What is Supernatural is Not Necessarily Mystical

Supernatural.

Defined like this: of, relating to, or being above or beyond what is natural; unexplainable by natural law or phenomena; abnormal.

What we mean, then, by supernatural, is that there is a default way of everything. The law of gravity, for example, means that things are pulled downward, or toward the center of the earth. If one day things started “falling” upward, or if things began to float on their own without some outside force acting on them, we would say it was a supernatural occurrence because the observed happenings were not in line with what they’re supposed to be.

Christians deal in the realm of the supernatural all the time, even if we don’t recognize it. We believe the natural, the default, posture of the human heart is sinful. When we commit acts of sin, it’s a very natural thing for us to do because that’s our bent. It’s an expression of who we are. But when we believe the gospel, something supernatural happens. Our default changes. We begin to act in accordance with our new nature. We do things and think things and believe things and say things that are out of place in the natural order of the world:

We love our enemies.

We rejoice when persecuted.

We are grateful in all circumstances.

We give instead of take.

All these things are against the way of the world. But just because something is supernatural doesn’t necessarily mean it’s mystical. When we think of something being mystical, it’s a bit more hazy than something being supernatural. When we say something is mystical, we mean it’s obscure. It’s mysterious. And while the two words might share some characteristics, I’m thinking more and more that it’s important for us to recognize the difference because doing so impacts the way we live out our faith.

Take, for example, Paul’s words in Galatians 5:16:

I say then, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.

“Walk by the Spirit,” says Paul. This sounds like a pretty mystical thing when you first read it. We might have a picture in our minds of someone starting out from their house to walk with no aim in mind, just waiting for the Spirit to show them where to go. They go through their lives this way, waiting for that voice or feeling or vision so they will know the next step to take.

I’m not saying it doesn’t happen that way; you, like me, have probably had times when you felt like the Holy Spirit was leading you in a certain way or to say a certain thing or to contact a certain person though you don’t know why in the moment. But walking by the Spirit, though supernatural, is not that mystical, or at least not that mystical all the time. Take a look at the rest of the text from Galatians:

For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other so that you don’t do what you want. Bit if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law… (Gal. 5:17-18).

If you continue to read, you’ll find Paul describing the works of the flesh – things like sexual immorality, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, and others. Then he describes the fruit of the Spirit – love, you, peace, patience, and so on. These don’t seem like mystical kinds of things.

Supernatural? Absolutely. Mystical? Not so much.

Instead, what they seem like are practical, moment-by-moment choices in every day ordinary moments of life. It’s in these small choices that we make the choice to walk with the Spirit instead of walking by the flesh. And when you add all those choices up, you find a moment-by-moment, occasion-by-occasion turning from our self-lordship to an acknowledgment of the Lordship of Jesus Christ in all things. That only happens through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit, but it’s lived out in the very non-mystical ordinariness of real life.

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How Did Christ Love the Church?

Paul handed out a mighty command to husbands in Ephesians 5:25:

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself for her to make her holy, cleansing her with the washing of water by the word.”

Love your wives, husbands, as Christ loved the church. And how did Christ love the church? He died for her.

What, then, does it mean to be a husband in the Christian sense? It means you die for your wife. But I doubt Paul had in mind the “Bryan Adams, theme-song-of-robin-hood kind of “I’d die for yoooouuuu!!!” kind of death. It’s nothing that pretty. But in some ways, we want it to be.

Husbands, we look for the grand romantic gesture, the rescue of the damsel in distress, the heroic save-the-day kind of moment, and that’s fine so far as it goes. The problem is those opportunities don’t come along every day. In a real marriage, with real people, there might someday be a moment of huge sacrifice on behalf of your family, but maybe not. There will, however, be tons of smaller, more seemingly insignificant moments day in and day out when the “death” is worked out.

There are moments when you take the dish duty. When you sacrifice a few extra minutes of sleep. When you sleep in the tent even though your back is going to hurt. When you play a meticulously planned game of tea party. When you get up and go to work again and again, and then you put the phone down again and again when you get home. When you watch that episode of “Sophia the First” one more time. These are the moments of death – joyous, thankful, sacrificial death. These are the moments when you choose to die, and in so doing, you choose to truly live.

