Tag Archives: Christ

Simul justus et peccator — Simultaneous Righteouss and Sinner

Simul justus et peccator

(Latin simul, “simultaneous” + Latin justus, “righteous” + Latin et, “and” + Latin peccator, “sinner”)[10]

From:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theology_of_Martin_Luther

Roman Catholic theology maintains that baptism washes away original sin. However, “concupiscence” remains as an inclination to sin, which is not sin unless actualized.[11] Luther and the Reformers, following Augustine, insisted that what was called “concupiscence” was actually sin. While not denying the validity of baptism, Luther maintains that the inclination to sin is truly sin.[12]

“Simul justus et peccator” simply means that a Christian’s righteousness or justification imputed in baptism is a gift of Christ, freely given despite the sinner’s condition. The doctrine of “simul justus” is not an excuse for lawlessness, or a license for continued sinful conduct; rather, properly understood, it comforts the person who truly wishes to be free from sin and is aware of the inner struggle within him. Romans 7 is the key biblical passage for understanding this doctrine.

Luther also does not deny that the Christian may ever “improve” in his conduct. Instead, he wishes to keep Christians from either relying upon or despairing because of their own conduct or attitude.

 

Wrestling with God

Well,

I just got back from a motorcycle trip where everything did not go as planned.  On the way to Dubuque, Ia my motorcycle broke down mid afternoon and did not have enough power to go up hills any longer. I did not know exactly where I was and was wondering …..”What the heck do I do next”.  Well, eventually a guy stopped by so I was able to ask where the nearest mechanic was.  The nearest mechanic was a guy that was a good mechanic was not really a motorcycle specialist , let alone a Polaris Victory specialist.  Well, we got on the phone with a guy from the Victory dealership and our best guess was that I purchased bad gas.  They said they saw this all the time. So we drained the gas and put in new gas. Cost for the mechanic plus new gas was only $70.

So I took off and it seemed to be at least moving.  I went to the next town and then I was getting no power on hills again… Drat!  What do I do now.  Well, back on the phone to the Vic dealership  and they eventually sent a tow truck, I spent the night in a hotel and they diagnosed a hard clutch.. or a clutch cable that was too tight!  The next day after adjusting the clutch cable,  I test drove the bike  but after 10 miles I was getting the same thing. I limped back to the Vic dealership and this time we had to replace the entire clutch!!!!  They had to overnight  a clutch but then I got the real bad news!  A 2nd night in a Hotel in a small town without much to do.. but the really  bad new was even though the bike was in warranty … because the clutch cable was too tight …. it was labelled as “neglect” and it would not be covered under warranty. Well, I bought the bike directly from a Polaris rep and eitehr he or his technician was the last to adjust my cable.   . My total bill for the new clutch was $1200 with the tow truck now! GRRR!

So instead of 3 days  riding I spent 2 nights stuck in a Hotel in Waukon, Ia.  I basically lost 3 days of vacation and never got to my destination of Anamosa, Ia to see the motorcycle museum. GRRRRRR!

Well, that’s the specifics of what happened but what was occurring behind the scenes of this broken down few days of lost vacation and personal isolation in Waukon, Ia.

Well I started out the trip and was meditating on Psalm 131 and the idea of resting under the umbrella of Gods providence!  However, even at the beginning of the trip I was actually wrestling with God… A LOT!  You see, recently we had some unfortunate leadership changes in my men’s group and I have been struggling with this for the last few weeks as the other leader in this group.   It has clearly impacted me.  As I was sitting on the side of a road for several hours this week, I had several opportunities to get upset at the mechanic.  I was working hard at managing my emotions.   Rather, than resting under the umbrella of Gods providence, I was wrestling with God.  How do I manage my emotions?  Do I snap out in anger at someone?  Do I do something even worse?  I was wrestling with God in a deeply spiritual way.

In the past these kinds of situations would have sent me off the deep end.  After all. I lost a ride I was really looking forward too and I lost 3 days vacation and I was stuck on a little dink town without much to do. In the past,  I would have found some negative behavior to engage in. Well temptation hit me several times as I wrestled with God over what to do!  All I can say is my trip that started out attempting to rest under the umbrella of Gods providence ended up in me and God wrestling for most of the time.

