Just Keep Going

Every one of us is a combination of qualities with which we are pleased, and others that are shameful and embarrassing. Of course, we who are Christians want the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit, Word, and the body of Christ to work in us so the negative characteristics of our lives diminish and our positive characteristics develop. As Martin Luther so famously reminded us, we are all simultaneously saints and sinners. Our goal, of course, is to have the saintly portion of our lives far outweigh the sinner in us that raises its ugly head from time to time. I believe one of the necessary decisions in our lives that will help us accomplish that goal is to simply keep going.

All of the great personalities in Scripture, with the exception of Christ himself, had portions of their lives that were dark: Noah in his tent drunk and naked after saving the world, Abraham, justified by faith, with his lies and multiple wives, David, the man after God’s own heart, the adulterer and murderer who used his position as king to cover his crimes, Peter denying Christ after walking with him and seeing his divinity first hand, Paul, after his Damascus Road encounter with Christ himself, with so many issues that he identifies himself as the chief of sinners, least of the apostles, and the one with a messenger of Satan within sent to humble him. The list could go on and on. With each of these we see victory as they move forward. Judas is a notable exception. Great remorse gripped him, he repented, declared Jesus’ innocence, and gave back the money, but in despair killed himself which, of course, ended his story. As a result, his betrayal defines his life and always will. But for those who kept going, their failure is only a portion of their story.

In our modern context, when we think of Bill Clinton, Michael Vick, David Letterman, and Martha Stewart, we see them as victors who didn’t submit their entire life story to their own failures, but instead chose to let resurrection define their lives. In stark contrast is Richard Nixon who, after Watergate, resigned, retired, and died. By not continuing in the narrative of his life, he inadvertently built a monument to his failure and will always be defined by Watergate. But Clinton won’t be defined by the scandal that precipitated his disbarment and impeachment. His scandal will always be part of his story, but as he keeps going, his scandal consumes less and less space in the narrative of his life.

We are all resurrection people. We alone decide our present and our futures. Let’s keep going.

That’s 21st Century Evangelicalism

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6 thoughts on “Just Keep Going

  1. Ursula McNeill says:

    Pastor Ted,

    In the past month I often felt my Life is a living hell and i been going through Deep Depressionen on top of some Heart Health issues. Many Times I thought about giving up, but the Time I spent with you in St. James, your and Gayles Story became to me a encouragement to keep going. I am studying my bible and try my best to become a good Christian. So I want to thank you for showing me what real Christianity is about. I want to thank you for never giving up on yourself and people like me who need you to teach. In the short time I was able to listen to your teaching I learned more then in years before and I could feel the love. I know St. James is the right place for me and therefore soon I will be back in Colorado. So again thank you for not letting nobody discouraging you and pressing forward.

    • Jeff says:

      Dear Ursula, Something really jumped out at me from your post; “…and try my best to be a good Christain”. I have struggled for many years trying to be a “good” Christain. Here is what I have recently discovered after much heartache in the church and my life. I believe that that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for me! He has forgiven my sins and his grace is sufficient for me. I believe therefore, I am, a great Christian! You are too! God loves you so much he gave his only son (John 3:16). Do only “good” Christian go to heaven? No! All Christains go to heaven. It is a free gift for believing. I think what you say is at the core of Ted’s previous post. When a force (satan, the church, others condemnation)makes us feel that we are not doing enough, it is torturing us. All too often we are throwing the first stone at ourselves, evidently professing we are without sin (or should be without sin). Many, many, many sermons when I was growing up convinced me I wasn’t doing enough. Guess what, I was! I am still working on the go and sin no more part but that is a walk the Holy Spirit is taking with me. God bless you sister. You must be one awesome lady for God to send His Son for you!

  2. Debbie Evans says:

    Very good Ted! Miss you guys give gayle a hug for me!

    Blessings!

    Debbie

  3. Who is without scandal? If someone is ‘without scandal’ in the Body of Christ, then are they saved? We were all sinners in need of a Saviour. Instead, those ‘without scandal’ have secured a place with organized religion looking for the accolades of man instead of the One that died for them. Restoration can only come from Him, not man….Thank GOD.

  4. Pastor Ted, I recently heard someone say “God has a plan for me and I’m still here because His plan for me isn’t finished yet. When His plan for me is finished, I won’t be here any more. : D Thank God, Thank God, Thank God for His plan for my life and yours ; D

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