Husbands, don’t wait for the grand gesture; don’t postpone the small sacrifices at your door in favor of later. Embrace the small moments, and find the joy on the other side.

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The Spiritual Importance of Scheduling

I have grown to love my personal calendar.

I know different people treat their time in different ways; I’ve found that I thrive most in a structured environment. So I’ve tried in the last few months to take a more proactive role in structuring my time, particularly at work. Rather than simply having a “to do” list of tasks, I have begun to transfer those tasks to blocks of time on my schedule. So I break the day into segments, sometimes 30 minutes, sometimes an hour, and assign particular tasks for that given period of time.

For some tasks, it means multiple blocks of that time during the week. I might devote an hour on Monday, then another on Tuesday, then 30 more minutes on Friday. And at the end of each day, I evaluate the remaining days in the week and adjust the blocks of time according to what I was able to accomplish during that day… and as I’m writing this, I’m realizing that it sounds pretty obsessive. Maybe even a little compulsive to go along with it.

For me, though, this is more than a helpful time management practice; it actually has a spiritual component to it.

From time to time, I feel overwhelmed when faced with a laundry list of things that have to be done. I start to worry about the time it will take to get it all done; I begin to feel anxiety about what’s before me. And when I do that, I have to realize that my worry and anxiety is not only unhealthy; it’s actually disobedient:

“Don’t worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; or about your body, what you will wear” (Matthew 6:25).

So said Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount. He continued to hold up birds and wildflowers as those God provides for, making the point that we, as His children are much more valuable then these things. Then Jesus reminds us that worry and anxiety over the stuff of life is the characteristic of idolaters:

“…the idolaters eagerly seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be provided to you. therefore don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own (Matthew 6:32-34).

It’s that last statement that gets me – tomorrow has enough troubles of its own. My problem is that I tend to bring the worries of tomorrow into today. But this is also the point where keeping a schedule can actually be of great aid in our obedience to the command of Jesus to be free of worry.

If we are proactive in time management, scheduling out time can help us leave the worries of tomorrow until tomorrow. So, for example, let’s say you have a massive project you have to get done at work, and you find yourself disobediently worrying about getting it all done. But you very much want to obey what Jesus said. Perhaps a practical step in the right direction would be to break up that project into smaller chunks and then schedule time into the next several weeks to accomplish each one.

You have task 1 to do on Monday. You don’t have to worry about task 2 because you know you’ve already allocated time to get that done on Tuesday. So you move forward, one step at a time, treating the day you have before you as a single day, and you’re able to put down the phone and lay your head on the pillow knowing that tomorrow you can do the exact same thing. The point of the exercise, though, is more than finding a way to get things done; it’s an active way to pursue obedience to Jesus.

And I’m finding more and more that these small, seemingly insignificant choices are the nuts and bolts of what it means to truly follow Him.

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Who is the Most Influential Person in Your Life?

Who is the most influential person in your life?

You are.

As Paul Tripp has said, “No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one talks to you more than you do.”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Unfortunately, though we wield this influence over ourselves, we also ironically fail to realize just how dramatically we do. When we fail to take a proactive stance in our own lives, we assume by default an attitude of victimization. Things are constantly happening to us, and we give in the fight to feel whatever we feel, believe whatever we believe, love whoever we love. We by our inattentiveness hand over this influence to anyone and everyone else.

This is also where we might also begin to drift into some kind of self-help, self-empowering mumbo jumbo. The question that keeps us out of that territory is exactly what you are going to say to yourself.

Is our message going to be based on ourselves? Our own abilities? Our own goodness? Our own positive thinking?

Or is our message going to be one of joy in our weakness and Christ’s strength? Our own sinfulness but Christ’s righteousness? Our own need and God’s provision?

You have the primary voice inside your head. Make sure you are speaking the truth to you today.

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The Thin Line Between Faith and Foolishness

Someone, somewhere once defined “insanity” as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting to get different results.

True enough.

