The happiest believers are the most humble,

most self-aware, most self-accepting.  The unhappiest believers are the proudest, least self-aware, least self-accepting.  Self-awareness without self-acceptance is depressing.  Self-awareness without the good news of Jesus’ imputed worthiness, leaves believers very proud/independent, and feeling worthless, depressed.  Self-acceptance without self-awareness makes for mean-spirited, unloving, willful, proud Pharisees, who accomplish at lot, but all by human power, no Jesus-power.  Having a great cognitive/intellectual understanding of the good news about Jesus, without gobs of Spirit-produced humility (amazing self-awareness and amazing self-acceptance), leaves believers longing for Heaven, more unhappy in this life than most pre-believers.

Humility/dependency/faith is not something I can generate from within, discipline myself to get, willfully choose to have, but is only ever granted to me, from Above.  No credit/glory to me.  Fresh conviction of the sin of independence/pride is the nicest, sweetest, kindest thing Jesus ever does for us kids of His.  A humble believer confesses sin, but a proud believer is discouraged by seeing sin afresh, determines to do better next time, and never wants to see more sin in the future.  Hates seeing more sin.  A humble believer invites the Spirit to open his eyes to see more sin, so he can confess it, and be freshly free, having fun, enjoying Jesus, others, self, circumstances, just as they are.  Humility evaporates rapidly, because of the world, flesh, devil, snookering us into independency/pride.

–DumbSheepDave, having more fun that ever as the Shepherd’s Spirit convicts more and more, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference in 2013

To receive my weekly updates, email me, or search for GospelFriendships (one word) on Facebook, and “like” the page, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

If you want to be blessed,

happy, Jesus said you need to hear the word of God and keep it.  How can a human do that?  Only the self-deceived believer thinks he obeys God.   In my experience, the happiest believers — most joy-filled and peace-filled, regardless of their circumstances, have recently been convicted of their sin by the Spirit of Jesus.  The nicest, kindest, sweetest thing Jesus ever does for us, is to freshly convict us of our sin, especially our sin of independence/self-reliance/self-confidence/willfulness/agenda/adultlikeness/shepherdness.  But most believers see conviction of sin as negative, like it’s a black mark on my record of being a holy person.  Ha!  My record is like filthy rags.  There is no one holy, no not one.  The standard for obedience, is perfection.  “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect,” Jesus said.  Following Jesus is impossible if I also wanna feel good about myself based on my performance.

Jesus has nothing to offer to non-sinning believers, and is therefore not all that precious to non-sinning believers.  He who has been forgiven little, loves little: loves Jesus little, others little, and self little, and is happy only when things go his way, which merely strengthens his control addiction, independence.  The grace of Jesus flows downhill to believing sinners who have been freshly convicted of their sin, are freshly undone, contrite, humble.  Believing non-sinners are not empowered to love like Jesus.  When I avoid the sinner’s place at the foot of the Cross, I avoid the grace of Jesus enabling me to be fruitful with the pre-believers around me.  No wonder we believers are so unfruitful with the lost.

–DumbSheepDave, happiest when he’s been freshly convicted of trying to be ShepherdDave

To receive my weekly updates, email me, or search for GospelFriendships (one word) on Facebook, and “like” the page, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

LIFE is never experienced,

from human-powered obedience, but rather from confession of sin.  And when LIFE doesn’t flow from confession, there is more that needs to be confessed, that I don’t yet see.  LIFE is a fruit of the Spirit’s work.  I cannot convict myself of sin, cannot make myself repent.  Faith/dependency/LIFE is a gift from Jesus, so I get zero credit for any I have, experience.

Love.  Joy.  Peace.  Regardless of circumstances.

–DumbSheepDave, experiencing more than ever because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making

To receive my weekly updates, email me, or search for GospelFriendships (one word) on Facebook, and “like” the page, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

All believers who work hard at being good,

who live under the constant burden of performing well, are invited by Jesus to a delightfully-easy way of living, where we no longer need to prove ourselves to God, others, self, as independents, carrying the weight of the world on our shoulders, facing life struggles alone.  Jesus modeled for us a dependent lifestyle, which is restful, easy, fun.  No problems, no jobs to fix.  ShepherdJesus’ problems, and His jobs to fix.  Ahhh.

A dependent does have one job.  To be curious and expectant to see what Jesus does next, in me, others, circumstances.  And to ask Him and thank Him about everything.  And if I forget?  CONFESS.  Satan wants me berating myself, not confessing.

