Sunday, September 23, 2007

California.... and that wet stuff that comes from the sky

Well, we actually got some rain yesterday! It was rather pleasant--running around on the soccer field in the rain (I had to ref Jonathan's soccer game at 8 am). After we got home and had lunch, we had some family time which included playing a game, and worship/prayer time (which is always enjoyable). Since I don't have a lot of homework this weekend, I got to go over to the Sisson's house where Ethan and I played random songs (him on the guitar, and me on his keyboard). Anyway, that pretty much sums up my Saturday.

This morning, we talked about Judaism. It is very sad to see how works based it is (much like Islam and Mormonism). The message was "A Challenge for the Jews - from Jews". We talked about Galatians 2 and 3 where Paul states that we cannot be justified by the Law; therefore, we are hopeless without Christ. Several months back, we did a study on Matthew 5. It really opened my eyes to my narrow-mindedness in which I interpret Scripture. Jesus attacks that artificial standard of "goodness" that we set for ourselves, and shows the heart issues. Pastor Tim gave us an example listing two sets of things: the external things (stealing, killing, committing adultery, etc.), and the internal things (coveting, anger, looking lustfully on someone else, etc.). Jesus was basically pointing out that we look good on the outside, but in our hearts, we are full of wickedness. When Jesus says "be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect", He is basically killing all hope for doing it on our own. Paul also hits on the worthlessness of our "good works" in Phil. 3:2-9. He states in verse 3, "...have no confidence in the flesh..." He then goes on to talk about the fact that he has more reason than any of us to put confidence in the flesh, and yet he counts it loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus! Hebrews 2:2-3 leaves us with the sobering reality that God is always just. The reality is that our righteousness is nothing (Isaiah 64:6, Gal. 5:2-4). Talk about a reason to praise Him for Christ!!!

I liked this equation:
Calvary = 100% X Mercy + 100% X Justice

For me, this was a very practical message. I am praying for opportunities to share this message with people that I am in contact with. This world is so satisfied with personal righteousness as being good enough. May God open their eyes to see the truth!