箴言 4:18 義人の道はあけぼのの光のようだ。いよいよ輝きまして真昼となる。

I have always liked the little song that takes the Japanese for this verse almost verbatim and sets it to music. The important point of the verse is that salvation is a process: we don't get it all at once. Just as the day doesn't go from total darkness to total light in an instant, in the same way God's purposes are worked out more and more in our lives as we grow and mature. Salvation itself is indeed a transaction, accomplished by an act of the will by the grace and mercy of God, but instant transformations are rare, and even when they happen they are simply the “kick start” to further growth in every area of life and personality. Some people's expectation of salvation is very distorted, and when they discover that they haven't suddenly become perfect, they give up. Nothing could be a bigger mistake! I have always agreed with the explanation of the three tenses of salvation: we have been saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved. Those who acknowledge Christ and commit to Him as Lord have been saved from the penalty of sin, they are being saved from the power of sin, and they will be saved from the presence of sin.


This is something I need to talk about a bit more, perhaps. Those who come to Christ are often discouraged at their own failures, and the devil does all he can to try to convince them they were never converted in the first place. I need to explain the principle expressed in this verse, fleshing it out with the abundance of material in the New Testament, so that they will not be deceived but will press on to ever-growing maturity. I've certainly experienced growth myself, but the more I mature, the more I am aware that I have more room to grow! I need to be fully committed on a personal level to consistent growth, because only then will I be fully effective in encouraging people to join me in spiritual growth.


Father, thank You for the time I had with the person in the new believer's class yesterday. Thank You that I could clarify this point for her, and tell her I think she's doing really well for where she is on her spiritual journey. Thank You for her level of commitment and participation. Thank You for the example she is for other believers. Sometimes they look at me and assume they could never reach the place You've brought me, so she is a better encouragement for them than I am. Help them also not resent her growth when she hasn't been a Christian as long as they have! I pray that each believer in this body would recognize both their own need and their own potential for growth, and press into You to achieve it. May we all grow in every area, individually and as a church, so that we may fulfill Your plans for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!


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