Last week I attended the first session of a discipleship training program at my church. It's entitled "Battling Unbelief" by Dr. John Piper. As I was reviewing my notes with a friend tonight there were a number of compelling truths. For one I realized how much of a God glory stealer I am. I walk in my flesh far too many times that I care to admit. Each time I think I'm serving God and I am the giver I steal His glory. As Dr. Piper stated we are in danger to believe that we serve God in the sense that He needs us somehow. Wrong! He is the giver and we are the getters. It is not by my strength but only by His Spirit does any believer do anything and that is to God's own glory.
I loved how Dr. Piper described God's grace as a flowing river. We as a people are empty, needy, hungry and thirsty. God's river of grace flows throughout our entire lives and allows us to live in joy knowing that He will be faithful to His promises. We need not worry but can revel in the joy of knowing God will be true. We may and often are not true, but no so Him. Dr. Piper said that God in seeking His glory seeks the goodness of His creatures. The believer's good is God Himself. Unfortunately during the past few weeks the Lord has been showing me in what things I seek satisfaction. It is biblical shaming to admit what are some of them. I mean really! TV over Jesus Christ? Food over the Sovereign Savior? Love of a dog over the Creator of the Universe? Judge Judy over Judge Jesus? What folly as the Scripture would label it.
The DVD then turned to a discussion on Philippians 1: 20 -23 and how to live is Christ and to die is gain. For a believer to die is to gain Jesus Christ in His full glory. We shall see him just as He is. Death is very much better as it says in the NASB. Jesus is given much honor in the death of the redeemed. I do believe whole heartedly that death is gain. I am not too excited at the prospect of the means of death.
I spend a lot of time at a local assisted living center. This past week three of the residents passed away. I knew and talked to them all. Two had been there just a short time and the other resided for a year or two I think. When you walk in the front door, there is a picture of the deceased with the dates of birth and death listed. I don't like finding out that way but that's the way it's done. It always sobers me. The first question I ask the picture is "where are you now?"
Regardless of their being in heaven or hell I know that if they were able to return all of them to a person would say to repent and believe on the Lord Jesus Christ. Those who are in heaven would do so overwhelmed by the Glory of God revealed in His goodness, grace, love and mercy Those in hell would do so overwhelmed by the Glory of God revealed in His holiness, justice, law and purity. Either way God's glory is revealed. However, I as a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ must encourage all who read to choose A over B. Believe now, repent now, confess Jesus Christ now. Hell is a horrible price to pay for waiting. All creatures will glorify God. The only issue left unresolved is from what place? May your desire truly be to live is Christ but to die is gain.
Tuesday, July 3, 2012
Obviously I haven't been blogging as consistenly as I once did! I hope that in the days to come I can be more consistent again. Many of you know that I am experiencing some health issues that have yet to be resolved. I am grateful for all that the Lord is doing and trust that His purging, refining and shaping of my character is His best and good for me at this time. I know I fail greatly but it is my heart to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus Christ. Trials are hard. Here on earth is our only opportunity to suffer well for the Lord. I appreciate your prayers and am grateful for all for have come alongside in so many ways. How precious is the family of God. How grateful I am that the Lord has placed me in the middle of such gracious believers. To Him be the glory.