Wednesday, August 01, 2007

"THEM"

There are two kinds of sinners: both are ruined. One knows it while the other is clueless. Both, however, are wreckage in need of the blood of Jesus. Guilty, ruined, and broken are not at all what I expected to surface as of major importance in ministry. For my first few years my pulpit was more like a fox hole I used to separate me from "them". I would toss sermonic hand grenades at the guilty sort and duck as they returned heavy artillery fire throughout the remainder of the week. I knew one thing: I wasn't like "them".

It was a shock to my system to realize I was, indeed, worse than "them". I was forced to park my high-horse at the rail and dismount. My judgment of "them" was not necessarily faulty. My assessment of myself was skewed. The church and I, the brotherhood and I, we were all in this quagmire together. Several things arose to importance when I encountered such a disappointing, yet necessary, discovery.
  • As Jesus left heaven to experience earth, I needed to leave my self-appointed perch to experience the truth about "us".
  • It dawned on me how desperate I was for His grace and mercy. In turn the flock was as needy to exchange the same with one another.
  • I began to notice the beauty of Jesus from this ugly pit. I had never noted his gentleness before.
  • The Word jumped out with redefined meaning.
  • I found myself ruined of any defense or explanation. If I am going to breathe in the church I must live; yet not I, but Jesus in me. My proud stance turned out to be a facade and it had been shattered.
  • Brokenness is what every young leader must experience. Otherwise, he'll live as a thorn to God's people always accusing, always surmising, always judging, always condemning; mistakenly stroking self as to assumed importance.

If you still find yourself believing the brotherhood would be stronger if it held values more like you, you are in the way of God's progress. If we are to be of anything good, it has to be because of the lively and effective rescue of Jesus and no other.

Abide in Me and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for apart from Me you can do nothing.

May "they" become "us" as "we" can do nothing apart from "Him".

7 comments:

preacherman said...

Terry,
Excellent thoughts.
Keep up the great posts brother.

Liz Moore said...

Great post Terry! I love your closing comment... "May "they" become "us" as "we" can do nothing apart from "Him"."

That is so true no only in our church life, but in our everyday walk. Thanks as always for encouraging us to be more with Him. Love ya!

Mike Anderson said...

Hi Terry,

Well written! Could I have permission to use this post as an article in our congregation's bulletin?

Thanks, Mike

Terry Rush said...

Mike,

Of course. Too, I'll waive the usual $300 user fee as well as the $17.00 out-of-state Pro-FASCO surcharge.

Other than that, I'd be honored you'd want to use it!

Greg said...

I, too, was a grenade tosser ... and proud of it. Then I discovered grace. And Jesus. And God, a father rather than a tyrant. And the Holy Spirit. Suddenly the Word became a message of hope rather than an instrument of destruction to those sinners.

Jim Cooke said...

Mr. Rush, How are you doing? We are doing a study on the Holy Spirit and I was wanting your opinion on whether or not the Holy Spirit is a person or not. Our teacher is actually using your book, The Holy Spirit Makes No Earthly Sense. Thanks, Jim Cooke

Terry Rush said...

Jim,

Email me at cardinalmuseum@memorialdrive.org