Monday, January 31, 2011

Meat

For the last several weeks our pastor has been preaching a series of messages entitled "Radically following Jesus." There have been a lot of really good and memorable stuff here. These are a series of messages that are moving my faith forward. They are changing the way I see Christianity. So I thought I would share a few of these thoughts below.

The purpose of salvation is to reproduce. (We aren't just supposed to be saved, sit back, and wait on heaven. More than we aren't supposed to, the entire point of salvation is the opposite of that.)

Christ has full reign over the things in my life... that I have been most comfortable in giving him. (Is this what we think? Do we comfort ourselves with the notion that we have given it "all" to Jesus? Is that really true or is it just what we are comfortable giving him?)

"Our cross" is not our issues that we refuse to give to God. It is what happens when we are surrendered to God. (The cross was torture, humiliation, the death penalty, so why do we think our human frailties that we refuse to consider changing have anything to do with the cross.)

Cross isn't about me, it's about God's glory, not saving me from my sin. (We can make anything selfish and self-centered can't we? I managed to make the cross about me instead of about God. That one hit me like a ton of bricks Sunday.)

Sin isn't the bad things. It is wanting to do them. (We persist in our childish definitions of these things and it limits our walk with God. Sin is just the bad stuff we do, so don't do bad stuff don't sin. Hardly! Jesus himself tells otherwise in his sermon on the mount. Our intentions matter as much as our actions.)

Gospel is the power of God for salvation. (It is not just a story or a series of verses that get someone saved. It is much more than that!)

Salvation is not a one time decision. (It is a lifestyle and a continuous process whereby you commit to a continuous process of purification by the refiner's fire. That sounds nice and we can sing about it even, but that isn't an easy process. The heat is turned up on us. Our bad stuff comes to the surface, so we have to admit it is there and then admit that we can't do anything about it. Then ask God to take it away. Are we doing that?)

The suffering of the cross wasn't the nails, etc. It was our sin being thrust on to the Son of God, taking God's wrath upon himself. God turned away because of our sin. (We make the suffering of Jesus into a purely human suffering. However, Jesus was human AND God. While he did suffer physically, the more important and more difficult suffering was the taking of ALL our sins on himself. Thereby taking God's wrath. God couldn't look at his son while he was dying because of us!)

We need to want God most! More than his blessings and the things of God. (What do you want more the "benefits" of Christianity and God' blessing or God? We know what the answer should be, but what really is your answer? That was another hard one on Sunday.)

The opposite of giving glory to God is selfishness. (If we aren't doing it, saying it, thinking it for the glory of God, then it is for us. How often then is it for us?)

Our confidence in sharing the Word is grounded in God's sovereignty not in our savvy, not in our intellectual capacities. (Why are we so worried about talking to God to others? He tells us to and he does the hard work. We just have to open our mouths and let him talk. Note I said let him talk, not let us opine. Refer back to the previous note if you aren't sure about talking or not.)

Showing the Word enhances our message when sharing the Word. People want to see Jesus with skin on. (Make sure that you are showing the Word. That is the first part of sharing the Word, sharing our actions to the glory of God.)

I don't know if I have explained these the right way or fully explained the impact these had on me. I'll trust God to use these words as you need. I'm sure there is still much I can learn from these words, but these are my first reactions. I hope they challenge you as much as they have challenged me.

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