Riding home this morning from work, I had this thought and verse on my mind:
“This is My Beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.” (Matthew 3:16).
The Father is well-pleased with His Son. Jesus came and lived and died, and His sacrifice was well-pleasing to the Father. He accepted the sacrifice for sin because it was a perfect sacrifice. The Father loves us because He loves His Son, and through His Son, and in Him alone, we experience His love. We are not entitled to His love because we are good or because we earned it somehow by living the Christian life in such a way that he takes notice and sets His affection on us. No, He loves us and sets His affection on us because of His free choice and nothing else. Jesus said that He knew who were His, and we can rest in that sure foundation. And Jesus lives the Christian life well, so well “they named it after Him” as one person has said. So why are we trying to live the Christian life? Is that what we are supposed to do? So many weary souls. So many restless striving. Working. Trying to be committed Christians. Striving to be pleasing to God. Yet all these are done well and acceptable only through Jesus. We agree that Christianity is NOT something that you DO, but it is something Christ has DONE, and we apply that to becoming a Christian. But why is limited to that? It’s like Christ saves us, and then it is up to our resolve and self-determination to “do better” that makes us in close relationship to God. I assume to give up trying to live the Christian life. God never intended me to live it anyway. Why am I so preoccupied with myself, thinking that my sacrifices are worthy of the LORD? Maybe that is what I have been taught.
Yet Jesus does all things well. He did it well when he spoke this world into being, when He formed man in His likeness, when He before time planned out salvation for HIs people. He did it well while He walked on this earth 2000 years ago, and has continued to throughout the history of the Redeemed. Why should I not think He could do all things well in me? For He can, and He will. “It is not longer I who live, but Christ lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). So I come to lay it there. I confess that my best Christian performances are shams. My spiritual accolades are but dung heaped upon the idol of SELF. My restless pursuit of trying to be acceptable to God are undermining the finished work of the cross which speaks perfection over this guilt-ridden, sin-stained soul. “As though you have never sinned” the blood speaks to me, and yet I pretend like it doesn’t cover me! So Jesus speaks sweetly to my soul, saying, “I have done it well, and will do in you.” And why should I, one might ask, have Christ as my life? Because it is He whom the Father is well-pleased. No one else will do. No one else can do. Therefore I conclude this morning with these words in my mind:
“It is well, it is well with my soul.”
Why? Because He does all things well. Yes, even in me. To Him who is the source of our salvation (1 Corinthians 1:30), to Him who works salvation effectively on our behalf (2 Corinthians 5:18), and for Him who is supreme over all (Colossians 1:16-18) I cry, “Soli Deo Gloria!”