WHAT DRIVES YOUR SPIRITUAL LIFE?

I remember when I was young, whenever I’d feel bad about my spiritual condition, I’d go confess my sins and I would be told to pray a number of memorized prayers and then my sins would be “absolved.”

I carried this over in my faith journey when I met Christ. There were moments when I would feel bad about what I ‘ve done, I would ‘punish’ myself by not watching TV or going out with friends for a week.

But before the ‘penalty week’ was over, I would end up doing the same thing again and another week would be added.

It came to a point that I couldn’t even fulfill the commitment to punish myself.

This kept on, not realizing that guilt was what was driving my spiritual life.

If I felt guilty, I’d go to church.
If I felt guilty, I’d read my Bible more.
If I felt guilty, I’d serve others.
If I felt guilty, I’d give extra in the offering plate.

But that’s not what Jesus died for.

The gospel tells us that we have been freed from guilt and shame.

Much more, it never works for guilt to drive my spiritual life.

Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:14, “For Christ’s love compels us.”

In other words, it understanding that I am loved by Him… unconditionally.
THAT is what drives me to love Him back.

We love because He first loved us. (1 John 4:19)

I pray that this would be a gentle reminder for everyone of us as we start off this week with Jesus as our number 1 priority.

———

PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/24278074@N08/

PROGRESS NOT PERFECTION

I ‘visited’ the gym this morning to get some movement going. ūüôā

Watching people exercise, I noticed that there are 3 kinds of guys who go.

1. There are those who have gone even for just several months but because of consistency and hardwork, you notice major changes in their physique. ¬†I’m sure in their overall health too.

2. There are those who have been going for some time now. ¬†Though the improvement didn’t come quick, you can definitely see progress.

3. There are those who have been going for a looooong time and yet there’s no apparent improvement. ¬†(I hope I’m not talking about the one I saw in the mirror this morning).

There’s a lot of parallels with regards to our spiritual health. ¬†You see those who have recently surrendered their lives to Christ and their soaring in their faith because of consistency in personal time with God, small group and helping others follow Him. ¬†Others, you can see progress. ¬†Not that quick, but it’s still progress. ¬†There are those though who have been coming to church for months, even years, yet nothing has changed – lifestyle, speech, business practices, purity, etc.

It’s never about perfection. ¬†What God is after is spiritual progress. ¬†He who began a good work in us will bring it to completion.

Hopefully, I’m doing better in the spiritual than in the physical. ¬†God help me stay healthy physically and spiritually.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. (2 Cor. 3:18)

 

———

PHOTO CREDIT: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bunchofpants/