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Thursday, 21 January 2010

Starting on "The Path"

At our MSG (Mid Sized Group) we’re starting a series looking at how God brings about change in our lives, what's knownin the trade as “progressive sanctification”.

This isn’t just a nice thing to do know about – it’s the ball game!

We’ve been called by God to become like his Son (Rom 8:29, Gal 4:19, 2 Cor 3:18 just for starters…it’s all over the place….the image of God in us which is all marred and distorted is to be straightened out so we can reflect his glory to the world) and this isn’t just “something we gotta do”, it’s our purpose, our calling AND the source of all joy.

I want more than anything to find, ultimately, all my joy and satisfaction in Christ.

I want to be a man who says “all I need is Jesus” but I quickly discover that, in fact, I need a pile of other things to be satisfied (the affirmation of others, healthy kids, a tidy work space, time for “me” so I can watch the films I want to watch, evidence of fruitful ministry, friends who don’t disappoint me…..and the list goes on and on.

So the question is how do I get to a place where these things, great as they are, have their rightful position and are not in the place of Jesus as the source of all joy and satisfaction in my life. But most importantly of all, how on earth do I make sure these things don’t rob God of the glory that is due to him because of the fact that I end up saying “Hey Jesus is really good but he, the Son of God and my Redeemer, is not, actually, when it comes down to it, in the final analysis enough for me.” To say such a thing is an outrage, a grievous evil against the holy God who is our Father and yet…..and yet, you and I say it by our actions all the time.

The great news of the gospel is that God wants to change us by his grace. He loves us and wants to rescue us from a life wasted by making other stuff ultimate. He loves us as we are but he loves us too much to leave us as we are. That’s fantastic!

So at MSG for a while we’re going to be taught about how this ongoing work of God changing us, this sanctification, actually works. The Bible teaching is going to be done Matt Chandler as we listen to his sermon series “The Path”. I think his teaching is superb and incredibly helpful and the Lord has certainly used it to work in my own life.

I'm looking forward to it!

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