Have we fallen prey to the idea that others can’t do without us? After all, the world – not to mention the Kingdom of God – will continue, UMC or no UMC. It would be egocentric in the extreme to suggest otherwise.
“You can do anything you put your mind to” does not take seriously the problem of sin and our inability to save ourselves. A key conviction of historical Christian orthodoxy is that we are not enough. We cannot ever be the source of our own salvation. Putting your mind to being a better person, from the Christian perspective will fail every time. It is pure works righteousness.
When I recall Abdul Rahman, I recall the magnificent love offered in Jesus Christ – a love that comes to us freely and waits for our response without pressure or manipulation; a love that respects our sacred right of refusal; a love that Abdul Rahman was willing to die for. And that’s a love worth sharing.
Thank God for pastors and lay leaders who recognized that history is important, and when unrecognized and unconfessed, sin poisons the body. We don’t keep secrets, our secrets keep us.
The Trinity is, in my experience, the ultimate collector’s plate. A gilded, limited edition Charles and Diana Wedding commemorative. Purely for admiring. Never for serious use … This is a problem … Because we love what we use. Can we really love the beauty of the Trinity if we never talk about it?
The road that leads into the Kingdom of Heaven runs through fire and axes and water. That road invites us to separate the Kingdom of Self from the Kingdom of God – to let go of things that have no Kingdom value and clear a road for Jesus to come in.
“God, You have outwitted me!” Isn’t that a delightful phrase?…What a testimony to the providence of God, the working of God’s grace in our lives.
Stop inviting people to church! Stop it! Right Now!…Invite them, instead, to follow Jesus.
Why did they leave him at the gate? Why not take him all the way in? Did they not understand that he had spiritual needs as well?
Wesley leads us to the heart of Lent and to the heart of every day of seeking the fullness of life in Christ: such a longing to please our Lord that we want the Holy Spirit to check us at the first sense of pride, wrong desire, or the wandering will — anything, that is, that might “quench the kindling fire.”