Monday, May 12, 2008

Reminding myself of truth--

These are some of the quotes that I've collected over the past year or so.
You know when you just need to be reminded of stuff you know?
I know all of this stuff, I just need to act like I know it.

You see if you are a Christian there is nothing you can do to make God love you more or less. Because when He sees you He sees His Son Jesus Christ, there's nothing you can do to make Christ look better to God. And so this gets to the root of why we do; what we do. Why do you read scripture? Why do you come to Church? Why do you want to go on a missions trip? Why do want to reach out to this person? Because God shows more favor on you? No!
Because it's who you are and you are being authentic to that. You see if you didn't read your Bible today God still sees Christ. You may not be living the life he's designed you to live, and you may not be being as authentic as you can be. But he still sees Christ.
Sometimes you may feel like God's not there or you feel like God's not as close to you as he once was. Well bull! He is!
See we rely on our feelings more than what we rely on what we know to be true about God. And that is God, "I will never leave you or forsake you." His Spirit lives in me as a Christian- he never leaves. I might feel distant, but he's not distant. I may feel better about doing certain things but it doesn't matter because before I did those God looks at me and He still sees Christ. Are you getting it? You see if your Christianity/your faith is based on religious routine and dos and don'ts; I don't know how else I can say this...but your nothing more than a pharisee. You're a good moral church goer.....that's what you are.
And you see this is where I feel like this could maybe speak to your heart too, it's that I also feel like so many of you are struggling with sin issues in your life and you beat yourself to death. In fact you're so focused on your sin that you feel distant from God, because you are focused on your sin and because you are focused on your sin you actually feel like you need to hid from God like Adam and Eve in the Garden. They sinned, guess what they did. They ran from God. Could they? No. God was still there. You may be struggling with a sin issue and you come here and you feel like everyone else has it all together and you're the only one that doesn't. Well guess what... maybe other people can just fake it better than you can. I'm not saying it's ok to sin. I'm just saying number one; it's normal. And number two if you are a believer first off you have to understand that you are a believer because you aren't perfect.
Chuck Bomar

When you look at this God that did this for you...I don't want to belittle anyone's issues. What's your biggest struggle right now? What's your greatest need or desire? And does it really compare to the promise God has for you that He's going to come back and marry you and take you to a home He's building for you; where you are going to have nothing but full joy?
Does it really compare to the fact that the God of the Universe who's just so big we're like little dots in time and history- He's leaned over and said "I'm going to become a dot and die for you so we can have a relationship." Is it really bigger than that?
-Brian Colmery

It seems as though, from the inside, the way you quantify your spiritual growth is by how aware you are of your sin.

This tends to run counter to the way evangelicals like to run things: everything is always great, everyone is always growing, everyone is sinning less and less every day, or so we tell ourselves and each other. But if Paul is any indicator, your growth in Christ is measured not by how you feel less and less sinful, but how you feel more and more sinful. A growing awareness and despair over your sin marks true growth in the believer. And I don’t think it’s too far to say that using any other standard to judge our internal growth is a step towards legalism. That isn’t to say that the questionnaire above is unbiblical, or that taking stock of the way you live out your faith isn’t important - the Bible is clear that it is (James 2:14-17). But it is to say that, from inside our own heads, we shouldn’t be proud that we feel more holy every day. We should repent of our pride and lack of growth. We know we’re on the right track if, every day, we wake up and find more sin when we thought we’d already exhausted our capacity for itwhich will force us to our knees in humble repentance and to our feet in joyful reception of the grace to be found in the blood of Christ. As we grow in awareness of sin, so too we will grow in joy for the gospel: he who is forgiven little loves little (Luke 7:47). And so, at the end of the day, God gets more glory as our only hope for salvation and joy in a sin-stained world, created by sin-stained hearts like our own.
-Brian Colmery

And yet, we are sick with sin. Jesus was being ironic (wasn't he?) when he said he'd come not for the healthy, but for the sick. He knows: We're all terminal. We're hopeless, addicted, hooked on ourselves.
-Brant Hanson

He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. …The pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So, everybody must conceal his sin from himself and from the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. So we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!
--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together.

Do you believe today that you have full access to God through Christ? Or that you have access to God because you are doing what Christ did? You see the difference? One of them is proud, one of them is you bucking up and taking yourself up by the bootstraps and walking towards God and trudging and onward Christian soldier man we are going to get this done! And you get to God and it's like, "man I made it, I climbed to the top of the hill, I planted the flag, I pulled this off!". The other one is humble.
That's why Jesus talks about a wide and narrow paths. See the narrow path isn't narrow because it's so hard to get through, it's narrow because you have to be that humble to get in. You have to check all your pride and your baggage at the door, you actually have to lose your own life to get in there, you have to let Jesus carry you like a little child. And he's the way.
-Brian Colmery

"Some of you guys are really struggling right now in a lot of areas of life; in a million different ways. Each one of you. I believe if we went around the room we could all just talk about, "How man, there's just this one thing..." You know? And even as Christians. Sometimes people think you become a Christian and life gets all soft lenses you know, everything is pretty and it's happily ever after. And it doesn't really work that way. In fact the Bible seems to indicate that when you become a Christian and abide in the Vine and God wants you to grow, you get more stuff thrown in your life not less. And some of you guys are right in the middle of that. I want you to know that the Bible says to you. today. If you are being cut and pruned by your circumstances it's not 'cause he hates you. It's because he wants you to grow and in that area. So not only is it just random, because he's not capricious. "I want them to grow so I'll slice them here." No, it doesn't work that way, he says "I want to see this in their life, I want to see this in their heart, I want to see this grow out of them, so I'm going to cut them right here." Very specifically, very intentionally. So you guys have the ability right now if you believe in Christ, if you abide in the Vine, if that's true of you; you can look at any circumstance in your life and go, "You know what that's interesting cause if that's happening it means that God wants me to grow in that area and if he does it he's going to finish the job." And you can count on that."
Brian Colmery