I opened my Bible and read the story of where Jacob wrestled with God!  At the end of a night of wrestling with God Jacob said “I won’t let you go till you bless me!”  What I can say is this that wrestling with God is not a bad thing … because it means you have not given into your fleshly desires.  And following this wrestling is a time of blessing.    Why do I say wrestling with God is a good thing?  Because the the option to not wrestling with God would have been giving into my anger and personal desires.  If you wrestle with God .. God will always win… and by default you will be blessed more than if you do NOT give in to your desires.

So my encouragement to those that have given in to your anger or desires is …. feel free to wrestle with God over your desires. FIGHT! Don’t give in!  FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!  Gods grace and mercy are more than sufficient for you as you work toward  the goal of “living under the umbrella” of God’s providence! In the end God will sovereignl work in the lives that love him and dont give in to their desires.

Now, as I attempt to write an e-mail to the guy I purchased the bike and contact Polaris over my dissatisfaction over my lack of warranty with a bike that should be in warranty….. I am sure I will continue this “wrestling match”… but I know God will always bless me as I stay in the fight!

So FIGHT! Dont give in to your desires. God will bless those that struggle against their flesh and “wrestle with Him”  as they work toward doing the right thing. My goal is to still rest under Gods providence…. but that proved to be very hard this week. So feel free to wrestle with God till you can find that resting spot! In the end God will always win!

How the Gospel Works

Reblog Post:

 

Here are some quotes from my favorite author in NYC, Tim Keller.They can be found here:  http://www.timkeller.info/comments/quotes.

 

“We do not have to make ourselves suffer in order to merit forgiveness. We simply receive the forgiveness earned by Christ. 1 John 1:9 says that God forgives us because He is ‘just.’ That is a remarkable statement. It would be unjust of God to ever deny us forgiveness, because Jesus earned our acceptance! In religion we earn our forgiveness with our repentance, but in the gospel we just receive it.” (ht:firstimportance.org )

“The Bible’s purpose is not so much to show you how to live a good life. The Bible’s purpose is to show you how God’s grace breaks into your life against your will and saves you from the sin and brokenness otherwise you would never be able to overcome… religion is ‘if you obey, then you will be accepted’. But the Gospel is, ‘if you are absolutely accepted, and sure you’re accepted, only then will you ever begin to obey’. Those are two utterly different things. Every page of the Bible shows the difference.” (ht: spadinofamily)

on Romans 1:16-17 – “Paul is not saying the gospel produces power. He says the gospel IS the power of God in verbal form. Do we believe that?” [or do I secretly believe that everything is up to me?] (ht: jayhardwick)

“Repentance out of mere fear is really sorrow for the consequences of sin, sorrow over the danger of sin — it bends the will away from sin, but the heart still clings. But repentance out of conviction over mercy is really sorrow over sin, sorrow over the grievousness of sin — it melts the heart away from sin. It makes the sin itself disgusting to us, so it loses its attractive power over us. We say, ‘this disgusting thing is an affront to the one who died for me. I’m continuing to stab him with it!’” – Timothy Keller, Church Planter Manual (net source)

“The gospel creates the only kind of grief over sin which is clean and which does not crush. It says: ‘Look at Jesus dying for you! He won’t leave you or abandon you–how then can you respond as you are? He suffered so you wouldn’t do this thing! You are not living as though you are loved! As his child! It is not because he will abandon you that you should be holy, but because this is the one who at inestimable cost to himself has said he won’t ever abandon you! How can you live in the very sin that he was ripped to pieces to deliver you from?’ See the GRACE of God argument? It is the only argument which cannot be answered.” – Timothy Keller, Church Planter Manual (ht: Of First Importance)

‘Self-salvation through good works may produce a great deal of moral behaviour in your life, but inside you are miserable. You are always comparing yourself to other people, and you are never sure you are being good enough. You cannot therefore, deal with your hideousness and self-absorption through the moral law, by trying to be a good person through an act of the will. You need a complete transformation of the very motives of your heart.’ – The Reason For God, 177 (ht: GaryMcMurray)
“The Cross is not simply a lovely example of sacrificial love. Throwing your life away needlessly is not admirable — it is wrong. Jesus’ death was only a good example if it was more than an example, if it was something absolutely necessary to rescue us. And it was. Why did Jesus have to die in order to forgive us? There was a debt to be paid — God himself paid it. There was a penalty to be born — God himself bore it. Forgiveness is always a form of costly suffering.” Tim Keller, The Reason for God, 193 (ht: Scott Stewart)

