Friday, January 28, 2011

His Resource and Our Responsibility: reflection on a work out in the Father.

Paul exhorts in Philippians to "work out your salvation with fear and trembling."

We are not saved by works. However, walking in salvation provided by God is a pathway, the pathway of Jesus.

We walk the path by learning to walk in the Spirit of God. This is knowing Jesus as the way. We pass through this life in the way of Jesus and it is a work in progress. We "work" to sort our selfish desires of the natural man from the pure and righteous desires of the Spirit of God living within.

It's a work because of learning the depth of self-denial even unto the death of the natural man, which we find emotionally painful.

It is work because it is a daily-- no a moment to moment --discipline.

Think of it this way: Our Father is full of resource available in the Spirit for us, and He calls us to a sobering responsibility here in this life. (Seven of eight NT references using the word sober are exhortations to the believer to be sober in spirit.) The work is in learning what His level of available resource is for us (unlimited in all things He desires for us) balanced against what our level of responsibility is in appropriating His resources. This work is not done to gain salvation, but follows for all of the rest of life from salvation or the moment of understanding and receiving His atonement.

Work out...something we do in the gym or on the field or in the basement to build strength.

Placing yourself in the rest of Jesus within, through faith in His work on the Cross is a deep work.

The working out of our salvation builds our strength in the spirit.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Haiti One Year Later

For an interesting look at ten Haitian's perspectives one year after the quake visit this website.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

A Modern Morality Play

The little boy in me had a great time. The film, Tron, is receiving poor reviews overall, except for the technical finesse it exhibits. Probably because the story is simple and a bit predictable, “sophisticated” movie goers aren’t wowed. Too bad. It’s a good story for this member of its audience due to its simplicity. There can be no doubt the movie is first and foremost an exercise in graphics, which are stunning by the way. (Then again, maybe I don’t get out much. ) It is 3-D with a twist--once inside the digital world, the 3-D kicks on. Reminiscent of color in another film once the audience leaps the rainbow.

However, it is also a straight-up, modern morality play. Good is portrayed honestly as against evil … and good wins out! In this age of the anti-hero and a dark fatalism about humanity in most films, Tron is a welcome break.

It also is revelatory about evil, but not in the way most would qualify evil. In the opening scene the protagonist’s father played by Jeff Bridges states, “…all information should be free and open.” The character, Kevin Flynn, is stating his values on social order expressed in the digital age, and the writers of the film are undoubtedly working to establish a theme for the film that will resonate with today’s audience.

However, the value itself is the Big Lie about Truth veiled behind an accepted social reality. While freedom of speech is an important safeguard against demagogues and political villains, the embracing of all knowledge both good and evil is nothing but death for humans. Good mixed with evil is the greatest evil of this world. This mixture (and herein is the problem with both Western thought and Eastern Mysticism) of good and evil, of light and dark, is simply a product of man’s natural condition. We cannot escape our own selfishness, and thus must somehow understand and describe in our literary and artistic expression the flawed human who still effects good in life.

This self-acceptance is both a function and the fuel of fatalism in our day. We accept the bad as the natural state of man. This is a correct evaluation of our condition, perhaps, but embracing philosophic acceptance of our “bad” characteristics is an evil that opposes true life.

For the spiritually minded Christian, we have had to learn that life is good only as it flows from the light, Jesus Christ.

I hope your next year will be a blessed year of revelation in Jesus as the Light of the World.