I celebrated my labor day weekend with my wife's family in St. Louis. It was a tremendous time. We actually were blessed with going out to eat 4 times; Concettas, Chevy's, Talayna's, and Cracker Barrel. I think I might be about 20 pounds heavier after this weekend. We also were blessed with checking out a "new" church plant called The Journey.
The Journey has actually caused a little bit of controversy in the Missouri Baptist Convention over the past few months due to their stance on alcohol and a ministry they have called Theology at the Bottleworks. Some Missouri Baptist churches would probably tell us to steer clear of The Journey, but let me tell you that I was extremely blessed by the services there.
The message was phenomenal and it drove me to the Cross of Christ for mercy and in thanksgiving. Three things struck me.
1) The dangerous effects of living a life that is characterized by law. Living a life characterized by the law means I am constantly trying to gain approval and acceptance with God. It is so easy, yet very deadly, to slip into that way of thinking and living. I was encouraged and fell more in love with Jesus this Sunday.
2) Go deep, in love. I have no problem letting the gospel (at least intellectually) go deep into my heart. But things like "Jesus loves me" I tend to not let penetrate quite as deep. I was encouraged to listen to the Holy Spirit preach the gospel to me and allow it to go deep.
3) "Are you selling what you are smoking"? That hit me. Basically what that means is--am I living that which I am preaching. If I am preaching "run to the Cross" am I running to the Cross? If I am preaching "It's all about Jesus" is Jesus my everything? It was a great church service and I would (dare I provoke the wrath of the MBC) recommend that any time you are in the St. Louis area check out The Journey.
You can find their website at The Journey in St. Louis
P.S. If you read this before Wednesday and you want to prepare for the sermon...read Joel!!