Eggs; the inner egg and the outer shell

In Romans 8.2 we read that the law of the Spirit of life has set us free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. We are no longer bound by meticulous religious rules covering everything from our dietary intake to our haircut (good news for some…).

This freedom is liberating, we are now bound only to live the life of the Spirit, in the Spirit, for Christ. If we want to mix milk and meat in a meal, that’s fine. If we want to cut our hair short on the sides and round off the corners of our beards, that’s fine. If you want a tattoo, or to pierce your ears, fine too. If the ladies don’t want to wear a head covering in church, that’s fine too. We are no longer under the law as a heavy yoke, which invariably we would break, which leads to sin, which leads to death. Bad. Now we are living under the Spirit of life. Good.

This means, in a strange sort of way, we are like an egg.

We are free to associate with whoever we want, go wherever we want, eat and drink whatever we want, watch anything we want on the tellybox, be friends with anyone we want. Jesus was not concerned with His outer shell or its appearance, was He? He hung out with some pretty down and dirty people during His incarnational ministry (His time on earth living as fully God and fully man, incarnation literally means ‘in the flesh’).

Like a toddler at meal times, Jesus’ outer egg shell was covered with all sorts of things that people thought it should not be; don’t talk to her, don’t touch them, don’t stay at his house…

Jesus trashed His outer shell, ultimately breaking it for us, but never compromised His inner self.

Therein lies the lesson for us; we are free from the law as a heavy yoke and now have a wonderful liberty as Christians. But, as Jesus ultimately broke His body for our benefit, we need to use our liberty for love, for the benefit of others, not to simply have a good time. 

So yes, we are free to eat, drink, watch whatever we want, but the bigger Christian principles still apply; who is being glorified through what you are doing? Things too, like Philippians 4.8,

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

So, yes, we can dirty up our outer shell, but we must never compromise our inner egg. And, if we are dirtying up our outer shell, let us make sure that it is for the benefit of others, using our liberty for love, not lusts.

Glory to Glory

Sometimes the progress in our Christian life, or our life in general, is not as quick as we would like it to be, is it. You know, maybe you start a new diet or fitness plan and after two days you look in the mirror and wonder why you don’t look like an Olympian. 

In our faith life, we are the same, aren’t we. We make a commitment, step out in faith, see that the claims of Christianity are true, but then it dawns on us that we are still the same person. There has been no miraculous instant whole-life change and that seems, to us, like it’s not happening.

Maybe you react in the same way to something you did before you believed.

Maybe you still feel the pull towards doing something or going somewhere you know you shouldn’t.

Maybe old habits still linger.

But you think ‘This isn’t how it’s supposed to be now, I’m a Christian, I should be living like Jesus, or like wonderful Christian example Mr./Mrs. ___ ‘.

At this point we can become discouraged, downhearted, and maybe even deterred from walking this way. When this happens, we need to remind ourselves of the wonderful truths of the Word of God.

If God has started a work in you, it will unequivocally, absolutely, 100% be finished (Philippians 1.6). Being transformed from glory to glory comes from beholding the Lord, spending time with the Lord, meditating on the Word of the Lord (2 Corinthians 3.18). 

All I know is this
There’s nothing that You miss
If it’s not beautiful yet
It’s gonna be

When I can’t see beyond
A thousand things gone wrong
If it’s not finished yet
It’s gonna be

I believe all that You start You complete
From glory to glory

So, if things don’t feel like they’re moving on as quickly as you’d like, if you seem to have arrived at a place from where you see no progress, if you feel down and out, take a moment and behold the glory of the Lord, and rest easy in the fact that He always finishes what He starts, and He who began a good work in you will bring it completion, He is transforming you from glory to glory. 

Baby steps are confident steps

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.

Philippians 1.6 

When our two little boys were learning to walk, like all children, they stumbled, fell, tripped, miraculously reappeared on their feet, and tried again. As their Dad, I knew that they would eventually get the hang of taking a few steps, then walking in a (fairly) straight line, then eventually they would build up the coordination to be regular walking humans. 

Throughout the process I tried to help (when not laughing) by removing obstacles from their path, holding their hand when they needed it, or sometimes even picking them up and reorienting them when they hit a dead-end. They knew I was there, and this gave them the confidence to walk on.

The same is true of our loving Father in heaven, perhaps without the laughing (although God does have a sense of humour, my choice in sports team can confirm that). He removes obstacles from our path, helps us past them, walks with us, and can even totally change the course of our lives when we headed down the wrong path. This is all with one goal in mind; our salvation and sanctification. 

I love what Charles Spurgeon said about this verse,

Show me for once a world abandoned and thrown aside half formed; show me a universe east off from the Great Potter’s wheel, with the design in outline, the clay half hardened, and the form unshapely from incompleteness. Direct me, I pray you, to a star, a sun, a satellite–nay, I will challenge you on lower ground: point me out a plant, an emmet, a grain of dust that hath about it any semblance of incompleteness…

But all God’s works are finished with wondrous care; He as accurately fashions the dust of a butterfly’s wing, as those mighty orbs that gladden the silent night.

God always finishes His work, so walk with confidence that our Father in heaven is there;

there directing those steps,

there clearing obstacles,

there holding your hand,

and will step in and change the path if He needs to.