“. . . joining the church is supposed to make us automatically god-centered and not self-centered people. Consequently, our modern church is filled with many people who look pure, sound pure, and are inwardly sick of themselves, their weaknesses, their frustration, and the lack of reality around them in church. Our non-Christian friends feel either ‘that bunch of nice untroubled people would never understand my problems’ or the more perceptive pagans who know us socially or professionally feel that we Christians are either grossly protected and ignorant about the human situation or are out-and-out hypocrites who will not confess the sins and weaknesses our pagan friends know intuitively to be universal.
. . . by recognizing that all our efforts and enterprises both in and out of the church are tainted to the core with self-centered desires for recognition, power or social acceptance, we can come to God . . . in honest confession and acceptance of His perception and power . . .
The Taste of New Wine
by Keith Miller
my Prayer: Lord, please help me to be humble and authentic, especially in the church. It would be so easy to only allow part of me to be seen by the members of the body of Christ. To allow the few moments I stand on stage every week and sing praises to you to be seen as defining moments of my relationship with you. It would be so easy to allow people to believe that I am aware of your Holy Spirit much more than I really am. But I know how quickly I forget you – time and time again. I know how many times I come back to you, just in the course of one single day. Please, Lord, help me to remember that the church is filled with people who come seeking and striving, not with people who are “done and saved.”
Please help me to serve you – right where I am. Please help me to encourage your saints through humble service, authentic transparency and an awareness that the people right in front of me need you just as much as the people I encounter outside the church.
When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.
1 Corinthians 2:1-4(NIV)
“Take my voice and pour it out. Let it sing the songs of mercy I have found, for I have nothing, I have nothing without You . . . So all the world will see, that I have nothing without You
Nothing Without You
by Bebo Norman
This was dual published on my Pragmatic Communion blog.