Why do spiritual disciplines and guilt always go hand in hand? When did not praying enough or reading my Bible begin to trump the grace of God? The last promise Peter made to Jesus, before Jesus' crucifixion, was, "I'll never deny you." The last time Peter saw Jesus, before Jesus' crucifixion, Peter had just denied him three times. Then, after Jesus resurrection, Peter decides to go fishing. When Jesus shows up we expect a scolding, the hammer is going to come down on the rock (Peter's name means "rock"). Instead, Jesus treats Peter and the other fishing disciples to a buffet breakfast (John 21). What gives? Grace.
In the church we both give and receive "drive-by-guiltings": Why weren't you at such & such event, why didn't you volunteer, etc. This causes us to project upon God similar drive-by-guilting behavior. Remember, "in Jesus we have become the righteousness of God." (2 Corinthians 5:21). Our guilt has been removed.
If we do spiritual disciplines or devotions out of guilt or to prevent guilt, we are trying to make ourselves righteous. And this may be one reason we sometimes find ourselves wondering, "Where is the joy of my salvation."
Pray - "Lord help us to believe that you have made us and see us as righteous. Help us believe that You love us, that through the forgiveness of the Blood of Jesus we are perfect and pleasing to you."
Read and ponder 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NIV) God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
I can plod. I can persevere in any definite pursuit. To this I owe everything.
- William Carey
My name is Tim Kirkes. I am honored to be the a child of my heavenly Father, the husband of Lisa, the father of two boys and the pastor of San Dimas Wesleyan church.