Tuesday, September 20, 2005

eye contact

Luke 22: 60-62
60But Peter said, "Man, I do not know what you are talking about." And immediately, while he was still speaking, the rooster crowed. 61And the Lord turned and looked at Peter. And Peter remembered the saying of the Lord, how he had said to him, "Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times." 62And he went out and wept bitterly.

i can’t possibly imagine what peter must have felt like at this moment. hours earlier he had been so bold as to tell the lord that he would never leave him. yet here he was, and not only did he scatter with the rest, but he deliberately said three times that he did not even know jesus.

what would be the worst part? doing what he swore he would never do? or was it the fact that not only did he do it, but jesus was actually close enough to see and hear him do it.

i can’t fathom it.

yet i do it everyday. god’s word tells me that i am weak and sinful. apart from god’s grace i can do no good. it tells me over and over again to remain in him, and to pursue godliness. yet i leave the scriptures unopened far too often, and many times, even after reading it, i walk away unchanged. what will it take for me to weep bitterly over my sin, to be so ashamed and embarrassed that i am completely humiliated and broken? the lord sees and knows my every action, why do i pretend that they go unnoticed? dare i love sin so much it is worth denying my savior, even when he looks at me squarely through his word?
week after week i stand in a pew and sings songs of my love for jesus, my gratitude to the father, and my need of the holy spirit. i teach sunday school with urgency that my hearers understand the truths of god's word. i write on this bl0g in hopes that through my own reasoning and thinking through matters of life and faith, i may come to a clearer and more definite place of resolve in the pursuit of holiness.
its as if i keep telling the lord, "look at all of these things i am doing! i do love you, i do love your word, i do understand my need for you!"
then i look at my other actions. how selfish i can be towards my wife. my laziness, my lack of grace extended to others. my actions show that i value a mere 30 min of sleep more than time with the lord. rather than seek out opportunities to share the gospel, i reason that my being in seminary leaves me with little time for "such matters".
though scripture speaks of my need for nourishment, daily fellowship and intimacy with the lord, i am saying to him, "i can make it own my own strength".
what will it take for me to hate my sin? why do i keep it within reach? jesus said in john 14:15 "if you love me, then do what i say." how then, can i read his word, read his commands, and then live as if i never knew them?
i have never been one to wish pain or punishment on myself, but i need the bitterness that comes from the lord locking eyes with me in the midst of my sin. when will i fully realize that every time i disobey or deny him by my thoughts or actions, that i am in essence denying him to his face?
how can we live our lives waving our christian banner of church invlovement, bible studies, the volume of our personal libraries, our seminary degrees, or any other trophies that wave in god's face, or the faces of our spheres of influence- only to have so much disobedience in our life.
pride, jealousy, dishonesty(i.e. lying), vanity, gossip (slander), laziness, lust.... the list goes on and on.
we tolerate and excuse so much. yet each time we sin we are saying to jesus "i dont love you more than i love (whatever it is we get from a particular sin)"
so next time you are in church, and the words on the page or the screen prompt an expression of love, before we are so bold to sing those out loud, let us first reflect on our past few days, and see if we can honestly sing of our love for him, or if our actions speak to our love of sin.

oh lord, you continue to love us despite our adultress action towards you. please look us in the eye, and teach us to hate our sin, and by our actions and in our hearts, love you more than any fleeting effects of sin.

grace and peace,
-stephen



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3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Another great blog man! What a 4 you are! I couldn't derive half of the fantastic ideas you come up with.
My christmas baby gift site is too off kilter and barely unique in content. Why aren't you in advertising or better yet a "think tank". Is this something you were born with? Keep the fabulous ideas coming!

Andrew said...

What a 4? I thought you were a 5 pointer? I'm back on the blog again.

Anonymous said...

We are so much like His apostles...stronger when we are spending time with Him and yet,so quickly to accept being away from Him and choosing our weaknesses over HIM. I've heard others state "how could those 12 apostles not be stronger...they were WITH Him" So are we, when we are not putting ourselves first. Humbling reminders to strive to honor and please Him in ALL our thoughts and actions.
CC