Thursday, November 5, 2009

Be Holy, Because I Am Holy

1 Peter 1:16 is such a small statement, but if I really accepted this statement for what it is, a command, then my life would look contrastingly different. Tonight in our guys campfire group we talked about how disturbingly easy it is to fool ourselves by living halfway in the light. We only expose the part of our lives that we are comfortable letting other people see. This message really hit me between the eyes! Last week the question of the night went something like, "If you knew that every minute of your life would be put on TV for the world to see what would you do different?" Again, the question found its mark directly in the center of my heart! I want badly to be holy, but I feel so very far from it! The awareness of shortcomings in life can sometimes leave me feeling discouraged, but I'm reminded that only through the power of Christ given to me through the Holy Spirit am able to live a life worthy of the calling of Christ. Consider this prayer from Augustine:

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.

Augustine realized, like we all must, that we are powerless on our own. We must acknowledge Him and His power! Too often I live oblivious to Him and do things on my own. This only leads to failure after failure. We must strive to mesh our lives with Him. John 15:5 reminds us: "Apart from Me you can do nothing."

Father, thank You for reminding me that I am nothing without you. Thank you for inspiring me through Your Word, my fellow brothers, and those who have preceeded me like Your servant Augustine. Empower me to live a life that reflects my adoption into Your family. Help me to live well. Strip away pride from my life that I would focus on Your plans, Your ways, and Your Love. Breathe in me, act in me, draw my heart, strengthen me, and guard me. Thank You for your neverending compassion and mercy. I love the way You show Your love to me. I love the way You love me. I love You.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Creation VS Evolution: Awesome Video Online!

The debate ensues: Creation, Evolution, Both? People arguing from opposite sides of the fence are educated and well prepared for debate so who do we believe? Do we accept the stance of Christianity blindly without "scientific" evidence or do we reason with logic that the scientific community, with all of its conclusions and evidence, must be right? It's a confusing topic that is long from being settled. In the meantime I suggest that you check out this incredible (and FREE!) video:

It's well worth the time you'll spend watching it as it provides a well-rounded view of the issues at hand from the world's leading experts on the topic.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Grace, The Gospel, and Luther

The Luther Rose. This symbol is commonly found in Lutheran churches. As I've been studying the life of Martin Luther and his contribution to the Church I was introduced to the symbolism behind this image. The Yellow Circle surrounding the blue represents the eternal life of all believers. The blue space was Luther's color for eternity spent in Heaven with The Christ. (Sidenote: Heaven is not so much a place but a reality that we will never be physically absent from the Christ). A Christian, because of their redemption, should live with eternal joy, thus the White Rose. The red Heart shows the new life that a person possesses through Christ. And last, but certainly not least, the black Cross. The Cross in the center, thus showing that is central to the faith. Apart from the Cross, everything else represented would not be possible. The new life, the joy, and eternity in Heaven are all dependent on the Cross. Why is it black? To represent the sin that Christ took upon himself to bring the world to the Father. Christ accepted the curse of the Cross as an eternal act of love for us. He did this so that we would become new, joyous creatures elated to live with Him forever. The centrality of the Gospel is Christ and His supreme act of grace demonstrated on the Cross. It is this same grace that restores all of us. I pray that I will daily live in the grace afforded me through the Cross.