for those who don't want to just wait it out

like the song says this is a blog for someone who wants to say something (anything) and who's happy to wait and see what time will bring...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Getting in front of the 8 ball

Changed my facebook profile to a photo that I took while down south and have temporiliy relabelled my status as being behind the 8 ball. Let's just put it down to a momentary feeling of being overwhelmed by all that is coming up this year... But then I took a breather to listen to the 2nd in Driscolls series of A Rebel's Guide to Joy with today's focus being on loneliness. It made me realise that as a Christian I'm so far in front of the proverbial 8 ball that the game is starting over with a whole new team... The sermon I listened to today is a series that is based on the book of Philippians and, whilst I don't think that it's really an expository sermon (he did after spend about 10 mins of the 75 minute sermon on the passage and I think more time in Hebrews) the last 20 mins were a brilliant encouragement and challenge on what it means to live a life that is transformed by the impartation of Christ's grace.

So good in fact, that I went back through the sermon and kept on pausing it so that I could write it down as a reminder. I'd encourage you to download the whole thing and have a listen for yourself, but in the meantime here's a little sample for you:

You receive imparted righteousness. You get to be more like Jesus by the Grace that He gives. That's the cool thing with imputed righteousness... you receive a new heart, a new centre, a new nature. God changes you from the inside out. You're a new person, that's why we use words like 'born again'. You start over.

Paul uses words elsewhere like 'new creation in Christ' - everything is different. New from the inside out and your new nature, your new heart, has new desires. You don't want to sin anymore; you want to live for God. You don't want to do the stupid things you were doing; you want to change. You have new desires.

Not only that but you have a new power through the Holy Spirit that enables you to act on the desires of your new heart. And you're not doing this alone - you have a new community in the church. And you're no longer led by lies, you have truth now so you have new instructions to guide your new journey with God's people to live out, and obey, your new desires - all of which are the fruit of righteousness that has been imparted to you through Jesus...

You can stand before God, right now, because of Jesus and you can live a lifestyle that isn't just white knuckling against sin and fighting against your desires - new desires, new power, new nature, new community, new truth, new destiny, new Lord - forever. This is Christian life.

And it results (Paul) says to the glory and praise of God. You get excited, you get passionate, you get to live a new life. You get to be a new person, you get a new power, you get a new joy. It's all of grace and it's all of Jesus. You get a new life - one that's actually worth getting up out of bed for...

Inspired? You should be. We all should be shouldn't we? If we're marked and changed by the Holy Spirit because of Jesus... what kind of a different perspective should that be giving us on the day to day lives that we get to live?

One of the downsides to doing the type of ministry that I do is that you get to be a part of peoples lives in an often instense way through-out an intense time in their lives. It's both a priviladge and a heart-ache, especially the more that you care for them! And so I wouldn't normally do this but since another one of them has hopped on a plane this afternoon to be away for a year (and more to follow in the next couple of weeks!) I dedicate this post, and a little message, to these girls - and to all other's like them who are away from the people who remind them, daily, what their identity in Christ is...

Remember this, you are not alone. You are never alone because you are marked with, and by, the Holy Spirit. You are loved - not just by those who will miss you back home but by the Soverign Creator and Sustainer of this world and the world to come. The Saints are praying with you, and for you.



  • At 10:22 pm, Blogger Joel said…

    I've been listening to Driscoll's Philippians talks too! They have been a real encouragement - and an interesting new style of preaching to think about too!

    PS Hi to any of the OS gals reading!

  • At 4:55 am, Anonymous Alex said…

    Hi Joel. You're still outta control.

    Jodi, as I was reading that post, and particularly the excerpt from the sermon, I sat here thinking to myself 'this is so, so timely. I must write this down.' And then to find a dedication at the bottom, well, you've (perhaps unknowingly) made my day. I can see the challenges of living differently surfacing already. You do get one of the girls back very, very soon, though. 1YINTL... and we have an eternity together, too, don't forget.

    I think I'm now on Skype, so if you're around...


  • At 8:10 am, Blogger Bethan said…

    Oh Jodi, Thank you! Particularly for the last part. It's so important to be reminded I am never alone and of Christ's love and my identity in Him. Missing you! xx

  • At 10:29 am, Anonymous jeanette said…

    hi jodes,

    thanks for the post and encouragement. i might just go listen to that sermon now actually.

    am So looking forward to seeing you and having a Massive catch up!!!!! =D

  • At 9:54 pm, Anonymous jeanette said…

    hey jodes,

    i listened to the sermon last night after our Big 4 Way conference call =D!! (How Much Fun was that!!!)

    it was a really good sermon. i appreciated much of what was said. so thanks for the heads up!

  • At 10:01 pm, Blogger jodi said…

    hey netty et al
    girls - was great speaking to you all and hearing your voices - i praise God for new ways that technology can encourage fellowship!

  • At 3:43 am, Anonymous Alex said…

    So fun. I reckon if He doesn't have it already, God should get Skype in heaven. Heaven's huge, after all, how will we possibly be able to catch up with all the people we know there? :)

    PS, I spoke too soon about not having jetlag. Jeanette was right, little things are starting to creep up on me. Chat soon.


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