One of the most healthy spiritual disciplines for me is to regularly sit before a holy God during my prayer time. I use Exodus 9:9-25 and visualize myself sitting on the holy mountain as one of those original Israelites. I try to feel the emotion that comes with trying to comprehend the vast chasm between God’s holiness and my sinfulness. Then I turn my prayer and meditation time toward Colossians 1:22, Romans 8:15-17, and Matthew 3:16-17. The chasm of separation between me and God gets filled as the floodgates of Jesus’ love, grace, and mercy open. I can only unlock the riches of this gift if I first walk the path of understanding how much I don’t deserve it. When I begin to comprehend that I don’t deserve it, I can begin to experience how beautiful and amazing it is that I get to have it.
Covenants aside, this psalm is still a great reminder to let God search our hearts. As followers of Jesus, we don’t want sin in our lives. Jesus is the path of life and we want that life flowing through us and in us. And we love Jesus! He clearly tells us if you love me, you’ll obey what I command (John 14:15). We don’t obey to earn his love, our obedience is the expression and result of our love for him. Sometimes it feels like there are two types of churches: those that talk about sin and God’s wrath way too much and those who don’t talk about it nearly enough. Psalm 7 is a good reminder that we need to talk about our sin and God’s wrath. We can’t fully experience the joy and depth of God’s mercy unless we realize we don’t deserve that mercy. We can only fully experience this joy if we know it is a gift, and what an elaborate gift it is!
Episode 38 takes us to a recent sermon Noah did on Luke 7:36-50, where a “sinful woman” anoints Jesus’ feet with her hair and tears. This interruption of an elite dinner party led a Pharisee, Jesus, and this woman to have to each make a crucial choice. Their choices are choices that each of us face as well.
Most of us, especially us guys, like to think of ourselves as tough, strong, and self-reliant. If I’m in trouble, I’ll get myself out of it. If I’m lost, I’m not asking for directions. If there’s a car on top of my chest, I’ll gather my gusto and push that sucker off, thank you very much. I’ll help you, but I’m certainly not in need of your help. This then bleeds in whenever we hear the topic of accountability broached by a pastor or in a sexual purity conversation. I don’t have a problem, and even if I did, I’d be able to figure it out myself.
Ep. 21 talks about depression, and depression within the Church specifically. Why we don’t talk about it enough and why we need to talk about it more. And in general, the Church’s hesitation to talk about anything that is vulnerable or deals with our struggles.
Chapter 2 has an intriguing title, “The Sexuality of Jesus.” I don’t want to say that it didn’t live up to its name. As I read Mere Sexuality, I’m realizing there are 3 categories that the broad term “sexuality” encompasses. One is gender / transgenderism, one is orientation / LGBTQ+, and the other would be what is sometimes called “sexual purity,” more or less meaning pornography, sex before marriage, lust, etc.