05-24-15 Basic Training: Asbestos

Before I forget, thank you to everyone who came in on Saturday and helped with the start of prepping out our Vacation Bible School decorations.  Those mountains in particular look incredible!  I always look forward to seeing what our church building is transformed into every year -- and this year’s Himalayan theme is already off to a great start.

Of course, that means that I’ll probably end up having to wear a parka in the middle of the Summer, but them’s the breaks...

In our service this week, we heard a little bit about Vanessa and Richard League’s harp ministry, which is beginning to pick up steam.  God has opened the door for this not only to be “gigs” for Vanessa, but genuine opportunities to support ministries around the country and around the world.  They’ve been invited to play at Igor and Vita Swiderski’s church in Germany, as well as possible upcoming performances in Russia and Israel.  So we’ve officially taken them on as missionaries for these projects, to help give financial and spiritual oversight.  Please keep them in your prayers.

Please also keep praying for our ongoing 3-or-1 Challenge, where we’ve asked everyone either to pick three people to invest their prayers and their conversations in over the span of six months, trying to build in-roads to sharing the Gospel message with them and making a significant impact in their lives; or to pick one, new person to talk with every week about God- or church-focused things.  Either one of those can help build “muscle memory” to our outreach -- it should hopefully become second nature to us to be sharing about God and praying for those around us.  We’ll even have a chance to share about what God’s been doing through that Challenge at our Testimony Sunday on Father’s Day in June.  Come join us!

In our message, we continued looking at Romans -- especially at how exactly we should choose to live.  See, you’re going to put something on the throne of your life and serve that something, whether that’s God, or your comfort zones, or your perceived “freedom” to do whatever you choose, or your commitment to sin without any sense of consequence.  But something is going to be at your center, driving you and commanding your obedience.

The point of the Law wasn’t to save you from the dangers of those other “somethings,” but rather to simply point out that they’re there.  I mean, if you know that God has commanded you to forgive as He forgave you, and yet you choose to hold a grudge and stay bitter, then what’s really on that throne for you?  If you know that God has called you to be an ambassador for Christ, and yet you choose never to share about His Gospel, then what’s really on that throne for you?  I could go on, but you get the point.

The Law wasn’t there to save you -- it was there to turn on the light in a dirty room so that you could see what really needs to be cleaned.  And then Christ died to make you cleanable, and then the Holy Spirit entered your heart to give you the tools to clean house.

Have you just been standing in the doorway, looking at the dirty room, doing nothing to clean up the parts that you know need cleaning?

Have you been trying to clean the room all on your own, thinking that if you just get it clean enough, God might then start to love you (forgetting that the only reason that you can even begin to clean house is that God has already loved you enough to die to make you cleanable in the first place)?

Or are you ready to let God help you face the sins that need cleaning in your life and let Him do the heavy lifting as you work together to get that gunk out of there?

Don’t let yourself see the room in the light of God’s glory and then go back to feeling comfortable in the mess that you’d been living in before the light got turned on -- that’s not who you were sculpted to be, nor how you were sculpted to live. 

Remember: Jesus didn’t die to make your life better.  Jesus died to give you an entirely new life to live...