Gleanings – Me Inconsequential? Say It Ain’t So!

1 Thessalonians 3:1-13

“So that he may establish your hearts unblamable in holiness and before our God and Father.”

Unblamable in holiness before our God and Father? I want that. How do I get it?

Well surely I just figure out what the rules are and follow them, right? Read my bible. Go to church. Tithe. As some unsuspecting bloke once said, “All these I have done from my youth.”  But does my knowledge and my adherence to the rules save me? The question itself “how do I get it?” reveals a hubris that God must necessarily address every day, simply because such hubris is rampant.

What we find is that we/I can’t do anything to be found blameless. He, being God, is establishing our hearts unblamable. He is. In every age we attempt to make Christianity a religion, what we do for God. But it is first and foremost about what He is doing for us. He establishes our hearts.

And he does not do it through us following rules but through us loving one another in the same way Paul and his companions loved the Thessalonians.  Now we have narrowed it down. The picture is becoming clear. Loving makes me blameless so I just need to love more and to love better. There is that perennial temptation again. I want to make myself in charge. I just need to love more and love better. That is religion. Faith makes God the chief actor. “May the Lord make you increase and abound in love to one another and to all men.” It is not like I can exercise my way into more and better love. The capacity is not within me. The Lord makes me love in the way he expects me to love. He transforms me into that person.

Does that grate on your nerves? It grates on mine. Faith makes my role next to nil. And I need a role. Without it I feel rather inconsequential! Sounds like I need to reconcile myself to that uncomfortable feeling.

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