Jesus, You are not Lord,

of us believers.  We are the lords of our lives.  We know what’s best for ourselves and others.  So we want You to bless our plans/agenda for ministry.  Our joy and peace depend on our circumstances, how our ministry is going, how well we’re obeying, or trusting, all about us, instead of Your enjoyment of us, just as we are, and we enjoying ourselves the same.  So we have only fleshly human power, which does not wow the pre-believers around us.  Thank You that they can see what little difference You make in our lives, regarding our joy and peace.  Be glorified by the difference You make in us, going forward.  Thank You for the impossibility of us changing ourselves, so You alone will receive glory if any change happens in the future.

–DumbSheepDave, hanging on the words of his ShepherdJesus more than ever, because folks have been praying, hoping the pre-believers around him are noticing the difference Jesus is making in 2013

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Paul Tripp show us,

the power of a preacher being the chief confessor.  For those of you who didn’t see this on my Facebook page.

http://vimeo.com/61121978#  

Evangelical delusion.  Grace is for failures.
--WeakDave, trying to promote the impossibility of following Jesus in the power of me

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Why always talk about sin, Dave?

Why not be more positive?  Fair question.  Seems to me the Church has dumbed down the law and dumbed down sin, like the Pharisees did, so the Christian life seems doable, possible, the commands keepable.  We believers seem to have the impression that sin is something we occasionally do, when in fact, we never stop sinning: there’s a dark side, self-serving side, to our most-noble, seeeemingly-selfless deeds.  We think of sin in outside-the-cup ways, and spend little time talking about inside-the-cup sin/idolatry, and I think Satan could not be more pleased, at snookering us into believing that the really-bad sin is the technicolor sin, that we believers with our acts together, are pretty good folks.  Pharisee thinking.

I never set out to talk about my sin all the time, but I did begin to ask Pray-ers to pray for my faith life, my dependency on Jesus.  And the way He has answered those prayers over time, is to open my eyes and enable me to see many sins/idols that I never saw previously.  Getting new large glimpses of how much worse I am than I ever dreamed, would be depressing, were it not for the ever-growing foundation of grace in my life, that began in 1984 when Janet and I went through World Harvest’s Sonship Course, which was life-changing for both us.  Today I’m convinced that the nicest, sweetest, kindest, most-loving thing He ever does for me, is to freshly convict me of my sin of independence/self-reliance: my passion for worthiness of my own, unsatisfied with Jesus and His worthiness imputed to me.

When I have a sense of having been forgiven little, I love only a little: Jesus, others, myself.  When I love only a little, I’m critical, judgmental, competitive, rejoicing in the failure of others, both believer and pre-believer, and self-contemptful at my own failure.  I don’t enjoy others just as they are, me just as I am, Jesus and His plan for my life, just as it is.  Circumstance-dependent for my joy and peace.  Having the name of Jesus, but not the benefit of Jesus.  Living as joylessly and peacelessly as the pre-believers around me, because I’m so confident I know what would be best for me and those I love.  Independent not dependent.  ShepherdDave, not DumbSheepDave.

–DumbSheepDave, having an even better year than last year, which was the best year of his life, because folks have been praying

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What philosophy appeals to me?

One where the people who espouse the philosophy/religion/theology, love me and others unconditionally, just as we are, whether or not we agree with their philosophy, follow their philosophy.  Not necessarily the philosophy that makes the most sense, intellectually, or scientifically, but the one where the people following the philosophy, love the best.   Are the most Jesus-like.  I will give my ear to the followers who love the best.   If I laugh at them, they still love/enjoy me, just as I am.  If I ridicule them, they still love/enjoy me, just as I am.  If I denounce them, they still love/enjoy me, just as I am.  If you want to win me over, you need to begin with love, not argument, and if you don’t continue to demonstrate other-worldy humility and other-worldly love, I will likely not listen to your answers to my questions/hangups with your philosop hy.   Other-worldy love is the most-compelling apologetic.

–ProudDave, needing prayer to be freshly convicted of the sin of independence, so he’s momentarily HumbleDave, with the power of Jesus enabling him to love the impossible to love (please pray now)

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Why has the Easter Bunny replaced Jesus?

We believers like to think it’s the world’s fault, not our own fault.  If Jesus were making a wow difference in the lives of us believers, would the Bunny be replacing Jesus in such a widespread way?  Would there be respect for a Jesus-centered holiday, if there was amazing humility and amazing love in believers, evidencing an amazing Jesus?  So do we pray for the world to change, or do we pray for us believers be changed?  A widespread awakening?

–ShepherdDave, just as competitive, intense, confident and ambitious as any pre-believer, needing prayer for fresh conviction of the sin of independence, so he’s momentarily transformed into DumbSheepDave, enjoying his ShepherdJesus, amazingly humble and loving like his ShepherdJesus, effortlessly enjoying himself and others, even his enemies and others who are impossible to love (please pray now)

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Are we really following Jesus?

Jesus was a friend of sinners and tax collectors, the nonreligious of His day.  If we really are followers of Jesus, why don’t we hang out with and enjoy the nonreligious, instead of spending so much time with fellow believers?

–WeakDave, trying to promote authentic, vulnerable friendships with pre-believers — more nonChristian fellowship and less Christian fellowship (please pray now)

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Why would anyone want a Jesus

who leads people to external religious observance, but who does not change them on the inside, into being amazingly humble and amazingly loving and amazingly joyful and amazingly peaceful?  Who would be the first to throw a stone at those outside the Church, who laugh at us who claim to follow Jesus, because they see us just as circumstance-dependent for our joy and peace, and just as independent/self-reliant/prideful, as any other human?

–ShepherdDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of the sin of independence, so he will be momentarily transformed into blissful and beloved DumbSheepDave, doing nothing on his own, evidencing a Shepherd directing his life (please pray now)

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What wows pre-believers?

Jesus making a wow difference in believers.  What might that look like?   Howbout a contagious thankfulness that makes no sense, given my present circumstances?   So freshly overwhelmed with Jesus and His performance imputed to me, that nothing else in my life hardly matters to me, no matter how harrrd, no matter how much my flesh hates it, no matter how much sympathy and pity others give me for the ruggedness of my circumstances: I just ooze with thankfulness for Him and the perfectness of His plan for me.  I ooze with thankfulness for each harrrd in my life, that nobody in their right mind would be thankful for, believing as I do, that He’s promised to work all things together for the good of this kid of His.  Who lives this way?   Only someone freshly captivated by Jesus, freshly convicted of his sin of independence/self-confidence/shepherdness/orphanness by His Spirit, freshly undone/contrite, thankful for everything He’s used, no matter how painful, to bring me to the end of myself, and to contagious thankfulness.

–ShepherdDave, needing prayer for fresh conviction of the sin of independence, so he’s back to being DumbSheepDave, with a thankfulness that’s contagious to both believers and pre-believers around him, including the turned-off and even the antagonistic

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