Thursday, March 8, 2012

it's not about the STUFF

Were you guys worried about me after that last post?

It's all good. I'm not depressed or giving myself 40 lashes. I don't believe in the concept of penance... that doing anything can atone for sin... that I can make some kind of payment or sacrifice to get right with God. There's only one way I can be made right with God, and that's through what Christ has done.

His payment.

His sacrifice on the cross.

And I'm forgiven. Seeing the need to repent from worldliness and discontent is a gift. A gift which leads to joy because it leads to Jesus.

So, how do you jump back into a house blog after a post like that? Well, you and I are both wondering :)

Before I attempt that, though, I want to make abundantly clear that I don't think physical things are wicked. Or even the enjoyment of physical things. {Hello, marriage!} There are ways to enjoy earthly gifts and blessings to God's glory. If I'm tripping you up on this, and you think I'm starting to sound like all earthly matter is from the devil, maybe I should point you to a couple of quick resources that explain things far better than my blabbering brain can.

The first is a short little book edited by CJ Mahaney called... appropriately... Worldliness. There is a chapter at the end dealing with this exact issue - how to enjoy the gifts we're given in this world to God's glory.

Secondly, there's a great book by John Piper called When I Don't Desire God. I'd say He wrote it to help out all the folk he completely depressed with the first book, Desiring God. If you've read it, you know what I mean, and you're chuckling a little bit.


Anyway, there's a chapter in the Piper book called "How to Weild the World in the Fight for Joy." Very good. Very good.

So, I'm not packing our family up to move to a cave and eat the blandest food possible in an attempt to hit some new height of holiness. The Spirit of God is ready and able to transform my heart right here... right now. Stuff isn't evil. Or wicked. Or causing me to be worldly or discontent. It's not the stuff. It's what my heart does with the stuff I have. And what my heart does with the stuff I want but can't have.

Not really about my circumstances. Completely about my heart.

"If Jesus is not enough, something is wrong."

I'm not going to post lots of pictureless, devotion-type posts. I just couldn't figure out a way to transition from bearing my heart to y'all to then posting pictures of my newly painted trim. Disconnect, anyone? So, bear with me a little while longer. I'll get to where this is all balanced out more... at least in writing. But, in my heart, it's gonna take some time.

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