Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Church Member or Child?
by Erik Momsen
Everyone is looking for approval. Looking for someone who will say, "Well done, I am proud of you". Even say, "I love you".
We look for it in our marriage partners, parents, work colleagues, even from our own children. Millions of people cry out, "Won’t someone tell me I’m doing o.k."
Without approval we give up trying to be good, become hopeless and go off the rails. "Well if I can’t please my husband, wife, father, mother, I might as well just go ahead and do it in any case."
It is a statistical fact that most crime in the developed world is committed by young men who have no fathers. We see this in our own country, South Africa, where generations of children have grown up under migrant labour. America has millions of inner city children who grow up without a father and turn to crime.
Behind this desire to please others is a desire in nearly every heart to please God. This is the reason why people have developed religion over thousands of years. Religion is an attempt to please God. The greatest mystery is what pleases God.
Some friends went on holiday to the Greek Islands. They caught a fishing boat to a small Island and stayed as the only guests in the only guest house. They befriended the three residents who happened to be the owner and his two backgammon playing friends. My friend was later challenged to a game and after repeatedly beating this proud Greek, the local jumped up from the table and stormed off. He returned producing an expensive bottle of wine and handed it to my friend with the word Garis. My friend explained that he did not have money to buy it and the Greek kept repeating the word Garis. My friend then realised that it must be a gift and asked if it was a gift, like a birthday present. Adamantly, the second Greek explained in broken English that a birthday present is something due to you, something expected. Garis was a gift given just because the giver wanted to give it. Garis is Greek for Grace.
The one thing that motivates God is His love for us. God loves regardless.
This love is only available to us because of Grace. He feels like it !!!!
The way we appropriate the Love and Grace is through faith - holding to a promise.
SLAVE OR A SON ?
You could be at one of the following places in your inner life:
1. Trying hard to please others and God - and think you are doing o.k.
2. Trying hard, know you make a mess regularly but you’ll keep going.
3. Trying hard, but your life is in a mess and you want to give up.
This is religion of works.
Many sitting here have religion, but not salvation.
You have a book of principles but not the Life Saver.
These are "in slavery to the basic principles of the world". (Galatians 4:3)
You could on the other hand sit back and realise that you are loved and pleasing to God -- if not to anyone else. "If God is for me who can be against me?" You must know that whether you never sin again or sin every hour of the day, God can love you no more nor no less.
This complete freedom comes because Jesus did it all. "It is finished".
Galatians 3:1-5 "who gave you rat coloured glasses".
- Jesus died once, for all, for ever.
- the Spirit came not by obedience, but belief.
- you entered on a free ticket, now you want to pay.
3:10 - Trying yourself to be good is a curse - the Spirit does it.
3:13 - Christ broke the law and the curse of it - over his own body.
4:3-10 - The Law ruled - broken by the cross - no longer slaves but sons.
- We have the Spirit of sons not rats - you behave like sons not rats.
4:5 - In faith we wait for the Spirit to make us righteous.
4:6 - No Law, only the Spirit, prompting acts of faith expressing love.
4:13,14 - God’s goodness is no excuse to sin - that only messes up our lives.
LIFESAVER OR LEAD WEIGHT?
You have to know you are drowning to put up your hand so a lifesaver can see you. Common sense and the Holy Spirit tells you that you are drowning. Your options are hanging on to a heavy book of laws and guilt, or call out to the lifesaver and hang onto him.
God feels good about us - we will do well if we feel good about ourselves.
Date Added: 2009-01-30
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