Wednesday, September 28, 2005

True Spirituality.

The other week we focused on 1 Corinthians 12:1-3 where Paul begins his discourse on spiritual gifts and spirituality with the following:

1 Corinthians 12:1-3 (ESV)
1 Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed. 2 You know that when you were pagans you were led astray to mute idols, however you were led. 3 Therefore I want you to understand that no one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says “Jesus is accursed!” and no one can say “Jesus is Lord” except in the Holy Spirit.

There is a very important lesson in this text for all Christians: There is no higher spiritual experience or state than that of being one who, by the power of the Holy Spirit alone, proclaims, affirms and delights from the heart in the absolute, fully divine, all wise, all-glorious, all-sufficient, saving, Lordship of Jesus Christ.

Simply put:

True Spirituality is a pure gift from the Holy Spirit, it is to confess Jesus is Lord.

Check out what our friend Gordon Fee says about this passage:

The ultimate criterion of the Spirit’s activity is the exaltation of Jesus as Lord. Whatever takes away from that, even if they be legitimate expressions of the Spirit, begins to move away from Christ to a more pagan fascination with spiritual activity as an end in itself.

Gordon Fee

How does this truth change what you think about spirituality? Do you measure spirituality by other things, like whether you speak in tongues or not, whether you understand and agree with reformed theology or not, whether you know church history well, even whether you lead a Christlike life or struggle? True spirituality is to confess Jesus is Lord from the heart. There is no greater spiritual miracle than to do so.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Christian Leisure

“Human life is incomplete if it does not follow the lead of God in balancing work with leisure." - Leland Ryken

Are you convinced? What does God's word teach? Check out these verses:

Exodus 20:8-11 (ESV)

8 “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. 11 For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

Psalm 127:1-2 (ESV)
1 Unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2 It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep.

Mark 6:31 (ESV)
31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.

How are you practicing Godward leisure?

Check out these resources:

Remember the Sabbath Day to Keep It Holy
John Piper

Sanctifying the Ordinary: A Biblical Understanding of Leisure
Jeff Purswell

Redeeming the Time: A Christian Approach to Work and Leisure
Leland Ryken

A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life
J.I. Packer