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Friday, April 25, 2008

Master Mentor #32

Chapter 31 (Book 4, Chapter 9)
Wow! What a great chapter!!!
Over the last couple of weeks, what usually happens to me as I wind down a book is happening with this one: I’m looking forward to being done and moving onto the next book. But this chapter, this chapter was so wonderful in its richness and simplicity.
CS says this:
“The practical upshot is this. On the one hand, God’s demand for perfection need not discourage you in the least in your present attempts to be good, or even in your present failures. Each time you fall He will pick you up again. And He knows perfectly well that your own efforts are never going to bring you anywhere near perfection. On the other hand, you must realize from the outset that the goal towards which He is beginning to guide you is absolute perfection; and no power in the whole universe, except yourself, can prevent Him from taking you to that goal” (page 174).
CS does such a great job, in my opinion of walking that fine line between free will and predestination that plagues so many people. God is the only one who can do it in your life. But no one can stop you or force you to do it unless you desire in your heart to make it happen. Two very different attitudes there side by side in harmony with each other.
The interesting thing about this chapter is that CS is writing in terms of “whole life change.” Many people come to church because they are hoping that Jesus will ‘fix’ them or at least some aspect of their life that they seem to think is ‘broken.’ I see this all the time with students and parents in our student ministry. There are some parents who ‘drop off their students’ in hopes that we will ‘fix them up with Jesus’ and they can pick them up at graduation. But they don’t want the whole car ‘overhauled.’ They don’t want fanatic students who are completely in love with Jesus. Instead, they want students who clean their rooms, do their homework and take out the trash when asked. CS goes on to say, “I think that many of us, when Christ has enabled us to overcome one or two sins that were an obvious nuisance, are inclined to feel (though we do not put it into words) that we are now good enough” (page 175). Or at least we are better than some ‘others.’
That’s not God’s plan. That’s not what Jesus wants to do in our lives. He wants to begin in us that perfection that he will carry through into eternity. In fact, as we saw in the last chapter, God wants to create in us “little Christs” as we work our way toward the perfection that God has in mind for us. Man, what a great chapter!!!

Jim

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