Sunday, April 28, 2013

Big questions

What big questions do you need to ask yourself?

Maybe you've been avoiding them because you don't want to deal with the emotions that are there. Or maybe you avoid the big questions because its easier to live in the shallows and you don't wan to deal with the deep.

Regardless of the reasons, I would commend to you to making time each week to reflect and ask yourself some key, big, deep questions.

These aren't for everyone, but I've come up with a short list of big questions that work for me- they help me refocus, recharge, and remember what is most important.

What is my struggle?
What is my joy?
What is my fear?
What do I now see?
What sin am I still clinging on to?
What do I need to repent of?
What shame do I need to let go of?
What kindness do I need to thank God for?
To whom do I need to show kindness to today?
What things in this season of my life do I need to daily and continually be in prayer for? (Identify and then pray for these)
What big prayer do I need to pray today? (Identify and then pray)
Today's reminder
Next step

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Worshipful Awareness

Most churches start their services with the singing of several songs and hymns to God. While this isn't the only way to order a service, I do think that singing to God at the beginning is helpful to prepare our hearts to receive instruction from the Lord through the preaching of His word.

We know that the worship part of the service should stir up our greatest affections, and should be the overflow of our walk with God. Unfortunately though, our hearts have a way of wandering. When our hearts are hardened, we become spiritually numb to the words we sing, and rob ourselves of the joy of seeing God for all that He is, seeing His holiness, and most of all seeing how sinful we are in light of how holy He is.

I think that it is becoming aware of how holy that God is that enables us to see how unholy we are, apart from the finished work of Jesus for us. When we are able to see our sin as God sees it, we agree with Him that it is in fact sin and that something must be done about it.

The good news is that in Jesus, something has already been done about our sin. For us who place our trust in Jesus, our sins are forgiven, and the perfect life of Christ is now imputed to us, making us pure and holy before God. Apart from Him, we are done, totally lost, and fully deserving God's wrath for our sin that we continually commit against Him and others. But God has declared that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because he paid the debt we could not pay and gave us new life. It is through Christ that we find fulfillment, purpose, joy, our identity, and most of all, life.

It is the awareness of his holiness that leads us to repentance, but it is awareness of our adoption as sons and daughters of God through the cross of Jesus that leads us to life and joy!

It is my prayer that our hearts would not be hardened and that God would cause us to constantly remain spiritually aware of these realities, so that we would continue in repentance, and grow in our affection for the ultimate Father who has adopted us as His own.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

I love the one who tells me the truth

It's great to listen to others singing our praises. We love to hear all the good things that people say about us. Makes us feel good, right? Boosts our all important self esteem!

But that's not what we seek when we see the doctor, is it? When we see the doctor, we want him to tell us the truth, right? Not, "hey, so good to see you! Your health is great!", when really he knows that you have cancer.

There are few who deserve our deepest affections than those who tell us the truth.

When we know the truth, we know what to do. If we are diagnosed with cancer, we then will focus on getting treatment so we can be made well. But if we don't know the truth, we will continue in ignorance thinking that everything is fine, and never seek the cure that we think we don't need.

Yes I know. Bad news is unpleasant, and hearing it will probably make me unhappy. But my happiness is not the most important thing. Knowing the truth and responding to it is far more important than my temporary discomfort and pain of discovering I had believed a lie but now know the truth.

In the end, I am thankful and praising God for the one who tells me the truth, who calls out my sin, who causes me to seek repentance and seek forgiveness from the only One who can ultimately forgive the debtor. Yes, this person I thank and love profusely, because they have shown me my sin and caused me to return to Jesus where I find the only grace sufficient to save me from myself.

I'll say it again, because we will need to remember it the next time someone tells us the truth about us: There are few who deserve our deepest affections than those who tell us the truth.