Tuesday, November 25, 2014
God’s grace is always with us, along with Satan’s attempts to appeal to our pride to bring us back to our own independence. This is especially so in our inter-personal relationships.
For example, many people of diverse political, moral, spiritual, emotional, and mental convictions will find themselves in confined quarters this Thursday for the annual celebration of the Thanksgiving meal. As is true whenever folks gather, each person will bring a presence into the room: a jolly person lightheartedness; a negative person a pall of depression. Some people fill a room with tension; others instant calm and security.
We as Christians can choose to either bring God’s grace into a room or our own independence. In the latter case, we drag in whatever mood or attitude we are currently indulging in: nastiness, haughtiness, remoteness, superiority, intellectualism, self-promotion, self-justification, self-protection, syncretism (trying to look like or please the people we are surrounded by), superficial compassion, drama or an internal critical spirit. Our mood, along with the mood of an entire room, can change depending on who enters or leaves.
But when God’s grace is brought into the room: His warmth, wisdom, strength, silence, calm, patience, confidence, love, and discernment--others will notice. They will feel a presence like never before unless they’ve previously been around other true disciples. And when people continue to perceive this same remarkable and positively peculiar presence around Christians, they will begin to understand that it is Christ who they are seeing in Christians, not the person in whom Christ lives.
As Christians, the last person people need to see is us. The first, and finally only, person they need to see is Christ. This requires God’s grace flowing through us to bring Christ into a room. We do this out of love for and obedience to the One who showed forth Christ to us through others and now instructs us to let Him do the same for others through us.
“However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God’s grace.” Acts 20:24
“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
Monday, November 24, 2014
From The Road Trip by Mark Sayers:
"The serpent raises a possibility in the minds of Adam and Eve. Scripture tells us that creation was good, that humans lived in harmony with God and nature, knowing no pain or shame. Yet the serpent causes Adam and Eve to wonder if the grass is greener somewhere else, to wonder if God truly is good. The serpent's question in some ways is the ancestor of the culture of the road, which causes us to doubt the goodness of where we are at, to always be seduced by the possibilities over the horizon. Just like the culture of the road, the serpent also tempts us to break out from our divinely ordained place. The serpent is the first pagan, raising the possibility of there being more than one god, when he tells Eve that if she eats of the tree, that she and Adam may become like God." Mark Sayers, The Road Trip, page 175
"For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus," 1 Timothy 2:5
Saturday, November 22, 2014
From the book, The Road Trip, by Mark Sayers:
"The contemporary self does not have to literally be on the move to be on the road. Being on the road is primarily a state of mind, one that constantly is dissatisfied, looking for the next best thing, living in incompleteness, always engaged in a quest for a sense of significance. This search for meaning becomes even more problematic in a culture which flees from objective truth, which fears authority and the holding of belief too strongly. The contemporary person finds themselves engaged in a quest for a truth they are told that they cannot find. In which the act of questing itself is given more importance than the completion of the quest. In such an environment the worldivew of the road is triumphant.
"The road has made us fickle. It has made our faiths weak. It has made us spoiled. To state it in its most brutal and blatant form, the road is ruining our lives and it is ruining our culture. It has left us lost and directionless, consumers not followers of God." Mark Sayers, The Road Trip, pages 52-53.
"Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10
Friday, November 21, 2014
Currently I am reading The Road Trip That Changed the World: The unlikely theory that will change how you view culture, the church, and most importantly, yourself, by Mark Sayers.
Here is a quote from the book:
"When disappointed in the quality of their lives, many people--particularly young adults across the Western world--blame not their overblown expectations but instead their faiths, abandoning in droves their engagement with Christianity." Mark Sayers, page 33, The Road Trip That Changed the World
"This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:5-7
"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us." 1 John 1:8
Wednesday, November 19, 2014
C.S. Lewis, when asked in an interview, “What is your opinion of the kind of writing being done within the Christian church today?” answered:
“A great deal of what is being published by writers in the religious tradition is a scandal and is actually turning people away from the church. The liberal writers who are continually accommodating and whittling down the truth of the Gospel are responsible. I cannot understand how a man can appear in print claiming to disbelieve everything that he presupposes when he puts on the surplice. I feel it is a form of prostitution.”
C.S. Lewis, Decision Magazine, December 1963
“Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.” Psalm 1:1-2