to say that even dirt is a substantial eluviation to our true state of righteousness.

The bible agrees with us too!

Romans 3:10 (HCSB)
as it is written: There is no one righteous, not even one.

But the Lord doesn’t leave us that way.

2 Corinthians 5:21 (HCSB)
He made the One who did not know sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

The one who did not know sin (Jesus) became sin for us. Why? So that we might become the righteousness of God through Jesus. This is an upgrade of the greatest proportion. Transformed from a state lower than dirt to be adorned with the righteousness of God!

There is an obligation to this gift of righteousness.

Romans 1:17 (HCSB)
For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith.

That’s right; the righteous will live by faith.  Because it is faith that reveals this righteousness.

None of these gifts are going to be imparted to us, unless we place full faith and trust in Jesus. It is through Him that we are healed, through Him that we are made righteous, through Him that we are empowered; because it is by Him and no other that we are saved (Acts 4:12). And I like to cross out the word ‘saved’ there and paraphrase that with redeemed! But I’m getting a little ahead of myself here, we will talk about redemption soon enough.

Holiness – Personally I wrestle with this a bit at times. There are points when I just find it nearly impossible to realize that God has made me holy.  But he does for each of us that call on the name of His Son Jesus. He takes the imperfect, filthy demonstration of the sin filled flesh that we are and not only adorns us with His righteousness; He goes another step forward and makes us holy as well!

Hebrews 10:10 (HCSB)
By this will of God, we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once and for all.

Sanctified; if you don’t know exactly what that words means in this context you might miss it. Sanctification is the process of being made holy.

Wow! He does that for us.

I shouldn’t be surprised. After all God does expect holiness from us.

Leviticus 11:45 (HCSB)
For I am Yahweh, who brought you up from the land of Egypt to be your God, so you must be holy because I am holy.

Well, maybe that was just directed towards the people of Israel, after all, I’ve never even been to Egypt.

1 Peter 1:15 (HCSB)
But as the One who called you is holy, you also are to be holy in all your conduct

So that settles it, God is making us holy, we are to be holy; so where is our resistance to being holy coming from? The enemy maybe; using self to draw us away from what we are called to be?  Yes, I think maybe so.

Redemption – All these things being bestowed on us are fantastic. But when you consider redemption is part of the deal, it is beyond the scope of our complete understanding.

Let’s start by defining ‘redeem’:

re·deem

[rəˈdēm]

VERB

redeems (third person present) · redeemed (past tense) · redeemed (past participle) · redeeming (present participle)

  1. compensate for the faults or bad aspects of something.
    synonyms: save · compensate for the defects of · vindicate · compensating
    (of a person) atone or make amends for (error or evil):
    synonyms: atone for · make amends for · make restitution for

If you just skimmed by the definition, I would encourage you to go back and read it again; carefully. Jesus redeemed us through His sacrifice on the Cross for us; for the sin that was ours. Jesus did all of this for us:

  • Compensated for what we are at fault for. Syn: Saved, Vindicated, Compensated
  • Made atonement for our evil. Syn: Atone, Restitution
  • Gain or regain possession of, in exchange for payment. Syn: retrieve, regain, recover, get back, reclaim, repossess, buy back.

All of this is pertinent information, but I want to focus in on the last element; Regain possession of, in exchange for payment.

Romans 5:8 (HCSB)
But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

Jesus paid the ultimate cost in order to ‘regain’ a love relationship with us.  A relationship (possession) which was lost with the original sin of Adam and Eve.

It was this sacrificial love of Christ Jesus that bought our redemption. He did it for love. He did it because, His desire was to have this incredible relationship with us. He did it because he wanted us to stop running from Him and instead, run to him.

Acts 4:12 (HCSB)
There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to people, and we must be saved by it.”

That name is Jesus Christ.

Upon our surrender from running away and as we embrace this savior; Jesus instructs us, with a new command.

He wants us to give the same love to one another that He’s given to us.

So important was this, that He gave this instruction as a command. ‘Love one another’. Sounds pretty simple. But then He goes on to tell us that as He love’s us we must (not should, we must) love each other.

John 13:34 (HCSB)
I give you a new command: Love one another. Just as I have loved you, you must also love one another.

Jesus is not making it easy on us. He’s giving us the example of His love for us as a template of how we should love others. This is a substantial leap from affection, family or romantic love. The first thing we think of when we consider the love of Jesus is a sacrificial love.  It is love that places others ahead of you, because you want to enable them to grow and become more. It’s a love that is unconditional and unwavering; relentless.

John 14:15 (HCSB)
If you love Me, you will keep My commands.

There is no escaping this responsibility.

Do we love like that?  Can we love like that; everyone? Once again, not within our own power; but we can through the power of Christ living in us.

2 Timothy 1:7 (HCSB)
For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.

Power, love, sound judgment; from God.

Remember what wisdom is? It’s sound judgement.  So we’ve come full circle.

I don’t need to be the smartest person in the room. I don’t need to be the most talented, or clever, or humorous.  I need nothing more than to be His and be obedient to His will; He will me to love as He does me. Not of my own power, but with His.

After all, I’m not too bright!

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