“Be patient; God isn’t finished with me yet.” is a well-known saying that used to be found on bumpers, posted on signs, or shared in a number of other ways. The message is an admission to people that we make mistakes, we fail at times, we are not perfect people but God is at work improving us. Being honest with ourselves and others we cannot help but admit that we are imperfect. But that is not the way God first created us to be.
In the beginning when God created that world and everything in it, including mankind, everything was perfect. As God’s Word declares when He had completed His work, “And God saw everything that He had made, and behold, it was very good.” (Genesis 1:31). The first people, Adam and Eve, enjoyed living a perfect life in perfect communion with God. Then they gave in to the temptation to do the one thing God told them not to do and sin entered into their and our lives. We have inherited from them the sinfulness that plagues our daily living. We not only do wrong things or fail to do the right things. Our words and our very thoughts are affected. We find ourselves agreeing with Paul as he wrote, “I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Romans 7:15). We also have the same reaction as Paul, “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24).
Then Paul answers that question, “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25). God is at work in our sinful lives. He has done what we could not do and forgiven all of our sins. Sending His own Son, Jesus Christ into our world and living as one of us, even without sin, He has paid for all of our sins. His innocent death on the cross has accomplished our salvation from the consequences of sin. As God tells us through Paul, “Then as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.” (Romans 5:18). Thus we can now share that other well-known saying: “Christians aren’t perfect, just forgiven.”
In that forgiveness we try to do better and resist sin’s influence. God, the Holy Spirit is at work in us, helping us to try to live God pleasing lives. So reformation is a part of our daily living. We still see the sins we do and we keep trying to reform our lives to follow God. We repent of our sins; meaning we acknowledge them, ask God for forgiveness (trusting that God freely grants it through Jesus), and work to amend our sinful lives (with God’s help).
God forgives you and is at work in you that you may daily try to live for Him. Learn more by visiting or contacting: St. Paul Lutheran Church, Fredonia (672-6731), Immanuel Lutheran Church, Gowanda (532-4342), or Trinity Lutheran Church, Silver Creek (934-2002).