Sorry that there was no post on Monday. That is probably going to happen more often than not. I work 22-hour days each Sunday. A regular 22-hour day is not my longest commitment of the week (Thursday-Friday is about at 26-hour day), but I tend to curl up and sleep before work at my first job on Monday.
I felt a little less workaholic as I listened to Proverbs on the way home.
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.
Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a desire fulfilled is a tree of life.
Failing to get the blog out on Monday is just one of the ways that I, as a sinful human being, fail every day. In my last blog I talked about Jesus saving us from our evil, and that is easy to put that off in the abstract, to be sort of grateful that at the end fo our lives God will be there to help us out even though we don’t deserve it.
But the truth is that we don’t just need Jesus in the distant future (though if you remember I reminded you that Jesus never promised us a tomorrow). We need Jesus’ help every day. Because as the Apostle Paul tells us about his own life in Romans chapter 7:
14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions.For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it,but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
So if God gives me today and tomorrow, I need him today because I am incapable of going through the day without messing up. Jesus taught in the sermon on the mount that it isn’t just the things that I do with my hands or body that make me imperfect. It is also the things I idolize, the things that I covet, the unforgiveness I may harbor or the good that I fail to do for God and out of love for my neighbor. For the sake of my own self, and for the sake of my neighbor I daily and continually need Jesus’ help and comfort.
And the standard at the end my life is spoken by Jesus, too. “Be perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect.” I cannot be perfect for a day, much less a lifetime. Heaven is a perfect place, and I am imperfect. Heaven is clean, and we are all unclean by our very natures. If God will come for me today, then I need his help and forgiveness, because only through the mercy available in Jesus’ sacrifice for us can we stand before him in heaven and reach the eternal life that he has promised for everyone who believes.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. -John 3:16-17
That is how I can face each day with joy, and not crushed by the guilt of my ongoing imperfections. I have the certain, promised assurance of Jesus’ help and mercy. He constantly comforts us in our afflictions (2 Corinthians 1), he cares so much about me that he wants to hear my palty concerns while he manages the entire minutia of the universe, because he cares for each of us that much (1 Peter 5:7). Because I know that I do not measure up to God’s standard, I can be patient and kind to those who do not measure up to the same standards (Romans 2:1-4) not simply because I have received mercy but because it is the best way to help them on to repentance and faith.
And I can always be ready to explain why I, a sinner, can go through life with the measure of peace and hope that I have, ready to do what I can to do what good I may and point others to the source of the mercy and joy that waits for us all (1 Timothy 4:2).