Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Kingdom of God at Wal-Mart

In chapel today, Dr. Russell Moore brought a message that brought penitential tears to my eyes. This sermon greatly convicted me, and I'm thankful that the Word of God and the preaching of the Word is able to convict and reveal sinful attitudes in our life to make us more like Christ.

My prayer is that God will continue revealing some sinful attitudes of pride and other sins that are present in my life. I think that pride is one of the hardest sins to detect. It is a very subtle sin, and one that we can so easily mask in religious excuses and pious justifications.

May God continue conforming me to Christ's image. The longer I live the Christian life, the more I see my sin. Pray that I'll never grow comfortable with what I find. Pray that God will grant me the wisdom to see those hidden sins that are as yet beneath my view. I am thankful that, even when I cannot readily perceive it, God is making me more like His Son with each passing day.

It would be beneficial for your walk with Christ to download and listen to Dr. Moore's powerful exposition of James 2:1-9, "The Kingdom of God in the Wal-Mart Break Room: Poverty, Partiality, and the Perils of a Gentrified Christianity" (click here to download the MP3 of the sermon).

2 comments:

Angela said...

Kenny, you and I were BOTH greatly affect by the sermon. I think what we identified with the most was our family background/roots. I appreciated Dr. Moore's confessions of pride from his lofty PhD analysis of the ministry (and sermon) of his preacher-Grandfather. . . a man who, in humility and without seminary training, pounded the pavement, lived out his faith, shared the gospel--carried his cross down the narrow road. How often we find ourselves being described in the lyrics of theologian Ricky Skaggs who warned not to "get above your raisin'" when we should be solely identified with each stanza of "Faith of our Fathers." God forgive me for my own lofty pride. I want the faith of my Mamaw who is suffering with cancer. . . a simple, childlike faith in her Redeemer!! Her faith is not in device or creed--she trusts the Ever Living One whose wounds, for her, shall plead. Amen!

Kenny Wells said...

Angela,

I found it hard not to sob like a baby, and I kept wiping away the tears. Granted, I didn't get much sleep the night before, and I'm often more emotional after restless nights like those. However, it was more than a lack of sleep that brought about such emotion.

I really didn't feel like singing such a chipper rendition of "Are You Washed in the Blood" either. It seemed so out of place to me, at least because of what God had just done in my heart through bringing me to a place of repentance...I just wanted to sing, "Lord, have mercy on me" or "God, be merciful to me."

I wrote Dr. Moore a letter that day, just a half hour or so after I heard the sermon. I told him that as Dr. Moore was sharing about working with his "Paul" in the faith, Dr. Mohler, that I began wishing someday to be the Dean of Theology and thanking Dr. Moore for his kind words of introduction to me. And, while I would consider it an immense privilege to serve alongside Dr. Moore, I must admit that a lot of it is a pride issue. I'd love the office and the recognition and being well-respected. But, I don't have the intellect nor the leadership skills, and I wouldn't be worthy to have such a position.

I told him that I tend to try to get away from my past and my upbringing. I wasn't raised in the posh environment like some others. I just learned how to place silverware at the dinnertable a few years ago. And, it wasn't too long ago that I first had the experience of having someone place my napkin in my lap for me. That's just wasn't how I was raised, for sure.

I told Dr. Moore that I firmly believed that, "God will probably call me somewhere that I won't be in the spotlight, probably on the coast of Chile discipling a new convert or sharing the gospel with a Quichua Indian in the mountains of Peru. But, I think God is teaching me to be content with that, and I want to be used for His purposes in the manner in which He intends."

Anyhow, the taste of humble pie still lingers, and I'm thankful that God crammed that truth down my throat...I needed it!