Thursday, May 13, 2010

Devotional Thoughts

A few days ago I came across this line in my morning prayers (page 134 from the Valley of Vision, a collection of Puritan prayers).

Give me deeper holiness in speech, thought, action, and let me not seek moral virtue apart from thee.

The idea of not seeking moral virtue apart from Christ is a challenge for me. I want to do something to have moral virtue. It is also a challenge not to view “values” or “virtues” apart from Christ; they can easily be viewed as ends in themselves, ends that can be obtained and maintained by man.

My friend Mel Meadows has written a novel, Uzzah, that explores this challenge in the context of man attempting to give God a hand, as if God needs our help. Check out the story of Uzzah in 2 Samuel Chapter 6 – it seems we’re good at building wagons and trying to stabilize God’s Testimony.

A couple of years ago I was talking to a dear friend, who is a pastor, about finding Christ-centered curricula for teens and children. He pointed out that finding such curricula is a challenge, for much curricula focuses on character and behavior rather than on Jesus Christ. That is an example of seeking moral virtue apart from  Christ.

I believe that our propensity to seek moral virtue apart from Christ is much more dangerous to the Church than overt evil. Our good programs and specialized constituencies within the Church tend to have centers of gravity that are self-serving – we seek other things to fill the hunger that only Christ can satisfy.

I really do want to know Christ.

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