Monday, August 31, 2015

The Table of Obedience

Thoughts on Day5, Week 4 of What Love Is, by Kelly Minter

  • Scripture: 1 John 5:1-5  (Verse 3) "This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome . . . "


Kelly writes (top of page 120):  “I could cry over this passage, because obedience to Christ has been my greatest demonstration of my love for Him. Period. For me, obedience has at times meant intense loneliness. It’s meant walking in the exact opposite direction of my hopes. It’s meant doing what I didn’t want to do and not doing what I wanted to. Obedience has required surrender. It’s meant following Him above all my individual desires and dreams, so I can live the life for which He’s created me. Today, I couldn’t be more thankful to have chosen His way over my own, because it was at the table of obedience where I got to know Him. Obedience is where relationship with Christ is forged.”

My response:  Wow. Honestly, I want to really know God like she’s talking about, but  I want to skip the obedience part and move right to knowing God. I don’t want to sit down and stay at the table of obedience. I want to glance at it as I walk by.

I can almost hear God saying to me, “Child, that’s not how it works. You don’t get to know me by glancing at my commands and walking on by. You get to know me by sitting down at the table of obedience. You’ll find Me there – waiting for you to stop and sit. Waiting for you to quit your frantic activity, your striving, your unfocused thoughts, your selfish ways, your fantasies of the mind. I’m waiting for you to forget yourself and remember me. Come sit awhile, child. It might feel uncomfortable at first. But you’ll find it quite freeing after you’re here with Me. Obedience isn’t so bad after all. Most people think it’s burdensome. But the truth is, obedience is where you set down your burdens and follow Me."

Psalm 1 speaks of a progression of walking, standing, and sitting.


I need to have the same progression in a good way. I need to quit walking by. I need to stop and sit down at the table of obedience. It’s where I’ll get to know Jesus better. And that’s a great thing.

Monday, June 22, 2015

SIN

Life can be hard.
Just this week I've talked with people experiencing these challenges:
  • unfaithful spouse
  • prodigal child
  • conflict with spouse
  • confronting a friend
  • trouble at work
  • separation from family
  • fear of the future
  • difficulty with parents
  • unhappiness with job
  • alcohol abuse
What do all of these issues have in common?   SIN
We are either impacted by someone else's SIN, or we are the one's who SIN.
Either way, life can be hard.

Today I'm mad at SIN. I've seen it mess up too many lives, including my own. I've toyed with SIN. I've tried to master SIN. I've tried to hide SIN. I've tried to justify SIN. None of that worked out too well.

I think Joseph had the right approach. When he was confronted with SIN in the form of Potiphars' wife, Joseph ran away. (You can read Joseph's story in Genesis 39). Joseph didn't mess around with SIN, he ran from it. I want to be more like Joseph and less like me.

What about you? Need to lace up your running shoes?





Monday, March 2, 2015

Why would you want to live so close to the LINE?

I sometimes struggle with SIN. There I said it.
    Let me revise that statement.
I struggle with SIN.
    Let me revise it again.
I SIN.

I'm taking a class on Spiritual Formation. It's a class that requires a lot of introspection. I've been taking inventory of my life and looking at areas of temptation. Those areas aren't hard to spot. I know them well. I don't always like thinking about them, much less doing something about them. I'm a good avoider. But this class wouldn't let me avoid or pretend. I had to face some of my weaknesses and the areas where I'm most tempted to SIN.

And here is what I found myself thinking.

Being tempted is not SIN. Having a thought pop into my mind is not SIN.
But there is a LINE. I'm not always sure where it is, but I know there's a LINE that exists where a temptation or a thought becomes SIN. I know there's a LINE because I've crossed it many times.

So, now I wondered:
     Where is that LINE between temptation and SIN?
     Where is the LINE that divides OK from WRONG?

Do you know why I wanted to know?
     So I could dance right up to the LINE and feel ok about myself.

And then I had another thought. But I don't think it was MY thought. I think it was GOD'S thought. It sounded like something He would say.

     "Why would you want to live so close to the LINE?"

And I had no good answer...................... Do you?