The Lord will perfect that which concerns me. Psalm 138:8
God has great thoughts concerning each of us. Upon this physical basis he means to rear a life that will reach up to the skies and will be so beautiful and beneficent, so broad in sympathy, so fruitful in divine ministries. So exalted in character, that through the years it will grow into a temple beautiful, adorned with all the graces that will at last bring us into the image glorious of God himself.
We determine our own destinies by the choices that we make. By the lives we live, by the laws we obey or disobey.
Some have claimed that it would have been better if man had never been created a free agent and given the power of choice. But man as a clock run by springs, is one thing, and man endowed the kingly powers of choice, having dominion over all the earth, rising into God-likeness, is another thing, a Godlike thing.
How can God take this life and train it and develop it and finally perfect it, and transform it into his own image?
In order to develop your life and mine and make it what it ought to be, God began ages ago to plan and labor with reference to your life today. God brings to bear upon us the best that all the centuries have been able to bring forth. All the toil and the struggles, and the battles and the tragedies are summed up in us. We are the result of the best thinking and the doing, and the best agonizing, of the best men of all times.
We are what we are because of Christian parents, because of the family alter in the old home, and the inspiration, we have received from Christian teachers, and from God’s children, who have walked as the God’s angels by our side in humble disguise. In the perfecting of our life today, God is using all the weapons of the ages have forged, and all the discoveries and inventions and all the learning and the spiritual experiences of the generations who have gone before.
A second great agency of the perfecting of our lives that God uses is inspirations that transform our souls. From some divine place there must come sweeping in upon the soul tides of inspiration, teach us that there is something, higher and better beyond.
Miss Sullivan, the teacher, sought to open up communication with the darkened mind of Helen Keller. Now this is just what God is seeking to do; he is trying to find a way to open up communication with the darkened mind of man. He is seeking in a thousand ways to communicate to the soul of man a true, knowledge of his love and grade to teach Him to spell slowly the meaning of all things in life around him.
When a man comes to understand that God is trying to speak to him and revel to him his mission and immortal destiny, then his life is changed and he becomes a different kind of man.
Mark this: If you soul is not on fire, and if you have not a consuming desire to life to do good, you have not yet learned your mission. Unless you have that great desire to use your life for God and the good of your fellowmen, you have not yet understood your life’s purpose.
Then again, God uses ideals as the third agent in perfecting of our lives. Our inspirations are behind us; our ideals are before us, beckoning us on. God opens up communications and reveals to use the meaning of life, our eternal destinies, that our future is being determined during these days here at the beginning of our immortal career.
God sets before us the ideal life Jesus choice and says, “Copy that.” Look at a class of students studying and copying the work of great masters. Some will have very imperfect sketches while others imitate the copy before them. Some of God’s children are following the copy very poorly. But though you fail and sometimes make miserable work of it, keep the copy before you.
Maybe after many failures we will resemble somewhat the master’s life. Keep Christ the ideal man before you.
The fourth divine agency in the perfecting of life is service. Inspiration and ideals are useless unless there is service. Jesus spent the most of his time in bringing His twelve disciples to new inspiration and ideals, and then sent them into the world to begin their service, and finally the ignorant peasant men of Galilee turned the word upside down.
Theses inspirations and ideals that are set before us must be put into practice. Our faith will grow strong only as it is manifested through faithful service.
Discipline is the fifth agency God uses in the perfecting of our lives. Christianity introduces man to conflict. It provided weapons for his warfare, but he must use them on the battlefield. Where does God’s part come in you say? God equips us with Godly heritage, in furnishing us with the inspirations, in setting before us the lofty ideals, in furnishing us opportunities for service, in walking by our sides and assuring us of his sympathy, friend Christians.
There is the discipline of pain-sorrow. Even the dumb beast learns the lesson on pain. When we are well, we feel strong, but when sorrow comes we reach out our hand for help.
God has great thought for your life. He means to make your life a glorious one. To this end He has endowed you with all the precious inheritance of the past.
He is setting before you new inspirations. You may see some vision and come to some splendid purpose.
He sets before you new ideals and He came himself and lived in the human flesh that you might have the ideal to copy.
He sets you at work in this world and perfects your life in service. Through the tears and the heartaches, and anguish of life, he means to teach us our best lessons and perfect us in the school of trials.
God gives to every man a splendid chance and the rest remains with him.
Are you doing your part? Are you working with God? Are you giving him an opportunity to perfect that which concerns you?
If so, God will bring out the divine and you will leave behind sin and follies. Through the years, you will grow humble in spirit and sweet in soul, and come finally into the beautiful image of God himself.
From Grandpa’s Whit and Wisdom, Devotions compiled by Liza Weidle / January 2023