Totally Stoked Update

AWESOME!  I sometimes wish I had better words to describe great moments and events, but I keep coming back to this one.  Today was one of those days as I got to listen to the teaching and encouragement dished out by Mark Driscoll.  I wasn’t exactly sure what he was here to speak about, but I didn’t really care.  I just knew that it would be of value.  And I didn’t leave disappointed. 

There are times when we (I) take for granted just how incredible the truth of the gospel is and the power of the cross.  Driscoll, speaking to a room full of pastors, reminded us all of the many facets of how scripture reveals and points to Jesus.  He is found throughout the entire Bible, both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  When Moses asked the voice from the burning bush who should he say was sending him on this mission, he was told “I AM”.  Jesus declared in the NT that “before Abraham was, I AM”. 

Every part of scripture, the whole arc of history, points to Jesus Christ and his work to redeem mankind.  It’s an enormous love story of how much God wanted us to know him.  And when sin separated us from him, he was willing to send his son, Jesus Christ, to do what we could not do, to forgive us of sin, and to give us the hope and promise of life with him. 

It’s not about religion.  We were reminded of that today.  Religion never takes us to the depth and breadth of life that Jesus offers.  In fact it takes us in the opposite direction.  Here is a clip of Driscoll addressing the dead-end road of religion instead of the life-giving joy and freedom in Christ. (the clip is 10 minutes long)

Friends, when we try to live out religion, we will grow weary and tired.  Joy will be fleeting.  And the “something more” we are looking for will be hard to find.  That’s why we have to constantly remind ourselves that our walk is a journey with a person, Jesus Christ, not a journey with a list of rules. 

It’s also why we have to never give up on introducing people who are struggling through life looking for hope and answers to the one who is the Ultimate Hope, the Ultimate Answer, Jesus Christ. 

I entered 2008 with a renewed commitment to seeing lost people find life through Jesus Christ.  Today, the commitment was strengthened through powerful reminders of the power of the cross.  Will you do the same?  Will you make it your personal initiative to find ways to bring life to your friends who have given up on religion, but are still searching for their own “something more”.  If you will, you will move closer toward discovering your own. 

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3 Responses

  1. Nice clip…. it stirs lots of thoughts in my mind.

    I used to love talks like this. They seemed to encourage us to cast off restraint… don’t worry about rules or what you do, only worry about Jesus. The end result for me though was mush. I looked at people with routines and disciplines as uptight and rule based religious types. (Never mind that they were productive and generally happy in life)
    For too long I was caught in the middle… not wanting to be “religious”, yet not being comfortable with whatever it was that not being “religious” meant.

    The argument was cast as “religion vs. relationship”. The types who were all about relationship didn’t like to discuss sin and repentance. Sin involves breaking a rule and rules are religious so let’s not talk about it… just focus on Jesus. Think for a minute about where that’ll lead.

    I think that’s why, generally speaking, most Christians are no different than non-Christians. It bugs me to no end when churches tolerate sin and look the other way in the name of grace. That kind of grace is cheap, meaningless, and weak. Jesus dished out grace wherever he went. Frequently, that meant calling out sin, sometimes rather bluntly.

    Jesus calls his people to be different. That’s what the Greek word for church means. “Eklesia: called out from” Jesus calls us to love him. Did he not say to his desciples “If you love me, you’ll obey my commands.”? Aren’t commands rules? Don’t rules call for disciplines for consistency? So the issue comes full circle.

    Our actions speak volumes but they only say so much. They can only demonstrate for sure that we don’t love God and don’t obey him. They may indicate that we do love God but only maybe. God has rebuked people for only acting like they love him. God says about these people “They worship me with their mouth, but their heart is far from me.”
    Those are the people who have figured out how to play the church game. They fool people but they don’t fool God. If God has our heart, it will show up in the way that we live. It probably will not be automatic, but will require sacrifice and maybe even some pain. But what is that compared with dying on a cross for the sin of the world?

    Please don’t think I’m being critical of the speaker… this clip from one of Driscoll’s messages is refreshing because he mentions the “R” word and the “O” word: repentance and obedience. These concepts are too often left out of the discussion… at our own peril.

    Press On.

  2. Very cool, I wish I could have gone to this, it would’ve been cool to hear him speak. Rob Bell preaches at Mars Hill too doesn’t he?

  3. very true words Paul…I unfortunately find myself falling into your description at times but am trying to change this and take action to live better for Christ in all things.

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