We listened in on a message from Virginia this morning: “Missing Time and Missing Mindset.” It was a consideration of what the time under Covid-19 lockdown has looked like and what our ongoing mindset will be.
I took away the fact that small things matter more than we give them credit for at times. For example, studies show that even crouching beneath a small section of plywood saved people from radiation death during the atomic bombs. The analogy made was that practicing the small yet valuable things consistently will keep us prepared to face difficulties.
The second aspect of the message was having the mind of Christ. What does that mean on Tuesdays and Thursdays? It means intentionally thinking less of ourselves and more of others, being aware and showing care through actions of respect.
The message I gave this morning was from Romans 6: “Go and Sin No More.” While some choose to believe they are free to live however they want and still claim salvation through Jesus, Romans 6 makes it clear we must live free of sin to maintain freedom in Jesus.
I made the connection to the story of the woman found in adultery and brought to Jesus. A popular use for that passage is to tell others, “You can’t cast stones because you have sin, too.” But the personal closing of Jesus speaking to the woman is the same He gives us: “I will forgive you. But go and do not return to sin.” In another place, Jesus said at Judgment Day He will say to those who claimed Him as Lord but continued in sin, “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity. I never knew you.”
Today, I started reading the book “The Disciplines of a Godly Man” by R. Grant Hughes. In the first chapters, he lays out the call to careful discipline. He says, “No discipline, no disciple,” and explains that the undisciplined man who gives into sensual life (in whatever form) cannot claim to be a child of God.
Already in the beginning of the book, I’ve been deeply challenged about the need for discipline in my life. Hughes explains the connection between lack of discipline in our physical lives and lack of discipline in our spiritual lives: For example, if we are lazy or sloppy in our work, don’t be surprised to find a lazy, sloppy approach to serving God.
Hughes pulls out the teaching found in various biblical passages of getting rid of distractions and of fighting with focus. He calls this “spiritual sweat.” He asks what distracts us from greater spirituality. “Are you man enough to get rid of it?”
I am now pondering the various connections among the the topics. What does God expect of me? What does He mean when He says, “Be holy as I am holy”?