Archive for the ‘In the Story - Week #3’ Category

Day Five: God Brings It All to You

Friday, August 21st, 2015

Romans 12:3-6 (MSG) - “I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. In this way we are like the various parts of a human body. Each part gets its meaning from the body as a whole, not the other way around. The body we’re talking about is Christ’s body of chosen people. Each of us finds our meaning and function as a part of his body. But as a chopped-off finger or cut-off toe we wouldn’t amount to much, would we? So since we find ourselves fashioned into all these excellently formed and marvelously functioning parts in Christ’s body, let’s just go ahead and be what we were made to be, without enviously or pridefully comparing ourselves with each other, or trying to be something we aren’t.”

John Ortberg writes, “Self-improvement is no more God’s plan than is self-salvation. God’s plan is not just for us to be saved by grace-it is for us to live by grace. God’s plan is for my daily life to be given, guided, guarded, and energized by the grace of God. To live in grace is to flow in the Spirit…Sometimes churches measure spiritual progress in terms of commitment. Often we see scales that look something like Scale 1 (below). Where would the Pharisees be by this scale? Far right. They win. Commitment was not the problem. But consider another possibility. Jesus said the ultimate command was to love. So imagine another scale. See Scale 2. On the second scale, Jesus would put the Pharisees at the far left.

Scale 1:
Non-believer — Seeker — New Believer — Growing Disciple — Totally Committed

Scale 2:
Selfishly Unloving —————————————————– Radiantly Loving

…Commitment is not the same thing as Christlikeness. In fact, where people’s primary focus is on their commitment, pride is not far behind. Where the primary focus is on Christ, commitment no longer seems like such a heroic thing. It just seems sane.”

We find our meaning and function as a part of Jesus’ body, not by ourselves, not without Christ, not without his church. Our story isn’t about how much we have to try harder or how we must try to act as committed, but the goodness of God he has brought to us in Jesus and who God is and what he does for us.

Let’s throw off old habits of self-improvement and trying to be something we aren’t; and put on humbly receiving the goodness God brings to us in who he is and the meaning and function he discover in having been placed in his body with Jesus’ headship.

- AP

Day Four: Follow Him

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

Day Three: Jesus Christ Our Savior

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Day Two: Clearly See, Clearly Worship

Tuesday, August 18th, 2015

Day One: Created and Placed – Awesome

Monday, August 17th, 2015