Lately the Lord has been speaking to me a lot about His love for me and the need for me to seek Him for who He is. This morning Pastor Randy preached a sermon that confirmed this message to me, and I wanted to share my notes in hopes it will bless your hearts!
~ We want our spiritual lives to be the equivalent of a healthy, weed-free lawn. But sometimes no matter what we do, those spiritual weeds continue to pop up in our lives. And we try everything - doing this or that - more discipline, etc. to get rid of them. But the problems, issues and struggles seem to remain. Finally we are so tired that we revert to just maintaining our spiritual lives.
Titus 2:11-14 shows that grace is what teaches us to say no to sin. Paul is motivating natural growth by highlighting the beauty of Christ - not by eliminating sin.
~ We grow in the good news as our hearts are captivated by the beauty of Christ. When this occurs the affections of our hearts (our desires) are changed.
~ A heart re-created into desiring what God desires. How? By being captivated by His love. Everyone is drawn to beauty whether it be different forms of music, art, nature or physical beauty. Beauty has an ability to touch our hearts in a way that produces action.
~ The church tends to shine a spotlight on duty, commitment, sin, ourselves or other people to make us grow. But it doesn't work. When the spotlight is on Christ's beauty (His grace, etc.), then our hearts are enamored. Is it any wonder our hearts are not captivated by the things the church tends to point to? (persuaded to turn from sin?) Beauty is comparative so people become beauty-shoppers. Christ's beauty is the only one that is beyond compare.