Friday, 15 October 2010
A Fresh Start
I love a fresh start. The first of January. The first day of the new school year. Even the first day of the week helps me to put the past behind and find energy to press ahead. It’s more than a turn of a page in my calendar, it’s a metaphor for the gospel.
There’s grace for you and me today to start a new Bible study. Even if we have left previous Bible studies unfinished, even if we have not opened our Bibles in a few weeks…or months…we can “forget what lies behind” and “press on toward the goal” of knowing Christ Jesus our Lord. That’s because he finished what we left undone, and he paid the price for all of our failures. Completely.
It’s really important to apply the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ to Bible study, because if there’s one thing I’ve learned in my years of following him it’s that failure makes me want to quit. When I get behind in my reading or study schedule, I soon feel overwhelmed. The burden of catching up on one, two, or ten days of missed readings soon becomes unbearable. That’s the moment when I go from “trying harder” to throwing in the towel. Even though I may try again later, it doesn’t feel like a fresh start. It feels tainted, haunted by the ghosts of previous bailouts.
Did you know that Jesus Christ perfectly loved, studied, and knew God’s word and lived according to it every day of his life? Of course you do. But think of it. Every day. Every minute. His perfect obedience satisfied the Father. That means your and my imperfect obedience, our trial and errors, false starts and start overs, actually please God today. If you and I have believed in his Son, his perfect obedience has been credited to our account. That means we’re free to fail and begin again as many times as we need to.
So taste his grace right now. Get used to it. Because grace is the flavor of the meal you’ll be eating each time you open the Word.
For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. John 1:17
You see, our Father loves to feed his children with the grace of Christ.
I hope your palate will become so accustomed to the sweet taste of his grace that you won’t settle for anything less.