At some point, when you are in a rhythm and cycle and you’re not satisfied with the results, you have to go back and look at the way you are doing something, or the assumptions you had in doing that thing to see what needs to be corrected:

  • If you’re launching a business or a product and people aren’t buying in, then you need to examine your messaging, pricing, or the perceived need for your thing.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight but can’t, you need to examine your diet, your exercise level, or both.
  • If you find yourself spending more money than you’re making every month, you need to examine your expenditures one at a time to see what’s not lining up.

In all these cases, the unsatisfactory results demand a second look at what you’re doing to try and achieve those results. Only a fool would continue on the same path, doing the same things, with the same assumptions behind those things, and expect that someday, like magic, the results will be different. Something has to change. And while that philosophy works great in many areas of life, it runs contrary to the Christian faith. In the Christian faith, we are called to keep doing the same things over and over again in spite of  the apparent results. Here’s a few examples from the Book of Hebrews, a book that constantly drives home the point of perseverance:

  • For we have become companions of the Messiah if we hold firmly until the end the reality that we had at the start (Hebrews 3:14).
  • Let us hold on to the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful (Hebrews 10:23).
  • For you need endurance, so that after you have done God’s will, you may receive what was promised (Hebrews 10:36).
  • Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God’s throne (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Keep running. Keep enduring. Keep holding. Keep doing the same thing, over and over again. But here, in this aspect of life, we must keep doing the same thing over and over again despite the results before us. In faith, there is a higher value than pragmatism, and the higher value is Jesus.

See, in the earlier examples, it’s foolishness to continue on the same path. But here, the focus is not on the seen, but the unseen; it’s not on the results, but on the One behind the results. The temptation, though, is to take the same pragmatic attitude we have with other areas of life and apply it to our faith. Our beliefs must evolve. Our understanding of truth must change. Our deep held convictions must be softened. And why?

Because they’re not working any more.

To this, the Bible would say, I think, something like, “So what?”

Walk the line, then, between faith and foolishness, but walk it with your eyes not on the results but the One who makes the fool to be wise and wise to be the fool:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but it is God’s power to us who are being saved. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and I will set aside the understanding of the experts.”

Where is the philosopher? Where is the scholar? Where is the debater of this age? Hasn’t God made the world’s wisdom foolish? For since, in God’s wisdom, the world did not know God through wisdom, God was please to save those who believe through the foolishness of the message preached (1 Corinthians 1:18-21).

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The Limited Power of Observation

It’s been hot in Nashville. Hot and humid. Like the kind of hot and humid when you walk outside and it feels like someone threw a bucket of chili in your face. So I was none too pleased a few days ago when I went upstairs to our kids’ bedrooms and found that our air conditioning unit had stopped working.

My limitations in home improvement have been well documented, but nonetheless, I told my wife and kids that I would “take a look”, and so take a look I did. Armed with my trusty head lamp I went outside in the backyard to take a look at the air conditioning unit.

Yep, it was there. So far so good. I bent down and looked behind the unit and I found a 3 inch encasing of ice around the area of the back where some pipes came into the unit. When I saw the snowball at the base in the midst of the chili-like atmosphere, I had the profound thought: That doesn’t look right.

Now there were two options for me at this point, having discovered something that was clearly wrong. Option 1 involved me going to the garage, getting a bunch of tools, and starting to mess with things armed with a screwdriver, my head lamp, and my phone with which I could call up a few youtube videos to see if anyone else had diagnosed and dealt with the same issue.

Option 2 involved me calling for someone to help me.

With my own powers of observation, I was able to tell there was something wrong, but I wasn’t able to fully diagnose the issue. Further, even if I could fully describe and identify the problem, I don’t have the expertise and knowledge to know how to make what was wrong start to be right again. That’s the limitation of observation. We might be able to see something that’s not how it should be, but we need an outside source of truth and knowledge to help us not only know just how wrong something is, but then to correct it.

It’s not unlike the pattern we see in Romans 1:18:

For God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all godlessness and unrighteousness of people who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth, since what can be known about God is evident among them, because God has shown it to them. For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made…

This is the power of observation. We can walk outside and observe some thing about God. We can see His creativity, His power, and His expansive greatness. But we can also see from observation that something is not as it should be. There is a certain “wrongness” we can observe by looking not only at a world of chaos, but also the chaotic longings of our own heart. It is wrong. We are wrong. But that’s where our powers of observation end, and we have one of two choices.

