The Gospel for my messy life …

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‘Messy Spirituality’

‘Messy Spirituality’ – Quote by Mike Yaconelli

“For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a godly person. Yet when I look at the yesterdays of my life, what I see, mostly, is a broken, irregular path littered with mistakes and failure. I have had temporary successes and isolated moments of closeness to God, but I long for the continuing presence of Jesus. Most of the moments of my life seem hopelessly tangled in a web of obligations and distractions. I want to be a good person. I don’t want to fail. I want to learn from my mistakes, rid myself of distractions, and run into the arms of Jesus. Most of the time, however, I feel like I am running away from Jesus into the arms of my own clutteredness. I want desperately to know God better. I want to be consistent. Right now the only consistency in my life is my inconsistency. Who I want to be and who I am are not very close together. I am not doing well at the living-a-consistent-life thing. I don’t want to be St. John of the Cross or Billy Graham. I just want to be remembered as a person who loved God, who served others more than he served himself, who was trying to grow in maturity and stability. I want to have more victories than defeats, yet here I am, almost 60, and I fail on a regular basis.If I were to die today, I would be nervous about what people would say at my funeral. I would be happy if they said things like “He was a nice guy” or “He was occasionally decent” or “Mike wasn’t as bad as a lot of people.” Unfortunately, eulogies are delivered by people who know the deceased. I know what the consensus would be. “Mike was a mess.”

 Mike Yaconelli,  author of a book entitled, ‘Messy Spirituality’

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Liberating Grace-Filled Quotes From Martin Luther

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“This life, therefore, is not righteousness,
but growth in righteousness, not health,
but healing, not being, but becoming,
not rest, but exercise.
We are not yet what we shall be,
but we are growing toward it. The process is not yet finished,
but it is going on.This is not the end,
but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory,
but all is being purified.”

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“Do not permit your sins to be merely sins; let them be your very own sins. That is, believe that Christ was given not only for the sins of others but also for yours. Hold to this firmly, and do not let anything deprive you of this sweet definition of Christ, which brings joy even to the angels in heaven: that Christ is, in the strictest of terms, not a Moses, a tormentor, or an executioner but the Mediator for sins and the Donor of grace, who gave Himself, not for our merits, holiness, glory, and holy life but for our sins. Christ also interprets the Law, to be sure; but this is not His proper and chief work.” – Martin Luther – Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians Chapters 1-4

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“When the devil accuses us and says: “You are a sinner; therefore you are damned,” then we can answer him and say: “Because you say that I am a sinner, therefore I shall be righteous and be saved.” “No,” says the devil, “you will be damned.” “No,” I say, “for I take refuge in Christ, who has given Himself for my sins. Therefore, Satan, you will not prevail against me as you try to frighten me by showing me the magnitude of my sins and to plunge me into anguish, loss of faith, despair, hatred, contempt of God, and blasphemy. In fact, when you say that I am a sinner, you provide me with armor and weapons against yourself, so that I may slit your throat with your own sword and trample you underfoot. You yourself are preaching the glory of God to me; for you are reminding me, a miserable and condemned sinner, of the fatherly love of God, who ‘so loved the world that He gave His only Son, etc’ (John 3:16). You are reminding me of the blessing of Christ my Redeemer. On His shoulders, not on mine, lie all my sins. For ‘the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all,’ and ‘for the transgressions of His people He was stricken’ (Is. 53:6, . Therefore when you say that I am a sinner, you do not frighten me; but you bring me immense consolation.” – Martin Luther – Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians Chapters 1-4

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“Therefore you must make thorough preparations not only for the time of temptation but also for the time and struggle of death. Then your conscience will be terrified by the recollection of your past sins. The devil will attack you vigorously and will try to swamp you with piles, floods, and whole oceans of sins, in order to frighten you, draw you away from Christ, and plunge you into despair. Then you must be able to say with confident assurance: “Christ, the Son of God, was given, not for righteousness and for saints but for unrighteousness and for sinners. If I were righteous and without sin, I would have no need of Christ as my Propitiator.” Martin Luther – Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians Chapters 1-4

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“The main knowledge and true wisdom of Christians, then, is this: to regard as very serious and true these words of Paul, that Christ was given over to death, not for our righteousness or holiness but for our sins, which are real sins — great, many, in fact, infinite and invincible. Therefore you must not think of them as minor or suppose that your own works can remove them. Nor must you despair on account of their gravity if you feel them oppressing you either in life or in death. But you must learn from Paul here to believe that Christ was given, not for sham or counterfeit sins, nor yet for small sins, but for great and huge sins; not for one or two sins but for all sins; not for sins that have been overcome — for neither man nor angel is able to overcome even the tiniest sin — but for invincible sins. And unless you are part of the company of those who say “our sins,” that is, who have this doctrine of faith and who teach, hear, learn, love, and believe it, there is no salvation for you.” -Martin Luther – Luther’s Works, Vol. 26: Lectures on Galatians Chapters 1-4

 

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