Thursday, March 5, 2015

Refusing to live in a cycle of works

Hey Friends and Family of TCC,

I thought it would be good to go over some of what we talked about on Sunday based upon some of the comments I received. First, thanks for being so open and vulnerable about your own struggles with acceptance and approval. Second, remember what we talked about as we began our Simplify series. Everyone seemed to resonate with the distinction between the cycles of works and grace. You can download the Message Notes to see the diagrams.

Cycle of Works
I strive to achieve
I feel some significance
I gain temporary strength
I feel a temporary sense of acceptance which does not last, and I start over to achieve
I am overwhelmed, exhausted and anxious

Cycle of Grace
I am accepted by God – just as I am
I receive strength to sustain myself
I discover true and lasting significance
I achieve things that serve others out of a response to grace rather than duty
I am restful, joyful and full of energy for life

I am deeply grateful to others including Bill Gaultiere,, and John Ortberg, for help in grasping these two cycles. A good book that has one chapter on the cycle of grace is Soul Keeping by John Ortberg.

As we seek to live out the words of Jesus, I am praying for you that you will refuse to live in a cycle that is all about seeking approval and acceptance. Jesus calls to you, “Come to Me, all of you, who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you, let Me teach you, because I am humble and gentle of heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”

Will you read those words again? Picture Jesus with a loving smile on His face inviting you to receive His acceptance and love, offering you His strength and sustenance, providing you a sense of significance and calling, eager to achieve His will with you. What a restful way to live.

This week, we’re going to talk about the solution to an epidemic in our culture – Busyness. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for each of us as we gather and His Holy Spirit draws us to the love of Jesus.

Longing for a simplified life,

Saturday Prayer Focus: Calvary Bible Church. Let’s pray for Scott Gallagher and our friends at Calvary Bible that they would sense God’s presence and leading as they continue to equip the saints for ministry. Pray for unity of vision, stamina of heart and attitudes like Jesus as they love one another. They will be engaging in a new series of classes to help grow spiritual maturity. Pray for great attendance and application of these lessons.

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