"Oh before I go, self-esteem. Self-esteem biggest crock ever fed to the US... ever. Self-esteem is bogus. I'll tell you why, because it has this concept "Ok if people need love and they are looking outside to get it and hurting themselves to get it. Let's just convince them they are worth it. And then it will all work out." You don't need self-esteem, you're already loved! Do you not believe it? You don't need to build up your own worthiness, because you already have it. Before you were born you had it. So why keep trying, why keep striving, why keep trying to convince yourself you're worth something that you're not. 'Cause you're not worth it. But you HAVE IT. You don't need anymore. You don't need to convince yourself that you're worth something. We have all these people running around there thinking that "You know life would be alot better if I only thought I was a better person." No! False! Jesus said, "Lose your life to save it. Deny yourself." you know why? 'Cause your already loved. You can, you have the freedom to do it- that love is inviable."
-Brian Colmery

"So I’ve decided that I need to start praying that I’d stop living like God is real and start living because God is real. The beautiful part of this is how easy responding to life becomes—I don’t need to worry about how I look, because I won’t need to stay in character anymore. No more reminding myself that Christians read their bible and pray, no more reminding myself that Christians don’t get frustrated with people out of selfishness, no more reminding myself that Christians draw on their love for God when they worship. Instead, I’ll actually be someone in love with God. And that, as far as I can tell, is the whole point."
-Brian Colmery

The problem is alot of us; I would say alot of us in this room if not all of us- love God. But the hard thing about this command is we love God not with our entire selves. We love God with part of our mind, a fraction of our soul, with a portion of our heart. And God says "That's not going to do it. You need to love me with your entire self. You need to be completely consumed completely saturated you need to be able to focus solely on me you can't have love for anything else in this world."
Matt Moore

"The skill of the divine potter is an infinite patience of improvisation. No sooner has one work gone awry than his fingers are pressing it into the form of another. There is never a moment for the clay, when the potter is not doing something with it. God is never standing back and watching us; his fingers are on us all the time,"
- Austin Farrer

But Jesus says: if you will let the real God come into your life, then you will experience a huge freedom from the anxiety over survival; none of the usual concerns over livelihood will furrow your brow or weigh you down....Open yourself to my God whose passionate love is unreasonable and trust Him wholeheartedly....If we let the Lion of Judah run loose as Lord of our lives, He will not want us to be poor, broken, or sad. Yet He may allow it, knowing that in these conditions we are more likely to let Him make us rich, whole, and happy.
Brennan Manning.

"We've talked about this before- The idea that eternal life isn't quantity, it's not about how long it is, it's not like a huge number of years. It's about quality. It's life like to the full, life that's abounding, life that's kinda maxed out and fraying at the edges cause it's trying to explode. It's that kinda life. The idea is that it's quality and not quantity. That it maxes out, frays the edges, just jumps out of whatever you have it in. It just get out; it's a big kind of life. And Jesus says "This is what I mean when I say eternal life- to know God.""
Brian Colmery

"We are always looking at what's in God's hands. What can you get from God, what blessing can you get from God. Check this out, we are looking at what God has in his hands; and we're waiting and we're waiting and we're waiting and he's not giving and he's not giving. Don't seek what's in God's hands. Seek His heart, seek His face and he will delight to give you all that is in his hands."
"Bring your requests to God, ask him to change your circumstances. And if he doesn't ask him to use them."
-Nick Vujicic

"Love—the true kind of love, the kind of love that overflows inside of us because of who God is and who we are and who He has born us anew to be—ought to pervade every piece of our life."

"The joy of Christians should be contagious, not because their life is always great by the world’s standards but because their life is always great by God’s standards. Not because we feel like we should be that way, but because, as God so powerfully works in us, we are. Jesus thought the person collecting money in the tollbooth was worth a passing moment of actual care. A warm smile and a twinkle of understanding in the eye. The lady behind the diner counter was important to Him. He didn’t ignore people, because he never had anything on his mind that was a higher priority. He didn’t rate them or base his response on their usefulness to Him or their respect of His rights. He lived a life of love.

This is the God we follow, and this is the road He’s called us to walk on. It’s not about us, it never has been. It’s about humility, and perspective. It’s about being filled with the Spirit every day. But most of all, it’s about reckless, overwhelming, box-breaking, life abandoning love all the time."
"And we often times have this thing where when we face temptation--we have these like youth group tricks, or stuff we read in the Bible or whatever acronyms or something that you use to face temptation. You sit there and you have that moment where you're deciding; I really want to be sinfully angry right now, I really want to lust right now, I really want to be greedy right now, I really want to be self-centered right now, you have that moment where you're deciding. And often times it's just like I'll guilt myself into not doing it or I'll try really hard or I'll just give up and go for it. There's all these different responses we can have. But one that I had never heard before I read this verse was-- thinking about how good God has been to you in the past. If you want to keep the commandments of God. If you want to have your hope in him. This guys said "Then make sure you sit at the feet of some people who've seen God work, make sure you think about all these stories of what God's done in other people lives and what God's done in your life. Just make sure you recognize how faithful God is." And all of a sudden it won't be a big issue to walk right past that stuff. Because you'll just sit there thinking "Man, no, I see God's got me on this track I mean he's got me going somewhere and I don't need this. I can just bypass this. Cause I see where we're headed and it's a good place" And you just keep walking."
-Brian Colmery

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