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Darkness | BobbyShirley.com

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Darkness | BobbyShirley.com

Darkness

“Don’t curse the darkness but light a candle.”

Brother Andrew

I woke up today to some news that simultaneously made me mad, broke my heart, and flooded me with compassion. Yeah, that’s a lot to feel at one time. The news was of the moral failure of Tullian Tchividjian. Those who have read this blog for any length of time have probably heard me quote or reference him. You could say I’m a pretty big fan. So, I feel like I should say something.

Now, I am in no way condoning what has happened, sin is sin. However, I will not judge Tullian. I am no better though my sin may look different.

What I don’t want to see happen is us throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We shouldn’t discount what He has said that is the truth of scripture just because he has sinned.

What needs to happen is love. Love and support. Love and prayer. Prayer for Tullian, his family, and the other parties involved.

Accusations aren’t needed.

Judgement isn’t needed.

Tullian and everyone involved has my prayers, support and love. Nothing less.

6:1 Brethren, if it seems that someone continues to 1anticipate their next 2failure (by carrying just too much load, see verse 2), from your position in faith restore such a person in a spirit of courtesy and grace, keeping your own attitude in check; a legalistic approach would want to suspiciously probe into problems. (The word, 1prolambano, means to anticipate, take in advance; 2paraptoma, comes from para, close proximity, proceeding from a sphere of influence, and pipto, means to lose height, stop flying, to fail. Remember you represent grace not law.)

6:2  The law of the Christ-life distinguishes your spirituality; taking the weight off someone’s shoulder is fulfilling the law of Christ. (The message of grace removes all law-related burdens such as guilt, suspicion, inferiority, shame and a sin-consciousness.)

6:3  Anyone who imagines to be someone they are not, lives a lie. (The law system sponsors pretense; grace reveals your true identity redeemed in Christ.)

6:4  Now, without the pressure of pretense, you are free to give expression to your individual self and not some phony life you’re trying to fake. Evaluate your own conduct in such a way that you do not need another’s approval to confirm your joy.

Galatians 6:1-4 Mirror

Transformed | BobbyShirley.com

Transformed

“Through His incarnate life, death, resurrection, and ascension Jesus Christ has established his relationship with His Father, His relationship with the Holy Spirit, and His relationship with fallen humanity and broken creation inside our darkness and sin, unrighteousness and treachery, using our own rejection of Him as His way of relationship. Submitting Himself to our murder, He transformed our betrayal into our adoption, and our fallen humanity into the temple of the Holy Spirit.”

C. Baxter Kruger

For the longest time I misunderstood salvation. I thought being saved meant that I could finally wipe the sweat off my brow that I wasn’t going to hell anymore. I thought being saved meant that God was no longer mad at me. I thought that being saved meant I was going to heaven.

Being saved doesn’t mean I was being saved from hell. I was being saved from sin.

Being saved doesn’t mean that God is no longer mad at me. I am waking up to the truth that God is my Father, head-over-heels love, and never mad at me.

Being saved doesn’t mean that I’m going to heaven when I die. I am in heaven on earth and I’m bringing heaven to every situation that I’m in.

The goal of the salvation experience is metanoia. Your mind being transformed.

Do not allow current religious tradition to mold you into its pattern of reasoning. Like an inspired artist, give attention to the detail of God’s desire to find expression in you. Become acquainted with perfection. To accommodate yourself to the delight and good pleasure of him will transform your thoughts afresh from within.

Romans 12:2 MIRROR

And, one final quote.

“Yes, transformation is often more about unlearning than learning, which is why the religious traditions call it “conversion” or “repentance.”
― Richard Rohr

Shift | BobbyShirley.com

Shift

Do not underestimate God’s kindness. The wealth of his benevolence and his resolute refusal to let go of us in his patient passion is to shepherd everyone into a radical mind shift.

Romans 2:4 (Mirror)

I believe the love of God has a two-fold mission. Redemption and restoration. These two can sound similar but are quite different.

Redemption

The theme of redemption in Scripture is that God has taken the initiative to act compassionately on behalf of those who are powerless to help themselves. The New Testament makes clear that divine redemption includes God’s identification with humanity in its plight, and the securing of liberation of humankind through the obedience, suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus.

Restoration

He brings you back to original value. So what did my life look like in Christ or even in Adam before sin – what did my life look like apart from sin and in a total place of innocence – one with Him? It probably looked exactly like Jesus on the earth. His nature – I’m not just talking about miracles and power. I’m talking about disposition, heart, nature, love.

Dan Mohler

We have to begin to understand that what we have known in our lives and in the world is not normal. In some ways we have to take take the red pill with Neo and wake to the real world. Thank God we aren’t waking up to a apocalyptic horror movie. We are waking up to Heaven, full of Jesus! We must start making the mental shift necessary to see this now.

