feelings

feelings

The member accosted the pastor after the sermon. She was digging the music. They had a variety of instruments and were singing the songs that were her songs. It was a ‘me and Jesus’ emotional high. And that’s when things went south…in her mind anyway…or maybe it was just how she felt. She always found that the messages were too theological or too convicting or too divisive or too long. The pastor tried to read betweens the lines as to what she was looking for. She may have wanted a spiritual buzz…a good feeling when she left the building. She may have wanted something simple to encourage her soul in the message. She sometimes thought that the pastor used the Bible as a club and she was always getting beat on.

The Word of God can do a lot of things for our souls. We can walk away delighting in what we’ve heard…we may have had a tough week or a tough month or a tough year. And as the pastor walks through the gospel of Matthew, he exposites and it appeals to your heart.

[28] Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. [29] Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. [30] For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”
(Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)

And you are drawn to Jesus. And that’s cool.

The Word of God can also hit us like a 2X4 between the running lights. Maybe you’ve kinda wandered from the Lord and your disposition shows. You’re railing about this and beefing about that and you blabber to everyone in sight about what church world isn’t doing for you and who should be doing what and who isn’t. And the same pastor is wrapping up your study in Titus. And he brings this passage:

[10] As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, [11] knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned. (Titus 3:10-12 ESV)

And the sermon is like a rapid fire succession of body punches. It leaves you bloody and wounded and when you come to your senses, you run to the foot of the cross in repentance and belief.

You might be in the Word of God in the morning and it’s a new year and you have started reading Ephesians and you’re lingering over a long sentence from the first chapter. (And if I refer to Ephesians 1 a lot it’s because I’m gripped by it’s truth.)

[3] Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, [4] even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love [5] he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, (Ephesians 1:3-5 ESV)

And as your brain marinates in God’s truth, you are awed and stunned with His blessing and His gifts and His mercy and His care and His love.

We are not to let our feelings dictate our thinking…unless…unless our feelings are so grounded and fuelled by the Word of God.

It seems that this disgruntled church member had followed her feelings but had divorced them from the Word. And we do need to be careful and cautious about determining why we feel what we feel. It may be something as simple as a bad hair day (I never have any of those). It might be that you’re on the outs with a friend or a spouse or a child. The neighbour’s dog may have bit your butt before you got in the car for church. It might be the job or something in life or whatever…or it may be the Word that is fuelling what you feel.

I’ve mentioned before that Paul was so jazzed about the truth that he was recording in the first number of chapters in Romans…and by the time he wraps up the eleventh chapter he is face first on the floor in praise:

[33] Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
[34] “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?”
[35] “Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?”
[36] For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 11:33-36)

My encouragement to you and me, when we go to the Word, corporately or privately, is to pray that God would open our eyes that we can see the wonderful things in His law.

Sometimes that will delight you…sometimes it will convict you…sometimes it will cause you to deepen your hatred towards your sin…and other times it will have you delighting in the mercies of God. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

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