Sunday, March 4, 2012

What Counts!

Corporate worship is designed to remind you that Jesus met every requirement so that you wouldn't live afraid of never measuring up. --Paul David Tripp
Now, THAT's a reall reason to get me going on a cold Sunday morning! The pressure is off. I don't have to be or do some real or imagined list of thinigs to check off in order to show up for worship, to be accepted by God! That's done and finished! That was Jesus' final cry from His cross, It is finished!
There are so many people struggling out of their beds this morning to get ready to go to church. Many of them are making the effort in a desperate attempt to measure up to some imaginary "yard stick" and it is all "sound and fury, signifying nothing"! (T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland)
What a terrible burden! What a colossal waste of time and energy! What a stupid exercise in futility!
Actually Galatians 5:6 says it best, "In Christ neither circumcision nor uncircumsion counts for anything! What counts is faith expressing itself in love." I really heard this wonderful truth with my heart from a pretty unimpressive pastor named Dr. Jack Miller.That is, Jack wasn't impressive until he started sharing his heart about God's awesome work in his life freeing him from the burden of working, worrying, trying, scratching and scrabbling to gain God's favor. Jack was well-known for quoting and teaching, In Christ neither _________ nor __________ counts for anything! What counts is faith expressing itself in love. You fill in the blank for you! I'll fill it in for myself, thank you very much! And I will live this day in the confidence that because Jesus poured out His love - as His life's blood dripped down a rugged Roman cross beside a well-traveled path outside Jerusalem over 2,000 years ago - I don't have to keep working and trying so hard to make the grade with God! It is done! WHEW! What a relief that is!

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