We can continue onward with the tools we have at our disposal. We can tinker with our environment, with our hearts, with our lives, and in so doing assume that we are fully capable of “figuring it out” on our own. That we have the power and the intellect and the moral capacity to create an environment that is right. This, however, is the path of supreme arrogance; it’s the path of assuming that all the answers for what’s wrong can be found inside ourselves; it’s the path of assuming that we are god, and our potential must only be unlocked.

Or there is option 2. We can recognize the limitations of our own observation and look outside ourselves for truth. We can refer ourselves to greater things, greater people, who can not only fully diagnose our issues but also provide the true pathway to wholeness and restoration.

The end of the story is that my air conditioner is now working. But it’s not working because I “observed” my way into a solution. It’s working because we called in an outside source. In the case of the air conditioning unit, we had to look outside ourselves for truth and answers, because observation can lead you to the problem but not fully to the answer. and in the case of the air conditioner, and perhaps with all of life, the core question late that night when I found the snowball was this:

How much am I willing to stake on my own abilities? Not much when it comes to my air conditioner. Even less when it comes to my soul.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, first to the Jew, and also to the Greek. For in it God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith (Romans 1:16-17).

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Work and Worship

Work is not a bad thing. I know, we typically think of work as a means to an end – we work for the weekend, we work for retirement, we work to go on vacation – but work is threaded into what it means to bear the image of God.

Two terms are used in Genesis 2:15 to describe the job God gave to Adam: “The Lord God took the man and placed him in the garden of Eden to work it and watch over it.” In the Old Testament, the words “work” and “watch over” are most frequently used in discussions of human service to God, rather than describing a farmer’s job. Surprisingly, these words are often connected to worship, or even the actions of priests serving in the tabernacle of God.

If Adam had a business card, it would have read “Gardener.” Nothing exciting there. And yet the words God used to describe his job are anything but ordinary. Perhaps, at least in God’s mind, there isn’t such a wide divide between those things as there is to us.

Think of it like this: God could have, if He wanted, filled the whole earth with human beings in the same way He fashioned Adam—from the dust of the ground. But rather than taking that approach, He looked on Adam and gave him and his wife the responsibility and privilege of populating the earth. It’s still controlled, upheld, and blessed by God, but He chose in His sovereignty to use regular people as the means of establishing His intent on earth. Work can be seen much in the same way. Through work, God is using regular, ordinary people as His means of providing for His creation.

As our perspective on work changes through the gospel, we begin to see that the menial tasks we find ourselves involved in day in and day out are actually—and amazingly—infused with incredible meaning. They are the sovereignly designed means by which God is caring for the people of the earth. He has ordained that we, as human beings, exist in a state of interdependence on each other. That doesn’t mean God has isolated Himself from the world; it simply means that God is providentially using the talents, opportunities, and regular old jobs of regular old people to provide and care for humanity.

Think of that. As we work, we are the means of God. We become like the rain that falls on the just and unjust alike—the means of common grace through which human life and well-being is sustained and provided for. When we see it like that, a sense of great wonder and awe returns to our everyday working life, for we come to see that God is channeling His love through us as we work. He doesn’t just work through people involved in service industries, whose mission statements are written to benefit mankind. He channels His love through the man who collects the garbage on the streets early in the morning so that a community can be clean and free of disease. It happens through the farmer who raises crops that can be turned into clothes to keep children warm. It happens, as Martin Luther said during his time, even through the most humble functions and stations of life: God Himself is milking the cows through the vocation of the milkmaid.

Centuries later, Luther’s namesake Martin Luther King Jr. would say something similar: “All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

Not only should we look at our own jobs with a renewed sense of awe as we are being used by God for the ultimate good of others; but every single job deserves our respect and gratitude. It’s these common, everyday, run-of-the-mill jobs that channel the love of God and therefore are a sacred means of bringing great honor to Him. When you stop seeing your job as the means to a paycheck and start seeing it as a means of glorifying the providing God, it changes the way you flip burgers, change diapers, or put together a report…

Taken from my book Boring: Finding an Extraordinary God in and Ordinary Life.

