Thursday, June 11, 2015

No Cuts, No Buts, No Coconuts

I like to listen to sermons while I exercise.

Before anyone goes thinking that this post is going to be about how I'm all holier than thou and what-not, just hear me out because I promise you there is a point that is the exact opposite of all of that.

So, picture with me a packed gym full of sweaty people on treadmills, lifting weights, reading magazines on the elliptical and the whole deal. When I started my workout, I was already halfway through one sermon, so once that one was done I clicked to go right on to the next one.

Ninety pounds on the inclined leg press, my knees bent and pushing up...down...up...down. And then all of a sudden the pastor in my ear buds introduces the title of today's message - No Cuts, No Buts, No Coconuts.

I burst out laughing, my knees buckled, dropped all the weight so it slammed down on the machine, and got a whole bunch of weird looks from the people around me.

That awkward moment when you realize you're listening to a sermon about circumcision in the middle of the gym.

But friends, this message from Pastor Levi Lusko at Fresh Life Church in Kalispell, is ON POINT.

In his message on Galatians 5, Lusko says, "Circumcision is alive and well today. In that, we in the year 2015, in our Christian expression in this cultural context, we still very much have ways that we get pushed away from focusing on the Savior to a system. Away from the relationship to rules, regulations, rituals, fine print, hidden clauses, things you gotta do, monthly payment plans to fulfill what was began at the Cross. Only now, it's not "Have you been circumcised yet?" but now it's "Oh, wow. You listen to secular music? Oh, that's cool. I just listen to Third Day and Mercy Me. I love Jesus.""

He continues on about how all these things we add to our Christian resume are ways we polish our halos and add another merit badge to our collection. Lusko is quick to point out that the works that we do in this life - serving, giving, donating our time and resources, adoption and all kinds of other things that we "do" - must always be done out of love and NEVER as a way to make God be pleased with us because nothing we do will ever cause God to love us any more or less than he does right now because when we are in Christ, He looks upon us and sees his perfect Son, regardless of whether we are in a season where we are struggling or "killing it."

Hearing this message coming into my ears after a day when our church was attacked by someone posting a YouTube video that slammed our church for playing secular music during a recent high school event....well, it's hard not to see that as more than a coincidence.

If you have a spare 45 minutes, whether you are out for a run or driving in your car or just escaping for a bit while the kids finally take a nap, I really encourage you to watch this sermon.

I challenge you to find another message where someone speaks such real truth about the gospel and grace that also incorporates circumcision, drugs, grass-fed butter and Lil Wayne. 

Grace is like drugs. Because the power comes from the purity.

Once you do anything to make yourself feel "a cut above," you cut yourself off from the power of Christ.  - Levi Lusko

Not joking. This dude can PREACH. Trust me, watch it.

I am so guilty of being the person to say, "Thanks for grace, Jesus, but I'll take it from here." May we always be about Jesus and always about His grace and not about trying to add anything to what is already His perfect plan.

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