This week at ManSchool, we will dive into Wholeness. We will not meet next Wednesday (the day before Thanksgiving). We will resume on December 4th, 11th and 18th and then break until sometime in January. I don’t think we’ll finish Uprising and so we’ll spend a few weeks on it early in the Winter and then transition to our Spring study. We want to have a ManSchool testimony sometime after Uprising and before we start the new study. We envision at least two men speaking for a few minutes about ManSchool and what it has meant to them. We would also like all the men who are in ManSchool to be there on stage standing as a group as our brothers share their testimony. Unity. humility & Gratitude. Be praying about this.
So onto Wholeness and I came across an old journal of mine and found this on Hope which is a huge part of wholeness from John Piper…
Romans 8:19-22 – “Creation groans to be set free from its bondage and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.”
It isn’t going to be “better” in this life…
- The whole creation groans – creation is in slavery to bondage. No place on earth escapes it.
- It is futile to try – creation is subjected to futility (8:20) but we will be set free (8:21).
- God judicially sentenced the world to this suffering for man’s sin. Adam & Eve did it their way “we’re going to eat what we want and do what we want and you can just get out of here with all your rules.” We do the same thing only we’re more sophisticated and subtle. This world seethes with rebellion in a nice, clean, suburban form. So it is not an overreaction for God to say in effect, “This world is going to stay this way until my Son comes. You’ll experience pain, suffering, bondage because that is how serious sin is.”
But there are also some promises…
- After this – we will see this pain end. Glory will be revealed to us and in us. Why does man desire greatness? Canyons, mountains, The Lord of the Rings? Something in man wants greatness. That’s God. We long to be near greatness – that’s the image of God in us. John 17 Jesus said, “I want them to see my glory.” He so love me that He wants me to experience glory!
- We’re going to be revealed – “Anxious longing of creation that waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19) We will be titans! Matthew 13 – “The righteous will shine like the sun in the presence of the Father“.
- We’re here in hope – there is a futility of home (8:20) when life, after all, seems futile. But remember, we are here in hope. Redeemed Christ became a curse for us. My death and suffering are no longer God punishing me. As a believer, God is for me. He has no wrath for me. He’s just purifying me. Death, which was originally a curse, now has no sting. It is a doorway.
- All creation will be freed – and brought into His glory (8:21). Creation was made for me. There will be a new me, a new body, new senses, new pleasures as God reveals a new creation.
We should take this and be so Heavenly minded so as to be radical in our pursuit of God because we have nothing to lose. The people who are “no good” are those that have it all now – a fully funded retirement, plasma TVs, iPads, new cars, all the luxuries, fame, fortune, acclaim of others — these are idols to make Heaven come now because they don’t believe it is out there in eternity.
If you’re really sold on this, you will become so humble, you’ll go into the hard places, the hard relationships, for healing, redemption and service because you have an inheritance coming.
The miseries of this life are not death throes but rather, birth pains. 8:22 – “a new Heaven, new earth” – all pain is a birth pain. I’m not going to death, I’m going to life. Whatever I know of suffering, I know this, Christ felt all I feel times 10. Humiliation, pain, loneliness… And so I know with full confidence, when God undertakes to do great things in me, He will first break me to humility to prepare me.
Let us rejoice in these promises – they are a critical part of wholeness. Let us LiveUP!