Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Gospel Stops "The Game"

It's been an extremely busy week with work, ministry and errands to run so I'm really glad that it's the weekend (although the weekend looks like it's filling up pretty quickly too)!

I've just arrived at the half-way mark in Tullian Tchividjian's "Jesus + Nothing = Everything", and it's given me so much to ponder, while transforming my mind to comprehend and marvel at the brilliant truth and beauty of the gospel. I've had to unlearn some wrong ideas in my Christian walk, repent of those sins and turn to Christ as my all-sufficient source of grace and power in my life. As the Holy Spirit has guided and brought me to those moments of conviction and change, I've felt free of those shackles and chains that burden the mind and heart.

As an example, in a section of Chapter 7 subtitled "Foolish or Free", Tullian wrote the following words that I found quite personally relevant and convicting:

    "God hates legalism. That message sounds throughout the Bible, and it's certainly a major theme of Paul's, especially in his letter to the Galatians. Legalism insists that my ongoing relationship with God is based on my ability to do good. That approach is always inconsistent with the gospel, and Paul shoots it down in every letter he writes - both through the way he structures those letters and in their content...In his letter to the Galatians, especially in chapter 1, Paul uses the strongest terms possible in exhorting believers to go back to the gospel as the one and only basis for their Christian lives....Paul goes on to declare, 'For freedom Christ has set us free;' and that must include letting go of the burden of having to 'become a better you.'" [1]

It was during December 2010 that I went through a time of some painful realizations and processing of memories and scars from my childhood years. This led to a four-part series of posts as I processed some of my childhood hurts, heroes, and realizations about both:
In the marvelous providence and timing of God, while working through similarly painful convictions brought to my attention by Tullian's book, I came across a video recently that told a similar story told in the life of my friend, Hannah. I have known Hannah now for about two years since she came to serve as a staff member for Campus for Christ in the metro Vancouver area. I had always known her as a conversationally witty, easy-going and laid-back woman who is committed to her faith and purpose in life and able to hold her own in a discussion. But as I watched this video, it struck me how little one might be aware of the deep scars of the heart that may lie below a friend's exterior, or their struggles. But as in my own painful episode of two years ago when God gently hammered away at my pseudo-armor and brought down my walls, Hannah's story also reminded of the deep love of Jesus and the tremendous power of His gospel to free us from our enslavement to sin. Here is Hannah on YouTube, recounting her journey in answering the question "Would you rather play and always lose or never play at all?"

Thanks for reading. See you in the next post, which will be carrying some very exciting news! Until then, grace and peace to you.
- The Wisdom Seeker

[1] Tullian Tchividjian, Jesus + Nothing = Everything, Crossway, Wheaton IL, Pgs. 101 - 102