This last Sunday morning, PBC brought the truth like none other.... as usual. It was such a beautiful message.
Let me give you a little set-up here... on Sunday mornings we have been going through a study in Matthew of the sermon on the mount. We started with the beatitudes which rocked my world, then we moved on to the next section which was titled 'Getting to the heart of the matter' which again shook my world in the best way possible, and this last sunday we continued to another section of the sermon which has been called 'watching our righteousness' and it has started with a bang... getting right to the core.
This message was NOT beautiful because it was:
-something I already have down
-stroking my ego
-something someone else around me needed to hear
-surface level goodness without any real conviction/challenge
There is nothing beautiful about those things...
No... it was beautiful because it was:
-hard to hear
-required some true introspection on my part
-truth spoken with such a love for the body of Christ
-one of those messages that will be on repeat to make it stick
We discussed Matthew 6:1-18 and what saving righteousness looks like... PBC told us that 'the affirmation we seek, determines the legitimacy of our righteousness'. That right there is enough to make me stop and take a moment to evaluate myself.
PBC provided 3 principles that help us evaluate our legitimacy:
1. consider the reward you want
-do I want human affirmation?
-do I live with the constant aim that others see and view me as spiritual?
2. consider what you want from people
-do we desire other's praise?:
-do I want to be seen by them?
-do we have a longing to be noticed?
-to be satisfied in my ministry... do I need to be noticed by others and recognized publicly?
-do we pursue elaborate expressions?
-this kills righteousness
3. consider what you want from God
-what characterizes someone who wants divine affirmation?
-God is the focus
-satisfaction in unrecognized actions
-God is ultimately valued
'gratitude and thanksgiving should be given... not something we are seeking'
'our human nature craves self glorification'
I would suggest that this is exceptionally difficult for someone like me... who's dominate love language is 'words of affirmation'. Yikes... never thought I'd be faced w/this reality of how easily I can misplace who/where I desire my affirmation. Since this message... the Lord is showing me areas of my life where I struggle w/this misplaced desire from others rather than Him. It's hard... yet perfectly necessary... and for that I am thankful.
If you have an hour- I'd encourage you to listen to the message here and select the message titled 'Watching Our Righteousness - Part 1' from November 4, 2012.
If you listen to it, I'd LOVE to know your thoughts on what you hear!