Ask Hard Questions

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I know who God wants me to be. It’s called ‘vision.’  Prayerfully, I evaluate progress or lack thereof, with the goal of growing in grace. Then, too, every now and then someone lovingly reminds me of some place where I am inconsistent in my profession of faith and my practice of it. This morning I want to encourage you to become purposeful in spiritual growth.

Progress comes, not by drifting day to day, but by asking hard questions that allow us to evaluate. Physically, I need to keep track of my weight, my blood pressure, my heart rate – all indicators of health. Financially, I must balance the checkbook and determine if I am keeping spending in line with income.  Relationally, I must be aware if I am regularly loving people, careful not to take them for granted. Ignorance is not bliss for those who desire God’s best.

Clear vision and hard questions are important. Take a lesson from the directions give to us for approaching the Lord’s Table. God desires honest reflection. “You should examine yourself before eating the bread and drinking from the cup. For if you eat the bread or drink the cup unworthily, not honoring the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself.” (1 Corinthians 11:28-29, NLT)

  • What kind of person do I want to be  . . .  does God want me to be?
  • Am I living a Christ-centered, loving, encouraging, hopeful, joyful life that glorifies Him and extends His love to others?
  • Am I content to be self-absorbed, pleasure-obsessed, critical, and mean – a parasite who drains life from others?

Hard questions, aren’t they? Most of us are somewhere between those extremes. We have days when the sinful nature takes over and we are full of darkness and we have days when the Spirit is invited to fill us.  But, we are always moving towards light if we are keeping step with the Holy Spirit.

Stable, joyful, holy Christians live in faith that is practically applied and expressed in regular engagement with the spiritual disciplines. The change produced by daily prayer and meditation, by actively expressing worship, by confession of failure and acceptance of forgiveness, by entering into silence to listen to the Spirit, by giving even when we do not wish to do so, by choosing anonymous service in big and small ways, by learning and applying Scriptural principles;  is sure and certain – yet, incremental!

Ah, remember this – the goal of the disciplines is not to save ourselves. God does that, perfectly! They are the means by which we enter into His grace so that we grow into healthy, mature, effective disciples.

I want to be the person the Lord designed me to be.  So, I will live as this word from the Word teaches.  “I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experience his resurrection power, be a partner in his suffering, and go all the way with him to death itself. If there was any way to get in on the resurrection from the dead, I wanted to do it. I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. But I am well on my way, reaching out for Christ, who has so wondrously reached out for me. Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this, but I’ve got my eye on the goal, where God is beckoning us onward—to Jesus. I’m off and running, and I’m not turning back.” (Philippians 3:10-14, The Message)

Gain God’s vision for you. Ask hard questions. And then, together, let’s get on with it, encouraging one another, becoming all that Christ desires us to be.

The word from the Word today assures us that we can become all that God wants us to be. “As we know Jesus better, his divine power gives us everything we need for living a godly life. He has called us to receive his own glory and goodness! And by that same mighty power, he has given us all of his rich and wonderful promises. He has promised that you will escape the decadence all around you caused by evil desires and that you will share in his divine nature.” (2 Peter 1:3-4, NLT)

__________

We Fall Down

(meditate for a moment with the song by Chris Tomlin)

We fall down
We lay our crowns
At the feet of Jesus
The greatness of mercy and love
At the feet of Jesus

 And we cry holy holy holy
And we cry holy holy holy
And we cry holy holy holy is the Lamb

Chris Tomlin © 1998 worshiptogether.com songs (Admin. by Capitol CMG Publishing)

CCLI License # 810055

 

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