Thursday, August 18, 2005

Thoughts from my reading over vacation

Ok, so I am now in Indianapolis, Indiana, visit my father and mother in-law. It was is always good to see them, relax by their beautiful big pool and just refresh. I have really enjoyed our vacation these past couple of days. We have been from Milwaukee, to Detroit, down to Dayton, Ohio, and now in Indy. On the way I have been reading a book called “We Believe” by a bunch of different authors including one of my favorites Thomas Oden, and J.I.Packer. I find these guys simply deep…I say simply deep because they take you deep with simple terms and thoughts. I hope someday to be able to do that with my writing. But today, I am bloggijng on what I have learned from my vacation.

First I have learned, I have a lot of holes. In fact if you were to fill me with water, I would leak. I have been reading some J.I. Packer and he was writing about how messed up our lives really are with out Christ. He concludes that people are “perverted”. What a crazy way to put it! But think about it, we are really messed up. Turn on the television at 5:00pm, the radio; open up the Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee's horrible so called newspaper) and you will find a group of perverted living creatures. Why do we act the way we do? How can we stop the violence, bring peace in the middle-east, stop the big corporate scandals, hold back the gas prices, and convince people not to shoot other people? Why is sex the main focus of everything on TV? Why does there have to be more then chicken wings at Hooters? Why are we this way?

Sin is a subject many preachers today fail to tackle? I don't know if it is because it is to big to totally label? Or we are afraid to step on toes. Maybe sin is to big for one preacher to talk about, to much in us to point out in others. Maybe we are not supposed to point anything? But what about sin. Is it talked about in your life? Do you deal with it? Suffer from it? Is it a desire or disease in your life?

James, (the book not my brother) talks a lot about sin. I have been studying this book on Sunday mornings with some friends. We gather for breakfast and dig deep in this book, trying to find and discovers what God has for us through this letter written by James thousands of years ago. James writes that our desires married with evil gives birth to sin. First time, I read that it didn't really catch, it's one of those Bible things that jump out on you in every day life. My desires are not sinful, but desire to serve my wife and love her with all I am is not sinful. But turning those desires onto myself, or another women, other then my wife would be a sin. See how sin works? It takes the good of this world, things like love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, self-control….the things we are naturally drawn to, the things we all long to have in our lives, and Sin or better said, the evil one, perverts those things, making them destructive, like a cancer to our lives. Sin takes for example; love and perverts it to lust, or joy and turning it to anger, and bitterness. These things eat at our lives, our nature, and unfortunately, it has been in our lives since the womb.

We are full of this cancer when we are born, passed from one generation to the next. No one ever has to teach a kid how to lie, or cheat, or be selfish. No one had to teach me how to be perverted in how I live. It is in my nature. Like it's in the nature of a lion to kill and eat, it's in my nature to sin.

So how do we change this course we are on? Can we? I mean can you and I change the life in which we are living? Like a broken car needing a total overhaul of the engine. Can my life be changed by me? Can the car fix itself? Can the computer rid itself of a virus? OR does it take an outside force? Does it take something greater then the car to fix the car?

I know the cure for the world. I really do. I have experienced it, and right now in this Starbucks where I write this, I am experiencing it. Not for the first time, or the last, but for all time. How about this…if I had the cure for aids, which kills hundreds of thousands a month. Kids in other countries are dieing horrible deaths because of this disease. If I had the cure, and you had the disease…would you want it? What would you do for it? Would you kill for it? Would you steal for it?

Remember James? Not from brother but the book in the Bible that I mentioned before. Yeah, that guy, well He died. In fact he died for the cure. He died sharing the cure with others. He was killed for preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ.

The cure my friends for this disease of sin is Jesus Christ. In fact Christ died so that you could be saved. Christ paid the price for the cure; He wanted you so bad to be delivered from the bondage of the disease that He died on the cross so that you and I could be free from the bondage of Sin.

But if you know me, and you do, or you wouldn't be reading this, you would know that John Freed is full of sin. He is not right. But friend, God is still working on me. Just like a car needing a complete overhaul of the engine, John Freed needs a complete overhaul of his heart. Sin has perverted his heart, soul, mind, and strength. But Christ says, love me with all you, and I will give you all ME. Walk with Me and I will walk with you. He says in John 15, “I am the vine you are the branches, if you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing”. I really believe that John Freed apart from Christ can do nothing. Nothing, that isn't perverted or distorted.

Holiness, is the process in which Christ moves in your life making you pure, and perfect. So it isn't you who fixes you…it is Christ, and Christ's Spirit releasing your spirit to be all He has created you to be.

So I have a few questions for those of you who finished this thought…
1. Do you have sin in your life?
2. Do you realize how it is destroying you?
3. Are you trying to fix it on your own?
4. Have your surrendered all of you to Christ?
5. Have you searched Christ out for a new life?

It was a good vacation so far, Friday we head home and it is back to work on Saturday.

1 comment:

nate richardson said...

jon, its ok. just give in to sin. it wont kill you. oh i see what you mean. this whole temptation thing sucks.

seriously though, i dont think you have sinned sinned the dbmd layed their hands on you and ordained you. you have nothing to worry about.

man i just cant be serious with this. i am sorry. seriously serious this time. oden makes me think like no other. he was one that helped me grow more than any one author out there. he took my faith deeper, and made me want to pursue holiness rather than holiness pursue me.