Can We Talk?

There is a question burning in my mind that will NOT go away.

SOOOO… best medicine for that is to put it here and see if there are answers that reside among the limited audience that reads this. Or perhaps that limited audience will repost, and thus re-ask, and help me find answers from the great and mysterious inter-webs.

What has happened to honest dialogue? What has happened to asking questions, being open to discussion, even argument, and still being able to remain friends at the end of the day?

I ask because it seems as though our society seems to be more content with picking a side, digging in, and vilifying the “other side”.  This is something that has existed for quite some time but has become increasingly apparent in the wake of the election cycle and continues to drive wedges into our culture seemingly screaming at us that our differences must define us, and when I watch and listen it seems that is the sad reality.  Every news cycle tells me this is true, every time I engage with social media it tells me this is true, but I cannot bring myself to believe it.  I cannot believe that voting for someone, that another person disagrees with, makes that person evil. It cannot be true that disagreement is intolerance, or that being intolerant is just a form of dissent.  There has to be a better way.

Especially in and among people who claim to follow Jesus.

Shouldn’t we above all people have the capacity to dialogue? And I mean really have the patience and love for one another as people who are trying to figure it out. To extend grace to those we may disagree with on social or political issues (especially on social or political issues). We must realize that life is messy, right? We must realize that people have passions around something that we may not, and that it’s OK for that to be the case, shouldn’t we?  Perhaps if we would follow the idea of having grace, speaking the truth in love AND kindness, considering others greater than ourselves, being quick to listen and slow to outrage (speak), and even going as far as to ask why people process they way they do (which by the way… this is my attempt). Maybe then, we could come to the table, disagree in love and without division and seek understanding so that we can be united in what unites us and in spite of what we may disagree upon.

Again… these are just some thoughts; along with an invitation to hear yours.

what’s on your mind?

 

j-

The Weekly Tour… A Church Tale

I’m in a writing mood today, so there’s a bit of a vent coming. The pressing need, which is code for what’s on my mind, is to discuss a great cultural elephant that sits in the church’s living room. Some, maybe even many, are ready to discuss this elephant, but it seems few are willing to pay the price to make the change required to make the elephant go away. In order to set up this mornings thought I want to offer a central thought that will drive the rest of the article.

The church, universal and local (big “C” and little “c”), exists for one distinct purpose; the display of God’s glory. The church, locally (little “c”), consists of covenant members who are growing in truth, sharing & serving in life, and declaring the gospel to the world. To be part of the one you must be part of the other.

This is more or less a summary of the stuff I’ve been reading on biblical, healthy church,  church, as well as being part of it. I even preached a sermon on it last fall. I would even hazard to say that most people would agree, and certainly most pastors would agree. However, the church buffet just seems to keep growing, and thus we have our elephant.

The local church, which is really the local, visible expression of the universal church, is the most talked about form of the church (or assembly, gr. ekklesia) in the right half* of the bible, yet it seems to lack value, culturally, when it comes to living out our faith. It’s not that people don’t go to church, in fact I think the problem is the exact opposite, they go to too much church, or maybe it would be better described as going to too many churches. In my experience, in our region (and I suspect this may be happening in others, but who knows) it is all too common to see people taking part in multiple churches. You might read that and then ask, “what’s the problem with that?” which is a legitimate question, but has an answer in what is really the heart of the problem. While people are busy taking part in multiple churches, they are committing to none. People have largely come to see the church as just how I described above, a buffet of sorts. When this occurs the local church suddenly exists to provide for the larger Christian community a swath of programs, opportunities,  and events. I’ve even heard people comment on how cool it is that people partake in so many different churches and their activities. Going Saturday evenings to one church for the preaching, another on Sunday for the music, attending small groups with another church, kids going to youth group at another, Awanas at yet another.  Then when asked which is the home church, there is no definitive answer, and if there is, the answer is not backed up with membership, or even commitment to that local body. It’s just the place where you might find that person, or family, most often. Now, the argument can be made that I’m being a bit hyperbolic, and yes that’s true, but only a bit. While this specific extreme may be rare, there are many degrees of the problem at work around the region. I have even heard church leaders talk positively about this happening, without realizing what they are then promoting.

