Pastor Tullian Tchividjian shared the following thoughts about his “It Is Finished” daily devotional in the Winter issue of Resourceful Magazine, published by David C Cook.
“I have become increasingly convinced that for the most part—and I don’t think this is intentional—the brand of Christianity that most people have adopted if they grew up going to church has been a “Just do it” form of Christianity rather than an “It is finished” form of Christianity. It’s not that what we do is unimportant, but what we do is infinitely less important than what Jesus has done for us. So the flavor of my writing, my preaching, and just about everything I say has this “It is finished-ness” about it…
The goal of the devotional book is for people—either in the morning or at night or anytime during the day—to get a word of good news. Our performance-based habits don’t die easily, but little by little, day by day, God meets our mess with His mercy, our guilt with His grace, our desperation with His deliverance.
One of the ways we could define discipleship is the painful process of blessed self-forgetfulness. There is a tremendous amount of spiritual narcissism inside the church today, where we’re obsessing over how we’re doing, if we’re doing it right, what we’re doing wrong, how do we fix ourselves, how do we fix other people. That’s not a biblical definition of discipleship. I love the way Eugene Peterson says it: “Discipleship is a process of paying more and more attention to God’s righteousness and less and less attention to our own.”
We can become, if we’re not careful, very much like the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, where we start adding law on top of law on top of law, with man-made traditions—and then we attach a word like discipleship to t. It’s instinctive for us to think very conditionally. So on the days when I wake up and read three chapters of the Bible and journal two page and pray for thirty minutes, I’m tempted to think God is happier with me than when I read three verses in the Bible, and I don’ journal at all, and I pray while I’m in the shower. Not true. We have to be careful even as we talk about things like spiritual disciplines and the practice of discipleship.
My friends, hear the good news: The gospel tells us, “It is finished.” We are loved unconditionally. We can take off our masks and be real.”
Thanks Pastor Tullian, indeed the problem is not making or NOT making the NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS, but the motive behind them, we think life is not under our control simply because we aren’t doing enough.
The gospel on the other hand announces the good news about God, who through Jesus Christ accomplished enough for us to experience life to its fullness, not by doing but by trusting. We are busy working for what we already have. The acceptance, joy, security, significance and value that is already ours in the gospel, is infinitely greater than all our best efforts put together! HALLELUJAH! IT IS FINISHED.