Godly Sorrow Without a 2×4

The movie “Tommy Boy” has a classic scene in it where Chris Farley and David Spade’s co-worker characters are sitting across from each other in a diner booth after getting in a fight outside. The fight ends with David Spade’s character hitting and knocking out Chris Farley’s character  with a wood 2×4. Later, as they sit across from each other in the diner booth, in the background the song “I’m Sorry” by Brenda Lee is playing. Below is the clip from the movie.

Oddly enough, this scene came in to my head as I was thinking about sorrow as written about by the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 7:10. He writes

Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death.

The scene from the movie certainly is an extreme illustration of worldly sorrow. Two people hurting each other and then sitting across from each other trying to figure out how to say “I’m sorry”. Two people trying to figure out how to bury or reduce their sorrow. Notice, they never actually apologize to each other! Worldly sorrow comes out of regrets, disappointments, bad decisions, hurtful words, betrayal etc. It will never be completely erased or forgotten. It is a cycle that will continue on as long as humans are in the world. Worldly sorrow won’t bring a person to life spiritually no matter how much they work on mending or improving their relationships.

On the other hand, Godly sorrow leads to spiritual growth and salvation. To some, Godly sorrow may sound like a negative reaction but nothing could be more positive and life giving. Godly sorrow is a realization that we are sinners who need to be saved by a Savior (Jesus). It is a realization that we have lived lives not focused on serving God or God’s will for our lives. It is saying I’m sorry to God. This realization leads to repentance from our worldly ways and ultimately to salvation which “leaves no regret”.  It leads to life everlasting and freedom from the bonds of worldly sorrow. What a precious gift of grace . . .  given without a 2×4!

See you on the third floor!

 

 

Days of Future Hope

proessor-x-talkingI saw the movie “X-Men: Days of Future Past” last night with my two sons. At one point in the movie, Professor Xavier’s past and future selves are talking to each other. His future self tell his past self that the greatest gift is hope. I immediately thought of the following passage from Romans 5:1-2

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. 

Through faith in Christ, all people have access to the  “hope of the glory of God”. A hope that will not fail or fade or leave. A hope and promise that no matter what our circumstances Christ is enough. With hope in Christ, we can persevere through all trials and sufferings. What a wonderful, unbreakable promise.

On the flip side, we are continually being made false promises to put our hopes in worldly things that will ultimately fail us. Things like relationships, health, jobs, sex and money. Things that will fade or break or disappoint. Worldly things offer hope but it is a false hope.

Professor X is right. The greatest gift is hope. The hope of God through faith in Christ – past, present and future!

See you on the third floor!

 

Uncomfortable Grace and a Bike

learning to ride a bikeLast summer, I taught my youngest son how to ride a bike. We were using the   tried and true formal of me holding the bike upright as he climbed on. I would continue holding the back of the seat as he started to pedal wobbly with the bike swerving back and forth across the side walk.

I would start to push him faster while holding on to the seat and he would peddle faster in response. When we would get to what I though was a good speed, I would let him go. The first time I let go he went a little ways and fell into the grass along the sidewalk. I walked over, picked the bike up, and we repeated the process. He went a little way and fell in the grass again, and again and again. We kept doing this over and over and at one point he said to me “Dad, this is hard”. I told him “I know it is hard but sometimes we have to do things that are hard. Keep trying.”

After we had that brief exchange, I couldn’t help but think what a great example of God’s grace teaching my son how to ride a bike turned out to be. Especially an example of uncomfortable grace, like was mentioned by Paul David Tripp, in my previous post. God will put us in positions that we aren’t comfortable in so that we can grow through perseverance and struggle.

God has a bike for you that he wants you to learn to ride. It may be hard to ride at first and you may fall over and over again but God will keep picking up the bike and holding it for you to try again and again. God will make sure it stays on the sidewalk even though you are swerving back and forth unsteadily. You simply need to keep getting up and  on the bike and to remember the most important thing – keep peddling.

See you on the third floor!

Uncomfortable Grace

God will take you where you haven’t chosen to go in order to produce in you what you could not achieve on your own – Paul David Tripp

The above quote comes from a sermon video by Paul David Tripp about the grace of refinement. Grace that can be uncomfortable. Below is a video clip from the sermon.

 

 

Hearing is Believing

Every one has heard the saying “Seeing is Believing”. The Apostle Paul in Ephesians 1:13 challenges that saying a bit. He perhaps would change it to “Hearing is Believing”.

And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit. Ephesians 1:13

Paul knows how important hearing the gospel is to believing. Hearing the gospel proclaimed through the reading of scripture, and through the spoken word in preaching, leads to belief and belief to salvation through the Holy Spirit. This idea is further proclaimed in John 5:24 and Romans 10:14. Check those verses out and remember “Hearing is Believing”.

See you on the third floor!