I hope everyone had a wonderful thanksgiving (check my previous post as one way to prepare for tomorrow). Here are the quotes from last week’s sermon. I hope this provides us an opportunity to dwell on the gospel and prepare our hearts for tomorrow where we will be meditating on 1 Corinthians 3:18-4:5.
The gospel is not just something we need at conversion so we can spend the rest of our life obsessed with our performance.
Moralism says, “Our performance leads to rescue.” The gospel says, “Our rescue leads to our performance.”
The gospel tells us no amount of good work on our part can force God’s favor and no amount of bad work on our part can forfeit God’s favor.
– Tullian Tchividjian
Tomorrow we also begin the advent the season.
Loving his first coming and looking forward to his second coming with you
Remember Jesus Christ over the Holidays. I am so tempted personally to get selfish over the holidays. The time that is meant for thanksgiving to God, I make about me. I am tempted to want to serve less, think about my needs more, and to associate rest with gorging myself with food and TV. I thank God for holidays. They are much needed for time with family and friends, naps, reading good books, playing games, watching sports or a movie or a myriad of other things we find enjoyable. But in all our leisure we can’t forget Jesus. Signs that we have forgotten Jesus over the holidays is when we don’t serve others; we get angry easier at others because our plans aren’t working out (Holidays are notorious for anger associated with unexpressed yet unmet expectations); we begin to think more about getting than giving (Husbands help lead your family to think about how this holiday season can be more about giving than receiving). Other signs that we have forgotten Jesus is that we give ourselves license to sin- overeating, overspending, neglecting responsibility especially in the home; we also forget to proclaim the gospel in our homes and to others we come in contact with (don’t forget to act like Jesus especially on Black Friday. Whew that day can be rough). The sad thing is that I can make this list and more because I have done them all. So I write not only to caution your heart but mine. What prompts this blog is the sad wandering of my own heart. Even as I try to finish my work-week, I am looking so forward to “the holidays” that I feel the gravitational pull to forget Jesus.
The great news of the gospel is that we aren’t left as orphans. Our heavenly Father has given us his Spirit promising that we can walk in joy-filled hope and obedience this holiday season. “If God did not spare his Son but gave him over for us all, how will he not also in Him graciously give us all things” (Romans 8:32). “His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,…” (2 Peter 1:3). Therefore if he has given his Son for us he will give us everything we need not to forget Jesus. If he can raise Christ from the dead, he can deliver on His promises to produce his fruit in our lives.
So friends take these days that God has given, whether you have several days off of work or none off, to remember Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:8). Remember to show genuine concern for others, especially if you are spending time with family that you never see. Pray for ways to get to the gospel and to express how God is at work in your life. Remember to love those that are closest to you. We can get so relaxed that we become self-absorbed and forget to love, in word and deed, those we love most. If you have holiday traditions, don’t give into the temptations of the devil to forget Jesus. Express thanksgiving to God throughout the holidays, not just at the thanksgiving dinner table. If you put up the Christmas tree (which we do every day after thanksgiving) don’t get mad at the Christmas lights which always seem to get tangled or go out or are too bunched in one part of the tree or get knotted up by the kids, etc. (You can tell that is a potential point of tension for me). Make it your mission to lead out in joy. Be on your guard and even if everyone around you is choosing to be sour, you can choose joy by the Spirit. Be thankful. And Remember Jesus Christ. Make the most of these days because the days are evil and the evil one will try to cut you down with his fiery darts of self-pity, discouragement, materialism, or self-absorption. I am praying that God rescues us from Christless rest and makes us mindful of mission over the holidays. Have a great time over these next few days enjoying Jesus, lovingly pursuing others like he did you and me. He pursued us in our sinfulness all the way to the cross. So this holiday season Remember Jesus Christ.
Here are some quotes and scriptures from Sunday’s sermon in 1 Cor 3:1-15 that will hopefully fuel us as we pray for our vision of God to grow and our love for others to get larger. (cf. 2 Cor. 5:17-20; James 3:14-16)
Robert Murray McCheyne, “It is not great talents God blesses so much as great likeness to Jesus”
“Infants in Christ” are those who “want nothing more than another round of choruses and a “simple message”- something that won’t challenge them to think, to examine their lives, to make choices, and to grow in their knowledge and adoration of the living God.”- DA Carson, The Cross and Christian Ministry, p72.
But you are forfeiting the feast God has for you when you choose foolish paths based upon the world’s wisdom- when you choose money or significance rather then church and mission, retirement of ease rather than risk for love, knowing without loving rather than knowing that leads to love, jealousy rather than celebration at what God has done and how he uses other people.
In addressing how followers of Jesus should care for those brand new in the faith, Spurgeon says, “…we must be doubly kind towards those who are newly escaped from the world, and have come to find refuge with the Almighty and His people. Watch with ceaseless care over those new-born babes who are strong in desires, but strong in nothing else. They have but just crept out of darkness, and their eyes can scarcely bear the light; let us be a shade to them until they grow accustomed to the blaze of the gospel day. Addict yourselves to the holy work of caring for the feeble and despondent…” C.H. Spurgeon- Come Ye Little Children, p8
We need a healthy dose of humility and swift kick in the rear end where we are more proud of our teacher or that we have rubbed elbows with someone famous then that God is our King, Christ is our Savior and His Spirit takes up residence within us.
Our theology is meant to flatten us. Salvation is designed in a way to cut the legs out from all boasting. It is about smashing human pride.- John Piper
Get you a theology with God so massively at the center that it would never occur to you to put yourself there. – John Piper
Lord Jesus, you became what you were not, that I might become what I was not.~ Martin Luther
We need a calling, a dream, a vision that if God doesn’t show up it will crush us- Steve Childers
God make me one who wants You to do Your Thing through me- Tom Woods
I woke up this morning with words bombarding my head from the accuser (Zech. 3:1-5). You know it is the accuser when he is reminding you about your mistakes and failures rather than of Christ and His righteousness. You know the accuser is throwing darts at you when you’re focused more on yourself and your deficiencies than on Jesus’ death in your place, his performance on your behalf, and his power over sin and death. The devil delights in being the accuser because if he can get us inward, we are paralyzed from being outward. When we stop and listen to the accuser and dwell on his message, our joy is diminished and we are distracted from God, His grace, His glory and His mission. This morning at 5:44am I was being opposed and harassed, but I was lifted up by the gospel that promises me the accuser is defeated (Hebrews 2:14-15). So today, “Remember Jesus Christ” (2 Tim 2:8) and choose to know and be about nothing except Christ and him crucified. (1 Cor 2:2).
Not living in defeat because the accuser is defeated.