Wednesday, December 23, 2015

CP 263 OK, Freddy, how was that?

CP 263 OK Freddy, how was that?
Sunday December 20… attend worship. Where? Hillsong Campus, Campbelltown, NSW. People, I loved it. The songs we sang were so spot on in faith and worship of the Son. We could sense the full-on engagement of the church, especially in the singing of a traditional Christ carol which was climaxed with, ‘O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him, Christ the Lord.’ I know we Lutherans might readily roll our eyes, but we sang that little chorus maybe 15 times and it was soul and spirit-stirring stuff. One of our own hymns has that line, ‘Lost in wonder love and praise.’ It was like that.
The message was ace. This was an older Pastor, Robert Ferguson, down to earth, so scripturally based, wonderful insight and wisdom, it was a delight to be there and listen to someone steeped in the Word proclaiming that Word. I’d be happy to listen to him anytime. There was no doubt about his honouring of Jesus Christ. His sermon was based on Paul’s letter to Philemon in which he requests Philemon to prepare the guest room for his possible coming. He explored the scripture in terms of making room in our lives. Switch off the busy-ness excuse and make room, for God, for others, and when necessary, also for oneself. He also picked up Psalm 10:4, where David writes of the ‘the wicked man, ‘…in whose thoughts there is ‘no room for God.’
Here are his 10 specific challenges to Hillsong members about where they might ‘make room’ in their lives in 2016:
1.     Make room for change
2.     …for blessing to bless
3.     …for service
4.     …for generosity
5.     …for having a mentor
6.     …for mystery
7.     …for expectations
8.     …for forgiveness
9.     …for the supernatural
10.  …for obedience.
This was good stuff. Down the line practical stuff. Young people crave healthy and godly spiritual advice. Let’s face it, they haven’t had much of that from the parental generations, and what we gave them was mostly moral. Being who I am I might have started with making room for the Word, or grace, or gospel, or fellowship, but we’d all see it a little differently.
Suddenly I was hanging out for him to say the one thing that would bring all this together with graceful power. What did my spirit suddenly crave to hear? I’ll try to tell you.
Look at that list again. Now, open your eyes to the gospel story. See Jesus in the wilderness, after the Holy Spirit came upon him, absorbing the call he must now fulfil as the Messiah. Every single point in the above list is taken on board with all his heart, soul, mind and spirit. See the tempter come. Hear the beguiling whisper that it doesn’t have to be like that. Keep looking. Watch the video of his ministry on earth, from beginning to end. Let it run unhindered through your mind and see Him living it out, to the max, even to the cross, even to death, and being laid in the tomb, having also obediently fully embodied my (our) sin and sinfulness.
Right here, are we not witness to the awesome-ness of holy love? Is this not astonishingly awesome and fantastic and amazing? A great and wondrous mind-blowing, sin-destroying truth is revealed. Everything the Father has ever required of Adam and his offspring has been completed, for me, for us, in Him! His ‘performance’, his track record of righteousness in making room, is credited to me, to us. I dare to say it. In Christ, where only God can put me, I have become the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Now see Jesus alive. Having ‘made room’ for his Father, and his brothers and sisters in humanity, there are now ‘many rooms’ with the Father, made ready for us! His life is in me. His heart is now my heart. His Spirit is within me. His love has been poured into my heart. Now, for heaven’s sake, I am worthy and well-prepared to have a crack at that list…
After all, he did say, ‘Follow me.’ Merry Christmas…

Fred 

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