Sunday, July 27, 2014

Praise and Thankfulness

Here we are again - another sleepless Sunday night. Hope everyone had a great weekend. Mine was so-so. To be honest, it's been a rough week. But that's alright, because I have a sovereign God, and I know he is in control.

So last Sunday was a great day. I spent time in a study by John Piper titled 'Don't waste your life', which a friend had given me several years back. I've picked it up several times since then, but only made it a few chapters in each time. But it is funny, or rather amazing, the things God can put in your life right when you need them. He's done it for me before, whether it be money for a mission trip or a friend sending an email or calling when you need encouragement. But it's always great to be reminded that God IS in control, and that he loves us and will always be there for us.

So as I said, Sunday was a great day, and was really encouraging. But the rest of my week wasn't the greatest. But I kept being reminded, either by daily scripture reading, or by Piper's book, that God is sovereign and has his hand over everything, even if we can't see it. He reminded me that God's glory is what's most important, and even when, or rather, especially when, we're not at our best - that's when God has the most chance to be on display. Because it's easy to praise and seek Him when everything is rosy. But enjoying God and praising Him during the hard times - that's when the world can truly see how amazing Jesus is and what separates our religion from others - we have a relationship with our Lord and Savior. And we never stop to think of how awesome that really is. The God of the universe wants to have a relationship with us!

He should be praised and we should rejoice in Him. He is worthy of worship, during our good times and our bad. So even though this week has been rough, and my heart is heavy, I choose to keep my head up and thank Him for everything that he has blessed me with. I don't deserve anything he has given me, and any day that I wake up is another day to thank him for. The house I have, the friends I've been blessed with, the family I was born into. They're all tremendous blessings, and I don't say it enough. Thank you God for the blessings you have given me. Thank you for sending your son, Jesus, to die on the cross for me. Thank you for all that you do - for all the things that are too numerous for me to even think of. Thank you for it all.

Love in Christ,

P.S. - Let me know if there is anything I can pray for you about!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Dangers of Moralism

How's it going everyone? Been a while since I've posted. It's another sleepless night, so I might as well make some good out of it.

So something that has been on my mind lately is what we consider good, or moral. In America, we say we are a Christian nation. This is especially true of the South - the 'Bible Belt'.  But I'd argue that is not a Christ centered culture, but instead is one of moralism.  What is moralism you ask? Moralism is 'the practice or moralizing, as distinct from religion'. Being a good, or moral, person is not a bad thing. We are born with an innate sense of right and wrong. But moralism itself says it is separate from religion, so take note.
I'll use myself as an example. By society's standards, I have high morals. I've never cheated on someone I've dated. I don't do drugs. I go to church. I help my friends and family. I'm a 'good person'. But if that's all I ever am, then I've missed the point. I may be a 'moral' person, but I'd still go to Hell. 

Our conscience is there to help point us towards Christ. That innate sense of right and wrong helps point out that we have sinned. And even one sin is enough to tip the scales irrevocably and send us to Hell. It doesn't matter if you went to church every Sunday, sang in the choir, gave in every offering, and helped out at the Jimmie Hale Mission. If Christ isn't your Lord and Savior, no matter how moral you are, you will end up in Hell. There is no way of sugar-coating that fact.

While being moral isn't wrong, like so many other things in this life, we take what was mean to be good and twist it. Our conscience tells us that we should be moral and that there is right and there is wrong in this world. We're raised to be 'moral' citizens. Society, while it is loosening its stance on what is moral and what isn't year by year, does try and enforce upon us the importance of being moral. But it's so easy to slip into that and do nothing else. And that's the danger.

All moralism will do is make you a slightly better sinner. It won't save you.

Love in Christ,