Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A bunch of followers

If anyone serves me, he must follow me… (John 12:26, ESV)

Why do we follow Christ?

We often view following Christ as strict marching orders. Get in line or else…

But shouldn’t we also ask where Christ is leading? Christ isn’t some drill sergeant running us through the desert.

He’s our good shepherd, leading us through the valley of the shadow of this life to the heavenly home he’s prepared for us.

He’s our fearless leader, leading us against the world’s violence to victorious peace at the dawn of a new age.

He’s the captain of our soul, leading us safely through the trials of these stormy seas.

He’s the head of his church, faithfully leading us to glory and to grace.

Where he leads, you better believe we want to follow.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Graciously getting over ourselves

““Do not say in your heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out before you, ‘It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land,’ whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is driving them out before you.” (Deuteronomy 9:4, ESV)

When Israel was uniquely blessed with God’s presence and protection, God made something clear: The special people of God were special for one reason: God made them special.

The people of God have never earned their status, they've always been welfare recipients. The people of God have never deserved their blessings, they've always received handouts.

So what’s that mean for today?

I can’t live my life as someone who deserves it, I live my life as one who is grateful for it. I can’t resent the needy, because I myself am one of them.

It’s hard to be full of yourself when you've received the grace of God.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The theology of stuff

“for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world.” (1 Timothy 6:7, ESV)

Stuff, stuff, stuff.

It’s what we stress over, it’s what we strive for.

Stuff is what excites us and stuff is what we talk about.

We study for decades in the pursuit of stuff. We get certifications and specializations for the sake of stuff.

Stuff makes us jealous and stuff makes us proud.

Stuff gives us something to aspire to.

Yet, we don’t get to keep any of our stuff.

While our souls live on, all our stuff has an expiration date.

In eternity, we only get to keep what we have in Christ. All the stuff shrivels up at eternity’s doorway.

So why do we devote our lives to the expiring stuff of this world?

Let’s live today for the treasures we get to keep.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Forget no more

“Only take care, and keep your soul diligently, lest you forget the things that your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. Make them known to your children and your children’s children” (Deuteronomy 4:9, ESV)

We are so forgetful. Not just of keys and times and details. We forget the most important events of our lives.

We forget the heart transplant God performed when he took our stony and broken heart and replaced it with a new one from Him.

We forget that he cleansed our sin-stained hearts from every ugly deed and every wicked thought. We forget that he did it many years ago and we forget that he did it again this morning.

We forget that the King himself stoops low to hear the stuttering prayers we utter, we forget that his Spirit overcomes our weakness and bears our prayers to heaven's throne.

We forget that we are beloved children and not despised strangers.

We forget that we are unimaginably rich because of the treasures our Savior lavished upon us.

We forget that so many years ago, Jesus cried out from the cross as he bore the judgement we deserved.

Today, my soul, forget no more. Today, remember how much He has done.