Friday, May 18, 2007

Fruits of the Spirit

"A perfect man would not consider it a duty to be good, but a pleasure."

I have been reading samples of some of John Pipers book at his site

So far, he has described my experience of God revealing Himself to me and finding my joy in Him, rather than sin. And from that taste I had of God, it kept my seeking Him. That was my repentance. I gave up sin because I found a new and better way to have joy. I never understood how people could love God and hate sin, until He let me taste the joy that comes from being in His presence and seeing Him clearly. I don't think I say that to be prideful, because I didn't "find God". He found me. Ever since He gave me that taste of Himself, I searched for Him which eventually lead to a knowledge of Jesus Christ and what He did by Him dying on a cross and being raised from the dead on the third day. And here I am now...My job is to strive to see God clearly and to know Him. To know Him is to love Him. Seeing God's beauty creates faith, love, joy, boldness, zeal and repentance. These are fruits of the Spirit. I'm learning that seeking to have faith in God is wrong. Seeking to love God is also wrong. Looking to love other people is wrong. We don't look for faith, love and good works. We look for God and then faith, love and good works come out. I'm only writing this to get a clearer understanding of what I'm learning and hopefully someone will read it and understand and look for God for themselves.

Anyway, this part of the book is what lead me to that conclusion:

God will be glorified both by the intensity of the present delight
that we have in his beauty and by the intensity of the desires we have
for more revelation of his fullness. The present pleasures will waken
ever fresh desires, and the desires will signal ever greater future pleasures.
Pleasures will be perfectly desired, and the desires will be perfectly
What we experience here in this fallen age is a partial reflection of
that. This is what we are moving toward. It is not yet here. We know
that all too painfully. But our calling here is to fight for joy—ours and
the joy of all peoples through Jesus Christ. The aim is that God’s
worth—his infinite desirability—be known and prized and praised in all
the world. This is what we mean by God being glorified. He is most glorified
in and through his people when we are most satisfied in him. The
intensity of our pleasure and our desire bear witness of his worth to the
world, especially when we are freed by this (present and hoped for) pleasure
to leave the pleasures of this world for a life of sacrifice and love
for others.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Taking A Step Backwards

I've realized something about myself that I didn't even know. I am religious. I mean, I'm guilty of having sound doctrine, but being a jerk and beating people over the head with that doctrine, trying to get them to experience what I am experiencing. Trying to get people to follow Jesus. It is such a relief not to have to preach the whole Romans Road to Salvation in an orderly presentation. Instead, I am learning that Jesus wants me to be a friend to people as He was when He was here. I'm no better than anyone else..and while I've said that before and known it, I didn't live like I believed it. It is a process of renewing my mind and learning what it means to fully deny self.

I had to send a message to a very good friend of mine to apologize for forcing doctrine on him and treating my own friend like he was contaminated and I needed to clean him up or something. And that was based out of my own insecurity. The reason Christians act holier than thou (for my part anyway) is because they are afraid of falling back into their old ways. They tend to put more faith in satan causing them to fall than in God to hold them up. I've been a hypocrite. I have been saying that I am no better than anyone else, but living like a pharisee in some of my attitudes. I am guilty of being religious without even knowing it. The more I read the gospels, the more I realize Jesus didn't draw people to Himself with doctrine, but with Himself. He was simply a friend to people. He wasn't worried about people sinning, since they had already done that. He wanted people to love Him. He came to restore relationship with His creation.

Whenever you think "I've got it", God reveals more to you. Sometimes its painful, because it takes some unlearning. It takes being put under His light to see how dirty you are. But after the scrubbing is done, you feel brand new.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

She Freaks

I was browsing around online for job listings and I eventually came to a job for a janitor at Rock Hill High School..and I day dreamed for a little while (as a matter of fact, I still am) ...I thought about how I cool it would be for me to become a custodian. I honestly would love that job...Though it would probably be tough for me to find a wife with a career as a school maid, cleaning up after kids younger than myself, but towering over me, making fun of me because I bring my Bible to work. I can see myself listening to Celtic Hymns and 80's pop on my ipod during lunch in the cafeteria, having a bologna and mayonnaise sandwich and a bottle of aquafina. I would love to be in a position like that...I would have a chance to share Christ with lots of people.

I remember wanting to be a professional wrestler, a rockstar and spiderman growing up. Now I want to be a janitor. I also said I would never like tomato's. I find myself getting them on every sandwich I order from Subway and Quizno's now. Freaky.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

True In My Own Life

Cure for Envy

Let not thine heart envy sinners: but be thou in the fear of the Lord all the day long. For surely there is an end; and thine expectation shall not be cast off. (Proverbs 23:17-18)

When we see the wicked prosper we are apt to envy them. When we hear the noise of their mirth and our own spirit is heavy, we half think that they have the best of it. This is foolish and sinful. If we knew them better, and specially if we remembered their end, we should pity them.

The cure for envy lies in living under a constant sense of the divine presence, worshiping God and communing with Him all the day long, however long the day may seem. True religion lifts the soul into a higher region, where the judgment becomes more clear and the desires are more elevated. The more of heaven there is in our lives, the less of earth we shall covet. The fear of God casts out envy of men.

The deathblow of envy is a calm consideration of the future. The wealth and glory of the ungodly are a vain show. This pompous appearance flashes out for an hour and then is extinguished. What is the prosperous sinner the better for his prosperity when judgment overtakes him? As for the godly man, his end is peace and blessedness, and none can rob him of his joy; wherefore, let him forgo envy and be filled with sweet content. - Charles H. Spurgeon