Friday, September 3, 2010

The Gospel of Everyday Life

Hello all!

The Gospel Coalition is a rich source of practical theology that I (Mark) have come to appreciate immensely. I visit the coalition members blogs virtually everyday knowing that I'm going to be blessed.

One of the most recent blog posts to really impact me is titled "The gospel of everyday life" and was posted by Ray Ortlund. It really needs no introduction or additional commentary, so I'm just going to post it here and hope that you are blessed by it. :-)

"The gospel of everyday life

“Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” 1 Timothy 4:1-5

As Francis Schaeffer used to remind us, the devil rarely gives us the luxury of fighting on one front only. We see a monster over on one side wanting to devour us, and we back away in dread. But if we’re not paying attention, we can walk right into the jaws of the other monster waiting for us over on the other side. We often fight on two fronts at once.

Today we fight against materialism, especially the so-called Prosperity Gospel. But there is also the danger of asceticism, the super-spirituality that denies the goodness of God in all things. An almost endearingly absurd instance was Simeon the Stylite (c. 390-459), who lived in austerity for 36 years on top of a pillar, elevated above ordinary life. This “holiness” is attractive, in a way. It’s serious. But it’s also fraudulent. It tells an audacious lie about God and about us.

The truth is, everything created by God is good and is to be received by us gratefully. This beautiful truth includes marriage and sex and food and mowing the lawn and flying a kite and paying the bills and sharpening a pencil and sitting on the porch in the evening and playing Monopoly with the kids and laughing at hilarious jokes and setting up chairs at church, and so forth. There is so much divine goodness all around. To push it away, to be above it, would insult our gracious Creator.

Our very earthly human existence is where true holiness can thrive. How? By thanking the Lord for it moment by moment, and by applying the word of God to it moment by moment. It is written, “God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good” (Genesis 1:31).

Not ultimate, but good. Good enough for God. Good enough for us too."

God bless!

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