Hi Five Oakers, The weekend's coming and there are a few things I want you to know about.
I don't like to learn things the hard way. I'm more than willing to learn from someone else's mistakes. A friend of mine calls it learning from someone else's "dumb tax." I've always been that way. And as a parent, I certainly wanted my kids to learn through my dumb taxes. What parent doesn't give advice along that line of thinking? There is wisdom in learning from another's dumb tax. And it's foolish to refuse to learn that way.
Okay, all that is true, but there is a dark side to the way I'm wired. The dark side can be an aversion to taking risks or an unreasonable fear of failure and a tendency to play it safe. Yet some things can only be learned through pain and failure. And sometimes God takes us through times of intense pain, failure, weakness, deprivation or other hardships to shape and transform us or to prepare us for something he wants to do through us. God often goes to work on us before he does a work through us.
That's what we're looking at this weekend as we launch a new, 4-week series on Elijah in the book of 1 Kings.
Links You Might Like
Barrett Johnson on "How to Raise a Pagan Kid in a Christian Home":
The gospel is not about making bad people moral, but about making dead people alive.If we teach morality without the transforming power of the gospel and the necessity of a life fully surrendered to God's will, then we are raising moral pagans.
Michael Hyatt on "The Reflex of Character":
When the gunfire began, Coach Hall did the unthinkable. Instead of diving for cover, he stood up, pushed his table out of the way, and started pursuing the gunman.
Matt Perman on "The Cornerstone of Winston Churchill's Time Management":
It is fascinating that when you study the most effective individuals throughout history, you see the same theme coming back again and again in how each of them managed their time. The key was focus and concentration on a few very significant priorities, always keeping in mind what is centrally important at the moment (that is, what’s best next).
One More Thing
I'll share this from The Good and Beautiful God by James Bryan Smith:
"One of my favorite stories is about John of Kronstadt. He was a nineteenth-century Russian Orthodox priest at a time when alcohol abuse was rampant. None of the priests ventured out of their churches to help the people. They waited for people to come to them. John, compelled by love, went out into the streets. People said he would lift the hungover, foul-smelling people from the gutter, cradle them in his arms and say to them, "This is beneath your dignity. You were meant to house the fullness of God." I love that phrase: you were meant to house the fullness of God. That describes you and me. Knowing that this is your true identity is the secret to walking in holiness. ...no matter what the vice, our identity in Christ is the foundation for dealing with them."
But then he adds this very important thing. It's important because you can't grow to know your identity and live in it on your own. And you won't even be able to do it by making yourself think differently no matter how hard you try.
The best approach is to keep soaking in the truth of our identity in Christ, practicing spiritual disciplines that deepen those truths and being part of a community that will reinforce those truths.
You were meant to house the fullness of God!