Connected | BobbyShirley.com

Connected

“When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are.”
Donald Miller

Cutting people off from fellowship shouldn’t happen, ever.

Never.

I’m not sure where this idea came from because neither Paul nor Jesus taught this.

Jesus, when talking about a brother who sins against you, tells the process of restoring them and your relationship with them.

“15 If your brother or sister sins against you, go and correct them when you are alone together. If they listen to you, then you’ve won over your brother or sister. 16 But if they won’t listen, take with you one or two others so that every word may be established by the mouth of two or three witnesses. 17 But if they still won’t pay attention, report it to the church. If they won’t pay attention even to the church, treat them as you would a Gentile and tax collector. 18 I assure you that whatever you fasten on earth will be fastened in heaven. And whatever you loosen on earth will be loosened in heaven. 19 Again I assure you that if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, then my Father who is in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three are gathered in my name, I’m there with them.”

Matthew 18:15-20

Note that when Jesus is talking about conflict resolution He makes the statement the He is present where 2-3 are gathered. This three-level process for dealing with a Christian in sin is at the heart of all church discipline. The goal is to bring about repentance while keeping general public awareness of the sin to a minimum. Phillip Clemons has said that what Jesus was saying is to try everything possible to save the relationship and brother.

Paul when talking about church discipline tells the story of a person who has been kicked out.

“5 But if anyone has caused harm, he has not so much harmed me as he has—and I don’t think I’m exaggerating here—harmed all of you. 6 In my view, the majority of you have punished him well enough. 7 So instead of continuing to ostracize him, I encourage you to offer him the grace of forgiveness and the comfort of your acceptance. Otherwise, if he finds no welcome back to the community, I’m afraid he will be overwhelmed with extreme sorrow and lose all hope. 8 So I urge you to demonstrate your love for him once again. 9 I wrote these things to you with a clear purpose in mind: to test whether you are willing to live and abide by all my counsel. 10 If you forgive anyone, I forgive that one as well. Have no doubt, anything that I have forgiven—when I do forgive—is done ultimately for you in the presence of the Anointed One. 11 It’s my duty to make sure that Satan does not win even a small victory over us, for we don’t want to be naïve and then fall prey to his schemes.”

2 Corinthians 2:5-11

The purpose of church discipline is restoration, not destruction or exacting revenge.

“In the presence of Christ” is a common theme in Corinthians. All of our actions are carried out not in secrecy but in the presence of Christ. If Paul and Christ have forgiven the offender, the Corinthians should as well.

The idea of cutting someone off from fellowship with you for any reason other than blatant, unrepentant sin and other than following the process laid out by Jesus is wrong.

You can’t, according to scripture, cut someone off from fellowship because they doubt something you believe in. You can’t cut someone off from fellowship because they ask questions. You can’t according to scripture, cut someone off from fellowship with you because you or they are offended.

Your call is to love them. You can love them from a distant. You can love them with healthy barriers. But, you love.

All you are required to do is not set fire to your end of the bridge. You can’t control what happens on the other end.

You must remember that mercy triumphs over judgment.

There will be conflicts in life. The goal of conflict resolution is maintaining connection with that person. This is the model that I created and use.


G. R. A. C. E.

  1. God always gets the glory.
    No matter the situation or the people involved there is a way for God to receive the glory. Col. 3:17, Rom. 8:28

  2. Repent of your sins (metanoia)
    Before you deal with anything else make sure you are thinking properly about the situation including repenting of your sins. Acts 3:19, Psalm 5:4

  3. Accept responsibility
    Before associating blame anywhere else, accept responsibility for your actions or inactions. Eph. 4:31-32, Rom. 12:1

  4. Confess sins (agreeing with God)
    Take time to confess your sins to God and to the parties involved. 1 John 1:9, James 5:16

  5. Embrace forgiveness
    Finally, know that you are forgiven and walk in that forgiveness. Col. 3:13, John 13:34


The bottom line is, keep love active. Love is the tether that keeps us connected to God and each other.

I want to leave you with this scripture.

Above everything else be sure that you have real deep love for each other, remembering how ‘love will cover a multitude of sins’.

1 Peter 4:8


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Receive|BobbyShirley.com

Receive

How do you glorify a water fountain? Come thirsty and drink!

John Piper

This is a silly statement on the surface, but let’s unpack it a little bit.

What is John saying? How does being thirsty and drinking glorify a water fountain? By being able receive and enjoy what it’s offering.

So, how do we glorify God? The same way!

God has given us everything we need to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature. All we need to do is come and receive.

One | BobbyShirley.com

One

O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the
earth[1.And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings Acts 17:26], and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those
who are far off and to those who are near[2.And He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. Ephesians 2:17]: Grant that people
everywhere may seek after you and find you, bring the nations
into your fold, pour out your Spirit upon all flesh, and hasten
the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God,
now and for ever.
Amen.

