Saturday, November 28, 2009

Ramblings from a Sinner

"For no one can ever be made right in God's sight by doing what his law commands. For the more we know God's law, the clearer it becomes that we aren't obeying it."
Romans 3:20

I've never been a patient person. This fact was reinforced the other night when my sister was trying to teach me how to crochet- a skill that takes a little time, some practice, and tons of patience. After about 10 minutes of making an awkward looking run of stitches, I turned to Amanda and informed her that I was over it. I guess my friends will be getting some other type of homemade gift this year- probably not crocheted scarves.

How easy would it be to read this verse in Romans and then basically through your hands up and resign to "throwing in the towel" on living a righteous life? As a follow of Christ it is our desire to please God, to live a life that is honoring to Him and absent of sin. We are taught that sin pushes us farther away from God, and that the purpose of the Law is to reveal sin so that we don't have any excuses about not understanding what sin is (see Rom. 3:19). With those things in mind our attention must then turn to following the Law in an effort to please God and be free from sin. Okay, so good, so far. But then comes verse 20 that just smacks you between the eyes! What- even when I follow God's commands, I still can't please Him?! Then I give up! A little bit of a quitter am I- well maybe (see crocheting, guitar, exercising, softball, basically a long list of things that require patience that I have tried in the past...) . So what is a sinner to do?

“How difficult it is to be honest, to accept that I am unacceptable, to renounce self-justification, to give up the pretense that my prayers, spiritual insight, tithing, and successes in ministry have made me pleasing to God! No antecedent beauty enamors me in His eyes. I am lovable only because He loves me.” Brennan Manning- The Ragamuffin Gospel

Lately I have become aware of a particular area of my life that is not honoring God. Not that we can separate our lives into chunks, this part honoring God and this part living for the world, but this particular part of my life was infecting the rest. I tried to justify it, reason with it, convince myself that it was okay- but in reality, it was not. Reading Romans, this particular section, has made me aware of my need to understand the Law in order to live in accordance with God's commands. I want to please Him. I want, when I pray that my life may glorify Him, I want then my actions to match that. And yet I know that unless my heart is sold out to Christ, I can never truly honor Him, and even when I am sold out to Christ, I will still fall short. How amazing does that make grace look.

I'm reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan. Each chapter convicts me and yet keeps pointing me back to my Creator who loves me intimately with a love that I will never experience here on this earth. Why wouldn't I want to fall in love with Him? Why wouldn't I want to seek His face and drink in His beauty?

So what is the point of these ramblings- well let's look.
1. I must seek God and His Law. I must be aware of the life He has commanded me to live. I desire to be obedient to Him and His call on my life. To do that I must to be entrenched in His word and praying for wisdom and discernment with every word I read.
2. I must reflect on my path towards obedience. I must be aware of those areas of my life that are not glorifying to Him and not simply brush over them when life gets too busy (I know God just laughed at my "too busy" phrase. Sorry God...)
3. I must extend grace. I know that I am able to live and breathe and experience life because of the grace Christ extends me and I must be a picture of that on this earth.

Lord Jesus help me fall more in love with you each day. Help me to live the life you have created me to live. Mold me into the person you have already created me to be. Teach me what love really is. Amen.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I was reading my mentor book today and I got to the chapter on addressing conflict with a mentee. It was interesting that this was the chapter I was on as I have been having some struggles with a few officers. Sometimes, okay far too often than I would like, I find myself desiring to take the easy road as opposed to the one that involves conflict, or as the author put, correction. I highlighted several things in the chapter, but one part really jumped out to me, and to paraphrase, it said that anyone that mentors, and cares about their mentee, must love truth.

Gosh truth can be hard. I went to scripture to try to find some encouraging word and this is what I found when I typed truth into the seach. Do you know how often Jesus said "I tell you the truth"? A LOT! On one page I counted at least 15 pieces of scripture where Jesus starts that way. It got me to thinking- that if Jesus is love, the purest, simpliest, most profound love and the route of all love- then how important is it if we love people to tell them the truth?

Does this make it any easier? Nope. Does it make me excited tomorrow to go to school and push myself to speak truth, even when it is 10x easier to walk away. Nope. Does it make my heart rush to seek out truth in my own life? Not so much. Is there a way that I can speak truth that will make it easier? I'm not sure. In going back to one of the most famous pieces of scripture in the Bible maybe I find a little something to help me in my quest to seek truth.

"I am the way and the truth and the life..." I know that Jesus is the only way. I know that apart from Him I can do no good on my own. I know that He is life- the giver of eternal life both here and in heaven. If I desire to live His way and be given new life in Him I must recognize that speaking and seeking truth is part of that.

Lord Jesus help me seek truth. Help me see truth. Help me be truth. Help me live your truth. Because you love me, I desire to honor You.