For those of you who missed this past Sunday I shared my story or testimony. Feel free to listen to it via podcast, click here.
Anyhow, I ran out of time to complete my message, so I decided to take this space to bring some closure to James 4:1-10.
Here is what we learned Sunday: James tells us that Grace is more. Yes, we commit adultery on God by trusting in the world more than we trust in Jesus. Yes we pray selfish prayers, you know those prayers that are always about me and my needs. Yes, we are carnal…We talk bad about one-another…We covet…We kill.
Sufjan Stevens has a song about John Wayne Gacy, Jr. In the song, Sufjan sings us the story of this wicked serial killer who murdered 27 boys. Then Sufjan says this; “I’m really just like him, look beneath the floorboards for the secrets I have hid.”
This is how I feel about myself. I sin, commit adultery on God and covet what others have. It’s tough, I wish I was an Angel, perfect you know. I wish I could overcome some of my “junk” that has lingered for far to long.
But James (4:6) says Gods Grace is simply more than my junk. And you know what? God’s grace is more than your junk too. Do you believe that?
God gives us a pathway to wholeness. Let’s read the rest of James 4:6-10
6 But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 9 Be wretched and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.
God loves those who walk with a sense of humility. When was the last time you wept & mourned deeply. Let me tell you a story. A few weeks ago I was watching a video from the Invisible Children Organization. It was about a boy in Africa named Emmy. You already know the story-aids, poverty, homelessness, etc. But when the documentary was finished I was crushed. I went into my Mother-In-Law’s bathroom and wept. Why? Because I know there is a problem that Jesus hates and yet I do nothing about the problem.
Its sin…And I repented for it!
Hopefully this fall I will be on a plane to Africa. I will be teaching African pastors “but we all know they will be teaching me, right?” I can no longer stand to “know” and not “act.”
Now, back to my story: James tells us when we repent, He will exalt you. Man, if you heard my story you know I should not be where I’m at. There are many days that I’m in shock and I stand before God and I simply say thank you. Thank you for a beautiful wife, two amazing daughters, a great church, a roof over-my-head and purpose to live life. I’m glad that somehow God could take my junk and make it beautiful.
This is why I love to repent, I come close to God, I walk in humility, and God gets the glory!
Just remember; repentance is your friend.