Book of Common Prayer

Close | BobbyShirley.com

Close

Jesus is not the man at the top of the stairs; He is the man at the bottom, the friend of sinners, the Savior of those in need of one. Which is all of us, all of the time.

Tullian Tchividjian – It Is Finished: 365 Days of Good News

Jesus, the friend of sinners. You know what that means? He’s my friend. He’s my close friend.

We can’t wall Jesus off as too sacred to be touched by the woman with the issue of blood. Or too holy to enjoy a dinner party a Zacchaeus’ house. We can’t keep Him locked away in a book during the week and pull Him out on church days. We can’t relegate Him to a far off Heaven and banish Him from where we are.

He’s near. He’s not too holy or sacred to be around you and your sin. How could He be distant since He came to live among us!? He’s as close as your thoughts. He’s as near as your heart.

Final | BobbyShirley.com

Final

The cross is the full and final revelation of God. God’s nature of forgiving love is supremely demonstrated at the cross. Vengeance had been canceled in favor of love. Retaliation was overruled in favor of reconciliation. Protest had been abandoned in favor of forgiveness. This is the cruciform.

– Brian Zahnd, End of the Line

The cruciform.

This is a large theological topic. You’ll need a little understanding about this before we continue. This is a great article on the topic. But, to capture the ocean in a thimble read this:

On the cross, Jesus reveals a God who does not cause others to suffer and die, but who suffers and dies Himself for the sake of others.

Selah.

It’s ok if you feel your brain starting to break. Mine did.

The cruciform, and related topics, is a foundational thought of how we view Father God. Viewing God as the Savior of sinners is the picture we see painted at Calvary.

Calvary is like “Mary Poppins handbag.” There is so much inside of it that it will take eternity for us to unpack what happened. But, it’s not just about Jesus dying for our sins. It’s about Jesus showing what God is like, giving.

Giving in love.

Giving in salvation.

Giving in forgiveness.

Giving in hope.

Giving in joy.

Giving in righteousness.

Giving in faith.

Giving in goodness.

…and countless others.

His giving nature is what Jesus spoke about in the world’s most famous verse, John 3:16-18.

God is a lover AND God is a giver. God loves humanity so He sent Himself as a human to redeem humanity.

We need to wrestle with and fully grasp that because God is good and loves us that Calvary was His true nature expressed. It’s not pretty or nice. But when we look at Jesus on the cross we have to see goodness and love.

Plan | BobbyShirley

Plan

In Jesus’ death and resurrection, the whole test-passing, brownie-point-earning rigmarole of the human race has been canceled for lack of interest on God’s part.

– Robert F. Capon, “The Mystery of Christ…and Why We Don’t Get It

Jesus’ arrival, life, and victory on the cross is the flat announcement that God was done with our attempts at our own righteousness. Not in a fed-up, frustrated way but in the way a husband surprises his wife with the vacation she’s been pinching every penny to be able to go on.

You can’t think of God on the cross as a last-ditch, bottom-of-the-ninth swing for the fence but the revelation of the plan. Not plan “B”. The plan. Was it God’s intention for sin to enter his pristine paradise? No. But, is He using it to reveal Himself as loving savior to and for us? Yes.

Tired. Exasperated. Frustrated. Overworked. Tense. Scared. Failing.

That’s what defines what the human race looked like to me prior to the cross. And, in some ways how we still look trying so hard to earn the medal that’s already around our neck.

We, me included, must realize that what Jesus did for us was really enough. We can’t begin to add to it. All we can do simply believe it and receive it.

Life | BobbyShirley.com

Life

“God’s action in the world takes place entirely in plain old messed-up human nature. He does not kill off sinners; rather, he himself dies a totally human death in order that they may live new a fully human lives in the power of his resurrection.”

– Robert F. Capon , The Mystery of Christ… & Why We Don’t Get It

Human. Covered in skin. Originating from dirt.

It’s a big deal to understand that Jesus was human. He was just as much flesh and blood, sinew and bone, hair and toenails as any of us. But, at the same time He was divine; like Creator of all, Partner in the Divine Dance of Love, and Elder brother of all humanity.

The gospel of John tells us that Jesus became flesh.

The Word became flesh
and made his home among us.
We have seen his glory,
glory like that of a father’s only son,
full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 CEB

You need to pay attention to the word that John uses for flesh. He uses the word “sarx” which is the same word that Paul uses for describing the “sin nature”. If John would have said that Jesus became human it could be the same as saying the Jesus was the Goodyear Blimp, here but not on the ground with us. Jesus became “sarx” and got in the trashcan of sin with us.

Jesus got in our trashcan of sin with us and got out as all of us! Now, we can live in His resurrected life!

GOOD NEWS!!!

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