Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Trying to Fill my Father's Shoes

“My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” (1 John 2:1. NKJV.)

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.” (1 Timothy 1:12-16. NKJV.)

Sometimes I wonder if I am trying to do things myself and am trying to do what only my Father can do. Is there a line that should not be crossed when giving God’s word to others and if so, where is the line drawn? When does my encouragement stop being supportive and start stepping on my Father’s toes? Or does that happen at all?

God does not need me to convert others, He can create followers from the rocks beneath my feet. “…For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones.” (Luke 3:8. NKJV.)

John Piper has prayed, “O Lord, grant us grace to see and understand and savor the freedom of your sovereign grace. Help us to feel our helplessness without it. Help us to see our sin and our bondage to sin - our sinful nature. Help us to realize in the depths of our soul that we are slaves to pride and that without grace we are hopeless and lost. So humble us before you and before each other. And grant us to trust in the fullness of what Christ purchased for us - the riches of your grace, the fellowship your suffering, and the everlasting joy of your presence. In Jesus' name, Amen.”

My heart aches so heavily for my loved ones who have not been filled by the Holy Spirit and have not had a change of heart due to God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice that I focus more on them hearing the word and preaching to them (or maybe at them) that I lose site of the whole GRACE part of it!!!

John Piper has said, “In his letter, John gives eleven evidences of those who are born of God:
  1. They keep God’s commandments (2:3-4; 3:24).
  2. They walk as Christ walked (2:56).
  3. They don’t hate others but love them (2:9; 3:14; 4:7-8, 20).
  4. They don’t love the world (2:15).
  5. They confess the Son and receive (have) him (2:23; 4:15; 5:12).
  6. They practice righteousness (2:29).
  7. They don’t make a practice of sinning (3:6, 9-10; 5:18).
  8. They possess the Spirit of God (3:24; 4:13).
  9. They listen submissively to the apostolic Word (4:6).
  10. They believe that Jesus is the Christ (5:1).
  11. They overcome the world (5:4).

“These tests of the new birth are rigorous, but John does not mean for us to infer either that the born-again are perfect or that the born-again can loose their salvation. He affirms that ‘if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves’ (1:8) that those who go out from us ‘were not of us’ (2:19).” By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: desiringGod.org.

Thank you Father for your grace!!!

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