Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sunday morning conviction- 12/11/11

This morning's message was an absolute punch in the heart... as we continued through our series on James, we began talking about temptation. Specifically we talked about being able to recognize the pathway from temptation, to desire, to sin.

It hit me as we explored this pathway that there has been an issue in my life recently that if I didn't stop to recognize, I would be leaving myself wide open and available to full attack from Satan. In light of that, I know that where my relationship with God has been lately, that there was very little chance that I would be fully able to resist the potential desires present. I hate to believe that I could become susceptible to certain sins, but I have to admit that I am human. I have to be real and honest enough to say that I am capable of committing any and all sins. It worries me that I was so blindly walking down such a potentially hazardous route. But that is how Satan often operates. Satan managed to intertwine himself into an area of my life that I know is important, and an area in which God has called me to work. But as Satan does, he twists, ever-so slightly in our minds, the will of God. At moments when I came to realizing that I might be allowing temptation to push me in the wrong direction, I found myself justifying it using the excuse of God's will. How frightening is it to realize that!?

I need to thank God that He always gives us an escape from temptation. I also need to thank my wife who brought to my attention over the past week, that she was worried that I might be headed down a bad path. I sadly blew her off at first, blinded by my own pride and desires. I see now that she was right on the money. I am thankful that her warning, and today's message both came at the point of time that I have not done anything regretful, or hurtful. But, the gut check does allow me to step back and re-evaluate my place in the situation and how to turn it back to how God intends that situation to be.

I hope anyone reading this has someone in their lives who has the courage and love for them that my wife has. I can't imagine it was easy for her to confront me. But my walk with God, and being the man that I need to be, is so important to her that she knew she had to step in. She is an amazing woman, and I am thankful that she said what she had to. If you do not have that person in your life, I suggest you seek one out. After my relationship to God, my relationship with her is most important.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Little drummer

I hope to, sometime in the near future do a series of posts looking at the many misunderstood ideas, words, etc of Christianity. These will hopefully take a closer look at things like grace, love, joy, meekness, and other such things that have been so misrepresented by both the secular and religious worlds. I am really looking forward to these posts, but thats not what I have for today... I thought it was, but then as I was driving home just now, I was listening to Christmas music, and it really smacked me... my pride is trying to creep back into control of my life.

I hate it when my pride does this, but I also acknowledge that my ego is a formidable beast and will often need strong efforts to keep it at bay. I have been bombarded recently with acts that have stroked said ego. I have also sat front row to some impressive displays of pride from others. As with so many other things in life, its is easiest to despise the characteristic found in another that you most despise within yourself... so what does this have to do with Christmas music?

The little drummer boy, thats what... he totally gets it. He understands the idea of missional living and humble service to his King. The line that truly struck me (I'll refrain from adding the pah-rump-a-pum-pums, but feel free to sing them to yourselves) "I have no gift to bring... that is fit to give a King... Shall I play for you... on my drum?"

He gets it! We have nothing, not one thing, that even begins to crest into the realm of a gift that is fit to give to Christ. We have nothing outside of Jesus, Himself. So, what should we give to Him? Whatever we've got, and all of it! Give completely of ourselves, humbly and completely, to the One who gave it all... realize that it is only by His grace that we have anything! Stop feeling like we are entitled anything... God owes us nothing, yet gives us everything... when we feel like we have been shorted by God, we are slapping the death of Christ right in the face. We are entitled nothing, yet we expect more... I feel I deserve something more than I have... when will I realize that I have all I will ever need?

The drummer boy got it, and he laid it down for Christ... and the baby Prince smiled. When was the last time I made my Lord and Savior smile?