Wednesday, August 03, 2005

The Second Principle of Discipleship - Faith

So far in our step by step discipleship program, we have look at being “poor in spirit”. In review, being poor in spirit is the abiding realization that we are sick and in constant need of grace from God to find true happiness and a heavenly quality of life. Every day and every instance, we find ourselves in situations that baffle us. We find our ego’s being bruised and we respond in ways that we know do not represent the person God wants us to be. We come to a place of hopelessness. Some respond by saying “well, I guess that is just the way it is. I am a sinner saved by grace and I always will be the limping sinful shmuck I am. Even Paul in Romans 7 was just like me”. Well, that response is simply a total distortion of the message of the Gospel of the kingdom. My hope is that those of us who refuse to live a life of mediocrity and bondage find instead a key in our sense of hopelessness. This key is to embrace our hopeless cause as “being poor in spirit”.

Add to being Poor in Spirit - Faith..
On my own, we are hopeless. We lack what it takes to find a morally beautiful life and to us hopeless cases there is a cure – “Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. To us hopeless causes, there is the gospel of grace. God can do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God can remove our defects of character and restore our life to sanity. In fact, no matter where we are on the moral continuum, we can receive from God a quality of life that we could not ever attain apart from Him. My rut of sinfulness is not life controlling in the same way that some of my friends besetting sins are. Many of us can contain our selfishness so that we actually get a few things right in this life, but as for the kingdom, true happiness and a heavenly quality of life, this cannot be attained without the power of God in our life’s doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

I do not know about you but I want to know the power of His resurrection and to know how to share in His sufferings (respond to suffering like Jesus does) and I want to know Him better. I am not satisfied. Before I found the way of discipleship and faith in the whole Gospel, both the power and the powerful teachings of Jesus, I still hadn’t found what I was looking for.

Today’s post is on faith. Faith is simple, we believe that Jesus Christ can grant us quality of life that we could never attain apart from His power and His teaching in our lives. We believe that the habitual patterns in our life can be broken if we learn to place our faith in Him and are willing to follow His path into a new quality of life.

All human beings have one most fundamental problem, we lack the power to become the person God wants us to be. We have become alienated from the source of moral beauty. Our very person is corrupted and we have found ourselves sick and in slavery to our own character defects. Now, we need a way out and the way out is through a power outside ourselves. We are poor but God is great.

The gospel is an arrow downward. All the promises of the transformed life are in the Gospel of the kingdom.

A Prayer:
“Father, I am the poorest of the poor. Only You really know the truth of this statement. You know my heart and my life. You know the areas of my life that lack love and purity. My life is not a shining light that reflects You. These areas today I am coming to you specifically for help______________________________________________ _________________________________________________ _____________________________________ __________________________. I thank you for the realization of my own weakness and powerlessness. It is for the powerless that Jesus came to give a new quality of life. I believe that You alone through the name of Jesus Christ can deliver me daily from my sin and restore my life today to sanity. I believe the gospel that Jesus died and rose that I might have a truly happy and heavenly quality of life. I know that I do not know what this path looks like but I do know it looks like Jesus. Lord, I simply ask You to do for me what I could never do for myself as I pursue a new quality of life through faith in You.”

Now, prayers like this are NOT the path to new life but only a beginning step. The key is an entire spiritual program of discipleship which we will cover in the next few posts as we work through the Sermon on the Mount. Nonetheless, the principles are simple and so far we have suggested two which will if followed become a central steps toward a truly happy and heavenly quality of life. They are simply: being poor in spirit and placing our faith in Jesus Christ.

God Bless,

No comments: