A Secret Decoder Ring for Your Best Life Now – Hope for Hump Day with a View toward Sunday

This week at Hope of Christ, we will continue to look at the last chapter of Philippians.  Specifically verses 10-13:

I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me

Everyone loves secrets and mysteries.  Whether you’re Colonel Sanders with your 11 secret herbs and spices, or Coca Cola with your secret recipe for Coke, New Coke, Coke Classic (which was the new, new Coke, making the old new coke, the new old coke), or Coke Zero (which is the new, new, new Coke based on the old New Coke which, again, is the new old coke, recipe).

Even Paul loves mysteries.

Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. -Romans 16.25-27

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel. -Ephesians 3:1-6

Even authors today delight in claiming that they have found the secret to life’s mysteries.  It’s what sells.  Write a book claiming that you’ve tried a few things; they worked for you; they may or may not work for others.  See how many copies you sell.  But announce to the world that you have figured out “the secret.”  and watch those royalty checks roll in.  But the secret has to be exciting.  It has to be something that I can do by focussing more on me. In fact, If you could spend about 200 pages telling me that the secret to my happiness is just a little more selfishness and self-will and self-love and self-promotion and self-esteem, I won’t even mind (or notice the hypocrisy) of a couple pages claiming I should think about others too.

We love secrets.  As long as they’re not too secret.  We like secrets that are decodable.

And Paul says he has figured out the secret.  He has figured out the secret to living your best life now.  And it seems to be a slightly different take than others who write books focussing on that very idea.  Whereas one author tells you that the secret to your best life now is, “don’t ever get satisfied with where you are,” Paul has found that the secret is actually the opposite of that advice.  The secret is…

well, some secrets are better revealed Sunday mornings.  But I promise one thing.  It won’t be a crummy commercial.

Peace We Don’t Get: Hope for Hump Day with a View to Sunday

This Sunday we will be looking at what is possibly one of the better known passages in the Bible on peace.

 

Philippians 4:4-9

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

It seems to me that as Christians we have an odd relationship with peace.  We have turned a gift from God into a rule we are failing at.  “You don’t have peace? Oh, well, you’re supposed to have peace.  What are you worried about?  What are you anxious about?  Stop it.  Peace! Be still!”

I wonder if a lot of our lack of peace comes from our lack of peace.  Do you worry about how much you worry?  Does your anxiety make you anxious?  “Why am I so worried about this?  I’m really screwing this up.”

This passage mentions the peace of God (verse 6) and the God of peace (verse 9).  These are not the same thing.  They are related, but they are not the same.  You can have peace with God only because he is a God of peace.  God created you to be a recipient of his love and therefore to live at peace with him.

So what robs us of our peace?  We have believed some lie the world, our flesh, or the devil has sold us.

Maybe you have believed that joy comes from happiness.  That’s a lie. I know many apparently happy people who have no joy in their lives.  Likewise I’ve known many joyful people who have gone through very unhappy circumstances.

Maybe you have been directed by all the little white lies your own thoughts tells you instead of directing your thoughts.  Is it time to stop listening to yourself and start talking to yourself?

Maybe you have allowed the accuser more hearing than he deserves.  The number one robber of peace in our lives is shame.  Shame is always only a tool of the accuser.  God is not a God of shame but the God of peace.  Do you know the God of peace?  Does his peace with you surpass even your own comprehension?

Come this Sunday to Hope of Christ Church to meet this God of Peace for the first time or become reacquainted with him.  Learn how to deal with the shame that is falsely used against you.  Learn what it means to pursue joy over happiness.  Learn what it is to know and be known by the God of peace.

New Year’s Resignations

Well, it’s January 8 and you know what that means? Yes it means it’s Hump Day again, but more than that, statistically speaking it means most of us who made any sort of New Year’s resolutions have already failed at most of them. And some who haven’t failed are already finding sticking to their resolution to be a struggle and frustrating and you are questioning why you are even bothering.

Maybe you resolved to make healthier choices with food or drink. You resolved that what you eat and what you drink will not be your source of comfort and joy this year. You will show self control. You won’t become one of those self-righteous sticks in the mud who can’t enjoy a good meal or dessert or beer or glass of wine, but you will enjoy them as gifts from God, not as lifelines.

But then there’s the invitation to a friends house and you don’t want to be rude. And there are all those cookies and candy and you don’t want to be wasteful so they HAVE to be eaten so that you can get them out of the house and start your resolution in earnest. And now you’re feeling like your resolution is pretty much a failure.

Or maybe you resolved to have a little more unconditional love in your heart. Maybe toward your wife or maybe toward your children. A little more patience, a little more compassion, a little more empathy and listening and less talking and correcting and screaming and ignoring. The problem is that conditions aren’t always that optimal for unconditional love. Sometimes it’s too early in the morning for this conversation again. Sometimes it’s too late in the evening to listen to them. Sometimes they are acting like CHILDREN. Sometimes he is so frustrating. Sometimes she is so cold. And you fall and you fail and your resolution didn’t get you anything except, if you told your family what it was, a dirty look or critical comment.

You tried. You meant well. you fell flat. Now what?

For half of us, we will resolve more better. Dig in your heals. Do better. Try harder. Take that hill. Move that barge. You thought you were resolved, but you ain’t seen nothin yet. Grab those boot straps and get up!

For half of us we will resign. You tried, you failed, but who could possibly succeed surrounded by these sinners? You don’t know my wife. You don’t know my husband. You don’t know my children. You don’t know my circumstances.

Or, worse, you realize you failed and it is entirely your own doing. You resolved. You were earnest. You were sincere. You wanted to do good, but the more you wanted to do better the more there was something there pulling you back down, tripping you up, tempting you to give up or give in.

“So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand (No, not in your spouse or your children or your pantry, but right there in your own heart). For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin.” Romans 7.21-23.

“I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing.” Romans 7.19.

What is there for resolvers and resigned alike? What hope do you have if you couldn’t even make it through the first seven days of 2014? Wretched person that you are, who can deliver you from this body of death? (Romans 7.24)

There is Christ. There is always and only Christ. Christ for the resolvers so sure that their sins only exist in response to other people’s sins. Christ for the resigned who are certain that they have blown it for the umpteenth and final time.

Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 7.25-8.1

If you are going to resolve this year, resolve that you will know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified. Resolve that you will not take even one step away from total and absolute dependence on Christ for your deliverance. Resolve to remember that if grace were something you deserved it wouldn’t be grace. Resolve that the gospel not be something those annoying sinners in your life need but something you need this year, this day, everyday.

If you are going to resign this year, resign yourself to the fact that you are indeed the worst sinner in your life and God loves you and sent his Son to die for you and He does not condemn you anymore, so neither should you. Resign yourself to understand that if grace were something you could earn it wouldn’t be grace anymore. Resign yourself to absolute and utter dependence on Christ and His work this year, this day, everyday.

Resolve to know Christ and Christ alone. Resign to need Christ and Christ always. And enjoy the journey.

Drinking Songs

Guess What Day New Year’s Day is…

Well, it’s January 1.  That means it is another first day’s shot at reading through the Bible in a year (maybe less).  I’ve seen many blogs on reading schedule choices (Here’s a great blog with many choices).  I decided to go simple this year.  My bible has 1042 pages in it from Genesis 1.1 to revelation22.21.  Divided out over 365 days that comes to 2.85 pages.  I know that I will have less regularity over the weekends than I wish I would, so I upped it to 4 pages.  4 pages a day and you can read the entire Bible in a year even if you only read on weekdays (yes, I know smarty-pants-with-the-calculator-app, that’s only 1040 pages, but my Bible has 3 blank pages between the New Testament and the New Testament).