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The Gospel Compels An Available Posture

The word posture is defined like this: “position, condition, or state, as of affairs.”

In a physical sense, your posture is how you generally hold yourself. It’s not a static term, meaning that you always are sitting or standing or bending. All of us do those things a thousand times a day. Your posture, though, is the general position. In fact, it’s your posture that influences the way you hold yourself in all those other movements. It determines just how you stand or sit or bend.

I have wondered, from time to time, what my posture is in life, especially as it relates to the gospel. What is my general position? What is the manner in which I hold myself which influences all the other particular motions and movements that I might make? What is the general position that influences how I work? How I parent? How I attend worship services and go to the movies?

There are many things we might say about the posture of a Christian – that it is humble; that it is grateful; that it is confident. But we must also say that the gospel compels us to have a posture of availability. Here’s how Paul described such a posture in Ephesians 5:15-16:

“Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— making the most of the time, because the days are evil.”

Be available. You have a finite number of minutes each day, and each of those minutes has opportunities to press the gospel further out and further in. A posture of availability recognizes this reality and acts accordingly. A posture of availability is convinced that God is active, and as His agent, we should be aware of opportunities that will come into our path.

Sounds simple enough, I know, to be available to make the most of the opportunities before you. So what keeps us from having such a posture? Here are a few things that can distort our state and make us unavailable for what is coming our way in the day ahead:

An inflated ego.

Sometimes we don’t have an available posture because we think too highly of ourselves. We don’t want to engage in a conversation with this person or that one because, truth be told, we think we are too educated, too important, or too busy to do so. Ironically, though, our inflated egos might not necessarily find its root in thinking too highly of ourselves, but too lowly. We might be convinced that we are the only ones on earth with difficulty, and because we are, we spent all our time in a spiral of self-focus, thinking only about our own lives and issues and therefore becoming completely oblivious to those around us. In either case, though, whether our egos are inflated because of our relative prosperity or relative suffering, we find ourselves in an unavailable posture because of our heightened sense of self-importance.

An overcommitted lifestyle.

A posture of availability is contingent upon, well, being available. And when we are overbooked, with our schedules and commitments running over the top of the minutes we have in the day, we cannot be available. If, for example, we constantly press and press and press and then when we eventually come home we are too exhausted to engage with our children, to talk with them about life and the Lord and the gospel, we are ignoring the opportunities right in front of us. In order to assume a posture of availability, we must take an active role in our schedules to make sure there is room. Always room.

A forgotten past.

Paul the apostle, in his teaching, seemed always intent on reminding people of who they once were. Maybe that’s because he lived with the knowledge of who he once was. This isn’t some kind of morbid fixation on the past, but rather an intentional effort to keep in mind that we, like the apostle, like everyone else, once were lost in darkness. We once were going our own way. We once didn’t know up from down or right from left. But having believed the message of the gospel, our eyes have been opened and we have been set on the path of righteousness. But when walking on that path, we sometimes forget where we came from. When we do, it’s easy to be unavailable to those on that same path.

God in the gospel has brought us into the light. And having been positioned there, it is our good and right posture to be available. To make room. To create margin. And to actively look in our availability to press the gospel further out and further in.

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Three Pitfalls of Suffering

Concerning the subject of suffering, CS Lewis famously said, “Pain insists upon being attended to. God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our consciences, but shouts in our pains. It is his megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”

Countless people, including my family and I, would affirm the truth of that statement. Pain opens the door to intimacy with Jesus. It’s through pain we grow, mature, and even find some previously unintended avenues for ministry. These are all examples of redemption – the Lord taking the broken pieces of our lives, crumbled under the weight of a corrupted creation, and creating a mosaic of something beautiful from it.

From a scriptural standpoint, there are numerous places we might point that show us the good that can ultimately come from pain. Take, for example, James 1:2-4:

“Consider it a great joy, my brothers, whenever you experience various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. But endurance must do its complete work, so that you may be mature and complete, lacking nothing.”