“… those who understand the gospel cannot possibly look down on anyone, since they were saved by sheer grace, not by their perfect doctrine or strong moral character.
Another mark of the moral-performance narrative is a constant need to find fault, win arguments, and prove that all opponents are not just mistaken but dishonest sellouts. However, when the gospel is deeply grasped, our need to win arguments is removed, and our language becomes gracious. We don’t have to ridicule our opponents, but instead we can engage them respectfully.
People who live in the moral-performance narrative use sarcastic, self-righteous putdown humor, or have no sense of humor at all. Lewis speaks of “the unsmiling concentration upon Self, which is the mark of hell.” The gospel, however, creates a gentle sense of irony. We find a lot to laugh at, starting with our own weaknesses. They don’t threaten us anymore because our ultimate worth is not based on our record or performance.” – Tim Keller, [The Prodigal God?] (ht: pastorinbloggaus‘ The Gospel Creates a Gentle Sense of Irony)

“Jesus’s teaching consistently attracted the irreligious while offending the Bible-believing, religious people of his day. However, in the main, our churches today do not have this effect. The kind of outsiders Jesus attracted are not attracted to contemporary churches, even our most avant-garde ones. We tend to draw conservative, buttoned-down, moralistic people. The licentious and liberated or the broken and marginal avoid church. That can only mean one thing. If the preaching of our ministers and the practice of our parishioners do not have the same effect on people that Jesus had, then we must not be declaring the same message that Jesus did.” – Timothy Keller, The Prodigal God (ht: CoffeeRandom ‘The True Message of Jesus)

“[Jesus] is saying that the inevitable sign that you know you are a sinner saved by sheer, costly grace is a sensitive social conscience and a life poured out in deeds of sheer service to the poor. Younger brothers are too selfish and elder brothers too self-righteous to care for the poor” (p.112). Earlier in the book, Keller elaborated on the sin of the older brother: “Elder brothers may do good to others, but not out of delight in the deeds themselves or for the love of people or the pleasure of God. They are not really feeding the hungry and clothing the poor, they are feeding and clothing themselves” (p.62, The Prodigal God).  (ht: wsvanderlugt “Why Don’t We Care for the Poor?”)

It is only when you see the desire to be your own Savior and Lord -lying beneath both your sins and your moral goodness- that you are on the verge of understanding the gospel and becoming a Christian indeed.  When you realize that the antidote to being bad is not just being good, you are on the brink. If you follow through, it will change everything: how you relate to God, self, others, the world, your work, your sins, your virtue.  It’s called the new birth because it’s so radical. (p. 78) Jesus Christ, who had all the power in the world, saw us enslaved by the very things we thought would free us.  So he emptied himself of his glory and became a servant.  He laid aside the infinities and immensities of his being and, at the cost of his life, paid the debt for our sins, purchasing us the only place our hearts can rest, in his Father’s house…  Knowing this will transform us from the inside out… Why wouldn’t you want to offer yourself to someone like this? Selfless love destroys the mistrust in our hearts toward God that makes us either younger brothers or elder brothers… We will never stop being younger brothers of elder brothers until we acknowledge our need, rest by faith, and gaze in wonder at the work of our true elder brother, Jesus Christ. (p. 87-89 The Prodigal God) (ht:RelentlessGrace, “Our hearts are transformed by service, not power”) * speaking of the power of the Gospel: “... the more you see your own flaws and sins, the more precious, electrifying, and amazing God’s grace appears to you. Buton the other hand, the more aware you are of God’s grace and acecptance in Christ, the more able you are to drop your denials and self-defenses and admit the true dimensions and character of your sin. This also creates a new dynamic for discipline and obedience. First, the knowledge of our acceptance in Christ makes it easier to admit we are flawed because we know we won’t be cast off if we confess the true depths of our sinfulness. Second, it makes the law of God a thing of beauty instead of burden. We can use it to delight and imitate the one who has saved us rather than to get his attention or procure his favor. We now run the race “for the joy that is set before us” rather than “for fear that comes behind us.” ” Tim Keller in Introduction to Galatians (ht: TheSticklerFamily)

