Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thoughts from Isaiah

Thinking about the book of Isaiah, the early chapters has brought some interesting thoughts to my brain, thanks to this quote "It is through wealth power and control of ones destiny that human beings become great" Why do we insist on trying to become gods (great), and not rest in the one true God? Looking across the global scape of humanity, it is apparent to me that most people live their lives trying to better themselves and working upon advancement up some sort of hierarchy. Whether that is becoming the CEO of a corporation, becoming the head coach, political aspirations, or even the head pastor. Most people are motivated by some sort of hidden or otherwise blatantly clear agenda to "fix" something that they think only they can fix, or at least contribute to the fix. They thing that the world will be better if they can ascend to greatness. trying to become a god, in our own little way, prevents us from accessing the one true God. We consistently begin to meticulously build up a barrier between us and God. The more we strive to succeed on our own, the more we lose. Our ascension to become "like God" is nothing new. Adam and Eve initiated this thought in our mind. We desire to be in control, we desire to hold the reigns of our life and all the things around us. This is what keeps us from entering into an intimacy with a God who longs for us to interact with Him. We exalt ourselves and others in place of God by looking to "fix" things. We are not capable of fixing or resolving anything significant and meaningful without the power of God in our life. I desire to remove any exaltation that prevents me from interacting with God.The sledgehammer of God is right there and he will knock down the barriers if we submit to His control in our life and in the world. He wants us to desire Him, not our own exaltation. This is what causes idolatry, forgetting who is important and who is in control by trying to take the reigns our self. This leads to sin and separation from the will of God. Everytime we sin, we are are not acting in the will of God. If we are in tune with God, we can avoid sin and thus stay in his will. Of course we will sin, but when we do we must reach up to the thrown in repentance, for Christ is who we need to run towards, not away from. When we try to become gods, we run away from the one who is in control and thus causing choas. May we run to Christ, not away, and fall into His loving arms in rest and adoration. Joy...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Galatians 3

Having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh?

I really hope that i NEVER feel that i am perfected by the flesh. We are saved by our faith, and we receive the Spirit by faith. Why would we ever think that we are perfected by doing good works? Perfection comes through Christ, we cannot be perfect until we pass from this earth, where our sanctification will be complete. Is it wrong to do good works? Is it wrong want to be perfect? No and No. The problem lies in the pursuit of perfection and "right" living as opposed to living or Christ and letting HIM be our perfection. We are to live out lives for Christ and resting in the knowledge that HE is our completeness, HE is our perfection. If we do this, we can eliminate the legalism that prevails in the church today. Christ doesn't call us to be something that we are incapable of. We are incapable of true perfection, but we are capable of living a life that represents Christ and advances the truth.
This does not mean that we sin freely, we are still called to be set apart. Living Holy is a part of our serving of Christ, but the motivation is not reward, the motivation is Christ himself. Living for Christ includes doing good works. Doing good works doesn' always include living for Christ. In fact if the good works that you do outside of Christ are being done because you are "supposed" to do it, then you might as well not do it at all. If you do not serve out of Christ, then you are serving out of yourself. This leads to self-righteousness and wrong motives for service. The ONLY motive for service is Christ. Christ calls us to serve others, we do it because we love Christ, we love others through Christ. Christ calls us to love and serve others....It all starts at the cross, not out of ourselves. There can be no room for boasting. "Hey come look how good i look!" is not the right response. We serve because Christ served, any other form of service is not righteous service.
Legalism and Cheap grace....i pray that i escape from one, but not run to the other. run to Christ instead.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

QT on evangelism and teaching.

It's not about how we are saved, it is about WHO we are saved by.

the Christ of all?

After reading Galatians 2 and seeing the way that Peter acted amongst believers, his actions did not appall me. He was eating with the gentiles, apparently as they were and in their tradition, yet when James returned he quickly left and ignored them and went back to the Jews (Christian Jews). The reason that his actions did not appall me: because it was MY actons that appall me. I do the same thing so often. Its like the junior high lunch room. You sit with some of the dorky kids from church because they are your friends, but when the popular kids you are trying to earn points with show up you quickly get up, go sit down and join them. All the while acting as if nothing ever happened with the other people because they are not cool enough or do things differently. THeir traditions and actions are different than the popular kids. This story is not just made up, it was me in many cases throughout my life. If my fraternity brother saw me talking to that girl, or if my political buddies saw me talking to that democrat, or if my church friends saw me talking to that drunkard.....Although the times are different, the idea is similar. The Jews felt superior to the gentiles and the "uncircumcised". Its not that they did not associate with them per se, but rather they often thought that their traditions and ways were beneath them. How dumb is that? Who am I (or Peter) to think that we are too good for another person? I think it is absurd. But i still do it. What does it make me look like, thats the thought running in my head.
In this instance it was talking about how the Jews tried to force the gentiles to live under the Jewish law. But i cant help where my mind goes. It made me think that we so often expect others to live like us, but then we sometimes are embarrassed to be seen associating with the same people. As Christian, we cannot live in a world of blind dogmatism and expectancy that sinners will live like christians or they are unworthy of the church. Preposterous! How can you say that someone who is a sinner must live their life like christ and not do social sins? You cant! You yourself are a sinner, albeit saved by grace, but there was a time where you were no different than these so called "sinners" that must behave like a christian or they are ostrascized from the church. This self-righteousness is so disgusting to me. You cant make a dog meow like a cat, much in the same way you cant make a sinner conform to the christian law. You do not reform someone by their actions, God reforms them through their hearts.
Long post, lots of thoughts, not all on topic but stem from the initial topic. That the Jews and Gentiles serve and worshiped the same God, and the discrimination was unfounded. The idea is that we should be unified, ALL believers. We also should not be the moral police to sinners, instead we should show them the Love of Christ and share with them the gospel of Christ. He who has known no sin, became sin for us. Our debts are paid and we can re communion with a Holy God through His Son in the Holy Spirit. People are not persuaded to become christians by moral policing or lectures or stern headings of "hell". They come to know Christ because they see what Christ has done and understand that they are worthless without His grace. How do they see this? Love. Love for others, servant spirit, and preaching of the convicting truth of Christ. We may be rotten sinners, but in Christ we are pure. You convey this with the true gospel that offends. It offends because no one wants to admit they are nothing and that another person is everything. Ego, Pride. Christ is everything, we must die to ourselves and allow Him to take control. This is the answer to unity.