I know I have not posted in a while. First, my lovely wife was pregnant with our first child… now we have a newborn! Ay ay ay, I have had great difficulty figuring out how to verbalize the depth and quantity of thoughts during all of this into blog posts. I will definitely be adding many of these thoughts in the coming weeks and months.
Today at church, our worship team introduced a new song during worship. The song is entitled “You Are More” by Tenth Avenue. The words below from the song really touched me and have been resounding in my head all day. The bottom of this post contains the complete lyrics and a the music video.
You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create,
You’ve been remade.
‘Cause this is not about what you’ve done,
But what’s been done for you.
This is not about where you’ve been,
But where your brokenness brings you to
This is not about what you feel,
But what He felt to forgive you,
And what He felt to make you loved.
I thought this would be a fitting way to start your week… with a focus on who you are as a son or daughter of God and co-heir with the risen Jesus Christ. Below are some reminders of who you are in Christ. As you read this list… remember, this is true of others as well. How is your heart impacted as you look at your spouse, friends, and enemies through the lens of these truths?
Who you are in Christ… you are MORE….
The discussion of the spiritual discipline of “celebration” is quite confrontational and deep. We celebrate what we intrinsically value. If we look at our discipline(s) in life and/or lack thereof… it might actually point to an unsettling reality that we do not value with our actions what we profess to value with our words.
As you look at your daily life, what do your actions show you celebrate and deeply value? How often do you celebrate your comforts, preferences, or freedoms instead of celebrating Christ for what He accomplished on the cross? Do you celebrate yourself? Are you worthy of being celebrated? Are the things, people, or ambitions you celebrate worthy of your adoration?
Our small group is currently exploring the various spiritual disciplines. Tonight we discussed the disciplines of celebration and gratitude. I thought I would quickly post notes on celebration from the books we are going through. The books are Celebration of Discipline: The Path to Spiritual Growth by Richard Foster and Spiritual Disciplines Handbook: Practices that Transform Us by Adele Calhoun. The content in this post is referenced and adapted from those books.
There are a variety of ways to practice celebration. Unfortunately, most of us confine celebration to church gatherings, corporate worship, singing in the car, and occasional parties. The longest book in the Bible, Psalms, is a collection of celebratory art in the form of poetry. Sometimes the Psalms are filled with God-glorifying and focused joy and celebration… other times they are filled with depravity, lament, complaining, whining, and frustration. We need to stretch and challenge our understanding, experience, and practice of celebration! Celebration erupts out of our adoration of Jesus.
Joy is the end result of the spiritual disciplines being a reality in our lives and devotion to Christ. God brings about the transformation of our lives through the Holy Spirit and the disciplines… and we only know true joy as the Holy Spirit transforms and cleans us from the inside out. Holy Spirit transformation causes us to radiate in and from the Spirit, show abundant love, sanctifies us, grows our understanding and giving of grace, and molds us into Christlikeness.
The Gospel and the Bible are so challenging… yet so simple. It is truly incredible that short or common passages constantly speak the same Truths throughout centuries… to you, me, and others in different ways.
In a recent small group we were led to explore and pray through the following passages. We only had ~15 minutes to pray and journal, but I feel God really illuminated scripture to me and impressed his Truth, love, and sacrifice on my heart in that short period of time.
This post simply contains a selection of Bible verses on love. Read them. Pray through them. Experience them only in and through Christ. Share the verses with your spouse. Live the verses with your family and church.
Pray that the Holy Spirit reveal truth to you from these scriptures and they will manifest daily in your life as you submit to and pursue Christ. Christ is the only way to the Father. ‘
Read through this a few times over the weekend…
Pursue and serve your spouse. […]
The title of this blog is actually kind of silly… there are well over 750,000 words in the Bible. Every one is important because each has been intentionally placed by and delivered from the Creator of the Universe as a gift to humanity.
One of the most amazing aspects of the Good Book is how you can read something many times and never catch anything “big”. It is also incredible how a few seemingly insignificant words embody and suggest so much about both our struggle with the flesh and our relationships with the world, others, and Christ.
Earlier this week I read through James. The close of Chapter 1 has six simple words that have been resounding in my mind and heart all week like low and overwhelmingly powerful hum of a gong in a symphonic performance. Who knows how many times I have read this and never thought twice about it. […]
In the bubble of Christianity, it is inexplicably easy to get “overwhelmed” with internal theological or apologetic debate. Dissecting scripture to find “objective truth” is sometimes difficult as we try to understand and “pin down” the lines we should not cross. We question whether or not certain actions, activities, or choices are OK, and try to define (and sometimes wiggle into or out of) the black, white, and gray areas.
Most of us most of us know plenty about the Bible and Christ. What if all someone knew were these words from Christ: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” (Luke 10:27). Imagine what the world would look like if we stopped reading the Bible and simply lived out only the stuff we already know. […]