January 25, 2024 Devotional

Once you were alienated from God … but now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation.
—Colossians 1:22

I don’t know about you, but when my kids would make artwork, projects, or notes for me when they were little, I sometimes had a hard time seeing the object represented in the picture, or reading the words in the note that conveyed their love for me. Now, with grandchildren, I can foresee similar expressions of love coming my way in the future. To the child or grandchild, the work of art or note may be the very best they have to offer. Even more than that, however, is the love with which they spent time creating, with the heart of the receiver (me) in mind. Would I consider the drawing or poem perfect? No. It’s not, by any standards of art or prose. Are they perfect to ME? You bet they are!

Maybe that analogy is helpful as we present ourselves to God for his mission and work in the world. We know, and God surely knows, that we are not perfect. We are sinners saved by grace. We make mistakes and find ourselves saying and doing things that should and do disqualify us to be in the presence of a holy God. However (and this is huge), God is like the gracious and loving parent or grandparent that sees our flaws and the imperfections, and yet has made a way for the imperfect to be reconciled, even made perfect, in His eyes. The pathway to that perfection is Christ, and him crucified and raised from the dead. This mystery of grace is amazing and humbling, and spurs us on to growth in faith and love. We, like children who are ready and eager to please a parent by offering to them our expression of affection, are offering to our heavenly Father our very lives in order to be shaped by and matured through a relationship with Him. In true Wesleyan fashion, we are being perfected through Christ with the very real hope of perfection in our lifetimes.

Bring your loving best to God, acknowledge your sin and repent, and allow the Holy Spirit in you to sanctify that which you bring into the perfection of Christ through His sacrifice and love for you. I can’t wait for more hand-drawn pictures and carefully worded cards that convey my grandkid’s love for me. God feels the same way about you. Tell him, today, what He means to you. He hears you and smiles, knowing that Jesus paid it all for you to be made perfect.