Vision and Memory

"For anyone who lacks these things is nearsighted and blind, and is forgetful of the cleansing of past sins." 2 Peter 1:9 (NRSV)

I've been thinking alot about spiritual growth. I think it is because I'm now a father and deeply concerned about setting an example for my kids. You simply can't fake your Sunday best 24 hours at a time. You've got to be the real thing in the presence of toddlers. They are little judges, standing at the door.

My bible reading slows down when I come to passages about sanctification and the Spirit-filled life. Peter's second epistle is one place I've spent some time this week. Peter was concerned about the growth of his congregants. In 2 Peter 1 he called them to be dilligent to grow and be fruitful. Verse 9 contains an insight about spiritual growth that is, I think, pretty important. Peter said that the spiritually lethargic lack both vision and memory.

We need vision to see the broader scope of life. Peter was dealing with false teachers that denied the future hope of Christ's second advent. It stunted their growth. We must live with an eye toward eternity. If we don't we get bloated on the banal.

We also need enough memory to recall the cleansing and freedom provided by the grace of Jesus. He has purged his people of every kind of darkness. Forgetting this leads to the kind of self-sufficient pride that kills any hope of spiritual maturity. I love the photo of the little duck being released into the wild. The little guy had been in an oil spill. Great effort and expense went into cleaning him up. He lives and grows because someone paid a price. The duck was not the kind of dirty splashing about in a pond could cure. He was dirty unto death, helpless in himself. He's now flying because of, well, grace. Ya been there?

I'm praying for God to help me remember and see. Will you join me?

"His divine power has given us everything needed for life and godliness..." 2 Peter 1:3a (NRSV)

Comrades, let us pray!

I met with a men's prayer group this morning. We get together every Tuesday at seven. I have really grown to appreciate the men and love meeting with them. This morning my friend Joe thanked God for his "comrades." I'm sure he said it before. It struck me as a powerful word. It spoke to our relationship and the common purpose of our praying. Praying truly is a revolutionary activity. Through it God breaks through walls and opens doors for the gospel to enter people's lives. Prayer is one of those things that makes Christians a little weird. Some people think we're talking to an make-believe friend. They got the friend part correct.

Comrades, let us pray!

"...gonna be brand new."

One of my friends was baptized this past Sunday. It was a happy moment for her, her family, and all of us at FBC Meridian. My friend and her husband have a beautiful little daughter. She had a conversation with Abby, our children's minister, about her mom's big day. She said, "My momma is gonna get dunked under that water and when she comes up she is gonna be brand new." That little girl has got some pretty good theology. Baptism marks the new life given freely by Christ. What a powerful symbol.

"For as many of you have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ." Galatians 3:27 KJV


We will begin a Sunday night series in January called Sent. You will hear more about it soon. Until then, enjoy the somewhat cheezy shorts in this widget. There is also some really good information here about the study.

"Somebody left their Jesus."

Meredith picked up some chicken fingers from Raising Cane's and brought the kids by the church for lunch. We spread our dinner out on a small table in one of the children's Sunday school rooms and ate together. Molly Katherine and Wes ate with great speed so that they could play. While Meredith and I were talking Molly Katherine said something that really got me thinking about authentic faith.

She found a toy Jesus, of the stuffed animal variety, sitting on a table in the corner. Someone gave it to the church recently because they thought it would be sacrilegious to throw it away or give it to goodwill. We Baptists can be a little weird. When the Bird found it she said, "Somebody left their Jesus up here." I laughed.

I then began to think about all the Sundays that I have tried to leave Jesus at the Meeting House. He has a place in the sanctuary. I welcome his presence there but I often shut him out of my house. I'm not being mean about it. There are just times that I want to run my own home and be the master of my own life. I'm pretty sure it's called sin.

Did you go to church yesterday? Did you leave Jesus there? I hope not.
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