“At the root of all our disobedience are particular ways in which we continue to seek control of our lives through systems of works-righteousness. The way to progress as a Christian is to continually repent and uproot these systems the same way we become Christians, namely by the vivid depiction (and re-depiction) of Christ’s saving work for us, and the abandoning of self-trusting efforts to complete ourselves. We must go back again and again to the gospel of Christ-crucified, so that our hearts are more deeply gripped by the reality of what he did and who we are in him.” – Timothy Keller, Paul’s Letter to the Galatians (Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2003), p.61 (ht: pjcockrell)

The Evils of Idolatry and Thoughts on Worship

When our culture is considered through the lens of worship and idolatry we see a deeper sin and a greater need for a Savior. This is because everyone everywhere is continually worshiping incorrect things, and idolatry is, sadly, only seen when we examine our hearts deeply. We often have too narrow an understanding of worship and sin and do not see that idolatry empowers our sin and provides the motives for us to sin.

One of the great evils of idolatry is that if we idolize, we must also demonize. Tim Keller reminds us that if we idolize our race, we must demonize other races. If we idolize our gender, we must demonize the other gender. If we idolize our nation, we must demonize other nations. If we idolize our political party, we must demonize other political parties. If we idolize our socioeconomic class, we must demonize other classes. If we idolize our family, we must demonize other families. If we idolize our theological system, we must demonize other theological systems. If we idolize our church, we must demonize other churches.

An understanding of the nature of the Idolatrous heart then not only gives us the ability to see to the motives under the easy to see sins of money, materialism, sex, self-righteousness and power … but it also allows us to see the motives that drive the sins that also are not quite as devastating. It allows us to see the motives behind the sins that turn good things into ultimate things. Our hearts indeed turn easily to other gods.

If we understand this then we begin to have a fighting chance to have “heart based” change and sanctification. We see our need for Jesus … not only in our need to go to heaven…. but we also see our need for a Jesus that changes and grows us. Gods grace on the cross then does not become just an event that gives us a “ticket” for heaven but it also becomes the center of growth and change.

By looking at idolatry, sin, and worship of the heart in a deep way we don’t offer people a “system of redemption” and just some advice that stems from a mound of ideological insight and principals. Change does not come from the mound … it comes from a man. We offer a redeemer that glares at the heart of our idolatry and we finally have a chance at real, lasting change as a result.

God is Good: Good Year Going in 2012

Have not had a post for a while and that has been somewhat intentional as I have several things I am juggling all the time both professionally and personally.  Just wanted to post that so far its been a good year going in 2012. My wife and I are doing well. We are doing a book called Rescue Your Love Life that uses a slot of the same language as our Marriage Rebuilders groups.    I am also nearing the end of some long term planning for a new ministry called “True North”. It is basically a mens group that will also have a  link to Marriage Rebuilders at Hosanna Church that my wife and I do.   We plan to meet at Church called Evergreen Church on the South side of the twin cities, Mn.  The start of this ministry is a prayer answered for me and its been in the planning stages for almost a year.

God is good!

 

 

John Q. vs. Kermit the Frog (Fantasy and Reality)

Have you ever seen the movie John Q?  In the movie John Q’s young son falls down  running to second base in a basball game and they find out he has a bad heart and needs a heart transplant.  John Q  had recently lost his job.  His wife works at McDonalds.  They have no insurance money and the hospital caters to only paying patients so they can only give John Q options of how his son can best survive until he dies rather than give him options as to how his son can find a heart and live.  In desperation John Q takes over the hospital with a gun…. but the bullet was in his pocket. His intention was to take over the hospital until they found  a heart …. or to take his own life and give his own heart to his son!  A good story.  Men love this story because of the bravery and morality of John Q.

In many ways we are all in love with the image of being a John Q.  The idea of this kind of bravery and bravado and moral performance  is attractive to many.  We love it. We want to think we can be John Q.

