I wanted to share one more post about my experience at KCC’s One Love Women’s Conference last Saturday. Though all 3 sessions were amazing, Bryan Chapell’s touched me the most. His topic was “Just Mary: An Expression of Christ’s Love for the Vulnerable” from Colossians 3.
He started out addressing the age-old question, “If God will forgive me later, why not sin now?” So, “mathematically”, this question makes sense, but he reminded us that the chemistry of the heart is stronger than the mathematics of the mind. God’s love for us is so overwhelming that a true believer can not help but love Him back. Dying to self involves dying so much that someone else becomes the love of my life, my greatest desire and saying ‘no’ to sin is possible.
He mentioned Hebrews 10:11 where it says Christ is seated at God’s right hand. For 1000+ years, thousands of animals were sacrificed daily in the tabernacle and temple. Of all the detailed descriptions of the furniture, there is no mention of a chair. The priests’ work was never done because man’s sin never ceased. They never sat. But when that last sacrifice was offered – THE Lamb of God – Jesus cried, “It is finished!” and He sat down. His work was done.
Col. 3:3 – Our “life is hidden with Christ in God”. All I do is sin and deserve judgment, but – as with a child who hides behind his parent in danger – we hide behind Christ. We are safe.
“When Christ who is my life. . .” Think about that! This present brokenness is not the final reality. God’s grace has rescued us! How great is His love!
Verse 5 tells us to “put to death” immorality and other sins and life-patterns that rebel against God. “You’ve been rescued, so why in the world would you go back there??!! ” It’s vice is trying to drown you! You’ve been rescued once. Why go there again?
Addictions and idols start with a small ‘want’. I want what I want when I want it. No big deal, but soon this ‘want’ enslaves us. The graphic example he used was of a man out bush caught in a land-slide and his hand was trapped under a giant boulder. For 6 days he called for help to no avail. He finally realized that, in his weak, dehydrated state, he would die in the hot sun unless something happened . . . and he knew what he had to do. In our lives, as well, spiritual “radical amputation” is the only option. It’s not worth dying for some stupid addiction that is destroying you. If God didn’t love us, He wouldn’t warn us to “put to death” these things. He says, “I’ve sat you on my right hand. Don’t go back there! Fight! That chapter has many encouragements to ACT. “Set your mind”, “put to death”, “put them all away”.
It’s OK, Bryan said, if you struggle. Real Christians struggle!! We all have in common that we are tempted and we struggle. It’s a sign of life!
If sin “no longer has dominion over us”, why do we keep sinning? It’s because we love those sinful habits and how they make us feel in the moment. What will overcome that love? A GREATER LOVE!
His illustration was of when he was a single pastor and a family invited him to a picnic in a beautiful park. After they ate, the beautiful daughter (his age) asked him if he wanted to take a walk. Of course he said yes! It’s like that with God – He shows us His beauty, so when He asks, “Do you want to walk with me?!”, we immediately say, “Yes!” Seeing and really knowing God and loving Him overpowers any attraction that sin has.
Which brings us back to the theme verse of One Love 2014 –
“Because Your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.” Psalm 63:3