While I was driving through the night, Richard Cunningham was speaking to the students at New Word Alive. Thanks to the wonders of technology, I can listen to this, and so can you if you pop over to the NWA site and order CDs. I will share some short notes here.
We are told by Paul to act in a certain way in view of God’s mercies. We are not to be those who conform and fit in. It’s not the easy-going lifestyle, but the considered one.
Richard’s 11 year old nephew was recently told he will die. Without hesitation he said to his doctor, “I am not afraid of dying. I have a friend in Jesus. He is going to take me to be with him.” If our life is built on something solid, we will live differently. We offer all we have and are to the Lord.
We cannot start with exhortations. We have to put theology before ethics. The first chapters of Romans show that we are all guilty before God and need his mercy. Our sin is our only contribution to our forgiveness.
Sometimes we find security within the rules. Grace is unflattering and uncomfortable. Some of us are more naturally pleasure-seeking. We need to get off the beach and onto the altar.
Often we think following God will be tough and that he will ruin our lives. If we understand his mercies, how could we think that? God wants us to be those who make the glory of God known throughout the world.
Offering our bodies is first of all a rational and sensible thing. The word “spiritual” there can be translated reasonable or rational. It is not about dividing your lives between spiritual or secular. It is, instead, rather foolish to exchange the real God for worshiping the created. If we have experienced the mercy of God, how can we continue to offer our bodies in slavery in sin?
The full potential of humans is to serve God. It is only when we treasure God that we will offer ourselves to him. We exercise gifts because of the abilities God gives us. Men can have a tendency to be passive. It is only when we are active that we will find the purpose for which we were made.
We don’t serve because of the debtor’s ethic. We wouldn’t say to our wives, “I had no choice; I didn’t want to be in your debt, I felt guilty, so I bought you these flowers.” We serve God because we love him, not for some half-hearted reason. He loved and died for us. How could we do anything other than give him everything back?
God loved us while we were abusing ourselves. Knowing where we are going will drive us to make this life last.