Practicing Our Positional Holiness

1 Peter 2:9-12 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11 Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12 Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.

Word or Worldly

In today’s postmodern “informationally saturated” global economy, people are looking for meaning beyond words. Deep down, people want to be engaged in a dialog not a debate. Authentic relationships that intersect with a person’s “story” create platforms for influence. So…what I do/how I live authenticates what I say I believe. How I live biblically in small moments fills in the dialog for the method and meaning of true significance.

I see many young leaders try to influence their peers more by spiritual propaganda and rhetoric than through the power of personal holiness. Paul understood the primacy of proclaiming Christ through his life that would validate the authenticity of his spiritual insights (II Corinthians 2:1-5).

The process of interpersonal discipleship or spiritual influence should be contextualized by culture (or “relevant” if you don’t think that’s a dirty word)…not as a goal unto itself, but as the means/method/process to personally deposit the unmitigated truth of the gospel. Relationships are central to communicating the rich truths of our faith. Relationship is the dynamic that is missing in today’s society and the one thing every human longs for.

On the pathway to authentic dialog, people can loose more than they gain when their life is described better in worldly terms than defined by the Word. The world is not something to be courted, but rather contrasted through a biblical worldview/lifestyle. I am convinced it is when Christians live according to the word and not the world it will display The Compelling Significance of this lifetime…and the one to come (I Peter 1:13-22).

In this thinking I started to highlight a contrasting list…in the end I always constrain/edit myself to ten.

The Word (I John 2:4-6)

Knowledge of God (Col 1:9-10)
Accountability (Heb 3:12-13)
Mortification (Col 3:1-3)
Suffering (Jms 1:2-7; Heb 12)
Known (I Thess 2:8)
Giver (I Tim 6:18; Acts 2:44-45)
Active (II Tim 2:1-15)
Selfless-Love (Phil 2; I Cor 13)
Driven by Christ (II Cor 5:14-15)
Perfection (Phil 3:12-13

Or Worldly (I John 2:15-17)

Knowledge of Things
Autonomy
Explanation
Comfort
Known About
Consumer
Apathetic
Self-Love
Driven by Cool
Performance

Through Prayer

Waiting vs. Anxiety.

Spiritually, this is the battle-royal of my heart. Mine is the battle of waiting upon the Lord for insight, vision, and direction toward employing giftedness, personality, and circumstances that effectually reveal the will of God according to His word….or of retreating into anxious spiritual manipulation that accomplishes only my narrow view of success.

Yep, that’s me.

I am compelled to tell of my faith that has increased over the last several weeks as I have placed myself in the crossroads of spirituality. Placing my anxious heart, through prayer, before a sovereign God and waiting for Him to give grace to those in need….and I am desperately in need. Desiring above all that He would do beyond all that I could ask or think. My desire was/is not to get more than what I could ask, but that I would receive Spirit empowered insight that is infinitely different than the sum total of my finite thinking. This last month…there have been authentic moments in faith that has revealed God’s supernaturally orchestrated events and insights that have displayed His good grace to me. The best part is that His grace touches both small quiet moments and grand loud events.

The battle rages on, but my hope has been increased and my vision for divine things expanded.

Biblical Theology

I found this resource today. Mark Dever has a short booklist for biblical theology.

Book Worm

Scott Zeller asked if I would post this list…and as all things SZ I am honored to serve.

I know that the list is “one book”, but in some cases several books came to mind.

1. One book that changed your life: Future Grace by Piper; Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Tripp, A Call to Spiritual Reformation by D.A Carson

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: Minister as Shepherd Charles Jefferson, Most Jerry Bridges Books.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: Systematic Theology: Wayne Grudem

4. One book that made you laugh: Letters from a Nut by Ted L. Nancy…I laughed out loud by myself.

5. One book that made you cry: I am more of a movie crier…but Where is the Mango Princess? By Cathy Crimmins is as close as I have gotten…unless you count my undergraduate transcripts.

6. One book you wish had been written: Autobiography of Walt Disney

7. One book you wish had never been written: The Koran

8. One book you’re currently reading: Spurgeon: A New Biography by Arnold A. Dallimore

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: The Brothers Karamazov; His Excellency George Washington by Joseph J. Ellis

Mighty August

I will be away from my regular weekly post for the month of August. I will return to it after Labor Day.

Amazing Grace

In the economy of God’s grace there is a both common and specific expression. God’s common graces are those events and items that both the sinner and the saint can enjoy. God’s specific grace are reserved only for those who, though repentance and faith, are redeemed by the words and works of Jesus Christ.

The following is a list (in no particular order) my top five common graces:

A WORK OF FINE ART
From a sculpture to a watercolor…nothing captures God’s common grace like a hand crafted piece of fine art.

A WELL PREPARED AND PRESENTED MEAL:
There are few things in life that can compare to the finest ingredients prepared and plated to perfection.

Think of the many cultures and flavors that God has given to all peoples to enjoy.

A fine chocolate. A perfectly prepared steak. Fresh picked vegetables and fruits.

Now I am including the fact that where you eat this fine meal is essential. Pick your category. High-rise building at night or a crisp ocean balcony.

A SUFFICIENT REST
After working hard… to find the best spot and sleep until one is rested…but not oversleeping.

Air circulation is key…cool yet comfortable.

A KISS FROM YOUR TRUE LOVE
I am not talking your high school prom date…I mean true interpersonal intimacy.

A SWEET ROCK AND ROLL LYRIC
Nothing beats rock and roll to display (in a crooked mirror) an exact replication of the soul of man.

Nothing displays the view of something better than a song lyric, and nothing kicks like rock and roll…especially the infamous rock ballet.

There you have it…Now, I understand that some might argue for an expression of athletic mastery to be considered under the top five. I did not include my basket ball skills as one of the top five for a reason…. my basketball game falls in another theological category of God’s grace.