Sunday, June 17, 2012
(1 John 1:7 ESV)
Have you ever experienced this? You're in a small group after church, discussing application of the sermon. It was hard-hitting, and yet nobody is willing to admit that they're really struggling with sin. The air is light and fluffy, shallow almost, but there's an underlying tension of, "I'd be willing to share... but I'm scared."
But then someone, maybe the leader, or maybe just that shy girl who doesn't talk much, opens her mouth. She tentatively shares that she is really struggling, even has some big questions of how this relates to God's sovereignty. She wonders if she's really forgiven, since she keeps failing.
Immediately the air in the room changes! The tension is released and folks start to open up. They struggle too! The conversation buzzes, and different people around the circle begin to encourage one another, correct defeatist thinking, and share their own experiences. Grace is emphasized and the cross is exalted.
Praise God! Wouldn't it be great if this could characterize most of our small groups? Our one-on-ones? Our men's groups? Deep, vulnerable sharing, with the comforts of the gospel. But how can we enjoy this sweet fellowship?
Enjoying this honest grace-filled culture requires a "Vulnerable Lion", a bold forgiven sinner who is willing to be the first to admit, "I've got brokenness. I've got darkness. But I'm trusting in the cross of Christ. (And you can too)." How can you be a vulnerable lion? Perhaps 1 John 1:7 provides the answer, "But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin." That choice to enter the light, to be known, to be exposed is a BIG risk. But because of the gospel, we find two amazing comforts in the light: 1. Jesus' blood COVERS our sin, 2. We GAIN fellowship (not rejection). What glorious promises! And the reason why we, as sinners, are able to be vulnerable lions is because of Jesus. He is the ultimate Vulnerable Lion who had no darkness at all, yet exposed Himself to shame, disgrace, and rejection, so that guilty sinners might be cleansed by His blood and transformed to be vulnerable lions like Him.
Here's the challenge: Be a bold and vulnerable lion. Take that first step to admit your need for the Cross. And it will give LIFE to others.
Praying that you would walk in the light,
The Relentless Fight