If we're all about the "I" today, I'd like to talk about what I am.
I am a sinner. Born into sin, because of the sin of Adam and Eve that has been passed down to me through all those generations. And I live in sin, because of the sinful choices I make every day. We live in a sin-filled world, and that's just reality.
But I'm also a saint. No, that doesn't mean I'm perfect. I am a child of God. In my baptism, the Holy Spirit came into my heart and gave me faith.
God lives in me.
That's an amazing thing. As a result of this, my soul belongs to God and lives in harmony with him. That's the saint-side of me.
It's hard to understand, I know. I don't fully understand it myself. But I know it's true.
Just as every minute of every day I am sinning--doing things in opposition to God--so also, every minute of every day, I am living a life that is obedient to God and pleasing to him.
How can that be? How can I, just sitting here, be obeying God?
That's the same question I asked a professor a couple years ago, when we were discussing this in a class. What he told me I will always remember.
"Well, you're sitting here in class," he said. "In doing so, you're fulfilling your vocation of student. You're giving attention and respect to me, as your teacher, someone in authority over you. You're preparing yourself for whatever future vocation God has planned for you. You're contributing to the discussion and helping others learn and grow. So, just by having your rear in that chair right now, you're obeying and honoring God."
I had never thought of it like that before. Even without meaning to, without doing it intentionally, my whole life is one of obedience to God. Why? Because the Holy Spirit lives in me and enables me to wholly serve, love and obey God.
It's not about me. If it was up to me, I would only be sinning all the time. It's only because of God's grace, mercy and forgiveness that I am able to be obedient to Him.
That gives me so much joy. One of the biggest goals of my life is to give honor to my Jesus. And because of His love for me, I do that all the time! It's wonderful how He helps me so much in my desire to live in obedience to Him. He knows that if it wasn't for His help, I'd never be able to do it myself! :D
You know what's wonderful? If you're a baptized believer in Jesus, you're a sinner and saint, too. Sure, you'll struggle with sin all the time. But don't despair--because of Jesus, you are always a saint. And someday, when our earthly bodies have died, our eternal souls will live forever with Jesus in heaven--in perfection!