Christ Presence vs. Our Presence & Transformational Consequences of Sin

Not blogging during Lent has provided more open spaces and moments of silence for me to hear God. I can’t let life encroach on the recreating silences. I am still not sure if I’ll continue blogging everyday or a few times a week. If I blog every day, I’ll need that time of solitude and stillness that I’ve again experienced during Lent. I just started reading the Life of Christ by Francois Mauriac. Has anyone read it? It was translated from French into English in 1937. I am always looking for good books to read, so if any readers have suggestions, let me know. Perhaps sometime I’ll post my own reading list. For now, I post two quotes from the Beautiful Fight by Gary Thomas, a book I recommend and read during Lent last year. Blessings this day!

“While it is a stretch to suggest no one would have heard of Jesus if not for us, the fact is, there are individuals who might not think of Jesus if not for us . . . . Sadly, like the biblical Esau (see Genesis 25:29-34) we sometimes feel pridefully tempted to sell this amazing birthright of Christ’s presence for our own presence. We focus on our work, our influence, and our ministry. One of the biggest threats to incarnational living is pride. Instead of manifesting Christ’s presence, we want to showcase our own presence; instead of dispensing Christ’s wisdom, we want to spotlight our own insight; instead of speaking Christ’s truth, we want to spout our own opinions; instead of adopting Christ’s agenda, we want to accomplish our own five-or ten-year plans; instead of building Christ’s kingdom, we want to spread our own ministry.” p. 38

“Sin has transformational consequences–it squelches God’s work within us. In fact, one commentator’s definition of this “corruption” is ” the disintegrating power of evil.” That’s a remarkable image. Sin does indeed blind our eyes, anesthetize our spiritual senses and lead us into many destructive illusions. As sin begins to creep more and more into our lives, we grow increasingly deadened to God as well as to the world he created. . . . As the disintegrating power of evil takes over, our lives become smaller, more self-absorbed, more trivial and less like Christ’s. But as we are made alive in Christ and gain release from this corrupting influence, becoming participators in the divine nature through the uniting work of the Holy Spirit, a marvelous transformation takes place. Formerly wasted and even pathetic lives can become compelling.” p. 47

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