Monday, February 28, 2011

Sunday Snippets

Sunday was a beautiful day!  I've been thinking for a while about doing a "Sunday Snippets" series where I post snippets from the notes I took at church or thoughts on what I am reading in my Bible reading plan. It's a day late, but welcome to Sunday Snippets!

At church on Sunday we had a guest speaker- Clayton King.  I've seen him preach at our church before and I usually hate when we have guest speakers because I enjoy JD's sermons so much, but I don't mind when Clayton comes to preach because he is just as engaging and funny. 

His sermon centered around Mark 8:31-38

"Then he (Jesus) called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.  What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?  Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father's glory with the holy angels."

My notes from the sermon:

So the "you are nothing" note may seem a little harsh, but it was because really think about it- He's God...He made the earth.  He made me.  He controls everything.  What am I going to say or do?  "Oh God look at what I did."  Yeah- He will always win.  There is nothing He needs from me.  (But because He loves me I still imagine He is very proud of me when I do something pleasing!)

Also the "Do you have what it takes?" came from a story Clayton told about a Marine recruiting guy basically telling a whole auditorium of students how hard the Marines were and that none of them looked like they had what it took.  You'd have to listen to the sermon HERE to really get that one.

Overall I loved this sermon because it emphasized discipleship.  Having a relationship with God isn't just intellectually believing that He sent His son to die on the cross and be raised again.  It is about admitting that you are a sinner and there is nothing you can do to save yourself or restore your relationship with God and that is why you NEED Jesus.  That is why He sent His son to die- to pay for your sins so you wouldn't have to.  But in addition to that you have to give your life over to Him. You are no longer living for yourself, you are living for Him. 

I still cling to my own hopes and dreams and habits and things I want out of life.  But slowly I loosen my grip and start to turn those things over to God and He simply amazes me with what he does with them.  It's like telling a kid they can't play in the sandbox in the backyard anymore and they throw a fit because they freaking love that sandbox.  But little do they know they are going to the beach with miles and miles of sand and a whole freaking ocean.  The parents may have even told the child this but the child has to trust and go on hope until he can see for himself.  And he has to obey his parents, get out of the sandbox and into the car to get there.  That's how it is with discipleship.  You may have to walk away from things you love to follow God and it won't always be easy.  And maybe you won't end up at the beach every time, but knowing how much He loves you how can you not trust that He will blow your mind with the things He can do with your life when you give it over to Him?

I'm not earning God's favor by giving things over to Him.  I already had it as evidenced by Him sending His son to die in my place.  Just stop and imagine that love.  He sacrificed His son- made him suffer and die in my place.  I just accepted the gift He gave me.  I admitted I am a sinner and that I couldn't do it without God's help.  I'm filled with gratitude for the gift He gave me and that pours out into doing things for HIM, not just myself.  Sacrifice.  Surrender.  And the more I let go the more I am filled with a happiness and joy and satisfaction that can only come from HIM!

I also tried to catch up on my Bible reading plan.  I am stuck in Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy and they are all about my least favorite topic- THE LAW.  Ugh...I hate the law because I just don't get it. Some of those laws are just crazy.  And all the laws about how to prepare the sin offering and the burnt offering, and the thanks offering, and the guilt offering, and how to build the temple, oh my...thank goodness I was not an Israelite during that time.  I would have probably failed miserably with all those rules and sacrificing all those animals.  The law is probably the biggest problem I have with understanding the Bible and it frustrates the crap out of me.  I can't wait to move on to something else.

Now to end on a happy note- I had some yummy cupcakes from GiGi's this weekend:

So yummy!  But you know what?  I still think I prefer homemade cupcakes better. There's just a little too much frosting for me on these beauties.

Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!


Brittany said...

Oh, I love Clayton King! He's been at our church a few times, too. I also had the privilege to chaperon our youth group at his summer camp, Crossroads. I love, love, love listening to him speak! So practical and applicable! :)

Berrygetto said...

Im so glad that I found a blog to follow who is so open about their love for God. =) and I love this idea of Sunday Snippets Im excited to read more of them in the future.