Mid-Week Musings from Lead Pastor Todd Malone
When someone points out that I have an area of sin in my life, it is rarely stated that directly. No one actually says to me, “You’re sinning,” even if it is obviously true. But I still recoil, even if it is an accurate message lovingly delivered. It is not a revelation to me for someone to point out that I am a sinner – I know it’s true. I just don’t want you to know it (or at least acknowledge it).
My unspoken fear is that even loving, non-self-righteous acknowledgement of my sin means that you reject me or think less of me. That is why a passage like Romans 1:17-32 is important to the church. Paul evens the playing field. To say that I am a sinner is only to say what is true about everyone. It is possible for someone to say that I am a sinner, love me unconditionally, delight to be with me, look forward to hearing from me, and not wince when I come around. That is how God looks at me. It is how I ought to look at the sinners around me. It is how I should accept it when others lovingly try to help me address sin in my life.
How to pray for FBC
I heard from many people that Sunday’s time of silent confession was very powerful. That was a part of church services for centuries. It has fallen out of favor over the past 40 years because it is not considered “seeker sensitive” to talk about sin. The unintended consequence was a generation of Christians that do not realize the depth of their sin and the life-changing power of the gospel. Pray that we will be a church that does the hard soul-work of wrestling with the sin that runs so deeply in each of us.
How to pray for our Community
I read an article recently about how much the world outside the church craves confession. They feel guilt but do not know what to do with it. The article pointed out how often the theme of confession to relieve guilt has appeared in movies and TV shows over the past decade. Churches, the author argued, must be places where the community can confess honestly and find grace. Pray that the Holy Spirit stirs people in East Texas to seek relief from their guilt and sin. Pray that the churches are prepared to reach them.
How to pray for our World
I want to keep praying about the coronavirus (now named Covid-19), especially as it seems to pick up momentum. Pray that the virus is stopped. Pray for healing for those who have been infected. Pray for the ministries in Wuhan, which usually must work in secret because of the government, will see God do miracles and bring people to Him.