"Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever." -Paul

10 March 2008

Romans 2

one of the things that stuck out to me today:

in relation to Matt's condemning series:
"But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God's wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. God "will give to each person according to what he has done." To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger."

-a few things about this. first off, I'd never noticed the quotes in verse 6 before, which apparently are quoting other Scripture. The reference here is to Psalm 62:12. Which, along with the Sheep & the Goats passage the Matt blogged about awhile ago, would seem to indicate that our final resting place is more about works than faith. Which is exactly the reason why it's so important to read Scripture in its totality, in light of other Scripture. I heard it put well recently that while salvation comes by grace & faith, sanctification, the growing and maturing of a Christian, comes by doing. You don't accidentally or automatically grow in your faith.

another thing I noticed was the word "persistence." He doesn't just say "those who by doing good seek glory, honor and immortality." It takes persistence. I find this to be encouraging because I think I still expect to some day reach some sort of plateau where I can just coast on in my growth. I think that if I make all the effort to go the "amusement park of God" that I can just sit on the roller coaster and God will drag me, screaming or not, to the top of the hill. I just have to do enough first to get to that point. And so I get frustrated with myself when I feel like I'm stepping backward, like I'm failing, like I don't have the passion or energy to continue. But it's exactly in these times that we should continue to push. Because our faith takes persistence. Because God's not going to drag us kicking & screaming to the top. And because I don't really want a roller coaster Christianity anyway.

The next chapter after Psalm 62 begins "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water."

Of course it's not always going to be easy. But persistence and earnest seeking will win the day. I need to tattoo my forehead "Never Give Up!"

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09 March 2008

Romans 1

yup...it's been awhile since I've been around this neck of the woods. But I got a thank you card from Matt the other day for The Bible Experience & he mentioned the dlog and then an email a couple days after that from Matt that also mentioned the dlog. For awhile now, I've been feeling some need for some change. Some of it a desire for big change, some little, some in between. But I definitely feel that if I'm going to continue to pursue God well, some changes needed to be made. So this morning I got up and, since church had been cancelled due to the crazy March blizzard of '08, decided today was as good as any to enact some of those changes.

Starting in Romans 1:

"For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen being understood from what has been made..."

This past Tuesday it rained all day long. Freezing rain, coating everything in layers of ice. Wednesday I had to work, but Thursday I got up first thing in the morning and grabbed my friend Derke and we went hiking out at Quail Hollow. It was breathtaking. Every tree and twig encapsulated in ice. Fresh animal tracks scattered about in the snow. We saw small groups of deer twice, once no more than 20-30 feet away. I put pictures on my Facebook profile (though I think that Derke has them privatized, so if he makes them public I'll post the link here)

Many times I've been in creation and been unable to deny the existence of God. In the 100 Mile Wilderness. The sunset and stars on Isle del Sul in Bolivia. The night sky in Mozambique. The southern coast of England. No matter where you go in the world, you come face to face with the beauty of an intricately designed creation, reflective of the awesome nature of the Creator.

Friday, as I was driving around in crazy blizzard, I happened to be tuned into NPR. I pretty much only listen to sports radio & NPR...what a weird combination. Anyway, on Fresh Air, they had a two piece segment on the existence of God with probably the two foremost names for either side. Richard Dawkins is an Oxford Professor and evolutionist who wrote the top selling book "The God Delusion." Francis Collins is an evangelical Christian and headed up the National Human Genome Research Project. He's also authored a book, "The Language of God: A Scientist Presents Evidence for Belief." Both argue that DNA proves their point of view. A fascinating story upon Romans 1, really. One, having observing God's invisible qualities. One denying them. The links to the two interviews are below. If you're able to listen to them, I highly recommend it.

Francis Collins
Richard Dawkins

The Old Testament talks about the rocks crying out, the trees clapping their hands, creation shouting praise to God. Some view this as figurative. Sometimes I think it's much more literal than we would believe.

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