Little joy, little conviction of sin.

For those Christians who think I talk TOO much about sin, who don’t like hearing so much about sin because they already SEE their sin everywhere and it’s depressing, I suggest that it’s only depressing IF a Christian is unsatisfied with Jesus and His imputed worthiness.  Anytime you find yourself with little joy, you need MORE conviction of sin.  But it’s pride in you that doesn’t want to see MORE sin in your life.  Whyzat?  You wanna believe you’re more wonderful than you really are.  Whaddayado about that?  You can ASK for the Spirit, claiming the promise of Luke 11, that if we ask, He’ll give us the Spirit — fresh conviction of sin.  He who has a sense of having been forgiven only a little, loves only a little — Jesus, others, self, His genius plan for everyone’s life.  Little sinners have little joy, because Jesus ain’t the big deal in our lives.  Or our joy is fleeting and circumstance-dependent.  But when we’ve been freshly convicted of BIGTIME sin, we are freshly self-aware, and freshly WOWED by a Savior who takes away our sin, which leaves us freshly GRATEFUL to be who we are, where we are, how we are.  That’s when Jesus is ENOUGH for us. Joy is the litmus-paper test. Course, when you feel lousy physiologically, you ain’ta gonna have any joy — you’ll mainly wanna feel normal again.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, trying to promote Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness to Christians — especially DAVE, so Christians might have the other-worldly humility and other-worldly love compelling to seculars

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Aliens feel uncomfortable in this world,

while worldlies feel right at home.  Aliens are Jesus-dependents, embracing a Kingdom that’s not of this world.  Just because one professes to be a Christian, does not mean we are a Jesus-dependent/alien.  Aliens are dependent on Jesus, do NOTHing on their own, are not wise in their own eyes, do not lean on their own understanding, and therefore are clueless-they-know-what’s-best, exuding a peace that surpasses understanding.  And they love worldies and enemies and other aliens, just as they are.  Humble, not proud.  Contented.  The heart of a worldly goes out to an alien, a humble Christian.  Aliens are easy to love.

Worldies on the other hand, are confident-we-know-what’s-best, competitive, strongly opinionated, excel at secretly analyzing, critiquing, judging, everyone and everything.  Hardly any difference between a worldly Christian and a worldly nonChristian.  Huge difference between a worldly and an alien.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, King of worldlies, except when he’s been freshly convicted of the sin of INdependence/worldliness/pride

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If you’ve experienced big failure,

in life or in ministry, or both, that’s the very-best thing that could have happened to you.  WHAT?  That’s right.  Your flesh is very confident-it-knows-what’ll-make-you-happiest, but your flesh knows NOTHing about such things.  How many times in your life has your flesh been WRONG?  The genius plan of Jesus gives you opportunity to learn from your big failure, and your little failures.  They’re all good, because He is good, knows what you need, while your flesh does NOT.  Our biggest need is Jesus-dependency.

Why would He give you the desire of your heart — success, if the desire of your heart, is for something OTHER than Himself?  The failures in our lives are carefully designed to EXPOSE our real flesh to us.  And we need this, because we Christians are so self-deceived about our present badness.  Leaven of the Pharisees — imagining we are followers of God, when we’re actually followers of ourselves.

Corrie ten Boom said, “You may never know how much you need Jesus, until Jesus is all you have.”  When we experience failure, our worthiness is freshly stripped from us, and if it’s big failure, it feels like all we have left is Jesus, and rarely is He ENOUGH for us.  Only a fresh work of the Spirit, deeply convicting us our dissatisfaction with Jesus and His imputed worthiness, can leave us content with Jesus, so we need nothing else.  Ahhh.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, neediest of all for a fresh work of the Spirit, so the seculars around him might want something he has

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Impossible to thank Jesus

for the harrrd, the suffering, the “negative”, in my life, when I feel ALONE and in CHARGE.  When I’m confident-I-know-what’s-thankable, and what’s not.  Only when I believe Jesus is totally in charge of me, and totally loving me, when I’m curious and expectant to see what He does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances, can I thank Him for everyone just as we are, and everything just as it is.  I only believe like that, when the Spirit has freshly convicted me of my feeling ALONE and in CHARGE — wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding.  No credit to DAVE.  All glory to Jesus.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, encouraging Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, to Christians — especially DAVE, so Christians might have something inside that seculars actually want

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Improvement is a Curse.

