Diligent Christianity

12 10 2006

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I remember being in Basic Training for the Air Force and upon hearing the Training Instructor (TI) bark out the infamous “Attention!” everyone snapped to the position of attention, with their eyes peeled, head forward and just waiting to get busy zealously doing whatever it was the TI was about to command. Upon giving his instructions he would always tell us to work diligently and pay attention to detail.

In our Bibles we find the word ‘diligent’ attached to important commands as well. God is concerned with his children’s spiritual work ethic as well as what is accomplished. The word translated ‘diligent’ is the Greek word spoudazo (another Gk. word that is fun to say). It has the basic meaning of earnest and eager exertion.

God calls his children to be diligent in many areas. I want to highlight three here.

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Charnock on Sin

15 09 2006

charnck.jpg“How sinful is sin that God must bleed to cure it?!” (Stephen Charnock)





How LOST encourages me to be more impressed with Jesus

7 09 2006

lost.jpgMy wife and I have recently been enjoying the television show LOST. We finished up season one last week and are now working our way through season two. One of the more compelling themes that the writers are continually emphasizing is the selfless personal sacrifice that is not motivated by greed but rather love and friendship.

The castaways are not related and are in reality strangers until the plane goes down. This common experience has bonded the group together into what is now resembling a fairly functional family (at least as far as I am in the viewing).

There is a bit of an unwritten expectation on the show that the castaways are going to have one another’s back, even being willing to suffer and die for them.

This theme has caused me to better appreciate and esteem my Savior.

With Jesus there is no expectation or obligation to intervene, protect or rescue sinners from their peril. In fact, the picture that the gospel portrays for us is not one of family but of enemies. Being unregenerate I am not on Jesus’ team but against him, I am his opponent. To use the LOST terminology as an unbeliever I am one of the “others”.

Jesus did not come to save friends and family but rebels and enemies. As Ephesians 2 tells us we were “children of wrath”. My family tree goes back to the garden and I am an offspring of sin sitting under the stern and justified anger of holy omnipotence. We were actively seeking to steal God’s glory, defame his character and userp his will. Sinners are not lovely but ugly. But note this Christian, your ugliness magnifies your Savior’s beauty. Listen to Romans 5.6:

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus is a better Savior than we believe him to be. He does not sacrifice for and save friends but enemies. Our Father’s love is demonstrated and amplified by our own sinfulness.

When I watch LOST I am caught up in the drama that surrounds castaways and their subsequent sacrifice for one another in the name of brotherly fidelity and survival. But when I listen to the words of the gospel I am confronted with my sin and rebellion along with the justice, holiness, grace, mercy and love of my Savior. It is this truth that is to captivate the heart of those born of heaven more than any story on television.

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particular encouragement from particular grace

27 08 2006

and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and love which are found in Christ Jesus. (1 Tim. 1.14)

This morning in preparing to go to worship with my family I was struck by the divine influence that was exerted to make worshippers. Specifically, I was struck with the reality that the fickle crowd that worshipped Jesus in pretense as he approached Jerusalem only to find no need for him and request his death a few hours later.

We are these fickle folks are we not? Left onto ourselves, devoid of saving grace, we are esteeming Jesus as smitten, unsightly and unworthy of our worship.

However, God, in his infinite and beautiful grace has poured out particular grace to his enemies to make worshippers! This is glorious. Left unto ourselves we judge Jesus as an inconvenience and a bother. But lavished by grace we see Jesus as the prince of heaven, the only one with the words of eternal life, the glorious and only redeemer of mankind, the heaven sent Savior who alone can and would satisfy divine wrath.

Take some time today to thank God for his grace. For consider how you would view Jesus if it was not savingly applied.

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