Teaspoon Christianity

I just saw this over at Joshua Harris’ blog and had to share it:

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“For those of us who have been Christians for a while, it becomes easy to think that we’ve pretty much exhausted the possibilities of the Christian life. We can settle into a routine of activities at church and in our small groups and Bible studies, with little expectation of anything new. The familiar becomes the predictable, and everything from here on out will be more of the same. We dip our teaspoon into the vast ocean of the living God. Holding that teaspoon in our hand, we say, ‘This is God.’ we pour it out into our lives, and we say, ‘This is the Christian experience.’

God calls us to dive into the ocean. He call us into ever new regions of his fullness, his immensity, his all-sufficiency. There is more for us in Christ than we have yet apprehended. Let’s never think that we have him figured out or that we’ve seen all he can do. The Bible is not a guidebook to a theological museum. It is a road map showing us the way into neglected or even forgotten glories of the living God.”

Ray Ortlund,When God Comes to Church

Loose Lips Might Sink Ships

Borrowing these great thoughts from Ray Ortlund:

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One big difference between the righteous and the wicked is that the righteous reveal and the wicked conceal with their mouths.

The mouth of the righteous is a fountain of life,
but the mouth of the wicked conceals violence. (PR 10.11)

The righteous reveal the fountain of life that’s in their hearts. Like God, the great Revealer, they open themselves to others. They share wisdom, joy, encouragement and life that God has given them.  They also reveal their temptations, burdens and sins to others.

The wicked conceal, like their father, Satan. He hides, deceives, and operates in darkness.  The wicked conceal their hatred, sins and intentions. They smile to your face and slander you behind your back. Their M.O. is to cover up, to fly under the radar, and play their cards close to their chests.

All of us are tempted to conceal. It’s humbling to confess our sins and struggles to others. I want to look good; I want others to think I have it all together.  But concealing is the road to disaster; confessing the path to mercy:

Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy. (PR 28.13)

Question: What holds you back from sharing your struggles with others? And how have you grown in sharing them?

How to Wreck Your Church in Three Weeks

I just read this over on Ray Ortlund’s blog and was struck at its truth. Read and let me know what you think:

How to wreck your church in three weeks

Week One:  Walk into church today and think about how long you’ve been a member, how much you’ve sacrificed, how under-appreciated you are.  Take note of every way you’re dissatisfied with your church now.  Take note of every person who displeases you.

Meet for coffee this week with another member and “share your heart.”  Discuss how your church is changing, how you are being left out.  Ask your friend who else in the church has “concerns.”  Agree together that you must “pray about it.”

Week Two:  Send an email to a few other “concerned” members.  Inform them that a groundswell of grievance is surfacing in your church.  Problems have gone unaddressed for too long.  Ask them to keep the matter to themselves “for the sake of the body.”

As complaints come in, form them into a petition to demand an accounting from the leaders of the church.  Circulate the petition quietly.  Gathering support will be easy.  Even happy members can be used if you appeal to their sense of fairness – that your side deserves a hearing.  Be sure to proceed in a way that conforms to your church constitution, so that your petition is procedurally correct.

Week Three:  When the growing moral fervor, ill-defined but powerful, reaches critical mass, confront the elders with your demands.  Inform them of all the woundedness in the church, which leaves you with no choice but to put your petition forward.  Inform them that, for the sake of reconciliation, the concerns of the body must be satisfied.

Whatever happens from this point on, you have won.  You have changed the subject in your church from gospel advance to your own grievances.  To some degree, you will get your way.  Your church will need three or four years for recovery.  But at any future time, you can do it all again.  It only takes three weeks.

Just one question.  Even if you are being wronged, “Why not rather suffer wrong?” (1 Corinthians 6:7).