Thursday, January 30, 2014

From Burnout to Direction

Here are my thoughts from the last 4 articles in January's Tabletalk.  The first is "Avoiding Burnout" by Archie Parrish.

"The root cause of burnout is the failure to draw on the power available from our union with Christ."  How insulting to our Lord and the endless store he has available for us.  I've been through burnout.  All of have.  You keep serving the Lord, but your life becomes less successful, you still feel stuck in the same situation, people you pray for keep dying, some don't come to the Lord, and you feel futility.  But like the writer of Psalm 73, you look to Christ and realize his perspective.  He's got a much bigger plan in mind that all fits together for his glory.  He has me in a January slump for his glory, and I must keep looking to him for hope.

"The Lord's Day and Discipleship" by James L. Harvey III.  "God intends our discipleship as Christians to be expressed in the church in particular."  Bible studies, small groups, men's groups, women's groups, Ligonier conferences, local charities, etc., they are all good things and ways to disciples God's people.  But God mostly wants his people to be discipled within the local Church.  Jesus established the priority of the local church.  This is dismaying when I think of all the churches I have attended in the past 10 years.  I have not stuck with one and only became member of one.  Now I attend a mega-church where it's so big that it's hard to get close to anyone.  Am I in the Lord's will?  If not, he will direct me to be in his will.  And he is slowly showing me how I can participate in discipleship even at a big church like CBC within the chapel choir and orchestra.

"We come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God," Hebrews 12:22.  In one sense, all true churches are the same church, though we must congregate in a smaller local setting to receive the benefit of "weekly shelter and refreshment from the wilderness of the world until the Lord Jesus Christ returns and makes all things new."

The featured interview is with Ed Stetzer.  It comes at an opportune time.  He is president of Research at LifeWay Corporation, and I am a sales associate at a LifeWay store in a time where business is low.  I get discouraged but I feel by featuring Ed Stetzer in Tabletalk, that God is prodding me to continue on.  Much like that rainbow I saw on the morning that I did inventory for the story and interviewed to get my job.  God keeps reminding me, "It's alright.  Keep it up."

"The Historical Reality of Adam" by Guy Prentiss Waters.

I don't know if Waters is a YEC or and OEC, but he has enough sense that you need to take Genesis as literally as possible for the Gospel story to make any sense.  If there is no historical Adam, then there is no historical Jesus.  But even skeptics attest to a historical Jesus, and I am convinced he is everything the Bible claims him to be.  Therefore, Adam is a real man who brought sin into the world, the world being free from sin and death before that.  That has to be true if Jesus is to come and bring life back to his fallen creation and to destroy death forever.  The people who claim to be evangelical and deny the real Adam need to just sit down and quit calling themselves evangelical.

I'm a fan of Doctor Who.  The writers of the show are definitely atheists.  The episode last night affirmed the glory of the big bang theory.  And yet, I still feel like they are better theologians than "Christians" who just can't open their minds to the discoveries of Answers in Genesis.  The Doctor is open to having dinosaurs on an ark, full grown ones even.  The show is clear that there is a power behind all creation as much as it wants to deny it.  Only people who deny God's existence seriously lie to themselves.  If God is real and if he defines all things, then his creation account is true verbatim, and the flood truly explains all the fossil chaos found today and the dragons that all societies have some legend of.  The dinosaurs became dragons and lived.  I want to believe that.  And I want to believe the beautiful truth of creation, sin, and the Gospel that redeems all creation.

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