Every week at our church, the preaching pastor adds some additional thoughts for reflection and spiriual formation. Here is the follow up devotional from my last sermon. Enjoy!
ENCOUNTER: Read James 4:7-10
This passage of scripture might be one of the least memorized passages of scripture for all time. I mean, who really wants to come to terms with the depth of their sin, dysfunction, and brokenness. Who wants to own that their own choices and rebellion have crushed and ruined things, people, and our intimacy with God. Who is willing to grieve, mourn and wail their own depravity?
Do you want to know who? You do!
Because the larger story of the gospel is that because of the work that Jesus has done on the cross, the punishment for our sin has been paid for and according to Romans 8:1 there is now no longer any condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. THIS IS GOOD NEWS!
And it is this good news that gives us the freedom to really examine and own our own garbage. People who are not free from condemnation spend their lives hiding and pretending. If we fully embrace the gospel we find that freedom, love, and grace are the new markers.
With this freedom, we are compelled to examine the depth of our depravity, the depth of our sin, the depth of our rebellion. For when we do, when we bring the light of Christ and expose the deep darkness, healing and transformation come!
As we study Romans 8 and dive deeply into all the good things that come from a new life in the Spirit, may we be willing to do the heavy lifting and difficult task of being truly reflective. For when we do this we truly do move more towards Christ. And with every step, Jesus gives us the strength and hope to uncover new rocks, which in turn expose new areas of brokenness to the light, which then, in turn, allow the light of Christ to heal, transform, and redeem! Be free to dive deeply into the abyss, because you are free in Christ!
BE REFLECTIVE: What is one rock you would be willing to overturn and expose to Jesus? Knowing that you are loved, forgiven, and not condemned for whatever you may find, what is holding you back from really taking a hard look at this area? To make it easier, what is an area that Jesus has already turned over and healed?
BE A BLESSING: Because you have been freed from the punishment for your sin and rebellion, who is someone you can extend grace and mercy to who has sinned against you? How can you use the exploration of your own sinfulness and brokenness to work towards reconciliation with others?
BE TOGETHER: This journey into these dark palaces can be extremely daunting and scary. Who is someone in your life that you can walk with as you begin to uncover some of these rocks, or peer deeper down into the abyss?