Thursday, July 3, 2014

No Progress

"The crowd that had been with him when he called Lazarus out of the tomb and raised him from the dead continued to bear witness. The reason why the crowd went to meet him was that they heard he had done this sign.

So the Pharisees said to one another, 'You see that you are gaining nothing. Look, the world has gone after him.'

Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, 'Sir, we wish to see Jesus.'

Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus.

And Jesus answered them, 'The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.' " - John 12:17-26 ESV

What a interesting twist. His enemies recognize Him and people far and wide are beginning to follow Him... for a natural man it would seem that this was a turning point that any man would be looking for... the equivalent of an actors big break or a person's long awaited promotion to management.

It always fascinates me that just when Jesus seems to have a turning point that leads to a natural victory He turns the tables even on that to go to the cross. God's plan was always more important to him than any evaluation that He could make by sight. He never measured success by temporal standards.

He didn't progress toward it at all.

He started from success and ended in success. He sits now on a successful throne and when we see Him we will see our triumphant King.

"For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus," - Romans 3:23-24 ESV

"There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." - Romans 8:1 ESV

"For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive." - 1 Corinthians 15:22 ESV

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

"Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel," - 2 Timothy 1:8-10 ESV

All who believe are placed into Christ's victory. We are not progressing toward it. We are in it.

I am not getting better. I am not making headway. I have been placed in victory because of God's mercy.

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God," - Ephesians 2:8 ESV

"And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole." - Luke 17:19 KJV

The empty cross is our victory. Period.

There are things we want to see happen in this life and we will see great progress in projects but we will also see great setbacks at times. It is never a measure of our personal success or failure. Ultimate success is found inside of a risen Savior. If we have Him we have won already.


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