Take chances. Abandon all the rules. Ditch the recipe. Color outside the lines.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Cups of Coffee and Power Rangers DVD's

Confession:  I, Jess, sometimes get excited about really silly things.  For example, the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers from when I was a kid is now on DVD, and yes, I did scream like a little girl when I saw it in Walmart and immediately bought it without looking at the price tag. 

Another one?  When the band leader at church starts singing an old school rock song during band practice I stop, midsentence of my other conversations, and start professing my love to the band.

 Also, any time I go somewhere and there is unexpectedly a pot of coffee ready, I will melt into a puddle and forever praise the name of wherever that place may be. 

Now that you all know how much of a nerd I am, I will coyly tie this in to my next point.  I think we get too excited about the wrong things in the church sometimes.  We cheer for the building fund filling up, the number of people we’ve lured to our pews, and how many of our children can recite John 3:16.  Don’t get me wrong, those are all great things, but really they are just cups of coffee and Power Rangers DVDs and have little value in the big picture. 

We have passion for God but it’s for gaining his favor by doing good things in the name of Christian service.  We think to ourselves I will be closer to God if I tithe more, go on visitation, read my bible, pray constantly, do my quiet times, memorize verses, never drink or smoke, and win people to my way of thinking.  Those things are great things but if you are doing them in order to gain something from God then really that’s not passion for God that’s just passion for yourself. 

There is a verse in Romans that covers this exact situation.  The Jews and the Christian Gentiles were at odds.  The Jews still believed you had to live by the law (doing things to be right with God) and the Gentiles were all about liberty through grace.  Then you have Jewish Christians (much like churches in America today) who tried to mix law with grace and call it balance.  The book of Romans is filled with the conflicting Theology between these groups and Paul consistently reminds us that we are completely righteous through Christ’s sacrifice. 
“I can testify that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not in line with the truth. For ignoring the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking instead to establish their own righteousness, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. For Christ is the end of the law, with the result that there is righteousness for everyone who believes.”
Zealous is a good word. Most of the time it gets translated as passion, but really it’s more than that.  Zeal is eager desire, enthusiastic diligence, and fervor for a cause.  Zeal makes you strive, push, and grasp at that thing you are zealous for.  Often times our zeal for God leads us to the thinking that we can somehow get more from him if we try harder. 

We have the fullness of God’s favor, grace, pleasure, and righteousness.  Yet, still, we strain to make our own righteousness as if we could in some way out do Christ’s sacrifice that made us completely right with God.  We are righteous. You can’t get any more righteous you just either are or you’re not.  You are alive or you are dead, there are no such thing as zombies (sorry to all the gamers out there). 

I am zealous.  Zealous for the revolution of grace.  Zealous for a Christ who doesn’t just save me from hell and then expect something from me as a thank you, but for a Christ who made me his bride, died for my freedom, and infused me with his own standing with his Father.  That… is something we should be excited about!

*Romans 10:2-4 (NET)

No comments:

Post a Comment