It may be time that we asked ourselves some honest questions, seriously, have we ever stopped to think that maybe the reason the world holds the church in such low regard is because they see so many “believers” doing it first? Let’s be honest, the world may see us running around going to all these churches, but do they really see the church as being a valuable part of our lives? Is our involvement in church lending to more meaningful interactions with our neighbors, especially our unchurched neighbors? Are we taking part in the life of our local church, or are we just partaking of the offerings of local churches? Do we count involvement (membership) in a local church as essential to our understanding of what it means to live as a Christian? Do we understand that hanging at the lake, going out to golf, riding the dirt bikes, heading to the mall, the slopes, the river, or the coffee shop, is not church? (Unless your local church happens to meet in a coffee shop.. shout out to my friends over at Origin Church)  Do we understand that being part of the big “C” church happens by being part of, not just attending, the little “c”? (in other words the big ‘C’ consists entirely of the little “c”) Do we know that loving the church means loving the people, not the cool factor? Do we love the church

WE NEED A RESET! We need to get back to the place where the church, the local church, the local, on the corner, less than 30 minutes away, expression of the BRIDE OF JESUS, matters, and we are rejoicing that we get to be part of her sanctification. Where we have “our church” where we are members, committing by covenant to be part of the life, the doctrine, the beauty, and the grime of our church family. This is one of the most essential needs of the church in this age. It’s not a return to some utopian dream, it’s getting back to a proper biblical view of the church. It’s not pitting churches against one another, nor is it promoting isolationism, exclusion, or superiority,  it just means we stop flitting about town going to many churches and neglecting our responsibility to be part of one. In fact I would hope that it would be at that point that local churches could stop trying to build massive ministries and partner together in the communities they exist in.

It’s holding to an understanding that the primary purpose of the church is a proper display of God’s glory to the world around us. We as Christians are not the purpose of the church, the church does not exist for us, because we are the church. This means we exist to display God’s glory to the world around us. This does not mean we consume every program that we enjoy from every church within an hour driving distance and never commit to becoming members of a church and submitting to church leadership and spiritual authority (Heb 13:7). It doesn’t mean just going once a week to a specific church either, going and taking in is still just another form of consuming, you need to commit being part of the body, its life, its ups, its downs, its sorrows, and its amazing joys.

We need people that are willing to start adopting this view and then making the sacrifices necessary to follow through. Although the odd thing is that you may find that there is more time available to you to get rest, and not be so rushed. You may find that the ache to be more deeply connected (known by, and knowing others) in a church becomes satisfied. It requires an understanding that it’s messy and beautiful, painful and joyful, weighty and light all at the same time. It’s serving one another and serving together in the communities we live in. It’s resisting the urge (the enemy) when we want to abandon ship because of something petty, or slander leadership when they make a mistake. It’s submitting to that same leadership in humility, trusting their lead, yet a willingness to go to them when there are issues in the church. It’s committing to covenant membership, submitting to healthy accountability and possibly discipline.

In addition we need church leadership (pastors/elders) who are clinging to this view and are willing to walk through the costs that come with it. It requires true life on life discipleship, especially by the pastors/elders. It requires the pastors to live in and invest in the communities where their flocks are (My good friend in the bay area always says; good shepherds smell like sheep). It may cause people to leave the church, which we hate to see, but may be necessary. It means churches need to stop pandering to the consumerism and may even need to correct those in the congregation that are taking part in it (it may even require direct conversation with other pastors and people, helping with that local church working as a network thing). It means churches evaluating the practices of membership, discipline, and discipleship.

I don’t say this lightly, and I don’t say this just to stir up controversy, I say this because the Church was purchased, called and set apart through the blood of Jesus. It’s His Bride, and yes He has entrusted it to flawed humans, but that doesn’t mean we get to abandon ship for our own versions of church. We desperately need to get a good view of the biblical church, the amazing way in which it was set up that we as God’s people would flourish. We need to value Jesus’ Bride, be involved and invested in her growth, which is our growth, in her sanctification, which is our sanctification, and her mission, which is our mission. So really the question is, whatever your part is, will you settle in to one church, make it your church family, for better for worse, putting the fun in dysfunction at times? More importantly… will you love the church? Because Jesus loves the Church, and He loved her enough to purchase her with His blood. And I say all of this, because I love the church…

Here are some things for further listening/watching and consideration…

The sermon series by Mark Driscoll and Mars Hill Church Seattle – Jesus Loves His Church

