Archive for January, 2010

iMonk Classic: Confession

January 23, 2010

Here’s a great piece from Michael Spencer (aka the Internet Monk). Please pray for Michael and his family as he undergoes treatment for cancer.

Update- Michael’s medical insurance will run out in late Feb. Go to his website (see link above) to help out.

Some Christians love to talk about the sins of Obama or gays or the mainstream media, but get really animated when I suggest we need to talk about our own, even if they are listed in the Bible dozens of times.

If the Gospel isn’t grabbing you by the real sins in your real life, just exactly what is the Gospel doing for you? Or you with it?

I don’t like the fact that I can give a really good talk on prayer when I rarely pray.

I don’t like it that I can read Matthew 5:23-24 and, as far as I can recall, never take a single step toward obeying it.

I don’t like that I can sin and then condemn someone else’s sin in almost the same breath.

I don’t like it that I’m convinced people need to understand me, but I take so little time to understand others.

I regret that I’ve spent so much of my life seeking to make myself happy in ways that never led to real happiness at all.

I don’t like it that I’ve accumulated so much stuff I don’t need, and I’m so reluctant to give it away.

It causes me real sorrow that I’ve said “I love you” far to little in my life, especially to the people I love the most.

I don’t like the fact that some of my students think I’m a hero, when I’ve done nothing more than be an unprofitable servant.

I hate the difference between what I know and what I do.

I hate the fact that I can use words like “radical” describing what others should do in following Jesus when I’m the first one to want to play it safe.

I don’t like that part of me that thinks everyone should listen to what I say.

I wish I could see myself as God sees me, both in my sinfulness and in the Gospel of Jesus.

I regret using so little of my life’s time, energy and resources for worship and communion with God.

I despise that part of me that always finds fault, and uses that knowledge to put myself above others.

I am embarrassed by the words I use that come so easily from the tongue but have little root in the heart.

I regret taking so few risks in the cause of living a God-filled life.

I despise the shallowness of my repentance for sin that has caused hurt and pain for others.

I don’t like that part of me that can make up an excuse, even lie, almost endlessly in the cause of avoiding the truth and its consequences.

I don’t like that I can talk of heaven in a sermon or at a funeral, but very little of me wants to go there.

I regret that I have loved my arrogant self far than I’ve loved my self humbled in Christ.

I regret that so much good advice, good teaching and good example was wasted on me.

But I am glad for the endless mercies of the Lord, and the amazing fact that those mercies extend to me, today and every day.

I am glad that Christ my substitute took this sorry life, pathetic obedience and lethargic worship and exchanged it for his perfect righteousness.

I am glad that the Holy Spirit is remaking and raising dead men- even at age 52.

I am glad that one day I will look at all these failures and regrets and they will have been transformed into the very glory of Jesus Christ himself.

I am glad that God has cast the very things I most dislike about myself into the depths of the sea and has removed them as far as the east is from the west.

I am glad that when I return in shame and embarrassment, my Father meets me running, covers me with his gladness and throws me a party in the presence of the naysayers and pharisees.

I am glad that Jesus takes these things I loathe about myself and says “It is finished. Come you good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord. Today you will be with me in paradise.”

I am glad Jesus says “Before I have called you servant, but now I will call you friend.”

I am glad Jesus says “Who condemns you? There is now no condemnation because you are in me and I am in you. If I am for you, who can be against you? Go, and sin no more.”

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Guarding the Gospel

January 8, 2010

“Many good people think that they ought to guard the Gospel, but it is never so safe as when it stands out in its own naked majesty. It needs no covering from us.

When we protect it with provisos, guard it with exceptions and qualify it with observations, it is like David in Saul’s armor—it is hampered and hindered and you may even hear it cry, ‘I cannot go with these.’

Let the Gospel alone and it will save! Qualify it and the salt has lost its savor.”

– Charles Spurgeon, “The Dying Thief in a New Light” (sermon on Luke 23:40-42, preached on August 23, 1885)

(ht-Of First Importance)