Thursday, September 27, 2012

Lingering in the Light: How he loves (w/Matt Chandler, John Piper)

Every morning when I wake up, I grab a bowl of cereal and sit down at the desk in my library (right now known as the room with the books piled in the middle of the floor.  This is my favorite room in the house, not only because of the books (I'm a nerd), but because, first thing every day, the sunlight comes shining right into this room.

I find that I have so much more clarity throughout the day when I start it here. So I think im going to use these moments to chronicle the little bits of clarity God grants me in the mornings. Today I was on facebook (gotta get a new homepage :P) and some friends of mine had both posted the same video. This video included a favorite song,  and the name of a favored speaker of mine. Two props. And so I hit play. And this is what I got:

in case the video is weird, you can also watch it at the source, here.

Wow. Just wow. We are messy. God KNEW we would be messy, from the beginning! 
But he still loves us. He is still jealous for us. He STILL sent his son to DIE FOR US!
(I know. I'm breaking my all caps rule. But this makes me want to shout. :) 

This reminds me of the passage we have been covering in sunday school. Paul wrote to the church at Corinth in his second letter, concerning the new life we receive in Christ:

"From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:16-20)

"I dont have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way He loves us." That's what the song says. We dont. have.  time. to hold on to the bad things we did in the past. Because God does not. He does not hold on to those bad things. They are last week's news. 
The missionary Corrie Ten Boom wrote about the forgiveness of sins and her old life in this way: "They are now cast into the deepest sea and a sign is put up that says, NO FISHING ALLOWED." How many times to we go in after our past, fishing it out in our regrets?

How many times do we fish out the sins of others? We think we have to know all about someone's past before we can trust them in the present. This is a lie! God doesn't need to know our past to decide how he feels about us in the present. He forgets our sin, throws it behind him. If anything, his knowledge of our future screw-ups should change his mind. But it DOESN'T. 

Even in the days since our salvation, peple will drudge up the past. I know what it's like to feel that every time someone looks at me, they see the stumbling, messy, infantile Christian I was 10 years ago.  It's as if a mountain has been piled before me, and everyday, before I can do anything good or right, I have to climb BACK over every off color word I said or negative attitude I had in the last TEN YEARS. 

Do you know how exhausting that is? I get up some days and wonder why it's even worth trying. But I remember that God MADE ME NEW. I am his ambassador. I dont repent of the last ten years every morning I get up. I just  get up and start the task God has set for me in that present day, because I know the work God has for me in the future. The blessing of salvation is that we dont have to look back. We can spend our lives looking forward, full of hope. 

Jesus himself says, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of Heaven." (Luke 9:62) 

So stop looking back, people! If you're caught up on your own regrets, David Crowder Band says YOU ARE WASTING YOUR TIME! Time you could be using to serve the Lord and seeing his blessings.  

If you are looking back on someone else's past, then turn your own head to the front and see what they are TODAY. A NEW CREATION. God didn't just make them new that one time when they received salvation, He renews them daily. Let them move forward in the work of Christ. Let them be what God has for them. 

And most important of all, never let yourself forget how God loves you.  Jealously, like a hurricane, overwhelmingly, like an ocean, like (in my favorite version) a sloppy wet kiss. If you've never been kissed my a little kid (or your dog), then you don't understand that reference.No love on earth is more pure. :P

GOD LOVES YOU! Not perfect, ideal you, but messy you. So live in the present. "Put your past behind you." (Yep, another Lion King reference.)

Stop fishing.  


  1. good stuff... original writer, john mark mcmillian :) (sloppy wet kiss version) Love you!

  2. Thanks. yeah it all kinda hit me this morning :) i love it when God does that.