Plus check out the material from IX Marks, it’s spot on in evaluating what a healthy church and church member look like. With books like, “What is a Healthy Church?”, “What is a Healthy Church Member?”, “9 Marks of a Healthy Church”, “A Display of God’s Glory” and so many more, they are a more than helpful resource in firming up your understanding of the church (ecclesiology)

and for a little more fun, but still deep

Stephen the Levite – Membership  (it’s a gospel rap song, but even if you don’t like rap, listen to the lyrics)

Lecrae – The Bride (more gospel rap but listen)

 

* right half = NT (you may have to think about it for a second but it’s direction right, not correct right)

Turning the Tables

This thought has really been brewing for a while, but it was brought rushing to the forefront of my mind this week in light of sermon prep and other contributing factors. It started this week with a look at the gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. Each of these accounts starts of the final week of Jesus’ ministry with a particular event. It occurs in Matthew 21:12-13, Mark 11:15-18, and Luke 19:45-46 ( a really small amount of text but big in content) For our purposes take a peek at Mark’s account:

”    And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching.”
(Mark 11:15-18 ESV)

As this thought and these verses tumbled through my head, it caused me to use twitter to communicate some snippets (which are on the right side of the blog window) but that just wouldn’t do. So here I sit this Wednesday morning at the kitchen table, laptop open, Mickey Mouse coffee cup freshly filled… onward!

Jesus going into the temples and turning over tables does some things to our minds and hearts, on the one hand we love Jesus when He’s “sticking it to the man” and we love Him as the hero. On the other hand, we also experience the reality of Jesus being righteously angry, and this can be a little unsettling for some, if not many people.  I want to get to the heart of this event and look at it from a place that challenges our hearts and helps us to examine the possible tables we are setting up.

Jesus went in and overturned the tables of the money changers, literally these men were crooks taking money from Jew and gentile to sell them “temple coins” at a significantly inflated exchange rate. He also drove out the people that were “buying and selling”, and these men were selling animals for sacrifice, again at inflated rates, for the aforementioned temple coins. It was a crazy racket to be sure and it was going on in the church of the day. These people had turned church into something for their personal private gain and it was an insult to Jesus.

That of course turns a fat spotlight on our hearts and asks this crazy question:

“Have I turned church into something it’s not? Have I turned it into something that’s just for my gain?”

This is a hard question for us to wrestle with and can evoke a number of responses so let’s break it down a little more specifically:

First we have to know what church is for. The corporate gathering of believers for worship is for the glorification of Jesus, the lifting up of Him, His name, and His saving grace. Secondarily the church exists to disciple believers and proclaim the Gospel to the lost, notice these are equally important as discipleship contains both equipping and evangelism. From this community is fostered, service happens, needs are met, burdens are borne.

Enter the problems of the day, and the proverbial setting up of tables. We have in so many ways determined that the church exists to serve us, rather than serve God. When this happens we start exalting things in the church such as programs, buildings, events, formats, styles, and so much more, rather than exalting God. We start to turn the church into something that is for me, rather than having a perspective of “I am God’s and thus I am for Him”.  Here are some tables to consider in the modern day…

Consumerism – are we part of a church because of a specific program or person? Or are we part of multiple churches taking part in a bevy of program diversity, never really immersing ourselves into the fabric of the church, yet complaining that we are “not as connected as we’d like to be”? Symptoms of this table would include:  Knowing you’d leave a church if the pastor wasn’t there anymore, if they ended or significantly modified your favorite ministry program, or the music changed. “Dating the church” going from local church to local church, usually within the same week, taking from the buffet table of program options and never plugging in or becoming a member of a local church.

Building Dependence – Yes the church needs a local place to meet. There is no advocating doing away with church buildings, but we should consider doing away with depending on the building to house every last program, bible study, small group, coffee meeting, discipleship, mentoring… bleh!!!  (you may gather that this one is a big deal to me). Can we stop running to the church facility and return to the home, have bible studies in our homes, do life together in view of our neighbors, heck… include your neighbors! Acts shows us the community of believers meeting both in the temple courts (corporate worship) and together from home to home breaking bread. I realize that it can be inconvenient to clean up the house, and have kids around during groups, but authentic community and discipleship CANNOT happen without inconvenience, discomfort, and stretching. Plus imagine the benefits of your children seeing all of their parents studying the bible together. Or what would happen if they took part? Symptoms of this table: Booking your small group bible study for a room in the church months and months if not years in advance.

