Tuesdays are sermon prep days in my world, along with Thursdays and Saturdays. So today, I am deep in my basement study working in Romans 11:25-36 for this coming Sunday’s message. After feeling like I kinda blew it on Mother’s Day… I don’t know, sometimes you just get a feeling that the message wasn’t focused enough, was too long or whatever. Anyway, a sense of failure is not always a bad thing. If repitition is the mother of learning, failure is the father. 🙂 It makes us go back and improve—rethink the goal and the process. It also wakes us up to idolatry. I received an email this morning that addresses this precise issue, where my friend, Dave McCarty, says,
My flesh loves to get life from ministry success, and so Jesus frequently thwarts my plans/efforts so the pain of the failure snaps me back to reality, where freshly convicted of my [idolatry]. I also realize that He is lovingly re-training me in a better way to live: dependent on Him, not needing any performance of my own, hardly caring about anything else in my life, but Him. The Jesus in me is only contagious to others, when I’ve been freshly convicted of my sin, so I’m freshly humble, freshly enjoying Him, others, myself, and my circumstances, just as they are. Miracle. Priceless.
The idea is that I will either try to get righteousness from ministry performance or will receive it from Jesus. I will rest in my job well done or in his job well done. So, as I prepare for Sunday, I am grateful that I have a fresh sense of the gospel’s reality for me in the present. I’ll keep you informed on how the week progresses. I’m already exited about this week’s message, which I do think is going to be helpful, a bit more focused and maybe even shorter. We’ll see. 🙂 Pray for my prep is you think about it.
Until Sunday, let’s continue to fight the good fight to live by grace, remembering that we are fully forgiven, eternally loved and fully accepted in Jesus. This is good news.