Chip Off The Old Block

                               By Phil Scovell

               The church  I had been  pastoring had folded.   I  felt more
          than a failure; I felt  like I had failed god.  Life  had stopped

               Attending   another   church  was   worst   than  miserable.
          Furthermore,  the attendance had  been steadily dropping  and the
          pastor's   sermons   were  consistently   demeaning,   personally
          degrading,  and spiritually disappointing.   thus, I  had stopped
          listening to most  of his sermons and tried practicing the art of
          day dreaming.  It worked, too.

               One morning,  as I was  day dreaming, I realized  the pastor
          was teaching on the perfect will of God, so I started  listening.
          I quickly  reverted to my day  dreaming when I  discovered he was
          literally saying, "If you  don't know the perfect will of God for
          your life, you aren't much of a Christian."  I already  knew that
          I was  a lousy  Christian and  I didn't  need him  to remind  me.
          Besides, my  day dreams  were more  interesting  than his  Mickey
          Mouse preaching had become.

               As I tried to occupy my  time till church was over, I  heard
          the  Holy Spirit  say, "You  are  the perfect  will of  God."   I
          immediately rejected  this as a  lie because I knew  better.  The
          statement,  however, remained  fixed in  my  mind.   So, I  began
          trying to analyze it.  I asked the Lord, after several minutes of
          incredibly frustrating meditation, to show me where in the  Bible
          it says "I am the perfect  will of God.  "Romans 8,"  immediately
          sprang to  my  thoughts.   I  almost laughed.    I had  Romans  8
          memorized.   I  let  my  mind quickly  run  through the  chapter.
          "Nope," I said, "nothing  there, Lord.  You'll have  to do better
          than that."  Yet Romans 8 stayed firmly imprinted in my thoughts.

               For the  next two years,  I occasionally thought  about what
          the  Holy  Spirit  had told  me  in  church that  day.    I tried
          repeatedly  to figure  out what  the Lord  was talking  about but
          discovered nothing.

               One day,  as I  was working  in my  office doing  high speed
          cassette  duplicating for a church, I  began thinking about being
          God's perfect  will.  I stopped my  work, walked to my bookshelf,
          and pulled  out my  Braille bible volume  containing the  book of
          Romans.   A Braille  Bible is  18 volumes  and  each about  three
          inches thick.  Sitting down at my desk, I turned to chapter 8 and
          said  out loud, "Ok, Lord.   You said I am  your perfect will.  I
          don't believe that is in this chapter or even  in the bible.  So,
          I am  going to start reading  the chapter from  the beginning and
          when  I get to  the right  verse, you let  me know," and  I began
          reading.  My fingers soon stopped on Romans 8:29:

          For  whom  he  did  foreknow,  he also  did  predestinate  to  be
          conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn
          among many brethren.

               I sat motionless  for some time trying to  comprehend what I
          had just read.  I knew, without any doubt, this  was the verse. I
          had read  the Bible well  over 100 times from  cover-to-cover and
          this  chapter more  than  any  other.   Yet,  I have  never  once
          considered the powerful  meaning of this single  verse concerning
          who I was in Christ Jesus.

               When I was about 9 or 10 years of age, before going blind, I
          worked as a  volunteer at in a  plaster shop.  They  made figures
          out of plaster molds which we  then sold to amusement parks,  and
          the like, for gifts if you won at some competitive game.

               the figures were  made by pouring hot plaster  into a rubber
          mold, then quickly dumped out, which left a coating of plaster on
          the inside walls of the rubber form.  Later, when the plaster had
          cooled and hardened,  we pealed the rubber form  away and trimmed
          the excess that remained.   Following a thorough drying  process,
          the figures were ready for painting.

               This illustration is the exact  meaning of "to be conformed"
          to His image.   We are the predestinated,  whatever you interpret
          that to  mean theologically, but  whatever it means, we  are cut,
          shaped, molded and  formed, in  His image.   Thus,  we look  like
          Jesus.   When we pray, live,  worship, sing, or serve, the Father
          sees us as one of  His sons, or daughters, and we  look just like
          Jesus.   Furthermore,  this whole thing,  theologically speaking,
          was settled before  the foundation of the world,  that is, before
          anything was created, (See Ephesians 1:4).  Literally, before all
          things, it was planned we  would spiritually, to the Father, look
          like Jesus.

               All my life  I have listened to sermons preached on the will
          of God.  It  was always something we did, such  as ministry work,
          for Jesus.   Never once  did I hear  a sermon preached,  it isn't
          what we can do for Jesus that counts, it is what we  allow Him to
          do  for us,  and in us,  that makes  the difference.   We are the
          perfect will of God.  It  is not based upon how much theology  we
          have learned or how much doctrine we can teach but only  on Jesus
          and  Him alone.   If  your Christian  life isn't  based on  Jesus
          alone, then it is time you realize that you are His perfect will.
          Stop working for Jesus and let Him work for you.

     Safe Place Fellowship
     Phil Scovell
     Denver, Colorado
     Mountain Time Zone

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