Start your engines, it’s a new work week and as always there’s lot of buzz about “we can do it.”
Work hard, try harder, earn more…. But what about that which we can’t do? Did anyone ask Rosie that? There are some things that muscle, grit and strength do not provide no matter what gender you claim. In all the equality talk I’d like to point out – there is One without equal, unrivaled who gives strength.
So this morning it is back to the grind. Remember when Huey Lewis sang,
“Hey I’m not complainin’ ’cause I really need the work,
Hittin’ up my buddy’s got me feelin’ like a jerk.
Hundred dollar car note, two hundred rent– I get a check on Friday,
but it’s already spent.”
It’s Monday morning and the highways are filled, it’s rush hour. Kids are back on the bus, back to school and racing to pull out assignments. People are at the water coolers all over America talking Olympics, news and weekend exploits. Pastors are wondering what went wrong over the weekend, some — what went right, janitors are cleaning up all kinds of mess in the pews. Workin for a livin… It’s American, it’s what we do. President Trump is rolling out a new infrastructure budget, congress is planning on stalling, workers are preparing to fix, work and come Friday, grab a check and punch out. Scandals are being run through the presses, mamas are makin beds and Investing in stocks, papas are cleaning houses, garbage collectors are rollin through the neighborhoods.
T.G.I.F. means people are looking forward to the weekend. The week has barely started and there is already talk about plans. At least in the world it works that way. What are your plans for the weekend? Will you feast, fast or go shopping? Where will you connect with God? Will you wear a new glittery outfit or blue jeans and a sweatshirt? Some will stock beer in their fridge; some will go to the grocery store after work. Some are already making choices they’ll regret. Some will set out special clothes and communion, preparing an extra setting at the table. Some will fling themselves in a lazy boy and pray their bones will last long enough to take them back to work on Monday morning. Some act and vision cast, some react and respond, the cycle will continue.
What is so paradoxical and wildly fun about the Gospel is this – it’s free.
The payment, debt and hard work has already been done. It’s only Monday! Free. We don’t earn it, we can’t work for it yet it gives LIFE – for free. When Adam and Eve step into fellowship with God it happens because HE has done the work and they get to enjoy it. They work each day in celebration of HIS amazing provision. They weren’t working for a living, they were created with LIFE and then work to celebrate and thank that awesome creator. It levels the playing field because
some ALL women (and some ALL men) can’t do everything. Even if they try their hardest, even if they don’t cheat, lie or steal. No one can do what only Christ can do – justify someone. I hear Paul crying out thru history “I CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil.4:13
Over the weekend we had company. We ate, visited and enjoyed conversation, laughter and life. The ice storm brought in an extra guest and we just celebrated the family and friend time. By accident, last week we had organized the house a little bit so we did not have to scramble to prepare. I’ve heard laughter is the best medicine but it was so fun to remember, celebrate and look forward to the future. It made all the work the weekend before worth it, it gave it meaning. If one of God’s biggest gifts to us is ENJOYMENT of Him and those around us , we would certainly be remiss to miss it. We would be crazy to not cash our employer’s bonus check right? That’s what these moments are like – an extra blessing or gift. One of the largest presents from God seems to be a pretty important one. One that we celebrate – not earn.
What’s the Word on the street today? Justification.
It means we don’t earn what God gives us – it’s free. Some have said it stands for ” just if I’d never done it ” but that puts emphasis again on us. Man, we love to be the stars and center of everything don’t we? It means positionally we stand loved and valued – before Monday morning starts. Do positions matter? Yep, if it’s this one. Jesus served up a good ol plate of grace and salvation – something He did. It’s FREE. Some say, “That person’s actions were justified.” It means that there was a good reason for what they did. With humans we really don’t have a reason– we are without excuse. No amount of work, service or great skill, title, education or perfection makes us worthy in God’s eyes. Remember, it was human folks that beat up and crucified His son. That’s not going away. Son’s lives matter – that crucified Life mattered. But instead of God being ticked – He forgave and justified those who believe in His son. He accepted the payment which was very costly to Him.
That truly is amazing grace and it’s free.
We can’t ignore, remarket or sweep sins under some cosmic carpet. We were, we are guilty and deserve the death penalty yet God in His mercy forgives and frees us.
You might say those red letters wiped out that death sentence. Word!
Jesus preached with His very life. We can now rejoice and thank God – on menacing Mondays. On terrible Tuesdays, wicked Wednesdays, threatening Thursdays, Fatigued Fridays, Sad Saturdays and even spiritually dry Sundays. For Free, He’s paid the debt, covered the cost.
That is not like a free basket of kittens you get to neuter, feed and clean up after all year. It’s free. It’s not like the free vacation where you spend hours writhing in a time share promotion. It’s free. It’s not like a free test drive and then years of car payments. It’s free – completely.
What’s the catch? He wants you for His own, His Bride.
He’s wooing you, drawing you, calling near His beloved. Today, we still look forward to the weekend and it’s always a good idea to plan ahead, but we don’t have to wait till then to take a deep breath, to rest in His provision, to sigh a huge sigh of relief that we are JUSTIFIED, forgiven and made free. We can work whatever work He has called us to do today out of GLADNESS and joy versus obligation, duty and guilt. Blessed if you do, blessed if you don’t, — guaranteed eternal life and joy — if you want. THANK GOD IT’S FREE! TGIF.
Even though this is the beginning of the week you can put on a pair of old ripped blue jeans and sweatshirt, take your hair down, sigh and pop open a cold one [think water or fruit beverage that actually quenches thirst] — and really THANK GOD you’re in right standing with God – it’s free. Aaaaagh…. (Close your eyes and just think of that for a minute or hour). We can relax when the work is done – it’s finished. The rest is just praise for His name., working for the Father while it is still daylight. The heavy lifting was done by the man on the cross.
My place before God was not done by my perfection or anything I avoid or have done but because of what JESUS has done. All the requirements against me – broken, all the condemnation postured to sink me – broken. All the hate, lies, accusations and assumptions around me – broken. I’m justified. If I’m in Christ, I am in right position with God by virtue of the cross. Man does not place you there so man cannot take you out. That’s job security right there. My purpose does not come from my family or my church but my position in HIM. Condemnation? God’s not going to allow nonsense by His throne just the sweet whispers of the One who sits beside Him – “free, mine, free, beloved, free, covered – these Father, I’ve justified!”
Everything I say and everything I do can flow from that place of grace, mercy and thankfulness because all my obligation in Him is fulfilled/ completed. What a reason to be grateful and content today. I’m on His time clock (no time to repeat failures or folly ) and the best employee of the month has already been lifted up high for all to see. Mockers get out of that parking space it is reserved for the King! What a relief! I don’t have to scrub away my bad qualities or fight to lift up my good ones – those positions have been taken. I rest in the position of being justified. Boss God, what can we do today to bless you? What is your heart, strategy, mind and will? We want to serve you in freshness, purity, joy and delight. Yes, New Creation, new Day , I can’t do everything but the thing that is most important Jesus CAN DO for me. It cost Him dearly but for me – it’s free. Thank God Almighty, I’m free at last.
T G I F – Thank God I’m Free !
Renae Roche 2018
Majestic Monday – freedom. Thankful Tuesday – freedom. Worshipping Wednesdays – freedom. Tearing it up in praise Thursday – freedom. Flourishing freshness Friday – freedom. Saturated Saturdays – freedom. Soaking in His mercy Sundays – Freedom. T.G.I.F. every precious, God loving, God breathing, God moving day. Let all God’s people say – amen!