Todays reading covered Creation, the fall of man into sin, and ended with the birth of Noah.

First Songs and Implications for Drunkenness

In reading today I was struck by the first two songs recorded in the Bible.  One sung by Adam, one sung by a man seven generations removed from Adam through his son Cain, Lamech.

Adam sings in Genesis 2.23.  Sin has not yet corrupted man’s thoughts or desires. So what do we find in song on the lips of this sinless Adam?  A Hymn? No.  A song of praise? Yes.  About God?  No.  About his wife.

“This at last is bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called Woman,

because she was taken out of Man.”

Though the song is not sexual, it does have sexual undertones.  Eve has been brought to Adam to be the perfect receptor of his love.  She alone perfectly completes him. Together they are the perfect culmination of creation.  Immediately following the song, they are spoken of as being wed fast together and becoming one flesh.  The chapter ends by stating that they were both naked and were not ashamed.

The implications about God’s goodness are profound.  Our father in heaven delights in the physical love between a husband and wife.  The only two places in Scripture where God endorses drunkenness and indulgence both refer to the physical love between a husband and wife. In Proverbs 5.19 the young man is instructed to be intoxicated with love for his wife.  In Song of Solomon 5.1 both the husband and the wife are encouraged, even cheered on, to be drunk with love for each other.

As with so many other good gifts from God, the greater the gift the greater the potential we have for destroying it with our sin.

The second song ever recorded in Scripture for us also, at first glance, does not seem to have any sexual implications, however on deeper reading we see the foundation laid in the destruction of God’s design.

In Genesis 5.23 we read a song Lamech sang to his wives.

“Adah and Zillah, hear my voice;

you wives of Lamech, listen to what I say:

I have killed a man for wounding me,

a young man for striking me.

If Cain’s revenge is sevenfold,

then Lamech’s is seventy.”

Lamech sings praises to violence.  He is pleased with himself for killing a young man who had offended him.  He puts himself in the place of God as Judge, and Executioner of this young man and as Defender of himself and his own actions.  Lamech is drunk on violence and satisfying his own cravings without one care about anyone in his path or in his wake

Where does sex enter into this song?  In Geneses 5.19 we are told, “And Lamech took two wives. The name of the one was Adah, and the name of the other Zillah.”  Lamech had done violence to God’s design and to other humans before he ever killed that young man.  Lamech had decided that God’s design and plan for marriage was not for him.

Many point to Scripture, especially the Old Testament, as proof that polygamy was acceptable to God at least at one point.  But you cannot find a description of polygamy in the Bible where a happy family life or happy ending is described.

When the union, which God went to such lengths to create and bless and grant incomparable delight for us, is broken – whether through adultery, or pornography, or emotional affairs, or neglect – violence has occurred.  Without repentance and repair and reconciliation, violence will continue.  Perhaps through bitterness or resentment.  Maybe through harsh words or avoidance.  Maybe even through abuse or further destruction.

Learning the Lyrics and Draining the Dregs

As husbands and wives we can be both encouraged and warned though these songs.  The warning is striking – sexual sins, all sexual sins, always overflow and harm far more people than you thought they would.  But there is a place where God designed for you to be not only naked and unashamed with someone, but where you are encouraged to be intoxicated and drunk on one another.

Those “drunk” passages come centuries after sin entered the world.  That kind of love between husband and wife is possible even in the midst of a fallen world, even in the aftermath of grievous sin against each other.  There is hope, because there is forgiveness, because we have a Savior who did not get drunk on love but got drunk on God’s wrath so that we could drink from God’s cup of blessing and find forgiveness and restoration and hope for all of our relationships.  After all we are called now the bride of Christ and the union between husband and wife was intended from the beginning to be a picture of the union between us and Jesus Christ.

In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church.  -Ephesians 5.28-32

For my married friends – May 2014 be a year of wonderful repair and restoration and wonton drunkenness between you and you spouse.

