Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Restoration Hardware.....

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. - Phil. 1:6

It's Alive!  It's Alive! - Dr. Frankenstein

I recently purchased a 1976 International Scout II for $300.  Many would argue that this car is not worth fixing up but I'm convinced it's going to be priceless experience.  Saturday my father-in-law, brother-in-law and I put in a full day's work beginning the long process of restoration. What do you know about cars you may ask?  Answer: not much but, thank God, I've got a "ringer" on my team.

I'm just an old chunk of coal; but I'm gonna be a diamond some day

My father-in-law, Ronny, restores vintage cars and it's a wonder to behold.  He truly works redemptively when it comes to cars.   He looks at an old "rust bucket (to quote him)" and sees it as it once was and, more importantly, what it could be again.   With incredible patience and a surgeon's precision he takes cars apart piece by piece to clean, sand, paint, polish, buff, shine, reassemble and restore them to their original magnificence.   And here's another thing - he knows where every unfinished car in town sits.   He'll say to me, "Right over there in that guy's back yard sits a 1965 Dodge Dart and man, could it be a beautiful car!".   He's almost hungry for their restoration; he wants to free them from being pieces of junk!

The Project:

The Present.....
.....The Future


Any gift we see in others that teaches and inspires us or find within ourselves that surprises us is but a shadow of our Creator's true and awesome nature.  

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.  All who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure. - 1st John 3:2-3
God's always known what we could be and who He would make us. And since The Fall He's been hungry for the restoration of mankind.  It's His grace that makes our sanctification possible; It's the gift of faith that enacts the process and the fruit of the Spirit, patience, that allows us to endure the process.  As Christians we are no longer what we were BUT we are also not what God is going to make us.  The "already and not yet" reality of the Christian life can be a frustrating.

I'm reminded of a terrific analogy Pastor Tim Keller of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in NYC uses to describe the sometimes painstakingly-slow process of sanctification.   He first teaches the difference between mechanical growth (white-knuckle compliance to The Law) and botanical growth (the inner transformation of man by the power of The Holy Spirit that produces true and lasting Spiritual fruit).   He then went on to say, "if you ever have to bet on a winner between an acorn and a marble slab, take the acorn every time".   Under a marble slab the acorn might seem like the ultimate underdog, but over many years an acorn will always split the marble slab in half!

It's the same with God's sanctification of Christians.   It's said that "a watched pot never boils". We might not always perceive it but He is always moving within the hearts of those He has captured.   We can always expect God to move in our lives but only in His timing and, ultimately, only for His purposes.   We are His works in progress and to the degree we focus not on our sanctification but on His beauty our lives will begin to more visibly reflect His glory.


Paul described this process to the 1st Century Christians in Philippi.   First he detailed how The Jews were "dull in their minds" because of their legalistic (i.e. mechanical) approach to The Law.   He said it was as if a veil kept them from seeing God.    Going further he explained how Christians (Jew and Gentile alike) have encountered the "word made flesh" in Jesus Christ who fulfilled the Law in His life and canceled the law by His death eliminating the gulf between man and the Glory of God.   He emptied Himself that we might be filled with His Spirit.  Thus we see God's glory perfectly in the face of Jesus Christ.....

And we all, with unveiled faces, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit. 
- 2nd Cor. 3:18

....and we are becoming new beings in His spirit.....

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. - 2nd Cor. 5:17

In this season of Advent may we all wait on the Lord to move in our lives and with hearts of thanksgiving proclaim His presence withing us with our the words, works, thoughts, and prayers.

Christ's Blessings,

This Week:

* Tyler Men's Gathering - 7am Wednesday AM
   Spiritual Warfare & The Battle for the Mind of Man
   The Screwtape Letters (Chaps 1-5)
   2 American Center, 5th Floor (Ritcheson Law Firm) 

The Magills - Three private events - please pray for our time with these groups

*  The Magills - KE Cellars - Tyler, TX - Saturday Night - 6pm-9pm

Support B3 Ministries HERE!

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