The manifestation of sin

December 17, 2009 at 10:27 am (Brokenness, God, Insufficiency of Man)

In high school, the pastor at my church had an affair.  In college, one of my ministry teachers was on a medical sabbatical at one point because of extreme depression.  In grad school, the pastor of my church stepped down because he was addicted to medication.  A friend’s dad who is in ministry has an affair.  Another friend’s mom who is married to a man in ministry, leaves her husband for an old crack head boyfriend.  My  ministry mentor turns out to be a child molester.  And now, my beloved pastor has brain cancer.

The manifestation is extreme.  Whether any of these things are the act of the free will of man, or ordained by God, they are all a manifestation of sin.  Oh how extensive sin is in this world!  My heart breaks when I see the sufferings of my precious middle schoolers, as they chase after this world and the temporary enticements of it that seem so so important but in reality mean so very little.  The enticements of this world are ever growing.  Everything around us seems so so good, so easily attained and so worth everything it takes to get it.  Living in the middle of a very rich city makes this especially hard.  I live in the midst of an environment of people who make a lot of money, live in nice expensive (and sometimes HUGE)  places, travel, drive nice cars and always dress really cute.  While non of these things are in themselves wrong, they shift focus.  As rebellious stubborn people, we are always striving for more in this world.  Sin manifestes itself in this city just in shifting our minds away from the grace of God and to ourselves and how we can make more of ourselves in this world we live in.

But ministry…My heart breaks when I hear of ministry leaders who fall and lead others astray from the Gospel and especially breaks when I know and love these people who are broken by sin.  My heart breaks for the 28 year old mom with 3 young children who’s husband who is my very dynamic pastor diagnosid with brain cancer.  Or..the young mother of a precious 4 year old daughter who’s husband was discovered to have been living a lie for the last 10 years and is a child molester.  All these people who are affected by the manifestations of sin.  All of the tragedies of life are rooted in sin.

Sin is horrific..it is absolutely grotesque to the sight of God.  These stories are just examples of who sin is playing out in our world.  It is destroying everything.  Brain tumors exist because of our rebellion against God.  Sin is working its way to steal, kill and destroy.  And my thoughts when I hear these things?  I hurt, I am angry, I don’t understand.  I want to turn to someone and just ask “why?” but I am scared to.  Every ministry leader in my life has fallen in some way and I am scared to trust another.  Jesus…I must make more of Jesus.  Do I really really believe it?  Do I really believe that Jesus will make more of him self through the sin in this world.  That as my friend and pastor suffers through the horrible disease of brain cancer, do I really believe that more of Jesus is being glorified through it as he suffers well?  Jesus came to save us from this sin, that is moving to destroy us.  He came to save us from sinners and also to point us to a future glory – there is coming a day, a joy set before us, that Jesus has promised that he is coming to make all things new.  He is coming to save us from this world that is groaning from the sufferings of sin.

And now, as we live in this sin manifested world?  Its a battle, a spiritual battle…As I am in my 2nd year of full time ministry, I am already weary from the effects of sin, and my life is just beginning..Ministers in this world are the hardest hit, they are the ones Satan targets to bring down with sin.  Its a battle.  I want to get married, I want to love, to be loved, to have children, to raise them in the ways of the Lord, and to minister and disciple youth in this world..But I will admit I am a little scared.  It won’t be easy by any means.  I will always be hit on all sides..pain and sufferings will always be a part of my world.  Because its a battle..and I choose to head face first into this battle because its worth the fight.  I know the end of the battle.  Jesus wins, sin is destroyed.  This is the faith we walk in.  That Jesus Christ’s coming floods us with hope and arms us with such a degree that no longer do we have to deal with sin, but sin has to deal with us.  Death doesn’t have any sting anymore, I know how it ends.  And so, I live in this way now.  And so, as I hang my head and cry in the face of the pain of sin today, I cry out for the Lord.  Come Lord Jesus, Come!

Soon and Very Soon – Hillsong United

Soon and very soon
My King is coming
Robed in righteousness
And crowned with love
When I see Him, I shall be made like Him
Soon and very soon

Soon and very soon
I’ll be going to the place He has prepared for me
Then my sin erased, my shameful garden
Soon and very soon

I will be with the One I love
With unveiled face I’ll see Him
There my soul with be satisfied
Soon and very soon

Soon and very soon
See the procession
The angels and the elders round the thrown
At His feet I lay
My grant, my wishing
Soon and very soon

I will be with the One I love
With unveiled face I’ll see Him
There my soul with be satisfied
Soon and very soon

Though I have not seen Him
My heart knows Him well
Jesus Christ the Lamb, the Lord of heaven

I will be with the One I love
With unveiled face I’ll see Him
There my soul with be satisfied
Soon and very soon
Soon and very soon
Soon and very soon

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The warmth of the winter season..

December 2, 2009 at 11:53 pm (Brokenness, God, Insufficiency of Man, Prayer, Sovereignty of God)

Came across this this morning on Lauren Chandler’s blog…thought it was a great reminder for us.  As I think of the craziness of this sin-polluted world that Charles Spurgeon talks about here, my heart is burdened.  Spurgeon puts into words the many feelings I have so far about Winter..Winter has only been here a few weeks, but it has been a hard season..so much that burdens the heart.  I pray that He remains the source of my warmth this season!

Morning + Evening by C.H. Spurgeon–

December 1, Morning:

“Thou hast made summer and winter.”–Psalm 74:17
My soul begin this wintry month with thy God. The cold snows and the piercing winds all remind thee that He keeps His covenant with day and night, and tend to assure thee that He will also keep that glorious covenant which He has made with thee in the person of Christ Jesus. He who is true to His Word in the revolutions of the seasons of this poor sin-polluted world, will not prove unfaithful in His dealings with His own well-beloved Son.

Winter in the soul is by no means a comfortable season, and if it be upon thee just now it will be very painful to thee: but there is this comfort, namely, that the Lord makes it. He sends the sharp blasts of adversity to nip the buds of expectation: He scattereth the hoarfrost like ashes over the once verdant meadows of our joy: He casteth forth His ice like morsels freezing the streams of our delight. He does it all, He is the great Winter King, and rules in the realms of frost, and therefore thou canst not murmur. Losses, crosses, heaviness, sickness, poverty, and a thousand other ills, are of the Lord’s sending, and come to us with wise design. Frosts kill noxious insects, and put a bound to raging diseases; they break up the clods, and sweeten the soul. O that such good results would always follow our winters of affliction!How we prize the fire just now! how pleasant is its cheerful glow!

Let us in the same manner prize our Lord, who is the constant source of warmth and comfort in every time of trouble. Let us draw nigh to Him, and in Him find joy and peace in believing. Let us wrap ourselves in the warm garments of His promises, and go forth to labours which befit the season, for it were ill to be as the sluggard who will not plough by reason of the cold; for he shall beg in summer and have nothing.

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