Political/Moral Ideology – The church can become a place where some are determined to promote their cause specifically in the political and moral arenas. The struggle here becomes an issue of competition with the gospel. The temptation exists to elevate our agenda item to an equal importance with the gospel and take passionate stances about certain ideas, arguments, and actions. Petitions are highlighted and announced, candidates are trumpeted (but not outright endorsed) measures are rallied for or railed against, and then we make some drastic mistakes. We can elevate certain sin issues into the spotlight offering (sometimes unintentional) condemnation, forgetting our own sin is just as filthy before a Holy and Righteous God. We can also assume that ALL Christians think politically the same, and assign a morality or maturity to our political bent, when in reality Christians are a diverse political spectrum (some are just too polite to say anything). We can no more assign a “Christian way” to vote, than we can determine whether pews or chair are more holy, nor can we rally against a specific sin without realizing that ours is equal, and that someone sitting in the congregation could be struggling and needs the gospel, and we could close them off simply by our tone. Symptoms of this table: Constant attempts to get petitions in the church lobby, political/moral handouts in the bulletin, or flyers on the windshields of cars in the parking lot. Frustration at the lack of “participation” by the church leadership or joy at the level of “participation”.

Check-list Religiosity – Are we in church because it’s the “right” or “good” thing to do? Now understand, to be in church seeking, or searching is a good place to be, but that’s not what’s on deck here. I’m talking about “churchianity” where God is acknowledged but church is simply on the morality check list and serves to keep “The Man Upstairs” happy with me.  Believe me when I say that this is indeed a table and Jesus wants to tip it over. Symptoms: Church feels like a chore to accomplish and accounts for all the “bad stuff” that’s done all week.

Realizing that this list could continue to grow, we will close out with these four items. You may be able to recognize and add more from your experience and I’d invite you to do so in the comments section… but more importantly, there cannot be a close to this blog without this important fact:

JESUS DIDN’T JUST TURN THE TABLES OVER… HE DIED SO YOU WOULDN’T NEED TO SET THEM UP!!!

That is the beauty of the Gospel, Jesus died so that we could be set free from the tables, from the agendas, from the “for me” church mentality. The problem exists because we forget the all sufficient nature of the gospel and the freedom that flows from it. We also forget that nothing is as important to communicate as the gospel and its freedom. That we celebrate this weekend that Jesus came and died for us while we were opposed to Him. So please if anything on this list convicts or challenges you… please contemplate and reflect on the gospel.. and for the sake of the gospel, repent and ask Jesus to nail those things to the cross and give you freedom.

Jesus & TOMs…. would He?

SO… it’s been a while since I’ve tread into the blog-o-verse but there is some stuff on my mind this morning. Well really it’s been on my heart and mind for quite some time (it’s actually in the original list of blog-able topics that I wrote on my iPhone) and today is just the kind of day to get it out there. Big question for us to wrestle with…

WOULD JESUS WEAR TOMS?

Ok… that might be a little to divisive and politically incorrect to ask so maybe a better question is this:

ARE WE LETTING SOCIAL JUSTICE (or actually mere social awareness) REPLACE THE GOSPEL?

To be honest, frank, and maybe a little brutal here for a second… TOMS (which is not the guy’s name, it stands for TOMorrow’s Shoes) really really bother me. It’s like the most self aggrandizing way of helping someone. It’s the way to be hip and trendy, yet… make a statement that says “I’m aware that people around the world are going without shoes”.  They go against the very idea that helping others is supposed to be a selfless act.  Now I’m not ignorant to the fact that it does give some shoeless person somewhere a pair of shoes, and that’s awesome (sort of) and I realize that some people are now reading this very angrily, but before you come to my office with pitchforks and torches… please allow me to further illuminate my point.

The real heart of the matter is that in the American church, we seem to have grown into this idea that it doesn’t matter the motives for good things, as long as good things are happening we should support it with all we can, whether or not the Gospel goes forward or not.  WHAT!?!?!?!?!

