Tuesday, April 28, 2009
I love laundry days! Laundry day makes me slow down. I will often spend the day sitting in the living room floor folding clothes (which I'm quite good at by the way...I can fold a t-shirt in such a way that it will not have wrinkles in it when you take it out of the dresser to wear). I also use laundry day as an opportunity to catch up on podcast.
I've spent the day today doing laundry and listening to a three part series Matt Chandler did on repentance. In the second part he spent a great deal of time talking about the difference between worldly grief and Godly sorrow.
Worldly grief simply put, says that "I'm sorry for what I've done because now I look bad. What will the people at church say? Will I lose my job because of this decision? Will my wife leave me?"
Godly sorrow is David in Psalm 51 after he's been outed by the prophet Nathan in his sin with Bathsheba. David says in verse four, "Again you, and you only, I have sinned". David understood in this moment that it did not matter what the people in his court thought about him, it didn't matter what the people in his army thought about him, it didn't matter what the prophet thought about him. He understood that it was not against those people that he committed this sin but against God.
I think it is so vitally important that we begin to see ourselves in the way God sees us...rather than being so concerned with what others think of us.
Worldly grief typically comes out of panic. We've been exposed and now we are really really really sorry for what we've done...however, we weren't really really really sorry while we were doing it. Godly sorrow allows us to not be so concerned with what others think of feel about us. Where are we with God?
Godly sorrow will also help us answer this question..."is God okay with me the way I am?" Are you asking the question, "does God love me?" The answer is yes! No doubt! Or are you asking the question, "is God happy about the way I am choosing to live my life?" Let me ask you this question, is your life making God more famous?
Repentance is such an ugly word in today's culture. I know it's not popular and there will be people that see this either from their google reader or because it post as a note on Facebook that will not like this entry because it talks about repentance. Repentance is life giving! It's the running away from what you want for you life and chase hard after the heart of God and what he wants for you. Even if it doesn't "feel right" or "make you happy".
I will close with this...also an unpopular thought. God's will for your life is not your happiness, but His glory. God may call you to do something that makes you miserable (read the book of Hosea). But what if that makes Him more known?
Friday, April 17, 2009
1Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity,
And I have trusted in the LORD without wavering.
2Examine me, O LORD, and try me;
Test my mind and my heart.
3For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes,
And I have walked in Your truth.
4I do not sit with deceitful men,
Nor will I go with pretenders.
5I hate the assembly of evildoers,
And I will not sit with the wicked.
6I shall wash my hands in innocence,
And I will go about Your altar, O LORD,
7That I may proclaim with the voice of thanksgiving
And declare all Your wonders.
8O LORD, I love the habitation of Your house
And the place where Your glory dwells.
9Do not take my soul away along with sinners,
Nor my life with men of bloodshed,
10In whose hands is a wicked scheme,
And whose right hand is full of bribes.
11But as for me, I shall walk in my integrity;
Redeem me, and be gracious to me.
12My foot stands on a level place;
In the congregations I shall bless the LORD.
There is one thing that I hear my pastor say all the time and it's this truth, "Integrity is costly and it can be lost in a moment".
I love how David runs down the list of wicked things that he sees all around him every day. His response to that is to remain faithful and simply desire to be in "the place where Your glory dwells".
Holy Father, give me a heart that chases hard after you and you alone. Your name is more important than my own desires or fleeting pleasures. I pray as David did, that I shall walk in my integrity.
So that you may become more famous and that I might be forgotten.
For the praise of your glory!
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The weekend was a blur, but man, what a great ride! We were able to connect with over 500 people at our Egg Smash community event on Saturday. Then had a great crowd of over 120+ come together this morning to celebrate the empty tomb.
As a part of our worship gathering this morning I did a reading from The Voice that I would just like to share with you as I put this day to rest. I hope you enjoy and if you are reading this in the Royse City area come back next week as we continue to dive into this thought that, "It Didn't End At The Cross".
We were a band of fishermen who were lost and lonely. But just when we thought things couldn’t become stranger, Jesus showed up. He told us to fish on the other side of the boat. We did, and we were suddenly overwhelmed with fish. The nets were bulging. What He showed us here, is that not only would our old ways of living leave us as empty as our nets, but our old habits were not going to work for us anymore. He had impacted our lives in a way that changed us forever. We couldn’t go back. And He knew we didn’t know how to go forward.
After spending time with Jesus, I realize there are no coincidences. He revealed to me a world where God is intimately involved, the main actor in the drama of history. It was no accident that we caught the fish. It was no accident the nets didn’t break. These fish, all 153, were a sign from God representing the community of believers, men and women transformed by faith. Some of us sat down and didn’t say a word as we pondered all of this. Others busied themselves in work, their hands moving quickly to stack the catch in baskets and untangle the nets. Each in his own way thought, wondered, and prayed. I have to admit, the prospect of it all still makes me smile. That’s how I always begin and end my stories of Jesus. I remind my little children that through faith He gives us the authority to become the sons of God. Brother Paul said it’s all grace. He’s right. We are what we are because of His wonderful work in us. The challenge we face every day is to become what we are—His loving, devoted children. To do that, we have to strip away every vestige of our old lives. Like worn out clothes, we find our former lives aren’t able to contain the beauty of this new creation. Before we can put on the new life and take up our new calling, we have to set aside every ugly and broken aspect of our lives. Repentance, Jesus told us, is not just about what you put off. It’s about what you put on. In the human spirit, there is no vacuum. Something will always occupy you and fill your life. It is either life from above or death from below. If the resurrection of Jesus taught us anything, it’s that He is the resurrection and the life. I’m not talking about life after death. What I mean is that through Jesus we can have abundant life, a full and meaningful life, here and now.