Monday, October 22, 2007

The Bible is awesome!!

I do love Sussex CU - they are cute (I could probably put that in a less patronisting way but I can't be bothered!! they are cute) I do love the Bible more though. It is just amazing. 66 books written by a load of different authors, in many different styles and genres, written over a time span of more than 1500 years, and yet it tells a perfectly consistant story centred around Jesus. It reveals an awesomely complicated but loving triune God, who made us to have a relationship with Him. He knew we were going to reject him, to say 'stuff you God' and turn away from Him even before He created us, yet he still did, he created us knowing that he was going to send Jesus to rescue and restore us, and He spends the whole of the Old Testament pointing towards Jesus. And because Jesus died for us, we can have that restored relationship with God that goes on forever, and will become perfect when Jesus returns. Awesome!!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Root of all evil = forgetfulness??

Last week at Porterbrook, we learnt about 4 truths about God that we forget when we sin. Sin is about exchanging the truth of God for a lie, we give in to rebelling aginst Him, as we forget or distort who God is. We forget that:

1. God is in control - so I don't need to be. This means there is no need to worry, no need to get cross about things I can't control, no need to overwork - coz God's got it sorted. There are so many stiutations I need to remember this in - from huge life decisions right down to when I'm getting aggrivated at a bus stop coz the bus is late again - God is in control, why am I stressing?

2. God is bigger, so we don't need to fear others. This is something I find very diffiuclt - looking for people's approval rather than for God's. It means I can be tempted to constatnly compare myself to others, to tell small lies to make myself look better, to be scared of telling non-christians about Jesus coz I'm afraid they'll think I'm a freak, and getting overbusy as I don't want to say no to people. But its stupid, as it means I become controlled by people. And actually I'm not loving people anyway, as when I serve them out of wanting to win people's approval I'm actually only serving myself. That doesn't mean we should be dismissive of what people think of us, but rather we should fear God above people. (Fearing doesn't mean shake in your shoes, it means to respond properly to a holy God, that is love, worship, respect, submit to). It is only when we fear God that we are free to serve for love's sake, and not for our own self interest.

3. God is better, so we don't need to look elsewhere. This is something that can be really diffiuclt to believe! I get totally blinded by the world and don't believe that whatever sin offers - God offers something far better! The Bible doesn't show the Christian life as being one of dreary abstinance, but rather one of deep joy. A life of holiness is one of joy. Lord - help me to believe this!!

4. God is gracious - so we don't have to prove ourselves. In the parable of the prodigal son, the older brother doesn't join in the joyful feast to celebrate his brothers return not because he is too bad, but because he is too good. He's cross as he thinks he deserves something from the father because he's worked hard for him and been faithful. He is trusting in his own self righteousness and reject the grace his father wants to give him. We always need to remember we're not good enough for God, the only thing we deserve is judgement, but God lavishes grace on us anyway. This will get rid of our self righteousness and mean we will never look down on people.

I've found it really helpful this week to remind myselves of these truths when I'm tempted to sin, and it's incredbile how it actually works at times!! Especially as it creates an attitude that is less 'I should not do this' (legalism) but 'I need not do this' - becasue God is bigger / better etc - why would I do this? I don't need to!! (and that is grace) There is stiill a long way to go, but hopefully God will help me with my forgetfulness!!