For my unmarried friends – in the words of the most interesting man in the world, “Stay thirsty, my friends.”

Closet Space and Room in the Garage

The other day I was meeting with a fellow pastor and church planter.  At the end of our time together he asked me to pray for him – that he find time for quiet reflection and meditation; that he find time to be still before the Lord.

Sounds like a pretty reasonable request.  Sounds like something I might ask someone to pray for.  Sounds like something that will… never happen.

Finding time to sit still and do–let’s face it–nothing is impossible.  How would you go about finding this time?  Where would you look?  It’s harder than that even, because this ‘nothing’ is an intentional ‘nothing.’  Quietness before the Lord.  Stillness in the[did my email just chime.  I’ll just check that, it could be important. Oh, someone commented on my last FB post.  How many is that?  wow people really liked that post[[Oh someone posted an article.  I should read that.  It is from the Gospel Coalition, after all[[[did my phone vibrate? I should return that text.  It’s about tomorrow’s meeting[[[[That reminds me, I should call that other person too and make sure he’s doing okay.  He sounded discouraged yesterday[[[[[Isn’t my sermon on discouragement?  Where is that book I was looking for?]]]]] where was I?  Oh, the phone call.]]]] where was I?  Oh yeah, the text.  about the meeting.]]] now, where was I?  Oh right, the article from the Gospel Coalition.  How did NFL.com get pulled up?]] Now where was I?  Oh right, Facebook.  Gosh my cleverness amazes even me sometimes] midst of a very distracting culture.  

Imagine coming home one day and you walk past a door you’ve never noticed before right next to the kitchen.  You open it and there before you is an empty closet.  “Honey, what’s this?”  “Looks like a closet dear.” “Yes, I realize it’s a closet.  Has it always been here?” “Um.” “I think just found another closet!”

There are exactly three times you find empty closets in your house.  The day you move in, the day you move out, and the day you clean out your stupid closet and MAKE some room in it.

You will NEVER find time to sit quietly, waiting on God, meditating on His kindnesses, praying, reading, listening.  You must MAKE the time.

This sounds like work.  Yes.  It sounds like you are saying the Christian life takes effort.  Yes.  The Christian Life takes effort.  If someone told you it doesn’t, demand your money back.

The irony in this case is how much effort it takes to take a moment and stop putting in the effort.

But it’s easier to say I want to find the time.  When I say I want to find the time, I can now sit back and wait for God to make some quiet time available.  If He wants me to spend time in quiet meditation, He will have to do something about my days and schedule.  Nothing has changed.  Obviously it’s just not as important to God as it is to me.

When I moved my family to Northern VA it was the first home we owned with a garage and a basement.  We were very excited.  The first morning we woke up, my wife asked me what my plans were.  “I’m going to get both cars into the garage by the end of the day” (my wife and I grew up in Cleveland where, if you had a garage, you used your garage for–this sounds crazy– your cars).  So I spent the entire day rearranging my garage – moving things out that didn’t need to be there, rearranging other things that needed to be in the garage but didn’t need to take up as much space as they were.

You have 168 hours this week.  God gave them to you.  It’s the same number of hours you had last week.  It’s the same number of hours you had the week before.  It’s the same number of hours you will have next week and the week after.  Maybe there are some things in your week that could be rearranged or removed entirely.  Maybe it’s time to throw out some of that moth-eaten stuff and MAKE room in your closet for the stuff of eternal quality.

“Be still, and know that I am God.

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psalm 46:10

To find time, you need to begin to make time.  And this like all worthy endeavors will take effort and sacrifice and change and you will do great sometimes and you fail sometimes and you will love it and be amazed by the time with God sometimes and you will hate it and feel like a hypocrite, and a lazy one at that, sometimes.

