Monday, August 12, 2013

Hot Hot Hot

It was hot, hot, hot yesterday. I foolishly took Honeybun for a short walk right after church, and we both wilted. I lost any energy to even think about any outdoor activity. We've been spoiled this summer with relatively cool weather. I had forgotten how utterly incapacitating a real NC summer is.

And it was hot in church too! Not temperature-wise, but in the pastor turning up the flame of conviction. He talked about how the flesh and its sinful desires will always be at war with the Spirit within us. Our job is to stay immersed in the things of God, make daily choices that help us move closer to God. The battle will wage till the day we die. Oh joy. He talked about how when the Spirit is in control, fleshly desires like anger, envy, jealousy, impatience, discord will be less evident.


He said we can try as hard as we are able, and we will never succeed without the support of the Holy Spirit. Yes, this part I experience deeply. Daily.

After church, I was looking over Facebook posts. One acquaintance said she was done with family forever, and good riddance. Another talked about how he had been thinking a great deal lately about true repentance and true reconciliation and forgiveness. He said one cannot forgive unless the one who has sinned is truly repentant, or the grace extended is of no benefit to the sinner. Dietrich Bonhoeffer called that "cheap grace":

“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession.... Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”

I think much of the struggle to forgive in our society is because there is so little honest repentance. It is of course the basis not only of getting right with our fellow man, but also getting right with God. If we don't understand how in our prideful, sinful, rejection of Him as Lord we sin, we will never know the wrenching anguish of true repentance, and we will never know the miraculous wonder of true forgiveness.

And while here on earth, the struggle will not ever end. We must rely daily on the power of God to help us.

It is another hot, hot, hot day out there today. Sometimes it seems like it will be too hot forever, but the good news is, cooler days will come.

A sound is heard on the barren heights, the children of Israel weeping and begging for mercy, for they have perverted their way; they have forgotten the Lord their God. Return, you faithless children. I will heal your unfaithfulness. “Here we are, coming to You, for You are the Lord our God. Surely, falsehood comes from the hills, commotion from the mountains, but the salvation of Israel is only in the Lord our God. From the time of our youth the shameful one has consumed what our fathers have worked for — their flocks and their herds, their sons and their daughters. Let us lie down in our shame; let our disgrace cover us. We have sinned against the Lord our God, both we and our fathers, from the time of our youth even to this day. We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God.” (Jeremiah 3:21-25 HCSB)

-save a dog-

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