Scripture: “…he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you—who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes (though it is tested by fire)—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ…
Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Excerpts from 1 Peter 1:3-13
Observation: There are certain key words that pop out at various times in my Christian walk. Sometimes they are nouns. Sometimes (a lot of times) verbs. Recently the words and inferences that pop out are associated with “Authenticity.”
Analysis: The “tested genuineness of (my) faith…”
In my earlier years I could read this phrase and be content with “the tested performance of my faith” and think that I have nailed it. After all, if I perform my Christianity well, doesn’t that mean I am “genuine?”
Over the last few years I am thinking “no, it doesn’t.”
I continually ask myself if performance is not indicated being genuine, what is being a genuine Christian all about then? By the way, the above is not just a slick writing phrase, I really do continually ask, meditate, study and reflect, etc. on this subject.
In yesterday’s Journal post of Ps 35, David wrote emphatically “Say to my soul, “I am your salvation!” Paul writes to the Philippians “Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,” (Phil 2:12)
I think that sometimes I can get all caught up with “doing something”, “performing my Christianity”, that I forget who it is that I serve and more importantly how puny I am in the Gospel picture. I forget where my strength comes from. I need more times of crying, no, shouting out at the top of my lungs, “Say to me O God, because I am losing sight; Say to my soul, “I am your salvation, son.”
When I am tested by various trials, do I really come out the other end with Genuineness more precious than gold? Or have I just endured an especially unpleasant period with not really gaining anything? Am I that guy in the parable who took his Master’s money and just hid it in the ground—not gaining but not losing either—only to find the Master less than pleased?
This is not a post about gaining or losing salvation. It is a post about chasing sanctification, chasing holiness in the Sight of God, of traversing the course of gaining maturity—of not only knowing Him but being known by Him (Matt 7:23).
Prayer: Father, how authentic do you want me to be? How do I know what authenticity, genuineness looks like? How do I understand “doing your will” verses doing tasks? I do not wasn’t to be frozen and paralyzed between seeking You and doing stuff. I want to know you more…and do more in your name. Guide me, teach me, change me, O Lord of the Gospel. AMEN.