Thursday, January 31, 2008

Not about chocolate

Joey fidgeted because the church carpet was cool and hard but mostly because his friend Jeremy was poking him in the ribs. He knew that if they sat quietly and didn’t wrestle, they’d get candy at the end of this. So he tried to ignore Jeremy.

Mrs. Spraggs had a big storybook out, reading to them about two little girls who had gotten into a fight but finally decided it was better to share than be selfish. “And why?” Mrs. Spraggs asked.

Joey’s hand popped up. “Jesus!” he said and she gave him a big smile. He might even get to hand out the candy now, which meant he could sneak an extra piece.

“Yes!” she said. “Jesus tells us to be nice to our friends and share things. When we obey Jesus, he’s pleased with us.”

And Joey knew what she meant, because it looked like chocolate in the candy basket this week.

Oswald Chambers calls this the teaching of the effects of redemption rather than revelation about Jesus. Mrs. Spraggs didn’t mean to do this, but she didn’t teach the children why they should share and forgive their friends. She actually implied that doing so would bring earthly benefits. Well, sometimes it does.

So, why would I share and shed selfishness? The answer should be because I'm passionately in love with Jesus, because I belong to him and fall in gratitude at his feet. Otherwise, I'm implying that the blessings of redemption are foundation of faith.

Our foundation is a relationship with Jesus, not worshipping the blessings of his work. We worship our King and enjoy his blessings, not vice versa.

I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.

John 10:9

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