Contend Earnestly: All About Jesus...seriously...It is.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

All About Jesus...seriously...It is.

How has everyone been? Crazy here in Seattle, to be honest. I have been out for a while and have received multiple emails to ask if I had fallen off the side of the earth. To tell you the truth it has been a little bit of a dry period in my life, both physically and spiritually. I really like the outlet of blogging but it was taking a toll on me and sometimes I am a real pansy so I just laid low for a while. But, you know what I found? I really like blogging and having the internet community to tell me I am an idiot or to tell me that they are encouraged by my writing and thoughts. Both are actually welcomed on this site, as far as comments, and the former is probably more accurate in it's depiction of my wisdom and skillz at writing. Yeah, that's right, I used a "z" instead of an "s", how ya like that ghetto feel? I have had a lot of inquiries into my 10 Steps to Legalism posts, so I figured I need to continue in it and get it done so that people get all 10 steps and don't leave anything out. Because the legalist in all of us have said that if Seth doesn't finish all 10 then he is going to hell for lying.

Here is something that I have been challenged with by a pastor in Alabama. I actually met him through friends and he is pretty funny and a great expositor of the word of God. If you want, you can check him out here at Riverwood Presbyterian Church. His name is Tim Lien and although he is a Presbyterian, I still will call him a brother in Christ, as long as he doesn't try and sprinkle my kids with water.

Tim's focus in his sermons are always about Jesus Christ. I know that some of you will laugh and say, "aren't they supposed to be?" Well, yes, but not all pastors get this. Tim once pointed out that the story of David and Goliath is not about the great faith of David and if you just muster up enough faith God can use you too. This would be obvious if it wasn't for the mere fact that it has always been taught to me in that way, all through my life. Tim pointed to the fact that if the point of the story is not God and his redemption, then you just have a moralistic story of faith and more finger pointing to self, instead of the great Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Tim went on to point to the fact that if you are a pastor, or teacher, and you don't continually point to Christ, then all your teachings will end up being a moralistic tale of the self, instead of the liberating work of Christ on the cross.

This has been huge for me and my teachings. I now ask, "Where is Christ and his fulfillment of this Scripture?" Where is the grace and mercy found through this text? Where does God show his greatness for his glory and majesty? So, now, everything I teach does not end with something that we change or do to gratify self, but it ends up being a teaching of changes that take place because of my great love of Christ's accomplished work on the cross for the glory of God!

I told my pastor this morning that I now "grade sermons" based on how many times the pastor mentions the name of Jesus in his sermon. Because isn't that the litmus test in life? How many times is Jesus seen and mentioned because of our lives? So why not our sermons?


Anonymous said...

Dude we are just a couple of baptist barking up the same tree...and luckily that tree is the Cross.

Sola Deo Gloria,


ct said...

Glad to see you're back.

And also glad to see props given to Tim Lien. I lived in Tuscaloosa for a few years while in "school." :) He was by far the best preacher I ever heard in all the churches I ever visited in Tuscaloosa. Me and my wife visited literally an ungodly number of churches trying to find Christ exalting preaching. His preaching was exactly that.

Anonymous said...


get my email?



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