ALL THINGS [the ingredients of a purposeful life]
J.B. Phillips New Testament (PHILLIPS)
Moreover we know that to those who love God, who are called according to his plan, everything that happens fits into a pattern for good. God, in his foreknowledge, chose them to bear the family likeness of his Son, that he might be the eldest of a family of many brothers. He chose them long ago; when the time came he called them, he made them righteous in his sight, and then lifted them to the splendour of life as his own sons.
We finished yesterday looking at Romans 8:28-29 and seeing that God’s ultimate purpose for us His children is to make us like Christ! To conform, shape and mould us in to His likeness. Note the words ‘all things, everything happens or all that happens!’ I call these [‘all things’] God’s ingredients for transforming us! You will notice above a delicious Cherry Bakewell tart! They are my all time favourite cakes. Now, look below at the ingredients that go in to making it.
- For the pastry
- 150g plain flour
- 75g butter
- 6 tablespoons water
- For the sponge
- 50g self-raising flour
- 50g caster sugar
- 50g butter
- 1 egg
- strawberry or raspberry jam
- For decorating
- 6 tablespoons icing sugar
- Glacé cherries, halved
Now take all those ingredients individually and taste them. Some will taste nice, like sugar, Strawberry jam and glazed cherries! But some will taste yuck, like raw egg or flour! However when they are all mixed together and put through the flames, they taste delicious. All these tasty and distasteful ingredients are worked together for a good purpose or end product, a cherry Bakewell tart. I belief to a degree that Romans 8:28 is teaching this!
- How does God make us more like Christ? He allows ALL THINGS to happen in our lives; the bitter and sweet, the tasteful and distasteful, the joy and the sorrow, the highs and the lows; all things includes bad things as well as good things!.
- Like a chief baker, God blends all these ingredients of life together and puts them through the fiery oven to create a perfect end product; Christ-likeness in us! This process takes our life time to achieve and then perfectly only after death! He takes the ALL THINGS, then mixes and blends them for a good purpose, ‘to give us a Christ-like character’.
- Not everything in life is nice and Rosy. Many Christians give up when the going gets tough, they’re seed in shallow soil that have no depth when it gets hot under the collar! Jesus never said it would be easy, and purity only comes through purging [viz gold ore] and pruning [viz fruit/Roses]
- God is more interested in our character than our career, CV, connections, contacts or cumulative knowledge! But to get the Christ-like character in us He has to get all the un-Christ-like stuff out of us! The all things [as we shall see] is part of that process.
We’ll look at this a little more next time. But for now, enjoy this, I love it.
“God Knows Best”
by Helen Steiner Rice
Our Father knows what’s best for us, So why should we complain– We always want the sunshine, But He knows there must be rain–
We love the sound of laughter And the merriment of cheer, But our hearts would lose their tenderness If we never shed a tear…
Our Father tests us often With suffering and with sorrow, He tests us, not to punish us, But to help us meet tomorrow…
For growing trees are strengthened When they withstand the storm, And the sharp cut of a chisel Gives the marble grace and form…
God never hurts us needlessly, And He never wastes our pain For every loss He send to us Is followed by rich gain…
And when we count the blessings That God has so freely sent, We will find no cause for murmuring And no time to lament…
For our Father loves His children, And to Him all things are plain, So He never sends us pleasure When the soul’s deep need is pain…
So whenever we are troubled, And when everything goes wrong, It is just God working in us To make our spirit strong.