This seems completely crazy to me. If we believe that Jesus is the hope of the world, we should in turn believe the most incredible message of His life, death,substitution,  resurrection, atonement, and victory are a pretty important thing to spread around. Even more important than shoes! Now… if it goes hand in hand with some shoes, great, if it goes hand in hand with whatever you do to serve those who are hurting awesome!!! But at what point did we decide that we should just omit the Gospel from those actions? or that we as Christ followers should jump on whatever trendy bandwagon there is out there whether that organization promotes the cause of Christ or not?

Thus the issue with TOMS…  the company itself doesn’t allow for any sharing of religious beliefs (proselytization) while taking part in their shoe distributions. Which bug, because that seems to point to hope being in shoes… or hope being in humanity. That is a different lens than the average Christian is taught about, not to mention that the vast majority of folks wearing TOMS are probably less than aware, or don’t really give a rip that someone got a pair of shoes, to many it’s just another hip fashion statement.

And so many organizations out there romance the young hip believer to really buy in to the fact that they are helping so that must count… right?

Why not get involved with organizations that promote not only clothing, feeding, sheltering, or educating people around the world, but also promote the idea that the greatest hope humanity has is not in itself, but in Jesus Christ?

Instead of buying trendy shoes that make a statement, take it a step further and take that money and invest it in a micro-lending organization like World Vision, or why not use it to put money toward a mission trip you could go on? Volunteer, serve, go, do something!! The possibilities are endless.

So to answer the question.. would Jesus wear TOMS… probably not. He would probably buy them and give them to someone he knew was in need of shoes around Him, then share the heart of His Father with them, and then there would be two people in need getting shoes, and at least one getting a real picture of hope.

Think about it… you could even comment about it….

j-

It’s Not Illegal to Pray

So it’s Wednesday and that means another retro blog post… WOO HOO! (really the thing that excites me is the efficiency, maybe when the retro blog posts are done, it can turn into re-posted blog day, someone else wrote this blog day, or totally plagiarized blog day… who knows. We’ll vote on it later)

OK… so this blog dates all the way back to April of 2008. I was kind of on a tear then and I wrote this in a bit of a huff. I still totally believe in the principal of this article, and I hope each person who reads it can see the heart behind it. It really speaks to the need to be aware of what we say and/or promote and the effects those words can have. Read on!!

It’s Not Illegal to Pray…

April 1, 2008

Ok… this blog was scheduled for about a month and a half ago but got sidelined while I worked out some other stuff. Since it’s a political year and I am a recovering political addict, I should hope that this would speak to those much like me, or that need to start the recovery process from rabid politicalism. It all started with this thought…

“You know… It’s not actually illegal to pray in schools.”

There is a growing exasperation within me for those that run around spewing forth (whether vocally, by those horrid e-mail forwards, web-sites, pulpits, whatever) this blatant lie that it is illegal for our kids to pray in school. That’s such a load of crap. No where in our country is it duly established that our students cannot pray in school. So the propogation of this lie by Christians at large infuriates me, and I am pretty sure that it’s not a real jewel in the eyes of Jesus either.

Why is it that while real persecution of Christians is going on in other parts of the world the american church has the audacity to whine about a complete falsehood? The problem is the underlying unspoken truth of the matter in the hearts of these people. MANDATED PRAYERS in school. This becomes the true crux of the matter. What some Christians want is for schools to return to a mandated prayer time in the morning, a time where those that don’t believe in what we do are forced to recite some prayer, all the while holding malice in their hearts toward the Church, Christianity, and ultimately God. So… it seems that in order to cover up this issue and give people a cause they can rally around they tell all of these stories about our children’s rights being trampled on because it’s illegal to pray in schools, or that… and this one kills me… God is not allowed in schools (I’m sure some of you have seen that shirt, bumpersticker, or e-mail). How can we presume for a second that God is not allowed anywhere? Or that by some mandate of man God himself is forbidden from entering someplace? It’s crazy on it’s face, but how many forwards have passed into your e-mail box, propogating this kind of crap.

We need to stop teaching our young people that this is the case. We need to start telling them that they can pray at school, that they can talk openly about God and their own faith in or walk with Him. We need to instruct them to do it in a way that meshes with scripture (2 Peter 3:15 “do so with gentleness and respect”). They don’t need to be turned into the next generation of whiners about our rights, they need to be raised into a generation of those who God has empowered with a spirit of Strength, Love, and Self-Discipline. We must stop relying on the institutions to do our job for us. We (that is parents, families, friends) must rise up and teach those in the generations to come that they can and should pray at their school, pray for their school, pray for their unsaved friends, pray for their teachers. They have been called to be salt and light and to shine like stars in a darkened world, SUPRISE SUPRISE… the darkened world includes the school campus. Stop waiting around for teachers, counselors, and other school adminitrators to come on line and start doing what we should be doing in the home, the church and at large.

thoughts?

