Friday, September 11, 2015

God Is Better Than Tupperware®

I have been unable to write the past couple of weeks. We took a family vacation to celebrate my wife's and my 20th anniversary, we lost a couple of good friends in our church which required time to help their families grieve, we have had technological difficulties in the office, and sometimes life is just plain busy for everyone. I'm not sharing this with you to complain or make excuses. I share it to help make my point.

When I was school-aged, my mom would host Tupperware® parties in our home. In case you are unfamiliar with this product, it was the ground breaking system of storage containers. Many women took advantage of its opportunity to earn extra income. Tupperware's® claim to fame was it's ability to seal airtight, keeping the contents of the container fresh.

In a much better fashion, God preserves the lives of His followers. He loves us and no matter what our circumstances may be, whether good or bad, God is the one the believer can and must depend on. God is the one who sustains us day by day. Contemplate these verses from Psalm 121:
1 I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; From where shall my help come? 2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth. 3 He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade on your right hand. 6 The sun will not smite you by day, Nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will protect you from all evil; He will keep your soul. 8 The LORD will guard your going out and your coming in From this time forth and forever. (emphasis mine)
This psalm emphatically states that God is taking care of us. He is helping, keeping, shading, protecting and guarding, and He will do so forever. I think that it is notable that the word "keep" is the most frequently used word in this passage. Let me explain why it is significant to me:
The one spiritual struggle that I faced the most through my Christian life was that because I failed often after having surrendered my life to Christ, I wondered if I had ever really become a Christian. I thought my failures were evidence of my lack of salvation. Don't misunderstand me: I have always believed that once a person is saved by Christ, Christ is the one who keeps that person saved (John 10:27-29). However, I operated my life as if once I was saved, it was up to me to maintain my salvation through righteous living.

I fell prey to a fallacy. Though being a Christian comes with the call to live a holy life, the fact that I still dwell in flesh means that I will still fail until Christ comes back to perfect me and take me to heaven. This fact does not give me permission to sin (Romans 6:1-2), but it secures me when I do (Romans 7:15-25). Ultimately, it is ALL God's work and none of our own. He saves us and He keeps us saved!

So, don't fret when hard times come, don't become overly comfortable when things are going well, and don't beat yourself up when you fail. In all circumstances, turn to God and cling to Him because He will keep you.

Of what do you need to relinquish your hold, so that God can take it so He can "keep" you: keep you safe, provided for, encouraged, confident, at peace, etc.? Spend time right now to focus on Him and His goodness and love for you. Thank Him for His faithfulness, mercy, grace and love...He's on His throne and He's waiting to hear from you (Matthew 6:9,  Psalm 46:10)

For God's Glory,
Chris S. Sweet

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