Aug 262017
 

It’s all yours today….

  31 Responses to “Open Blogging”

  1. Yesterday Duane wrote:

    “I will readily admit that there are times that when I read that I’m to love God with my heart, soul and mind and my neighbor as myself, it just seems like one more demand that I cannot fulfill or an unattainable goal.”

    I think most Christians, if honest, would admit to this. We would all love to be a SuperChristian, practicing the presence of God everywhere and at all times. I have found this to be unrealistic for me.

    That lead me to thinking about just normal everyday averages folks who work, raise families, etc. who don’t spend much time thinking about theology or carrying crosses or being disciples or spending hours in prayer each day. Somewhere they heard that God loves them and Jesus died for them and that’s enough.

    Are these folks doomed for eternal punishment? If Jesus forgives us for our sins, does He also forgive us for not being SuperChristians?

  2. Joel,

    In my opinion, it is both. He wants us to be “Super Christians.” On the other hand, He knows we have a long way to go to reach that.

    Hence, the glorious revelations of both Justification (we are now “Super Christians”) and Sanctification (He is yet making us thus). They are both hope giving and encouraging in Christ Jesus.

  3. JoelG,

    The vast majority of our lives are occupied with the mundane and I think that’s part of the created order of things.

    Too often we allow professional religionists (such as myself) to hint that there is a class of the very holy that we should be aspiring to be part of.

    Our faith should color all of our lives…but that is a process, not a completed work here.

  4. When Jesus Christ went to the cross, He took our past, present and future sins and nailed it to the cross. He died and resurrected the third day. By believing what Jesus did on the cross, God Almighty look at us (born again Christian saints) as though we never sin at all. This is called justification.
    But since we are living in a sinful, world we will sin….not willfully. When that happens, confess your sin to God and move on. Confession of sin is a needful practice because in constantly confessing our sin to the Lord, we allow the Holy Spirit to readjust our thinking and set us free. Do I confess sin? Constantly – not to earn forgiveness, but because I want to be free. And each time I confess my sin, I find myself celebrating, saying, “Thank you Lord. As I talk with You about this sin, I’m even more amazed by Your finished work on the Cross of Calvary.
    In 1 Peter 1:16 reads “but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct.” Is God Almighty looking for a “Super Christian.” I really believe He does not. There is no such thing as a “Super Christian.”
    The first step toward keeping clean in a filthy world is to ask, “What does the Bible say?” In the Scriptures, we will find precepts, principles, promises and persons to guide us in today’s decisions. If we are really willing to obey God, He will show us His truth (?John 7:17). We do not study the Bible just to get to know the Bible. We study the Bible that we might get to know God better.

  5. Hi Costco thank you for the response. Maybe it’s just my personality, but when I hear that he wants us to be “super-Christians” (please forgive the term) my first instinct is to roll my eyes and walk out. I haven’t been to church in months and I’m okay with that. I pray here and there. Read this blog. I guess I’ll take my chances on being included with the poor people Jesus said He didn’t know.

  6. Thanks Michael and Melvin. I will stop as you need to rest Michael. I will continue to ponder these things…

  7. JoelG,

    I would humbly suggest to you that you are closer to being “super” than you know.
    You care…about God and people.
    Don’t let the institutional templates others would choose to press upon you define you.
    I think Jesus knows you quite well and loves you more than you know.

    Keep hanging out with us…you have become part of who we are as a community and you’re valued here.

  8. Thank you that is encouraging. I hope you rest well and go eat a big juicy hamburger.

  9. Joel, I totally get where you are coming from.

  10. My $0.02…I don’t like the phrase “super-Christian”…seems to imply that some are better than others in our Lord’s eyes…and I agree with Michael that it is a process. I once had a college roommate that actually said that God loved him more than me. Why? Not sure, but this guy was quite arrogant in his ability to debate people. I am glad our Lord doesn’t look down on my like this guy from college did.

    Oh, and Michael, welcome to the world of those sans a gallbladder…enjoy God’s gift of food now without the fear of the attacks!

  11. Thanks …. Trey called and said he and his grandma are making me some pulled pork… 🙂

  12. I believe that Jesus died to take away the penalty for our sin, not to take away the fact that we sin. 😉

  13. looking back over the 67 years that i have “known” the Lord – the years since my new birth (sorry if i offend someone’s doctrine with that term)… i can’t honestly say that there has been one single day that i have loved the Lord (in the sense of what is of prime importance to me) more than i love my precious self
    (there might have been and i missed it 🙂 )…
    but also looking back over those years what amazes me is that still point in this churning world has always been the God and the salvation of The Book…
    it is alright to question and even to cry in confusion at times – if you are a child of God, He will find you… in due time…
    the key is, IMHO, renewing one’s mind in Christ…
    thinking on Michael’s #3 – what irritates me are all the religious hoops we are urged to jump thru in order to be a more holy person… observances and good deeds etc are ‘good,’ but a healthy soul will produce good fruits all the way from attitude to sacrifices storing up the resultant treasures in heaven (maybe that is spiritual materialism? LOL dunno )

  14. Dan, I hoped you just laughed at that guy. Yikes.

    Thank JD. That’s a hard one to grasp.

    Thank you Em for your wisdom. You are always and encouragement.

  15. Joel

    I think the last quote in my article says it – “A man knows when he has found his vocation when he stops thinking about how to live and begins to live.”

    That’s for all of us… As to “super-Christians”, I may have met some… the secret is, they were humble enough that I wouldn’t have known…

  16. “As to “super-Christians”, I may have met some… the secret is, they were humble enough that I wouldn’t have known…”

    i was sitting here trying to think of a way to say that very thing – thank you

  17. JoelG, thank you… being further down the road here than anyone else, i think i know where some of those suspension damaging potholes are 🙂 but to grow we need good teachers

  18. Yes that’s the irony isn’t it Duane? Complete selflessness. My problem is I think and worry too much. It’s much easier to tell people about God’s mercy and love when the opportunity comes than to accept it and believe it for myself. There’s a sad admission.

