Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Faithfulness & Righteousness

Not enough time yesterday in Monday Meditations to say all I am pondering about righteousness and future grace:
the righteousness of Christ, man's imperfect righteousness, righteous acts, sanctification, justification, law and grace, dull mirrors, virtue, love, reflecting the beauty of God and how all shall know us by  our love, Sunday's sermon on love in the local church; 
and, of course, pondering this is a continuing reflection I invited you to join me in this week.  Many thoughts to think over...

Interesting,  a quick search on BibleGateway.com for 'righteous acts' and 'righteousness' brought up mostly references directly to the LORD.  The ones that referred to saints/believers often had the word faithfulness included and many "for His Name's sake".  In Romans, Paul expounds on the gospel in relation to the law and grace and our daily lives.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:1-2).
… but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness (Romans 6:13).
Standing in grace,

Monday, January 27, 2014

Monday Meds - Delighting

in the law of the Lord...

My continuing study from John Piper's Future Grace encouraged me to delight in the law of the Lord just as the saints of old loved His precepts and commands (Psalm 119).  We sometimes forget that 'Jesus did not come to abolish the law but fulfill it' (Matthew 5:17).  I am blessed to be a part of a local church that is not only strong doctrinally, but also emphasizes life-style discipleship as we come alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ to support and spur one another toward love and good deeds.  However, many churches today do not seem to place much focus on righteous acts.  Our righteous obedience matters now as much as the Old Testament prophets who walked blamelessly before the Lord their God.  Piper reminds us that Hebrews 11 lists those, who by faith, BELIEVED God and it was counted as righteousness.  These imperfect people, through faith in God's promises of grace, delighted in the law and their obedience and acts were pleasing to the Lord. 
This should be a great encouragement that our Father in heaven is not impossible to please.  In fact, like every person with a very big heart and very high standards, he is easy to please and hard to satisfy.  We would  would not want it otherwise.  We want the smile of his happy affection and the fierce sparkle in his eye that we can-and one day will-do, O, so much better.  With this understanding of how we are accepted by God through faith in our Redeemer whose perfect obedience counts as ours, and with a grasp of how genuinely worth obedience of our own is possible by faith in God's promises, the saints were able to say, "Oh how I love your law!  It is my meditation all the day." (152)
Back to Matthew 5, verse 16 admonishes us to shine so clearly that our good works are visible to men that they in turn give glory to our Father in heaven.  Come with me today, as I...
delight in
 the beauty of enduring grace.

Friday, January 10, 2014

The Joy of Mother Culture

‘Mother Culture’: n.  an atmosphere or attitude which exemplifies a consciously active pursuit of development toward the whole person and being of motherhood. 

Karen Andreola is credited with reviving this term and speaks and blogs about creative ways of being a mom and an individual-simultaneously.  Imagine that! 

Perspectives are so important-how we see ourselves, others, our situations, or seasons in life.  Remember last time we talked about that ‘comparison trap’ when we emphasized that we are all different people with different perspectives, and yet we share so many things.  We are all complete persons-not just MOPS moms on Friday mornings, not just accountants or homemakers or human resources executives, not just wives to our husbands, not just Christians on Sundays.  We are a whole person with all of those things bringing to bear on our uniqueness.  We can’t compartmentalize ourselves and imagine we are complete, healthy souls.  We know that the only completeness we have is through Jesus Christ.  Joy spills over in our daily life with this perspective - When our love for Jesus is so consuming that nothing can displace him in our affections. We see and understand more of his beauty. Our true joy is found only in him; yet because of this love, it allows us freedom to enjoy all he gives in an abundant life!  We need an abundant life perspective!

True joy in Christ gives us the freedom to see the beauty of God.  The overall atmosphere of our homes can be a reflection of that truth. As moms, we often set the tone of our homes, and an abundant life perspective can be a blessing to our families.  A great gift to give your children is to keep learning and growing.  Take time to look at things from a new view. Don’t just watch your little ones – enjoy it yourself.  Learn along side.  Don’t miss the joy!  After all, who doesn’t enjoy Pooh stories and Robert Louis Stevenson poems, spotting the Barred owl, or watching squirrels race?  Practice Mother Culture! Think outside the box.  OK, so maybe this isn’t the season of dedicated time on some personal pursuit, but you can learn amazing things with your preschool child!  There are some really profound thinkers in our midst.  They ask the most amazing questions and wonder about truly worthwhile ideas.  Don’t you wonder why that girl with the pearl earring Vermeer painted is dressed in such unusual clothes?  Why do Bach fugues sound like they belong to medieval castles?  How do those squirrels know which limbs will hold their weight when they jump to the next tree?  Why do candles look so bright in a dark room?  What makes Grandma’s quilts so heavy?  You can’t know things you don’t think about.  You need things to think on just as much as your children. What discoverers we can be together.  It starts with a Mother Culture attitude and a consciously active pursuit of knowing, creating relationships with things and ideas.  If we forget to enjoy the same things our children do, we miss so much fun and learning.  To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, we are old enough that it’s time to start reading fairy tales again.