I have to tell you, it was great getting back and serving in my church today. I was encouraged greatly today by all those who told me they had missed my teaching the past week. Thank you to those of you who prayed for Allyssa and I as we were on vacation and all you who have been so encouraging to us as we minister to you.
This morning was phenomenal! We were privileged to have with us a local folk/bluegrass band leading our worship service. I am not the biggest bluegrass fan, but their music was tremendous and their music was so God-centered. The members of the band presented the church with a couple of challenges, and encouraged the church to be obedient to what God has asked of them. Thanks to the guys of "Just Us", and I hope to have you guys back soon.
Tonight, I got the opportunity to finally get to preach again. God has really been working in my life over the past week and I was able to express those things to the church. I spoke about the Rich Young Ruler's encounter with Jesus. Many people use this passage in Matthew 19, to tell people that Jesus requires you to sell all your belongings and give it to the poor. This ideology and understanding really misses the point. Jesus here calls the guy out on his sin, which is the fact that things and doing good has become his false god. Jesus calls him to get rid of his false god, and come and follow the one true God. I challenged the church to rid themselves of the false gods that have taken the role of GOD in their life, and begin to follow Christ. Even though in the world's eyes we may be last, we will be considered first in the Kingdom of God. We are to live our lives with the motivation not to gain rewards and recognition, but to bring glory and honor to God and obey Christ commands just because we desire that His name be lifted high and exalted. There is nothing we can do in our own merit to earn God's favor, but with God working in and through my life anything is possible.
This passage has really challenged and convicted me about letting things, people, and thoughts take the place of God in my life. I need to rid my life of these false gods and begin to follow Christ. I want my life to show that what Jesus did on the cross was not meaningless but in fact was totally necessary. May God be glorified because I am most satisfied in Him (John Piper).