Living in personal truth.
One of the most wonderful things about being in a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ is the grace that we live in.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36, TNIV)
Sometimes people have a hard time understanding the nature of the grace relationship that we live in.
When we come to Christ, we do so based on our awareness of our sin and our need for salvation.
Erwin McManus pastor of Mosaic ‘churches overplay the Hell card. Should focus on the abundant life part. Need to earn the right to be heard with the creative types, power players, etc.”
I think he is treading on some dangerous ground. While I agree with some of what he says and that we don’t stand in people’s faces yelling about going to Hell. I think his approach circumvents the cross.
Only those aware of their sin, sense their awareness of a need for a savior.
To approach people and say in essence, “I know you have a really great life, but if you sprinkle a little Jesus on that life it will make it so much more satisfying,” is to cut out the very heart of the Gospel.
Now those who come to Christ and receive that forgiveness that comes by His grace alone, can after time begin to feel bad about things done in the past that have already been forgiven.
Even though they are still aware of their past as is everyone who has known them, they don’t yet realize that though the enemy tries to torment them, God has utterly and completely removed every stain, every act of rebellion, every lust-filled and broken action.
God is the giver of new names. SaulPaul, SimonPeter
Act of faith to see yourself and to live life based upon what God says about you. Living in Truth is living in God’s truth and understanding that you’ve been redefined.
Also essential to living true is to understand that you are becoming
Say “I am becoming”
Becoming = process. Not there yet. Truth means understanding that you needed God’s grace at salvation and you still need it today and you will always need it until we see Him. “I am becoming” A Revolutionary church is filled with people who are living in the truth of God’s view of themselves and know they are “becoming” 20 years or 20 days… “becoming.”
Perils of self-deception
The antithesis to a life lived in truth is self-deception. You know you can lie to yourself?
“Do not deceive yourselves. If any of you think you are wise by the standards of this age, you should become “fools” so that you may become wise. (1 Corinthians 3:18, TNIV)
“Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. (James 1:22, TNIV)
Self-deception is rebelling against God while trying to redefine your own self according to your thoughts. You become a god unto yourself.
Well, I know the Bible says it’s wrong to lie, but if it doesn’t hurt anyone it’s fine.
I know what the Bible says regarding my sexuality, but this is the 21st century, no one lives like that anymore. God made me with these urges.
I know I made a covenant promise to God and my spouse, but God wants me to be happy…
You can coach yourself right out of the will of God and justify just about anything as being righteous.
A life lived in truth means that you are learning, searching and growing in your understanding of God’s word that you might greater orient your life to His plan, rather than shredding the Word of God and trying to stitch it back together in a way that better fits your view of things.
“You are God, I am not.”
A life that authentically reflects Christ.
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. (Colossians 4:2–6, TNIV)
In studying this particular passage I tried to see if there was a different term than “outsiders” that would still be faithful to the Greek. It sounded a little to clique-ish…too us vs them. However, it says what it says and I think the important stressing of this word is the fact that there are those living IN the Kingdom of God through the work of Jesus and there are those living OUTSIDE the Kingdom of God still children of wrath, still not “IN Christ” and are therefore doomed to an eternity in Hell. And it is therefore the words of Paul that follow this to “make the most of every opportunity.” Embrace wise living because people are watching you, and any chance you get to point people to the cross of Jesus, any slight opening you sense…seize it!
There really is an “us” and a “them.” It does not in any way make us better or elitists, because we did absolutely nothing to earn it. We are simply willing recipients of something God did wholly apart from our merits or lack thereof. So when I have in the past seen some Christians looking down upon others with some sense of superiority simply because Jesus lifted them out of the slop and brokenness of their own life…it sickens me a bit. We are called to serve the broken; to invite. If we have been blessed it is in order for us to be a blessing.
You know I had a conversation with someone this week.
Neighbors. “born again” always coming off preachy. They will know us by our love…not by our tracts, not by our words,
As I said last week we are facing a nation of cynics. Words are still necessary, but cannot stand alone.
Be normal…but missional normal.
Last night. TP. Having fun. Yet everyone knows that I am a Christian. My life doesn’t contradict that.
Bumper Sticker “not perfect just forgiven” But is that really all there is?
Leaving excuses behind.
How’s your witness? (define witness)
There’s been a lot of focus in the last few years on our freedoms as a Christian. People start asking “where does it say in the Bible that I can’t specifically do ‘this’ or say ‘this’?” They are not searching Scripture in order to be more like Jesus or more effective in their witness, they’re looking for loopholes for their sinful nature.
You know who starts talking like this? Christians who do nothing but hang around other Christians.
Paul who wrote the manual on how to live free continually restrained himself in order that his witness to others would not be compromised.
“Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. (Colossians 4:5, ESV)
Walk in wisdom
Just because you have the right to do something doesn’t make it righteous.
Plenty of counsel in the NT about having concern for other people and their perception of what’s right…with the emphasis upon making sure we choose to do what is MOST right for the sake of the Gospel.
Qualificaitons for leadership in the church. Responsibility. Not to the point of bondage, but certainly to the point where we sacrifice for the sake of others.
Redeeming the Moment
“Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. (Colossians 4:5, NKJV)
Bringing God’s Kingdom into a moment. An opportunity is nothing if not seized. Potential is nothing but an empty promise of what could be, if never realized.
Healing, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, prophesying,