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….
Disclosure: I read the “NYC Taxi Driver” written knick-knack on Facebook. I hate that my critical mind immediately resolves to: “This REEKS of being a chain letter or creative writing”. Nonetheless… real experiences like this do happen AND it is a sweet, short, and thought provoking story.
It’s amazing how incredibly profound simple love, kindness, and consideration can be. It’s also unfortunate how intermittent and scarce it can be throughout our days. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and self-control may not always be easy, but the mechanics are decidedly simple. It merely involves surrendering our hearts, preferences, and lives before God… gosh darn that whole “dying to self” calling thing.
Many small acts of love, care, and kindness in marriage, family, and in seemingly benign daily activities can surely write a wonderfully compelling life story that points to and radiates Christ-likeness. These moments indicate the Holy Spirit’s movement in our lives. They also allow us to experience deeper redemption and sanctification that can bloom into more wholly pursuing and fulfilling the Great Commission in many ways.
Small decisions of love add up. Small decisions change our hearts day by day. Small decisions are acts of surrender and selflessness. Small decisions transform and renew our minds and hearts. Small decisions pave the way for more small decisions. Small decisions allow us to experience the Truth of scripture and promises of Christ.Small decisions increase in magnitude and impact. Small decisions can initiate an unstoppable chain reaction. Small decisions move people and infect community. Small decisions provide a foundation for a powerfully big life story that impacts and create generational legacy. This is our calling, opportunity, and invitations as servants of Christ.
I am a long-time fan of Mark Driscoll (bio here) and the efforts of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington. Pastor Mark and his wife, Grace Driscoll have written a new book on marriage, which is will certainly be great.
The new book is called “Real Marriage: The Truth About Sex, Friendship, and Life Together“. The book is being released on 1/3 (TODAY!), and I’m excited to report the book has skyrocketed to the top of the Barnes & Nobles AND Amazon book sales charts. Not only is a marriage book at the top of the charts… but a CHRISTIAN marriage book! Praise God for all the people and relationships that will be impacted for the name of Christ!
Pastor Mark and Grace Driscoll are real and authentic. They don’t just talk about ideals in a vacuum separated from everyone’s realities… they offer their personal learning experiences and struggles, while grounding everything in scripture. They studied 187 books on marriage and could not find ANY that focused on friendship, so that is a core focus of the book. They also tackle many other very touchy issues.
My current church, Sandals Church, is the only place I have experienced the overwhelming joys and occasional pains of being truly connected and invested in a body of Christ-seeking believers. I can truly say Sandals is my family. Heck, it is hard to be away from our church and small group even for a vacation. Christ’s Church, as beaten, battered, and neglected as it is… is so beautiful and worth the investment. Not to mention… Christ commanded us to be a part of a local Body. If we truly believed in Christ’s resurrection, how could we NOT want to be deeply connected and committed to a Body of believers?
Nonetheless, in reference to the Church and His being reconciled with Christ in Heaven, Pastor Charles referenced the following poem that I thought was very powerfully thought-provoking and poignant…
This post also assumes you who believes in the (not optional) doctrine of heaven and hell. Any teaching that suggests hell is not real, merely an “idea”, does not involve or require Jesus, not something a loving God would allow, etc… is wrong teaching. Hell is real. For anyone that may post a comment to the contrary, I probably will not engage in the conversation.
Truth exists outside of my or your opinions or beliefs. I definitely encourage you to review and pray over the sermon below. There will be many “good people” in hell.
If you and I really believe in hell…