Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Yesterday I walked into Wicklow and onto a private estate. (By the way, I did get permission) The grounds house the ruins of an old abbey.
I quietly walked through those ruins from the 13th Century wondering what it must have looked like as a functioning Abbey. My heart was heavy as I lamented the ruins and not some center of evangelism and discipleship. Yet in the midst of this monument to another time, I saw new life overtaking those old ruins.
I was reminded of God's word from Isaiah. "As the rain and snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Is 55:10-11
As I reflected on those words and walked through those ruins, I could not help but think on this truth. Those ruins are not simply history. You see God is not finished with you. He has NOT walked away...
I can declare this with confidence for it's been true in my own life. God has had ample reason to walk away, my life in ruins. Yet he patiently, lovingly, drew me back to himself. He took my broken, tattered life and redeemed it. He did a new thing. Talk about good news!
As Wesleyans we embrace this reality with all of our being. Wesley believed in the power of God to transform a life. He believed we can be more than forgiven, we can be saved and freed from the tyranny of sin. As Paul says in Romans 6:18 "You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness." and moments later in 6:22 "But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life."
As I walked through those ruins I was reminded that God is "able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Eph 3:20-21
And that's true here in Wicklow Ireland and where YOU live.... even in your own life. Just think about it! Ruined... no more!