As much as I hate it, I do honestly love when I get really convicted of something in my life. Now try to understand me when I say this. I don’t like the actual conviction. But I do like the change that comes with conviction. You may be reading this and not understand what I am saying so let me simplify it. We- you, me and every other person on this earth- try to live our lives as we see fit. We might try to be good. We might do our best. We might not love God. We may deeply love God. But there comes a point in all of our lives where God convicts us of sin, where we feel that “gut feeling” or uncomfortable knowing within that something isn’t right. It might be shame. Guilt. It might just be outright knowing that you are doing something wrong. The reason God convicts us isn’t to ruin us or make us miserable. It isn’t to point out the wrong just for fun. God deeply and tremendously loves us and it grieves him when we are living in ways that hurt us, even when we may not realize that we are indeed hurting ourselves. It grieves him when we live selfishly, foolishly, recklessly, painfully, vengefully, lustfully…the list could go on for a long time. So God graciously convicts us so to lead us in the right direction.
I have had such moments in my life. Moments, that when faced with conviction, I must decide to continue to do as I do, or make the changes in my life that I feel (or rather am being convicted of) need change. To clarify, conviction isn’t always bad. Often we think of conviction as something bad, but sometimes it might be the deep conviction and knowing of what we know God wants from us or for us which may require obedience. But for the sake of this blog, I simply speak of the conviction that humbles. The painful, uncomfortable feeling or knowing that something I am doing (behavior) is grieving God’s heart. The reason conviction will actually work is because I love God and simply knowing my behavior breaks his heart, breaks mine as well. Tonight I had one of these moments where I want to change some things in my life not because they are wrong, but because of my love for God and my desire to ultimately live to honor him.
Below is a link to a video podcast from my church and a snippet of the message. Please take the time to watch this sermon.
Here is the sermon: The Book of John: Clear Expectations
“The task Jesus has given, the expectation of christ looks like he is calling us to be perfect. it looks like he is calling us to not mess up to not screw up to not have mistakes…especially if you read this like a normal religious person like its a call to obedience. but here is what i think…
Jesus is not demanding or calling us here to obedience. He is not saying you must obey me to prove your love. he is calling us to a deeper love for him and the result of that will be obedience. Jesus is not calling you to a new law. Jesus is not calling you to more rules. He is calling you to an invitation to a romance with him that when you fall in love with him and devote yourself to him, the natural response of devotion to Christ is that we easily obey what he expects of us. But all the legalists and the religious people have gone ‘wait I thought this was on my own effort? I thought I had to work this hard, and pray this much and give this much and serve this much to prove my love for God.’ But Jesus isn’t calling you to do more. He is calling you to be more. To come along with him. He is asking you to love him more.
I want to grow in my depth of love for Jesus. If you have an issue with unrepentant sin, your issue is actually an issue of love. If you refuse to surrender your temptations…your issue is not just your flesh, its your heart towards God. Sinning against the Lord should grieve us because we love him so much.”