Tuesday, 18 November 2008
Going away... and coming back
So, I just got back from an unbelievably good weekend away with guys from CU- at a big house outside Reading- a weekend full of spending a lot of time studying God's Word, praying, spending time with brothers and sisters of the faith, worshipping, walking in the country and still other activities which sound stuffy and boring, but which in actuality have left me more refreshed and challenged than i could ever have expected. We studied the book of Jonah in some depth over the three days, and i was struck with how much deeper the story is than i remember from sunday school. We looked at our motivation for evangelism, and the way we are enabled to do it- 2Cor4- it is not us. It is ALL down to God, and we are just the vessels. We discovered anew the God of Grace who saved us- something that left me broken at the realisation of how much Christ has done.
Several points of thought from the weekend--
Why did God flood the earth in the time of Noah?
-- To prove to sociologists that if you remove all the "bad people" from the earth in one cataclysmic event- if you wipe out all sin on the planet, if you start again with the only six righteous people on the face of the earth-- You will still not solve the problem of sin. Sin is a disease, invisible, and much much more serious than paralysis (see mark 2)
Cutting off the hand might prevent repeat offenses of stealing, pulling out your eye might prevent you from looking lustfully at a woman- but sin is a matter of the heart. So to solve it you have to cut out your heart. In order to prevent repeat offences, you have to die. You have to die to everything that makes you human in order to be made new- the life i now live in the body i live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself up for me. I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing.
I can only live by grace, as there is nothing within me capable of attaining salvation for myself. I am wholly lost and in outright rebellion to God and His authority- I am an enemy of God and all that He is- But when I accept Jesus, I die to sin. I am no longer in the dominion of sin, of darkness, a slave to evil- I have become a slave to righteousness, and the recognition of this phenomenal mercy that makes me alive with Christ overwhelms me. I now subsequently and naturally should and will spend my life in learning more of this Jesus, the source of all light and life, the one who has brought me out of darkness and into His kingdom.
And with the dscovery of just what I have been saved from, how can i not see my friends differently? How can i refuse to notice that they have a one-way ticket to oblivion and seperation for eternity? The people around me who I claim to love are in outright rebellion to the King, and unaware of their status- And I may be the only Jesus that they will ever know. How can i sit still? Jesus, give me perspective! Please don't let me carry on this apathetic reluctance, or valuing others' opinions more highly than yours- Break my heart for what breaks yours, Jesus, and don't leave me alone until I do something about it.