I suggest starting with a pretty specifically small time limit.  start with ten minutes.  Ten small minutes when you close your computer and turn off your phone or put it in another room and you close the door and you open your Bible.  It might help you to take out a piece of paper and write on it.  It might also help you to throw the paper away when you are done so that you aren’t writing your next blog or sermon or… oh, maybe I’m the only one that does that.  Anyway, you get the picture.  Start at ten minutes.  Meditate on God’s goodness.  Write down five people in your life you are thankful for and pray for them.  Read a portion of Scripture that has nothing to do with a lesson or sermon or book you are preparing.  Ask the Lord to create in you a clean heart and to renew His steadfast Spirit in you.  Ask Him to restore to your heart the joy of His salvation. (Psalm 51.10,12)

In a week make it fifteen minutes.  A week after that make it twenty.  By the time January rolls around you’ll be up to thirty and by the end of January over forty-five minutes of quietness before the Lord.

I do not claim this is going to be easy.  It will require sacrifices.  It will require rearranging some things and getting rid of some things.  Easy is leaving the cars outside and having a ginormous, there’s-no-where-else-to-put-it-let’s-throw-it-out-there space.

It won’t be easy.  It will be worth it.  Stop looking for the time as if it’s a misplaced set of car keys.  Start making the time.

Enjoy the journey.

Hope for Hump Day, December 4

The Hap-Happiest Season of All

Today is the fourth day of December which this year is also the fourth day of Advent. Advent is a season of anticipation just before Christmas Day. It begins four Sundays before Christmas and ends **spoiler alert** on Christmas. This means that the length of Advent fluctuates. Sometimes it begins in November (even as early as November 27), and sometimes–like this year–it begins in December (even as late as December 3). Unlike Lent (the season before Easter), which is always 40 days (plus six Sundays) long, Advent can be as long as 29 days and as short as 22 days.

There is no biblical mandate for celebrating Advent. It is a tradition that has been developed and introduced by Christians seeking to help one another adore Jesus as Lord (which, by the way, IS mandated by Scripture). Should you celebrate Advent? Well, if you mean should, as in ought, as in is it a rule, then no. But if you mean is it a good thing to do, then yes. In fact, if you are a Christian and you celebrate Christmas in anything close to the American traditional way with gifts and other things I would go so far as to say you really need to celebrate Advent to help you and yours keep perspective on the “holy day” you are celebrating on December 25.

“Advent”ages for celebrating

Advent means “Coming.” The season of Advent, then, is the anticipation, the looking forward to the day we celebrate God’s coming to earth in meekness and humility as a baby, “born to set his people free.” There are many traditional, and non-traditional ways to celebrate Advent: Scripture readings that focus on various aspects of the story of the birth of the Christ child, or on the many prophecies that anticipated the advent of the Savior; singing traditional Christmas carols and talking about both the meaning of the songs and the stories behind how and when they were written; counting down the days with special calendars that hold special gifts and writings for each day as you anticipate Christmas morning. My brother has built a slightly less than traditional Advent Calendar for me and a few others this year.

Some things to keep in mind for Advent that may help you and your family if you decide to celebrate.

First, there was no Advent for the first Christmas. No one was anticipating the coming of the Savior with the possible exception of the magi, though they may have learned of his birth after the fact (Matthew 2 tells us they showed up after the birth, and may indicate that they learned that he was born after the fact also). But God’s people were not anticipating with eagerness the coming of their Savior. It had been too long. The prophets had been too quiet. Worship had become rote. Even the high priest doubted the time had come, even after an angel of God told him directly.

Have you stopped anticipating God’s advent? Has worship become rote. Does it feel as if God no longer shows up; God doesn’t break through anymore? Have you given up hope not only for Christ’s second coming but even for His coming to heal you today? Advent is for you. Anticipate the deliverance from a long season of darkness and silence. Look forward to the quiet breaking through that the Spirit of God still does for his children. Adore the Christ who came into this dark world to deliver you from your darkness and to be with you as you continue to walk in this dark world.