Improvement involves being better, doing better, living better, having better, looking better, feeling better, thinking better, loving better, vacationing better.  Improvement is addiction, where contentment is bliss, freedom.  Jesus is ENOUGH for the contented.  He is NOT enough for the improvement addict.  Adam and Eve were content — before they became addicted to improvement, independence, confidence-they-knew-what’s-best.  Living under the Curse, circumstance-dependent for joy and peace.

Contented humans need nothing more.  Blissful.  Enjoying everything just as it is, everyone just as we are.  Contented humans are easy to love, humble.  Improvement addicts need to WIN.  We need our favorite sports team, political party, ethnic group, country, denomination, to win, be the best, so we can feel good about ourselves.  And we also love secretly analyzing, critiquing, judging, everyone and everything, so we feel good about ourselves.  Jesus is not ENOUGH for the competitive human — the improvement addict.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, King of Improvement Addicts, except when freshly convicted of the sin of INdependence/pride/worldliness, momentarily, so the seculars around him might be drawn to the Jesus-bliss in him

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Easier life = happier life?

My flesh thinks so.  And it’s persuasive.  Though thoroughly deceived.  I only believe the lie when I feel ALONE and in CHARGE of my life.  When I don’t believe Jesus is totally in charge of every detail of my life.  When I’m envious of the easier lives around me.

How many times in my 76 years has my flesh been WRONG about what would make me happier?  I got my way, but instead of happier, I was simply more addicted to getting my way.  Scripture says my life is not my own, that I’ve been bought with a price.  That I’m happiest when I am curious and expectant to see what SovereignShepherdJesus does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.  I’m never curious/expectant unless the Spirit freshly convicts me of feeling ALONE and in CHARGE.  Ahhh.

— EasierAddictedDave, always needy for fresh conviction of the sin of INdependence, so he might momentarily have something compelling inside, to the seculars around him

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You will not be consistently happy,

content, at peace with yourself, your God, and the world around you, until Jesus grows you clueless-you-know-what’s-best.  Dependent on Him, not on your mind, other minds, talking heads on TV or online.  Leaning on your own understanding, being wise in your own eyes, is a formula for unhappiness.  Addiction.  Circumstance-dependent for happiness.

And I predict you won’t be fruitful with seculars.

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, promoting Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, sovereignty-awareness to Christians — especially DAVE, so Christians might actually have something seculars want

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Impossible to really KNOW Jesus,

unless you really KNOW yourself.  Self-awareness is crucial to really knowing Jesus.  He who has a present sense of having been forgiven only a little, presently KNOWS Jesus only a little, presently KNOWS himself only a little, presently loves Jesus only a little, presently loves himself conditionally, presently loves others conditionally, and presently loves Jesus’ genius plan for everyone, conditionally.  Only big sinners who presently KNOW they are big sinners — pathetically-dysfunctional Christians, presently KNOW how big a Savior Jesus is, are presently wowed by Him, living and working out of communion with Him, the Pearl of Great Price, worth selling all to get.  So WHAT if I’m pathetic in the eyes of others and myself, having zero worthiness of my own?

Really KNOWing Jesus and His sovereign reign over every detail of life, causes all my idols to pale by comparison, diminishes their power over my life.  And causes me to be curious/expectant to see what He does NEXT, in me, others, circumstances.  With His feathery-light yoke on my shoulders, instead of my heavy yoke of idolatry/INdependence/worldliness, causing me to be wise in my own eyes, leaning on my own understanding, confident-I-KNOW-what’s-best-and-what’s-thankable-and-what’s-not, pursuing my agenda, so I’m burdened/pressured under the heavy weight, feeling ALONE and in charge — circumstance-dependent for joy and peace.

Really KNOWing Jesus is a fruit of the Spirit’s work.  A gift.  I get zero credit.  I am powerless to change myself at a root level.  I CAN confess my sin, especially the sin of being unsatisfied with Jesus and His imputed worthiness, wanting some of my own.  And I CAN keep ASKing for the Spirit afresh — fresh conviction of sin, claiming the promise in Luke 11.  And I find it helpful to leave the timetable up to the Spirit.  Fresh conviction of sin is the starting place for fresh faith — freshly KNOWing Jesus.

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the KNOWLEDGE of God and Jesus Christ our Lord.”  2 Pet 1:2

— Dave McCarty, GospelFriendships, championing Gospel-awareness, self-awareness, and sovereignty-awareness, for Christians — especially DAVE, that the seculars around Christians might actually want something they have

To receive my Tuesday posts, email me, or subscribe to my blog: dumbsheepdave.com