On the other hand you have Kermit the frog. Kermit knows he is weak.  Kermit knows his limitations and you can tell by the songs he sings he has a level of transparency, honesty, integrity…. Because he is honest and aware of this limitations  you can see he is in touch with his inner frog and his frogly weaknesses!  Perhaps this is why he is so attractive to Ms. Piggy! :-).   Think about that one guys.   Some people would call this awareness of limitations and the stories in the songs he sings … wisdom!

I lead some mens groups and me and my wife are also are in Marriage rebuilders at our Church.  My personal experiences tell me that the Kermits of the world tend to do better than the people that are in love with the John Q moral performance  imagery.  People that are honest about themselves are the people that are growing.  These people are in touch with the reality of their sin.  The people in love with the John Q, manly performance imagery tend to be the same person at 18 as they are at 50!

Bravado (pride)…. especially male bravado … gets in the way of growth and change. Many men may grow in their careers but yet they are basically the same person at 50 as they were at 18.  They are successful in career but are maybe just going through the motions in their marriage or relationships with people.

My thoughts are not fully formed on this at this point. I find it funny that Kermit, a sesame street character, represents reality in the point I am making here. The verse of scripture I am trying to bring out is:

2 Corinthians 12

9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Really guys its ok to be Kermit the frog!!!!  Honestly! Are you John Q or Kermit?  Do you know your froggly weaknesses?

Anyhow, this BLOG topic was inspired by a conversation between me and my wife about 6 months ago. :-).   She wants you to know that any correlation between the name Ms “Piggy” and her is completely accidental and not accurate . :-).

The cosmic dance of life

My wife and I are taking dance lessons again.  A couple of years back we learned west coast swing.  Now we are learning a slow dance called night club 2 step.  I really like it. Not only does it give the two of us something  to do during our long winters in Minnesota, but I also love the symbology of dancing and how it is a communication style of  non verbal cues  between 2 people.  The entire dance hinges on a “connection” between 2 people.  For the dance to succeed in looking like a dance it requires some very basic skills of highly subtle communication. Once those basic skills are mastered you can move on to more “styling” in your dance.

For the dancing to start being successful it requires 2 things. First, I need to communicate the dance moves to Sue in a way she understands.   In dancing a lot of these are subtle things you do to communicate your intent.  This connection between 2 people is what makes the dance work.  If the leader gives the wrong understanding to the follower it does not look like much of a dance. If the follower back leads the dance it is not very much fun for the leader and its definitely not how dancing was designed to be like.

Second, to move on to where the dance really looks good and start making progress Sue needs to feel safe in the dance communication going on between us.  If that safety is not there she is not willing to move on to learning the next thing to make dancing even more fun.  Furthermore, A lack of safety sucks the fun right of out dancing for me and her.

Those are the building blocks of dancing. Communicating  our intentions with understanding  and providing a safe environment where can grow and move on to more advanced and more fun dance moves!!  Growing with my wife is is much like dancing.   Intimacy and closeness with  my wife requires understanding and safety. Safety and understanding are the building blocks of intimacy and both, like dancing, require effort and intentionality as we take specific steps to grow together.  To communicate with understanding and safety requires some very deep roots in Gods love and mercy because, quite often it is NOT safe to communicate our shortcomings and vulnerabilitites to other sinners.  Also, we strive and work hard to protect our image of performance as a good performing employee, nice person, or moral achiever.   We communicate our strengths but.. gasp!…. never our weaknesses.   When we live up to our performance expectations we feel good about ourselves and when we don’t we feel like failures.

However, when we create an environment to safely share our weaknesses (James 5:16) and we live with the grace and mercy narrative of the cross  in how we behave toward other sinners we have the recipe for growth and change and finally have a chance at …. real intimacy.  This intimacy is not rooted in the performance and expectations of the other person but it finally has real understanding.  It loves progress but does not demand perfection.   We can put finally put down the performance achievement mask and be real with each other.

Finally, intimacy must be about something shared.  For years as Sue and I were raising the kids we seemed to be on separate missions.  Our shared lives were dismal as I became rooted in my job and she became more rooted in the children.  So what are you sharing? For Sue and I we now share workouts together, walks, devotions, a few games, some deep conversations and of course … we are trying something new …. dancing.