  19. “but to grow we need good teachers”

    Indeed. That’s why I’m here. 🙂

  20. Speaking of good teachers, where’s that old bastard, MLD, today?

  21. Mmmmmmmmmm….pulled pork!

    Good eats!

    I think those I consider “super Christians” are the humble ones who don’t stand out or demand that they get the spotlight (huh there goes most mega-church pastors), AND they are the ones who are most open about their frailties- not just to “be real”, but to point to our savior. Some people I used to look up to in the faith are kind of fake because they aren’t transparent.

    Still hate the phrase “super Christian” though.

  22. Who are you calling old?

  23. 🙂 xoxo

  24. Dan,

    Here is where I get the term “SuperChristian”

    http://www.internetmonk.com/archive/no-super-christians

    It’s a very helpful article, I think. I had to give up being part of an outreach that I loved. Since then I’ve been a little confused if it was what the Lord wanted or not. I’ve been focusing on family and kids and work but unsure about my decision. I had to cut relationship short in the outreach, which I feel horrible about. Sometimes it feels like I’m letting God down and then my mind goes to the worst possible conclusions leading to doubts about myself and where I stand with God. I realize this sounds ridiculous coming from someone who should know better.

    So now I’m just doing mundane things and taking a break from church and feeling guilty and posting things on the PP. 🙂

    Pulled pork is a great start to enjoying good food again.

  25. Joel and friends,

    Jesus said:

    “Then turning to the disciples he said privately, ‘Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.’”

    We live in the age of the Gospel, an age that prophets such as Isaiah, and kings such as David, longed for but never saw it come. But when it did come, you see the reaction of Simeon:

    “Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel.”

    And this was simply to the baby Jesus. But in many churches today, do the pastors preach as though everyone is longing for the Gospel? Have we moved on? Is there a new thing which eclipses the Gospel?

    We are blessed with the whole counsel of God. If churches would just hand over God’s grace without all the demands, motivational speeches, programs and growth initiatives, we could enjoy, and should enjoy, the fullness of the Gospel and the kingdom that Jesus brought. He is our justification and sanctification and He alone is making all things new.

    If Jesus wants change in us, He will determine the timing, pace and nature of that change. But the only thing that will motivate us to follow Him is faith in the Gospel – that He has baptized us into His name, forgives our sins and has won for us a gracious Father. The more we believe His promises, the more we accept His righteousness, the more we trust in Him for our futures, then we will naturally share more of ourselves with others.

    Churches create programs and so forth because (a) they want to justify their existence and budgets and (b) they don’t fully trust in Christ’s program. His program is more simple and God-designed: “Come to me, all you who are weary and I will give you rest. Receive from me. In my rest and full of grace, share my love with your family, friends and enemies and tell them that I love them too.”

    Paul gave a 3 tier table of duties in two of his epistles: (1) spouses; (2) parents-children; (3) employers-employees. In these spheres we apply ourselves to the 2nd table of the 10 commandments. Nothing else is demanded. Anything in addition is from pure mercy, and should never be sought or given using guilt.

    I would encourage you to not despair of church and seek a community of faith which grants Jesus the honor of being the giver of gifts. His gifts are what we need to carry on. He died to give us His gifts, so He really wants us to have them.

  26. Thanks JoelG…just read the Imonk article. Agree with Chaplain Mike that, after reading some of Francis Chan’s examples and exhortations, I too feel exhausted. And condemned. Condemned that I am NEVER doing enough for God. To me it basically sounds like a message reserved for 18-25 year olds and the incessant cacophony of “living on the edge” and “extreme for God” messages that are tailored for them.

    You know what it also sounds like? Salvation by works. Ugh.

    A number of years ago I was meeting with an itinerant preacher for a while before he passed away, and he told me that the MAJORITY of believers need to live ordinary lives, because the vast majority of us are ordinary people. For example, who is going to provide for the finances of the so-called “super Christians” that are on the “front lines”?

    Ordinary people, that’s who!

    Let’s go further…if we were to take Chan’s reasoning to it’s illogical extreme, then most Christians should not marry or have children as a spouse and child will interfere with being “sold out to God”.

    I live a mundane life too. I live in the suburbs of Atlanta, GA with a wife, two dogs, and various other animals. I have to vacuum the floor several times a week, go to work most days and come home exhausted and feeling like I have accomplished nothing for God, go to the gym to keep myself from an early death, and have someone mow my lawn for me because of severe back pain. Wife and I miss church a lot because of my job.

    Try as I may, I make my attempt to love my wife according to how Jesus would want me to. I also am able to help people out in ways that I couldn’t if I was to follow Chan’s teachings and try to become a “super Christian”. I know the PP website is not a church, but for me, you, and many others, it is a gathering of those in the Body.

    Peace!

  27. Thank you Jean and Dan. Both are what I needed to hear.

  28. God does for us – we don’t do for God.

  29. Well said MLD.

  30. “If Jesus wants change in us, He will determine the timing, pace and nature of that change.”

    Jean, thanks for this….. if I can remember this one, it will put an end to quite a bit of striving.

  31. back to the subject of the post op feast…
    some folk without their gallbladder experience an unpleasant side effect after enjoying “tasty foods”… they experience an “Immodium event” to put it politely

    http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-blog/gallbladder-removal-diet/bgp-20056135

    pray that Michael is not one of those folk, if he’s enjoying his pulled pork feast tonight

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