Relational Grace: Loving Amidst the Renovations

You know those things you see in a friend or a spouse that if you could just put your finger on them, you think they'd be fixed? Or that fault in your spouse that, if he'd only listen to you, all would be well? I can easily pick them out in others and I'm sure they can just as easily pick them out in me.

So, here we are, trying to live in grace, but we're still such a work in progress. What's a girl to do?

Romans 15:7 says, "Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." The word "welcome" here in the Greek means to "take to one's self." Accept. Welcome. Receive. Not reject, not push away--AS CHRIST has not rejected, not pushed away, but accepted and welcomed you.

We can accept one another, because God, in His boundless grace, has accepted us in Jesus. He has committed to our completion in Him from here on out.

Philippians 1:6: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Two years ago, my husband and and I were looking for a house without any major projects. We are definitely not DIY-ers and didn't want to commit to anything more than basic painting. 

But God is much more ambitious and patient when he adopts us as His children through faith in Jesus, He commits to a lifetime of major renovations and restorations. He commits to a lifetime of working out our brokenness--results of our own sin, results of sin committed by other broken people, and results of living in a broken world. 

Accepting one another doesn't mean that we blindly accept and never take part in the renovation of someone's life through a gentle exhortation or rebuke. It just means that the major renovation of someone's life is God's to manage, and ours to participate and cooperate in.

Philippians 1:6
says God BEGAN the work and He will COMPLETE it. Hebrews 12:2 says Jesus is the AUTHOR and PERFECTER of our faith. 

Can I see my kids, my husband, my church family,  my family, strangers at Food Lion this way--under God's master renovations? 

How will I react when someone under renovation bares their unrestored, old self for a moment? Will I be as patient as their Creator?

Can I be patient with God's work in my own life, as I daily walk past that old bathroom in the dusty works of a remodel? Do I repent of my sin and trust that God is not finished with me yet?

The astounding thing is that God's restoration is much bigger than me. He committed to a grand restoration project at creation.  This project spans generations and generations until it culminates in a new heaven and new earth--completely restored to God's original vision. Until then, God is faithfully restoring His people to Himself. 

P.S. I included the Philippians 1:6 verse it one of my new printable Scripture card collections (top left below) now in my Etsy shop! I really love how it turned out.

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