A Positive Outlook

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way – in all your speaking and in all your knowledge – because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. – 1 Corinthians 1:3-9

Do you ever feel like you don’t have what you need? Not just the feeling of losing your keys. Not that sick feeling that you’re forgetting something either. Not those momentary feelings, but something much more basic. Do you ever feel like you yourself are lacking?

It is a multi-faceted sort of thing. Our relationships can leave something to be desired: more loyalty, deeper connections, variety – you name it. The way life isn’t fair can leave a void. The gleaming talents of others can make ours seem dull or spare. Losing a job after years of hard work can damage our self-worth. Choosing which of the necessities you’ll pay for this month or next seems to cry out, “You’re lacking.” And our sin-spotted lives can sometimes point the finger at us long after our sins are done, saying: “You aren’t worthy to be here.”

This is a dangerous situation in which to live. It’s the same kind of situation Paul found among the Christians at Corinth. They envied each others’ talents. They needed spiritual coaching on interpersonal relationships. And they had cartloads of sinful baggage. In many ways they, like you and me, felt lacking.

They tried to fix it too. They argued over talent hierarchies to feel better about their own. They sought fulfillment in immoral sex and waved their political correctness like a banner. They staked their faith-flags on the names of favorite preachers, to mark themselves right. Like us, they were tempted into filling the void themselves.

Paul’s purpose in the opening of his letter was to remind believers that they lack nothing. This is your confidence too. In the opening nine verses, one thing stands out. In every verse you see Jesus. He is God’s undeserved love that acknowledges we are lacking because of sin. And yet, he is God’s salvation solution for sinners. Their sins are forgiven and they have the hope of heaven. In fact, their peace stretches into knowing that, by God’s grace, they have every gift they need. They are God’s own family members. All of it is done by his work alone.

This is our confidence too. When we feel like we’re missing something or that we won’t make it, we turn away from ourselves and our solutions. Instead, we look to Jesus whose salvation declares us to be everything God wants. He supplies everything we need until he returns.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus, as we read your Word, fill us with your forgiving love. Remind us that you are our promise of God’s never-ending love that helps us know you will never leave us lacking. Amen.
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