Friday, September 25, 2009

Along the Road of Sanctification

"The more we begin to feel satisfied that we are making some progress along the road of sanctification, it is all the more necessary to repent and confess that all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags. Yet the Christian life is not one of gloom, but of ever increasing joy in the Lord.

God alone knows our good works, all we know is his good work. We can do no more than hearken to his commandment, carry on and rely on his grace, walk in his commandments, and- sin.

All the time our new righteousness, our sanctification, the light which is meant to shine, are veiled from our eyes. The left hand knows not what the right hand does. But we believe, and are well assured, "that he which began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 1.6).

In that day Christ will show us the good works of which we were unaware. While we knew it not, we gave him food, drink and clothing and visited him, and while we knew it not we rejected him. Great will be our astonishment in that day, and we shall then realize that it is not our works which remain, but the work which God has wrought through us in his good time without any effort of will and intention on our part (Matt. 25.31ff).

Once again we simply are to look away from ourselves to him who has himself accomplished all things for us and to follow him."

~ Dietrich Bonhoeffer, "The Cost of Discipleship", pg.335

(Thanks, Linda!)

I get discouraged with myself on a fairly regular basis. I certainly don't measure up to the standards I have set for myself; much less do I measure up to God's standard. My house isn't clean enough, my yard is full of weeds, my children aren't taught well enough, my laundry isn't done... the list goes on.

I am happy that I have been reading my Bible (feasting!!) and have been utterly blessed by this. However, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer says, as soon as I feel satisfied with my progress, it is all the more necessary to repent.

The ONLY thing I can do is to read the Word and obey it, carry on (picking myself up, dusting myself off, and starting all over again, each day), relying on His grace - knowing I will sin. I know I am not good enough. I know I'll never get it right.

But somehow, God is working. Somehow, God is using me and my life and my feeble efforts for His own glory.

So, I press on. With Joy.


  1. Hey! If I didn't know any better, I'd say we live in the same house - ?

    Truly, I am right there with you. Always reminding myself that I 'shall not be utterly cast down.' Even if I'm the one throwing myself down over and over again.

    Press on!

  2. Kim - "Even if I'm the one throwing myself down over and over again."

    YOU TOO? I'm not the only one who beats myself up all the time?


    Good to know.

    Seriously, I am my own worst enemy. I have to constantly remind myself of the truths of the gospel. But what a great reminder, eh?

    I think we should meet for coffee.

  3. I pass on the coffee - but a hot chocolate is up my alley! It might have to wait until the next season of homeschool conferences in Kitchener - we'll have to set up a meeting there, or even at your church on the Sunday.

    First, we have to get through the trials of winter.


Remember that you will give an account for every word. Respond with wisdom and grace, please.