““If you have really handed yourself over to Him, it must follow that you are trying to obey Him. But trying in a new way, a less worried way. Not doing these things in order to be saved, but because He has begun to save you already. Not hoping to get to Heaven as a reward for your actions, but inevitably wanting to act in a certain way because a first faint gleam of Heaven is already inside you.””

– C.S. Lewis

J.S. Park: Hospital Chaplain, Skeptical Christian

I know there’s a moment when the preacher says something you can relate to — “Maybe you’re the guy struggling today with porn, drugs, drinking, punching small animals, and racing police officers, and you hate evangelism and Bible-reading and prayer just as much as I do!”

— so we totally nod along, BUT: relatability is not an excuse for lukewarm living.  It’s not permission to sit on the sidelines. 

A sigh of relief is not a sigh of excuse.

On one end, guilt-fear-and-shame are lazy preacher tactics that cripple us into fear-based faith, which isn’t sustainable.  Guilt has me staring at me.  But on the other end, half a grace has me staring right through God.

Sometimes what we perceive as grace is really watered-down reactionary Gospel, or it’s the preacher simply having a catharsis of his own demons to feel better about his past.

So we wouldn’t want…

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“Come, let us r…

“Come, let us return to the L ord . He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the L ord ! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.”

Hosea 6:1-3