Chapter 6 Assigned Sunday, March 20th.
In “The Good and Beautiful God,” the author was preaching at a church he had been to five years earlier, and he gave a similar message with hopes the congregation would have forgotten in that time. A man came up to him after the service and showed him a video with his sermon from before, the man did not come to tease him for the sermon but to thank him because it changed him completely. He lived every day in fear of God and the message melted his heart. “I basked in the glow of knowing that I had actually made a difference in someone’s life, and I turned to God and silently thanked him.” There was a woman who saw his message in a different way. She was no longer worried about living with her boyfriend because Jesus sacrifice made the guilt unnecessary, which was not his intended message. The author realized proclaiming the good news is not the whole story, there is also the ‘consuming fire’ aspect of God which is often overlooked.
God has his wrath, and then there is the part of him people see as the teddy bear God which is a fashionable alternative, but truthfully there is a wrathful God, there is judgement in God’s kingdom, and a need for Jesus to die on the cross. “The teddy-bear God seems inviting at first. But when you look at our world or look deeply into your own heart, you see a darkness that is unmistakable. The non-wrathful God is powerless against this darkness. As strange as it may sound, in my understanding, the wrath of God is a beautiful part of the majesty and love of God.”
The Soul Training exercise for the chapter talks about Margin, the space at the end of the page where there is no text. It suggests our lives are often like that, we add so much to our schedule that we have no free time. We can’t say no to the things that are thrown at us and it affects our well-being. It does not say to eliminate one thing altogether, just to reduce the amount of time we spend on it, and to encourage us to create more room for margin in our day.
I had feelings for a girl and I lost her friendship. Part of the reason things fell apart was she left no room for margin in her life. She took on too much of a workload. I thought that since she was the answer to one of my prayers maybe God had a plan for us, even if we spent time just getting to know one another.
I was afraid of losing her, and I think God always feels that way too. He sent the gift of Jesus Christ because he was afraid of losing humanity. Take your week as a big glass jar. You have rocks representing church, prayer, and Sabbath. You have pebbles representing work, college classes, studying, and family life. You have sand which represents free time for everything else. If you try to fill up the jar first with either pebbles or sand the week is going to be a disaster, but if you add the rocks first, and then the pebbles, and then add the sand everything will fill out perfectly in your week. Something else can be said about the things we carry. If you pick up a stone and hold it in your hand for a few minutes it might not seem like much, but if you carry it around all day your hand will start to cramp up, and that behavior can keep itself going for months on end. The weight of the stone will exhaust you. We make our emotions our rock instead of God, and that becomes the source of our troubles. Aside from that, with my story of working too much, sleeping strange hours, and the academic probation that followed, I made a decision that I do not want to organize my life towards marginlessness. Will I still get busy at times? Of course! But I want to plan my schedule better.
Because I am a college student, I tend to either work or
God Is Holy:
Okay, the chapter says it is easy to only take the parts of the bible we enjoy and try to cut out the rest, but each chapter of the bible is based on scholarly sources and is meant to be the official word of God. You have to accept the bible as a whole, otherwise you lose the important aspects of God and the Christian life.
Jesus speaks occasionally of God’s wrath in the bible, but he also covers the love just as much. God chooses to be both of these things to us. Love is not something crazy like you hear with swimming across an ocean to reach someone you love in a country music song, love is defined as a desire for the well being of another, so much so that personal sacrifice would not stand in it’s way.
Love is calling your mom on the phone or working a few extra shifts to pay for your daughters dance lessons. Wrath also does not mean God is in a fit of rage and has lost his control, it means more that God is in consistent opposition to sin and evil. God is mindful to his love and his wrath because he cares for his creation.
Holy is a divine attribute of God, it is who He is. He lacks sin or evil. But his love, his grace, his wrath, his judgement, his righteousness are holy aspects of him. They are what he does.
The primary meaning of Holy is separate. It comes from an ancient word, meaning ‘a cut above the rest’. He is holy in that he is transcendentally separate. He is so far above everything that he seems foreign to us, and that is how it is supposed to be.
God is just in his attempts to prevent sin. God loves us so much that he longs for us to be pure and works tirelessly to make us pure. As Christians he makes us holy. He consecrates us, or sets us apart unto purity.
The chapter talks about Margin, and how we balance our time. Nowadays its so easy to get caught up in being busy and forgetting God. I’m guilty of it. One way I balance my time is to try to revolve everything around when I’m gonna spend time with God. Whether morning, afternoon, or at night, I try to make sure I at least read something or pray.
If as humans we are for sin, and God is against our sin, then in the long run God is for us because he wants to see our freedom from such things.
– Andre –
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