Thursday, July 30, 2009

What Is God Pleased With?

I was going to leave this as a comment on a friend's blog, but decided instead to blog it because it became too long. Campus Crusade for Christ had their semi-annual staff conference this past week and they brought in Tim Keller, pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York. Many of you know him as the one who inspired the great little children's Bible Reynolda give out at the infant baptism.

Anyway, my friend is on staff with Crusade and he posted two of the talks that Tim Keller gave to them at CSU. I enjoyed listening to them on the road this week back and forth to Charlotte. I think the really challenging thing he said in both talks is that many Christians perform good works or ministry to earn favor with God. I believe the Spurgeon he quoted was that we should not preach the Gospel to prove it to ourselves. The fruit of our ministry is not the stamp of approval on our lives. Our stamp of approval is already on us when we accepted Jesus.

He went more in depth in the first talk about what the Gospel really is. He said that many people view it as a pardon. Yes, you are no longer in jail, but who would hire you? They think that now you have been saved, you need to prove yourself as worthy

Here is the kicker... apart from Christ you will never be worthy. You are only worthy because God said you are worthy. He has bestowed worthiness on you. You are created to be worthy. When you live out who God has created you to be instead of trying to be someone you think will be worthy, then you will experience the pleasure of God. Sure, God delights in blessing His children, but that is not a sign of His favor

His favor was shown in His removal of the barrier between you and Him. His favor is still shown in His constant calling for you to come to Him... spend time with Him... share His heart. You were create to minister, but the ministry we do is not toward others; it is not toward ourselves; it is toward God out of love for Him. We were created to minister to a place in God's heart that only we can minister to

God's heart aches without you. When you run from Him to try to prove your worthiness to Him, He painfully waits to catch your eye. The good news is not advice how to please God. The good news is that God came to tell us He loves us. Jesus is not only the truth of the Gospel; Jesus is not only the way to God; Jesus is also the source of life that we may be free from the life of trying earn God's favor.

Tim Keller at CSU

Tim Keller speaking to the Crusade staff.
photo courtesy of David Hand

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