Hi Five Oakers, The weekend's coming and there are a few things I want to share with you:
It's Palm Sunday weekend this weekend. We're only one week away from our Good Friday and Easter services. Don't let Easter catch you by surprise. Be ready. Come worship
Eric Metaxas on ''Noah: Mass Entertainment, and Us"
As several colleagues of mine have pointed out, the level of vituperation among Christians over Darren Aronofsky's film is “nuts.”
Eric Metaxas on "Our Bodies, Our Autonomy: The Secular Worldview Can’t Get It Right"
Many if not most people attending college work part-time to help pay for their education. Most do things like delivering pizza or working as waiters. But one Duke freshman has made headlines for the way she elected to pay for her education: becoming an adult movie star. The story raises important issues about the power of worldview—and our society’s increasing inability to make moral judgments.
Al Mohler on "Moralism is Not the Gospel (But Many Christians Think it Is)"
In our own time, we face false gospels no less subversive and seductive than those encountered and embraced by the Galatians. In our own context, one of the most seductive false gospels is moralism. This false gospel can take many forms and can emerge from any number of political and cultural impulses. Nevertheless, the basic structure of moralism comes down to this — the belief that the Gospel can be reduced to improvements in behavior.
One More Thing
Last weekend I asked, "Where's God's glory in your story?" Paul said that many glorified God because of his story. The persecutor of Christ's followers had become a follower of Christ. God is glorified when people see how God is at work in you and me.
I've thought a lot about that question this week. Where is God's glory in my story? After all, the question presented itself in my sermon prep on Friday or Saturday, so I hadn't had enough time to process it myself.
I could point to a lifetime of growth and transformation, but the question becomes more challenging when I ask, "Where is God's glory in my story...lately?" How is God's present work in my life evident to those around me? Can Lois, my kids, my partners in ministry, my friends and others see change happening now?
I'm still thinking about that question, but here's what I know: present growth for a long-time Christian like me won't come without taking new risks.
What kind of risks? I mentioned this one on Sunday--seeking once again to surrender an area of my life where I've come to excuse sin. This can be worry, lust, anger, gossip, materialism, laziness or any other sin. It's risky to try again when, after repeated failure, I've learned to excuse, minimize, blame others or ignore a sin in my life.
Another kind of risk is the risk of taking on a God-assignment. Something God has put on my heart, but I'm afraid. Afraid of failing or of giving up something I cherish--my time, my money, my security, my reputation, my freedom to do what I want to do.
One more risk: the risk of vulnerability. I find it safer to improve in secret. That way, if I fail, no one will know I was even trying. But mostly I try keep it a secret because others close to me might hold me accountable. They might ask how I'm doing and be disappointed if I give up. Or maybe I'm ashamed of what I want to change and don't want to admit to anyone that I need to change. And if I don't share my secret struggle, how will God get the glory?
The gospel of God's grace makes risk possible for someone who is risk averse like me. The deeper I go into the gospel, the more I want the God of amazing grace to get glory from my story. The deeper I go the more I realize I am loved and accepted and free in him alone. The deeper I go the more I see the ugliness of my sin and the beauty of holiness. The deeper I go the more risk becomes what's normal because I am accepted, I'm loved and I'm his child.
Where is Gods' glory in my story?