Kən-ˈvik-shən… Part 1

So… There might be a little bit of confusion surrounding the title of this week’s blog, and rightly so. It seems that culturally there is a lot of confusion around this word… but before we get into that, a brief update on where the posts from last week were…

First, it was a holiday on Monday and so I took that call very seriously and spent a wonderful day with my family enjoying the chaos of John’s Incredible Pizza Co. and of course all that that entails. It was a great day!! I think Dr. King would have approved.

Second, I was illing on Wednesday and I thought a post on NyQuil, though entertaining, would probably not serve much purpose and possibly get me in trouble.

Now on to the things related to the current post and what that mess of letters at the top of the page mean.

CONVICTION – kən-ˈvik-shən – (it’s the phonetic spelling) and let there be a clear reiteration that, there seems to be a great deal of confusion around the concept of conviction.  One might say there is a bit of frəs-ˈtrā-shən surrounding conviction, from both sides of the coin (or actually a few different sides of the coin). Conviction is a multi-faceted aspect of our growth as Christ followers we must allow for, grow in, and live with conviction.

Now of course,  because we are pretty broken, we struggle with all of these things (which is pretty normal since all areas of growth seem to be areas where we struggle, imagine that), but the problem is when we push back and decide we will not be subject to the growth and we engage in running from God, or deflecting what God is trying to do justify our current state as being “good enough”. So let’s tackle these areas one by one and see if there can be any light shed for each of us…

ALLOW FOR…  As God’s kids we have to allow for His conviction to have weight in our lives. This is what Webster’s describes as “the act of being convinced of error or compelled to tell the truth”. God has imparted to us His Holy Spirit, and through this He will bring conviction into our lives, through a number of different means. Our struggle is we often don’t like the means. When a pastor preaches a sermon, or speaks into our lives to correct or rebuke our actions, we dislike it. We’re not talking the typical go to church and hear a good motivating sermon that reminds you to be more active in serving, sharing, or giving, type of conviction (that’s way to comfy), no more like the good old fashioned root out your sin and smash you in the face kind of preaching, the kind that sets on your head & heart and DEEPLY convicts you. This we don’t like, the first kind we can laugh and smile and tell the pastor “man you really got me with this one”. In fact the typical reaction is for us when faced with truly deep conviction is to react with anger, after all it’s judgment right? At least that’s the normal claim. Judgment, legalism, Pharasiaism (which is being like a Pharisee) are the usual default when we are challenged at a deep level, when really called on the carpet. It seems we are not conditioned for conviction on this level. We assume that God wants only for us to be mildly uncomfortable, and we also assume that God would never use our pastor to bring that kind of news. Why, for that level of conviction there should be some sort of direct line communication right? Maybe.  We have been conditioned to think that any time a human being speaks to us with authority that challenges our comfort and tells us to “STOP IT!!” they are only operating out of anger and judgment, that they are proponents of legalism, or are in the same camp as Jesus’ favorite bunch; the Pharisees (which if you want to know the level of how bad that is, just read Matthew 23) . That is just plain wrong. In 2 Samuel God used Nathan the prophet to Go to King David and deliver a healthy dose of conviction. Imagine that, a pastor going to the ruler of the land, a dude with tons of power, and delivering a message of “stop it!!”.  Oh.. and what was the conclusion of that interaction? David, who could have easily continued in rebellion and even had Nathan killed for any number of trumped up charges, repented, submitted and allowed the conviction to grow him.

Are we allowing God’s conviction to course through our lives? Are we allowing the people (yep people) who are placed in spiritual authority over us to lead us and bring those words to us? Are we rejecting God’s conviction because it’s poking at our own personal golden calves?

David was a broken man, who clearly struggled, but when he got it right… he really got it right. My hope is that our hearts are to seek like David did, and not hold our lives in clenched fists. That our hearts would be soft to God’s leading and we would allow His continued refinement of our character, and our journey with Him.

 

Next Week: Part 2- Growing in Conviction.