Suffering produces the good of maturity which, according to this verse, is a key to spiritual maturity, which is a good, good thing. Or take another example from 2 Corinthians 1:3-7:

“Praise the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort. He comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any kind of affliction, through the comfort we ourselves receive from God. For as the sufferings of Christ overflow to us, so through Christ our comfort also overflows. If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation. If we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is experienced in your endurance of the same sufferings that we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that as you share in the sufferings, so you will share in the comfort.”

Suffering creates an avenue for ministry, for we are able to extend the comfort we receive from the Lord to others. This, too, is a good and right after effect of suffering.

These are just two examples of how it’s supposed to work. But like all things, it doesn’t always go that way. In as much pain and suffering can, in the end, have positive and redemptive effects, there are a number of ways that our pain might have negative effects. Though there are many such pitfalls, here are three:

1. Callousness. If you go back and look at the passage above from 2 Corinthians, you can glean that pain in our own lives is meant to soften our hearts toward the pain of others. We can truly sympathize with what they’re walking through; we can shoulder the burden along with them in a very true and honest way. But sometimes we find that instead of making our hearts pliable and soft, our pain actually causes us to have a sense of callousness toward others. We spend so much time looking inward at what’s happening in our own lives that we find we have little interest, emotion, or empathy left to look outside of ourselves.

2. Entitlement. Pain is the great equalizer. In the hospital waiting room, everyone seems to be on equal (albeit it shaky) footing. That’s because all of us live in a world broken by sin, and because we do, none of us are immune from the effects. But when you suffer and suffer greatly, there is sometimes a temptation to think that you have “paid your dues.” You’ve done your time in the prison of pain, and because you have, God owes you some measure of peace and comfort. In a perverted kind of way, your pain becomes your pride, proof of the fact that you have been tested and tried. Having earned that badge, you are now entitled to live above such things.

3. Comparison. Suffering is relative. A scraped knee isn’t going to mean the same thing to a 35-year-old man as it does to a 5-year-old boy; that’s because that man has been though a lot more life than that boy has. That doesn’t mean, however, that a father can’t stoop low and sympathize with a boy. And yet sometimes the ugliness of comparison rears its head even in the midst of our suffering. We walk through a season of pain and then must battle the temptation to look at what others might be going through and compare their struggle to our own. We look with contempt on the suffering of others, bolstered by a sense of our own superiority because, ironically, of something that we did not control and something that caused us so much grief.

How, then, can we recognize these pitfalls and do the thing that none of us wants to do, but all of us will have the opportunity to do, and suffer in a God-glorifying and honorable way? I’m sure there are 3 or 4 good steps to doing so, but mostly, we can look to Jesus.

Jesus, who suffered more than all, and yet even with the knowledge of His own suffering wept at the tomb of His friend. Jesus who emptied Himself and befriended and had compassion on the dregs even when He was the only truly superior One. Jesus who did not compare the suffering of His cross to the suffering of others but instead willingly took it upon Himself for the sake of others. We can look to Jesus and see a Savior who did it the good and right way, and we can be humbled under the weight of His sacrifice and emboldened to feel deeply for others in light of His compassion.

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The Gospel is Not Mere Superstition

We are more superstitious than we realize. Sure, we might not think that we have to sit in a certain chair or wear the same pair of socks for good luck, but superstition is still there. And superstitious traits can thwart the work of the gospel in our lives.

  • We make sure and have an extra long quiet time on the days when we have something tough coming our way, you know, to make sure it goes well.
  • We find that things are generally going well in our lives but we don’t feel like we can truly enjoy them because no doubt the other shoe will drop as soon as we do.
  • We sin, and we are sorry, but we feel the need to do something “extra-good” in order to even the score.

Oh, it’s there. In as much as we might congratulate ourselves for having a handle on the gospel, superstition still lurks in our hearts. When we see it, we must confront it. Confess it. Root it out. But then replace it with something better. We must remind ourselves that the gospel tells us that God is in control of all things and is working those things for His glory and our good. We must remind each other that God’s love for us is not dependent on our performance, but on the completed work of Jesus. We must sing the truth that God is good, and His goodness is not dependent on our temporal circumstances.

Say it. Preach it. Sing it. Call your soul to remember. And when you think you have it down, do it again.

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