United With Christ

2015-01-16 14.30.18The mystery of the cross

 is so deep and full of inexhaustible treasures. The beauty of the mystery isn’t just there on Calvary though, it’s in the Sunday morning that the tomb emptied it’s captive. Without the elevated Savior, Christians gathered around the globe worshiping this day would be fools that ought to be grieved for. However, it is the power of the resurrection that brings us joy because Christ stands as our hope, and so we rightly worship Him.

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Changing the World

wpid-2012-04-26-19.57.28_20150314144253647.jpg.jpegTHE DESIRE FOR CHANGE

-it’s existed ever since imbalance was conceived in the Garden of Eden. Authors and writers have mined the topic for ages because of the inspiration that could be found therein. The topic is so timeless because corruption, like a dark shadow over the world, seems timeless. In fact, it is unimaginable for us to think of a world without pain, sorrow, suffering, and abuse.

Such has been the trend since the fall of man in Genesis 3. We were created for order, and we long for it. We seek to satisfy the desire in us personally with heart-crafted idols. We do this by augmenting our lives with the best food, the nicest clothes, the biggest television, the best car, and it goes on and on. It never ends because we never find that complete satisfaction with stuff. Then, we try to make it our aim to fix the world around us in hopes that it might bring that wholeness that inspires us.

Changing the world, the culture, the people around us all becomes the goal to bring completeness. I believe it can falsely motivate and move Christian leaders to “restore people” into harmony, bringing harmony to their own life. Within this frame of thinking, congregants lose their personalities and uniqueness and are degraded to being projects needing to be fixed. Then when it does not satisfy, we turn to larger projects such as changing the community or even the entire culture. All this in hopes of a much broader scheme to change the world.

You may be asking, if this is not the Christian duty than what is? Even though there is no place in the whole of the Bible that mandates that we “change the world”, such a tagline draws a lot of Millennial attention. Us twenty-somethings love to rally around humanitarian causes, giving money and seeing the change. However, the other demands of the Christian life such as growing in personal holiness fall to the wayside, because they are far less attractive.

I believe that it is because of this that missiology in the Church will continue to grow outward in its reach, but will rapidly lose its depth and lasting effectiveness because of a growing lack of conviction for personal change as a result of the Gospel. The truth is, there is more said in the Bible about being transformed personally than injecting change directly into the culture like a pump.

When we are properly motivated by the absolute grace of God, I believe that we change. It is not that it motivates us to go out crusading, but it’s that it transforms us through changing our minds. God’s grace affects our attitude, our thought-life, our values, and ultimately our heart. Then, as that occurs there are people alongside us in whom we can pour out those changed attitudes, thoughts, and values into. Isn’t that true discipleship? Growing up with one another in the amazing grace of God, progressively and personally becoming more like Jesus each day with one another? That is the missiology that ought to be restored to the Church today, one that aims not at changing the world through one decision at a time- but rather, by the grace of God, becoming personally transformed with one another, one day at a time.

Soli Deo Gloria

“Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness — without it no one will see the Lord.” Hebrews 12:14

Confession: Leading Jesus

PixlrSeems backwards, doesn’t it?

Who could possibly have the audacity to think they know how to direct the Wonderful Counselor and the Mighty God? The truth is, if I’m being honest, I’m afraid I have this attitude more than I’d care to admit, and it’s something others did to Jesus in Luke 18:35-43.

“And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent.

But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” -v.39 (ESV)

As I first approached this passage in my personal study I didn’t really notice what was really going on at first, so I continued to read it over and over again. I couldn’t figure out why there were people out in front of Jesus on the way to Jericho. Then I started to reflect, and I had begun to understand more.

These people were so glued to their own idea of Jesus and who they wanted Him to be and what they wanted Him to do for them that they totally missed it. These people were carrying the banner crying out: “Make way for the Lamb of God!” and the blind beggar heard it as a sweet anthem. To which he responded, “Have mercy on me, oh God!” You see, this man had heard of the one of Nazareth who claimed to be the Son of God. He must have heard of this man who was going around healing the lame, the sick, the blind, and feeding the hungry. But this blind man cried out for more than these, he cried out for mercy.

See how those out in front “leading Jesus” responded to such a man? They rebuked him. I could just imagine their scoffing: “How dare you ask for help from our King, you are not worthy of Him.” or saying, “Be silent, don’t you see Jesus is for us and has no time for you!”  Honestly we really don’t know what was said, but it is pretty clear that those in front were concerned with themselves first, Jesus second, and all the others the least. This was a stunt to exalt themselves and to climb on this man’s shoulders as if they themselves had no deformity that Christ alone could cure. If there was someone they could cast to the side as undesirable, they could label themselves worthy.

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift,

through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”

Romans 3:23-24

Everyone of us, no matter how highly we might think of our self, are so totally unworthy though. Nothing we do can change that, we are absolutely corrupted from within and have fallen short of His glory. Jesus alone justifies us, (gives us right standing with God), and He saves us by His grace as a gift to us. What does this mean? There is nobody worthy enough to be out in front but Christ. He doesn’t follow us around accomplishing our purposes, following our counsel, or wait for our permission to envelope someone with grace.

Yet, how often do we find ourselves angry because some prayer didn’t get answered like we wanted? How often do we find ourselves looking down our noses at those labeled “undesirable” thinking how could God ever love someone like this?

I confess that the Lord deserves so much more of me, and that this pride needs to be curbed. May we be like the ones so close behind Jesus that they were saturated with the dust kicked up from His feet. Those were the ones that got to stand in awe as Jesus came to the blind beggar and healed His sight and forgave His sin, and they glorified God together rather than shrink in shame.

Soli Deo Gloria

“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord,or who has been his counselor? Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid? For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.”

Romans 11:33-36

The Purpose

The purposeWhat is the purpose?

As someone like myself endeavors to initiate their blog, this is an essential question to be answered. Without it, the author might very well find themselves spouting words into the air without volume or typing them onto a page without text. Purpose is essential, and it is the question whose answer brings substance, meaning, color, and life to our words.

“To the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.”

Jude 1:25 ESV

Of course, this question goes far beyond the precipice of this webpage, though the answer is applicable enough even to something so small. It won’t surprise you that this very question breaks forth into every aspect of your life. If we are both honest, this question has simmered in our hearts since the day we were capable of comprehending such a thought. It is a haunting question because without the answer every breath we breath and thing we do lacks ultimate meaning and reason. The answer, however, cannot be pieced together like a puzzle. It must be given to us, and it has been given with words.

The God who has created every square inch of this universe we share together has revealed Himself with words. In the Bible I found this verse right at the end of the beautiful letter of Jude. It appears as somewhat of a doxology, a closing thought of praise. Throughout the Bible resides an underlying theme that is captured in this short verse, and it is the purpose of it all.

Everything that has existed, exists now, and will ever exist does so for the glory of the one true God. The beauty is that He needs us not for His infinite glory to fill everything, but He has allowed us the most fulfilling opportunity of all time. That is to join in with all creation and declare His glory to the ends of the Earth. My hope and prayer is that with each paragraph of every post will resonate with this purpose and sing of His glory and that it will encourage you to join in the song.

Soli Deo Gloria

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

1 Corinthians 10:31 ESV