Monday, March 19, 2012
Another Look at Works Righteousness
Disasters, like funerals, come without consulting our calendars or comfort zones.
Preparation precedes response.
If we're not prepared before disasters come, we won't be, uh, prepared to respond immediately.
People who are suffering from disasters need help immediately.
Disasters don't respect our penchant for procrastination; and people suffer more as we meet, study, consult, and take sooooooo much time to verbalize concern about their suffering.
Talk is cheap in the immediate aftermath of disasters.
That's probably why an old missionary once said, "A life lived for Jesus speaks louder than any verbal testimony."
I know some folks have problems with James' insistence on deeds proving creeds; but reading those red letters in the Bible more than reading about 'em compels righteousness confirmed by works.
The calls of Abraham and those first century disciples of Jesus come to mind.
"The Lord said to Abraham, 'Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you'...So Abraham left as the Lord told him."
"'Come, follow Me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.'...And immediately they left their nets and followed Him."
God called; and they left immediately.
No courses, conferences, or workshops.
And His story aka history shows they were blessed for blessing Him by blessing His.
Tony told me about taking his son Bart to Haiti on a mission trip and warned, "If any of the children ask you for money, don't give any to them; or they'll just keep asking you for more and more and more and..."
With a puzzled look on his face, Bart said more than asked, "So?"
Tony heard a distant echo increasing in volume, "As you do it for them, you do it for..."
Tony also told me that churches involved in mission have fewer relational problems.
They're so busy being blessed for blessing Him by blessing His that they don't have time for religion's incidentals, irregulars, irascibles, and irreconcilables.
Our Wednesday evening "Deeper Discipleship" folks have been reading/studying/digesting Francis Chan's Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of The Holy Spirit.
He has helped us understand why it's now or never for some churches: "I think a lot of us need to forget about...[figuring out]...God's will for my life. God cares more about our response to His Spirit's leading today."
Continuing, "It is easy to use the phrase...['Before I get involved, I've got to figure out']...'God's will for my life' as an excuse for inaction or even disobedience. It's much less demanding to think about God's will for your future than it is to ask Him what He wants you to do in the next ten minutes. It's safer to commit to following Him someday instead of this day."
Concluding, "My hope is that instead of searching for 'God's will for my life,' each of us would learn to seek hard after 'the Spirit's leading in my life today.'"
Take a look at Matthew 6:25-34.
Ever hear of big talkers?
Lots of 'em in pulpits like me and in pews like...
Talk without walk is the real disaster.
The eternal is confirmed by the existential now or...
Blessings and Love!