Gospel Therapy

Need to check out a church, a bible study, or a community group and you’re not sure what they’re teaching is even in the bible? Take this book with you!

Not Here

I have two friends who are suffering physically and mentally. One suffers excruciating pain down her right leg as the result of a stroke. The other is bipolar and refuses to take any medication for it. Both insist that God heal them directly. So far he hasn’t even though they pray fervently for it.

Both suffer from believing a lie. That type of mental anguish is worse than the physical ailment. This lie is dispensed every Sunday in church like the drinks at the coffee bar. It’s called having your best life now. It’s a theology of glory. God is supposed to keep us healthy, wealthy, and satisfied Christians.  Broken

But God has promised no such thing this side of heaven. What we long for – perfect health, perfect harmony in our relationships, perfect families and perfect joy – will be a reality when we’re living in the new heavens and the new earth, but not here.

While the longings of our hearts are right, our timing is off. This is the wilderness we’re trudging through, just like the Israelites did. Canaan was their destination, not some plot of sand with a well and a palm tree. Like them, we are headed to where all our longings will be fulfilled, but at the moment we keep our sandals on and keep walking.

The only one who had his best life was Jesus because he lived in heaven. But he willingly left that behind to live his worst life for 33 years. There’s reason why Isaiah describes him as a Man of Sorrows. We never read of Jesus laughing or telling a joke. He lived with suffering every day. The worst kind in the rejection of his own people he came to save. Day in and day out he suffered with people’s unbelief and hatred.

He owned nothing except the clothes on his back. He went hungry. He wept. And yet with this example we’re taught to expect God to give us everything he never gave his Son.

We hate living ordinary lives. We crave notoriety, we demand to live our potential, we love unearthing the divine spark within. Except there’s nothing biblical in any of it. It’s worldliness disguised as philosophical fast food.

The only Person who lived up to his potential was Jesus. We can’t because sin holds us back.

The only One whose life was not ordinary was Jesus’s. Ours are routine and unexceptional every day.

The One who lived by God’s every law was Jesus thereby meriting heaven. We live to break every law and merit hell.

Knowing this, we still demand our best life now. It’s insanity. No wonder we’re depressed and despairing.

The only course correction is to read the bible with fresh eyes and ask God for new understanding of life under heaven. Who is with me?

Talk to me.

 

We Really See You

My husband and I celebrated a milestone anniversary this past week. Our children had a lot to say about it.

“Thank you for being imperfect parents. You have shown us  God sticks around as He promised,” our daughter said.

At first I didn’t know how to respond, but then I laughed out loud.

That was the best compliment she could have given us.

“Your marriage is an amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness, love and perseverance in bringing you together and keeping you together all these years for His glory and your continued sanctification,” our son wrote in a text message.

When did he become the theologian? Oh wait. We pounded it into his head while he was growing up.

We told them the credit was all God’s. That we had done our share of sinning and fighting and getting angry, but God had always been there to dust us off, forgive us, and keep us going.

It humbled us to hear how God had shown his grace and mercy to us and to our children who have been watching all these years.                             Commandments

Perfect we’re not. Having it together – no way. Failing frequently, you bet. That’s really all we’re capable of doing. That’s why we cling to the gospel, knowing our righteousness is a borrowed righteousness from Another.

Thanks be to God!

 

 

 

Is Your Life Worth Saving?

There’s a new advertising campaign grabbing my eyeballs in the subway station these days.

Everywhere I look the walls are covered with large posters asking, “Is your digital life worth saving?”

Clearly for this tech company the answer is yes.

Tech companies have been designing our digital lives for quite a while. And now they want to save them.

But tech companies aren’t the only ones that believe your life is important, digital or otherwise.

ER doctors believe your life is worth saving.

Paramedics and rescue workers believe it, too.

So how come you don’t believe it?

“What do you mean? I’m always saving my life.

I’m up on the latest cure, the most up-to-date therapy, and the most exciting lifestyle I can buy.

What’s wrong with that?”

Nothing, except it’s only skin deep. photo(11)

What if you’re missing what’s really important?

What about your soul?

“I’ve got that covered,” you say.

“I go to church on Easter and Christmas, I recycle, I rescue orphaned animals, and I don’t cheat on my taxes. Doesn’t that count for something?”

Sure. You get kudos with the relatives, and you’re not arrested by the IRS. But will doing good things save your soul?

“Well, if that won’t, what will?”

We will never be good enough to save our own soul. Sin has marred our lives and keeps us from a relationship with God. That’s why God has made a way for your sins to be forgiven.  And you don’t have to cross oceans or change your lifestyle to get it.

He offers it to you right now in the Person of his Son, Jesus.

Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?”

Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” – John 6:28-29 ESV

By receiving God’s gift, he draws you into relationship with himself.

Jesus is God’s plan for saving your life.

Now and forever, without a contract or fees.

Want to find out more about saving your life?

Send me a message.