Monday, December 28, 2009

Best Way to Defeat Sin

A quote from the book, "A Table of Inwardness," by Calvin Miller tells us the most effective way of dealing with sin:

"The Best way of dealing with sin is not to attempt reform but to adore the Savior. Winning over our lower nature is made positive by adoration. While we worship the enthroned and inner Christ, we cannot be intrigued by negative preoccupation with sin (p. 29)."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

What is at stake when someon walks in open rebellion against God.

Recently I heard about someone who is in outright and open sin, who, I think, would identify himself as a believer yet is not part of any type of local expression of the body of Christ, a ‘church.’ When I offered my help they informed me, that the issue was of no concern of mine. They thanked me for calling and doing my job. I thought, “my job?” I did not call because it was my job, I called them because as a brother in Christ, I had a moral obligation to help in any way I can so I tried. I called because I care about this person and what they are doing to their family. I called because rebelling against the clear commands of Scripture is not producing fruit that demonstrates true repentance and puts them in danger of falling away from grace (Mat 3:8-10). I called because we are warned against having an evil unbelieving heart that leads one to fall away from the living God (Heb. 3:12). I called because I am commanded to exhort them every day so that they may not be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin (Heb. 3:13). I called because my heart breaks that this is a train wreck that will cause collateral damage to those near the train tracks. I called called because the reputation of Christ (Col. 1:10) and the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31) and the transforming power of the gospel is at stake (Phil 1:27).
Next time I want to handle how to treat an unrepentant brother or sister and then address if someone can be a Christ follower and not be involved in a local church.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Being thankful to God

1 Timothy 1:12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,

God has graciously shown me recently through several situations that I am not thankful for His blessings in my life. I am not very content; I am more focused on what is wrong in my life than what is right; I see problems where I should see possibilities; and I am unhappy about circumstances rather than being grateful and thankful for all that God is doing in my life. I have the best wife, I have great kids who love God and are pursuing him, I have plenty of money, the church I pastor is going great, and I am healthy. Why then am I so discontent and always wanting life and ministry to go better? Bottom line I am dissatisfied with Jesus, what he did for me on the cross, and what he promises to be for me on a daily basis. He is not enough for me. Symptomatic of my unbelief, I want more from this world.
Yet how do I correct my spiritual condition? I am very task oriented so I want to look at ways or things I can do to correct my problem. But this will not be resolved by checking off a list of spiritual exercises meant to make me more thankful. I can thank God more but if my heart is not thankful, it is meaningless. I am not sure I agree with the 12 step mantra, fake it 'til you make it! The only way to combat this competing unbelief in my heart is to do battle with a stronger and better desire, the desire to be satisfied with who Christ promises to be for me. These competing desires in my heart will only be conquered by a greater satisfaction in who Christ is and promises to be for me.