As we enjoy our new dancing skills I also have a vision I established about 5 years ago that I am temporarily calling for this blog topic  “the cosmic dance of life” . <—Link

Merry Christmas to you all!

Getting the gospel on Video — Living in Community

When I was young I heard the message of the gospel and I responded.  As I grew I read Gods word and I tried to respond as best I could.  But yet as much as I tried I still had some worldly attachments that God did not want me to have.  I did not want to remove these things I was “friendly with” from my life.   These things I was “friends with”  became a major source of strife later in life for me, my wife and family.  As I type this I think of the following verse in James:

James 4

Submit Yourselves to God

1 What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

4 You adulterous people,[a] don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us[b]? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:

“God opposes the proud
but shows favor to the humble.”[c]

7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up

So in my beginning I heard a message and responded.  I read and learned but yet I still struggled against these things that I was “friends with”.  As I consider all those years I think back and realize now when I heard the message I responded … but I responded mostly alone.  When I read Gods word, I responded ….. mostly alone.  I heard Gods message and I read (saw) Gods word… mostly alone.   I had Gods word in audio and visual form but I did not have it in “living color” video.  I think a lot of people are like this. They have the gospel of Jesus Christ on audio but not necessarily on video.

So this begs the question on how do we get the gospel in “living color” video and rather than  just “learn and hear” Gods word?  I think the answer lies in being in community with other Christian brothers and sisters. Coming along side them and shedding tears of joy and sadness.  Having them support us and us supporting them.  As we do this we are not just sharing biblical insights but we are sharing real problems, real concerns,  and doing real life with each other.  This community of grace then allows grace, mercy, and the support of Christian community transform us over as we live under the cross of Jesus Christ.  As we  intimately and safely share real life situations we transition from an audio Gospel to a living color video Gospel.  We find that having the gospel on video begins to transform the mind in ways that only having it on audio could not do. Having the gospel on video now allows us to see how we have subtly judged other people that have different types sins than we had. It gives a complete paradigm and an agenda shift of the heart!

Getting the gospel on video, for me at least, also meant knowing and understanding all the worldly things I was “friends with” and how they worked in my heart.  Getting the gospel on video did a lot more than just give me another new biblical insight (I had a lot of those).  It offered me a complete shift in how I saw the agenda of my heart.  I began to see all the things my heart was “attached to” that James describes as adulterous in James 4. You see James 4 is not discussing adultery in the sense that we see it in today’s world. It is talking about spiritual adultery.   Spiritual adultery is about giving our first and primary love to other things that belong  to God first and primarily. It also took this community of people to help me see all the affections of my heart that I was completely blind to.


So as I examined my heart over the years I found 2 categories of things that were taking my affections away from loving God first and primarily.

1. Worldly sins that I had to completely remove from my life

2. Wonderfully good gifts from God that I prioritized higher than God. In this category are things like desiring acceptance from my wife, family, coworkers, and friends

Over the years I have become pretty good and figuring out the first one. That one is obvious for most of us.

The second one I find much harder to discern.  Even though I still struggle with fear of rejection and uncertainty (sometimes only paranoia of rejection) at times in this area I also know that God will never ask me to love my wife and children less. He does, however, ask me to love Him more.  So as I think about James and my continuing efforts to get the gospel on video rather than audio, I see now that James is asking us for a shift in the agenda of our heart and affections.  When I am discerning of the idols and agenda of my heart and replace this with a God that is BIGGER than those idols,  I find out that if I am rejected by someone I am no longer devastated to the point of complete inaction. I no longer flee to my “things of safety” and my old sinful habits because I see a God that is bigger than the affections and friends of my heart.   I am able to make steps toward communication and reconciliation rather than sit in my own self pity. To me this is major victory!

Finally (Foremostly), God has offered his son Jesus Christ so I can completely get off the spiritual treadmill of life and learn to discern the affections of my heart and to love under the freedom and victory of the cross!!! How wonderul is that! Having the Gospel on video gets me off the spiritual treadmill of life and having to prove myself to other people… even in good, godly ways! Perhaps having the gospel on video is the only way to discern our “religious idolatry and cravings”?

That’s my .02c worth for today!