Second, Advent is for Adoring Jesus. It is too easy to let this season devolve into adoration of family or adoration of self or adoration of stuff. Anticipation of Christmas can too easily become anticipation of seeing the delight in our children’s eyes when they see the gifts under the tree, or anticipation of getting all the stuff on our lists, or anticipation of a first sit down family dinner in six months.

There is nothing wrong with family meals or giving gifts or even finding joy and delight in God’s provisions and creation. But these are not ultimate and it is important that we remember and help our children remember that.

This is is the season for anticipating the celebration of the coming that was not anticipated. This is the season for reminding us to anticipate and expect that Christ still comes to set us free. This is the season to remember to anticipate that Christ will come again.

Have a wonderful Advent season.
And do you know what day Christmas is this year? Do you? Anyone? Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike. That’s right.

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Enjoy the journey.

Hope for Hump Day, November 20

 

“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”  Psalm 119.105

 

We seem to be obsessed with the future these days.  Companies have five and ten and twenty year plans.  We think our churches should also have five and ten year vision or mission statements.  Even for ourselves we want to know the future.  We want to know God’s will for our lives.

 

It’s good to have dreams to a certain extent, and it is definitely good to want my dreams to be in line with God’s dreams for me.  But wanting to know or see or understand the future is not always as noble as all that.

 

Sometimes I want to know the future because I want to know the outcome of a particular trial.  “If I just knew what God was doing I’d be okay with all of this.”  That’s not actually faith.  That’s “knowing the end of the book.”  In that case knowing is easier than trusting.

 

“Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.”  Romans 8.24,25

 

“Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” Hebrews 11.1

 

It is safe to say that Joseph in Genesis and Job in—well—Job and even Mary in Luke did not know how their stories were going to play out.

 

But God’s word is a lamp to your feet—not a flood lamp for your horizon.

 

When you are driving through fog at night, the worst thing you can do is turn on your high beams.  Your high beam headlights are positioned to cast the light farther out in front of your vehicle, but in the fog they just bounce light off all the particulates floating in the air and make it harder for you to see.  You want your low beams or even fog lamps that are positioned lower on the car and light up the road immediately in front of you.

 

Sometimes we are too busy trying to prepare for the momentous that we forget to be faithful in the moment.  What does faith and faithfulness look like right now?  In this moment?  I don’t have to try to be faithful for the next six years or six months or six days.  I am called to faithfulness right now.  In the quiet morning hours or evening hours when no one else is awake.  In the conversation with my teenage daughter.  In this mundane moment of speaking with love to my toddler who is—surprise, surprise—acting like a toddler.  In this conversation with a woman at work.  In this interaction with my wife.  In this decision over another drink, another cookie, another episode, another post, another look, another book (yes, self control sometimes means not buying the next Keller book).

 

Trusting God means following him with this step and not even worrying about whether I will keep following him with the next twelve steps (see what I did there?).  “I’ll never do that again,” is not the repentance God seeks.  Never again is too far out there.  It’s too dark and foggy and twisted to see.  It’s so big and overwhelming that “I’ll never do that again,” practically guarantees I will be doing it again—and soon—because it’s not in me to see that far forward and focusing that far down the long and winding road only makes it harder to see curve right in front of me.

 

So I light the Lamp and look down at my feet and I take the next step.  And then the next step.  And sometimes the next step is forward in faithfulness.  And sometimes the next step is backward in repentance.  And even when it’s backward it’s not starting all over again, but somehow even the backward steps of repentance are moving me forward toward Christ.

 

I am not pushing the rock of my own righteousness up the hill toward the goal, stumbling and needing to start all over every time the rock rolls back down.  I am standing firmly on the rock of Christ’s righteousness, trusting him to complete the work he began in me.

 

So light the lamp.  Use the lamp.  Take the next step of faith and this next step of repentance.  And soon you’ll be walking cross the floor! (cue the music)

 

yes.  I know.  There are some theological holes in the song.  Santa is singing it, for crying out loud.  What did you expect?