I think Kevin was right. The desire for inward renewal begins with Christ in me. It’s also an expenditure of “effort over time.” “Your effort over time will be multiplied by grace.” I kept thinking about Lucado’s book, In The Grip of Grace as Pastor Kevin delivered his remarks yesterday. This is an especially important message in our culture because we want fast solutions. We do not see that the changes we long for take a long time to bring about.
Friday night it was pouring down raining, and our side steps are extremely slippery. As I was descending them I wiped out and landed hard on my back. My back is still hurting. I cleaned a house Saturday, but Sunday it was still hurting pretty bad, and the pain woke me up at 4am this morning. It’s going to effort over time to heal this injury. I just thank God I don’t have a desk job. It’s fine when I’m moving about. Obviously I’m sitting here writing, and I had to get up to go get my shepherds crook to rub my back. I forgot the correct term for this device, but shepherds crook get the idea across.
Kevin also shared with us three gains we get as we contemplate the inward renewal Colossians 1.24-2.4 talks about. Here they are.
- We gain strength through suffering. Psalm 34.18; Rmns. 5.3-4; 2 Cor. 4.16
- We gain wisdom through his word. 2.3 and Romans 12
- We make gains through the encouragement of others.
Satan and his network is using this time to draw division between believers. He doesn’t have to worry about unbelievers because some of them think these eternal things we hold dear aren’t true, and they allow hypocrites in the church to give them reason not to be part of the church. Hypocrites and liars are everywhere. They better just become hermits if they want to avoid those. What a lonely place to be. Jesus didn’t avoid any place or any human being, and when someone needed to be confronted he did it in love. He still does. He does it through us. All it takes for evil to persist is for good people to stay silent. Please don’t. We need Jesus through you.