Problem is, I need fresh humility to wear the yoke of Jesus, the yoke of dependency, and fresh humility is impossible, apart from fresh conviction of the sin of independence.  But I can ASK to be convicted afresh.  Ahhh.

–DumbSheepDave, baby steppin in more dependent directions, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference

To receive my weekly updates, email me, or search for GospelFriendships (one word) on Facebook, and “like” the page, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

 

“Follow me,” said Jesus.

Stop following yourself, stop your independence, and depend on Me.  Do I follow, in the power of me?  No, that’s independence.  Dependence is a work of the Spirit, a gift from Above, as a result of fresh conviction of the sin of independence/self-confidence/self-reliance.  The fruit of dependency, is amazing humility and amazing love, joy, peace.  Dependency is priceless — the pearl of great price, worth selling all to get.  A dependent cares nothing for his own performance/worthiness/reputation.  Doesn’t care if he’s pitied, or rejected.  A dependent has fun regardless of circumstances.

–DumbSheepDave, having more fun than ever, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference

To receive my weekly updates, email me, or search for GospelFriendships (one word) on Facebook, and “like” the page, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

The pride nobody confesses.

From mentoring lots of believers over the years, especially grace-junkies, I’m struck by the prevalence of unconfessed self-contempt.  Why is self-contempt not viewed as the prideful sin it is?  I think it’s because it seems right to hate yourself when you sin.  But it’s not.  A humble believer extends grace to self, just like Jesus extends grace to believers as we sin.  And we never stop sinning, because there’s a dark side of our motivation to every seemingly-selfless thing we ever do.  We’re much-more likely to extend grace to other believers, than to ourselves.   Especially other believers we like.  But not to self.  Pride.  We wannabe different.  Whyzat?  Good motive: for the glory of Jesus.  Dark motive: so we can feel good about self.  But Satan works hard at keeping us from seeing our dark motives.  Why are we so vulnerable to Satan’s deception?   Worthiness addiction.  Dissatisfied with the imputed worthiness of Jesus.  Dissatisfied with Jesus Himself.

Believers with self-contempt for every failure, don’t really care that God loves us unconditionally.  We want something more.  A humble believer cares not one iota for having zero worthiness of his own.  Jesus and His worthiness are enough.  Humble believers don’t mind being considered losers, failures, nobodies.  Don’t mind being pitied.  And aren’t enamored with their own successes, somebodiness.  Enamored with Jesus, no matter what.  And are not deflated by getting new large glimpses of their pride.

–DumbSheepDave, more self-aware than ever, confessing more than ever, enjoying Jesus, others, self, and circumstances more than ever, because folks have been praying

To receive my weekly updates, email me, or search for GospelFriendships (one word) on Facebook, and “like” the page, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

Terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad

experience, living in this world as an independent who was made for dependency.  The Creator didn’t do a halfway job when He cursed the world.  It really is an awful place for an independent to live.  Except.  For those moments of sanity, those tastes of Heaven, when created-dependents are returned by the convicting work of the Spirit, to the peaceful bliss of Jesus-dependency.

Independence is exalted outside the Church, and inside too. “What is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.” Lk 16:13

–DumbSheepDave, who just experienced the best year of his life, because folks have been praying, hoping that 2013 will be a year when pre-believers will be wowed by the difference Jesus makes, and want his Shepherd too

To receive my weekly updates, email me, or search for GospelFriendships (one word) on Facebook, and “like” the page, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com

 

An ingrate believer,

has been forgiven much by DaddyJesusSpirit, and has the perfect, precious, pricey righteousness of Jesus imputed to him, but — wants something more.  An ingrate believer is unsatisfied with Jesus and His righteousness, wants some righteousness/performance/worthiness of his own, so he can feel good about himself.  IngrateDave.

Grace is for ingrates who know they are ingrates, flows downhill to the ingrates at the lowly sinner’s place at the foot of the Cross.  Does not flow uphill to the together, strong, successful, proud.  Grace is for losers who know they are losers, accept themselves as losers, enjoy themselves as losers.  Needing no worthiness of their own.  Grace is not good news to winners, the worthy, the proud, who have much to lose.  Jesus came for the sick, not the healthy.

–IngrateDave, confessing more, and more in love with Jesus, because folks have been praying

To receive my weekly updates, email me, or search for GospelFriendships (one word) on Facebook, and “like” the page, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com