Sunday, July 20, 2014

Your Body Matters

Image source here
Psalm 139 (especially vv.13-16) shows that your body matters, if God took such great pains to form you like He has. And Christian, even more than that, your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit so honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:12-20). God didn’t have to give us a body, but He did.
Why did God give us a body? Because that is where the practical aspects of our faith get worked out. See, if your faith only stays in your heart, or only stays in the church building on Sundays, then you may not really have faith. What you are doing with the rest of your life (your hands, your mouth, your mind, your eyes, your stomach, your genitals), if it is not “from faith” then it is all dead works (Romans 14:23). It brings you no benefit and brings no glory to the God who created you.
Your body matters, because it is where your faith is made evident. You can’t show love to someone without “doing” something to show them, even if it is as small as opening the door for them. You can’t reveal the fruit of the Spirit like patience without not blowing up on that coworker who messed up. Your body--because God intricately formed it as the vessel through which He would reveal His image to the world--matters.
So we must discipline our bodies and our lives to reflect what Jesus said as part of the Great Commission, “teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). Our goal must be to train our bodies in the Holy Spirit’s power to obey God’s Word at all times and in every way. That’s one way we rejoice in God’s creativity, by living according to the way He intended us to live with our bodies.
(HT: Dallas Willard in The Spirit of the Disciplines)

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bless the LORD!

Quote from John Piper I found during my sermon prep this week:
But there is always a sense of shortfall between our spiritual perception of the greatness of God and our spiritual affection in worshiping God. The intensity of the heart never seems up to what his glory deserves.
That's why one of the most common impulses of genuine worship is to plead with your own soul: "Bless the Lord, O my soul!" Come on, soul, where are you? Why do you sleep before this God? Why are you dull and sluggish? Wake up! Look at what God has done! Look at what he is like!
We feel like part of us sees and begins to feel and respond to the greatness of God's holiness. But part of us doesn't. So we preach to ourselves, "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me, bless his holy name." All that is within me. Not just part of me. Genuine worship is almost always conscious that our response to God is only partial. "All that is within us"—every fiber of our being—is not blessing God.
But the very recognition of this shortcoming is worship—our sense of discontent that our soul isn't fully kicking-in signals how great the worth of God really is. Otherwise we wouldn't be pressing for a deeper response. And crying out against the shortcoming of our soul, like David does, is even more worship. "Bless the Lord, O my soul; and all that is within me—not just some of me, not just half my heart, not just half my energy, not just half my mind, but all that is within me—bless his holy name."