Finding joy in a gift from God, rather than in God the giver.
“Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy”
1 Peter 1:8 NIV
How is it that I can love someone that I have never met face to face? When I think about meeting Jesus face to face and spending eternity with him, I do feel the “inexpressible and glorious joy” that Peter is writing about; but again, how is this possible?
One of two solutions are possible:
1. I am emotionally delusional – I create emotional connection where non-exists to make myself feel better and provide hope in a hopeless and empty world.
2. I have in some real sense “met Jesus” and am currently experiencing friendship with Him; a friendship that is so far beyond our earthly experience that I find myself missing someone I have never physically met.
If anyone has a third option, or even a fourth, I’d be happy to entertain the theories. Frankly if #2 is not true I have a great deal to worry about and I am definately in need of some help. And if you’re reading this and you think #2 is not true, what are you doing reading the blog of a crazy person?
Its been awhile since I updated the Lessons from Lent series. Something that I’ve learned in my absence is that whether it is television or other distractions you will always find a way to fill your calendar and be busy. There has been a steady stream of freelance design, a vacation, and then a pile of work to get through upon my return from said vacation. Mix in a healthy amount of Bible Study, reading, yound adult, and small group ministry and your plate gets full quickly.
Even with all the busyness, today brought a new and significant insight from my hiatus from television. It came after dinner when I asked my wife whether or not she missed TV. She commented that she hadn’t really missed it other than a few favorite shows, but it obviously wasn’t killing her to give them up. What she said next is the most important lesson to come out of this Lent experience, she said that she did notice that I had been more attentive and focused on her during the last few weeks.
. . .
I’m not a guy who watches alot of television, nor did my wife feel like she ever had to compete for my attention, but she has felt more loved because I haven’t been watching.
Men, we’re missing out on our wives, whether we realize it or not. Something is stealing your attention from the things that matter most.
Maybe it isn’t television for you, maybe its golf, your car, fantasy sports even. You are missing out. God never commanded you to have hobbies, and persue lesiure activities, but he has commanded you to love your wife like Jesus loves the church (Ephesians 5:25).
He gave up his life for his bride, what will you give up for yours.
Welcome to the second edition of Theology Thursday.
This week I’d like to share some thoughts on the most famous of Jesus’ parables – The Parable of the Lost Son. If you are unfamiliar with this story, please take the time to read it below, if you are well acquainted with it you can skip ahead.
Idolatry is an sin that many Christians, including myself, do not believe we are guilty of. Here is how we check our lives for idols, “I don’t have a golden calf in my living room, I don’t have a little buddah statue in my garden, I’ve got my bases covered.” Or so we think.
Below is a video clip from Pastor Mark Driscoll, of Mars Hill Church in Seattle. I was deeply convicted and challenged to look at how I live my life and where I am putting my trust other than Jesus. Skip ahead to 1:15, take a few moments and watch this clip and allow the Holy Spirit to convict you of your idolatry. This is not intended to shame anyone, but to help us all be honest about who or what we put our faith in.
I can tell you from personal experience that facing the truth about your sin, repenting of it and asking God to empower you by His Holy Spirit to live in obedience and trust in Jesus, can be difficult; but God is faithfull to help us, to change us, to santify us, and to comform us to the image of His son.
It will be my goal every Thursday to share a little tid-bit of theology. Either something I am reading, or listening to, that I think would be beneficial.
This week I’ve bee reading “the Discipline of Spiritual Discernment” by Tim Challies . I will post a more extensive review once I’ve finished it, but so far I would highly recommend it. In the second chapter Tim expounds on how the importance of theology (the study of God) has been downplayed in recent years as the pursuit of fundamentalists, or intellectual elitist Christians only. His point is that theology should be the pursuit of every Christian, because as Christians we love God and desire to know him better. What does it say about us if we say we love God but have no desire to learn about him. Tim quotes Richard Phillips on this issue:
“Theology bore’s today’s Christians, which is another way of saying we are bored with God himself.”
Do you agree with this statement, or do you disagree? Have you seen this attitude in your own church or small group.
I’m interested to hear your thoughts and experiences.