Pristine Grace

Hold Loosely to This World
by James H. Tippins
Hold Loosely to This World

    Through the years our family has traveled the country together in ministry. We've pastored congregations in several states and driven across this country from the Bay to the Coast nine times in a van. During those trips (often with an extra stowaway) we've seen a lot of things. Some interesting, some horrifying, but just the same, we have all witnessed together, many experiences that we will never forget. 

    On a particular trip, we passed an accident along a route in Nevada where a camper had collided with a truck. The accident strung along for over two hundred yards and as we passed, Robyn, I and the kids all witnessed the remains of eight people on the side of the road. It was horrifying and a sober reminder of the fleeting fragility of life.

    Once we got further down the road questions began to arise. "Dad, how did that happen? Who's fault was it? Why can't people just drive like they should? Did you see the axle? Did you see the truck? Did you see the animals?" It was a surreal moment. As the trip progressed and we later discussed it, more and more details arose and more and more emotions ensued. One of our children was so broken while another was angry. Yet another had no real thoughts at all. Another trip we escaped an active tornado that ripped through a truck stop a mile ahead of us by jumping the ditch and driving 100MPH to the last town where we stayed the night in the van outside a local hospital. As the sun rose, the deadly storm's footprint took shape. 

    We grabbed breakfast at a local Waffle House and watched as people drove into town, their vehicles covered in debris, some with broken glass asking for help to locate their loved ones who were lost during the storm. It too was a grave moment of emotional turmoil. Again, our family all experienced different things and we carried on.

    This pandemic has the same feel to me. All those I love, far and wide, have a wide range of emotions. Some people are seeing things that I haven't seen. While some people are focused on economic issues, others have focused on the pain and suffering of human beings. For me, it is the long-felt strong arm of a degrading culture and a church that has sat so long in the ditches of heresy that there is little truth left.

    Either way, we who are in Christ are to bear with one another and in ALL things we are not to look to get our own way. That includes opinions and persuasions. Take this time to see your neighbor's point of view and take MORE time to swallow it and keep quiet. We have more to do right now beloved than to relegate our experiences as the better or more valid one. There is one thing that is true though, well several things: God has established the USA in order to destroy her. God has established every government leader in order to prove His justice is true when He brings recompense against the nations. God's word says that the Law of Christ is to love and lay down our lives for BOTH our siblings in Christ and our enemies. 

    Hold loosely to this world because it's all a big pile of dung waiting to be scooped off the sidewalk. Hold tightly to the Lord Jesus Christ who carries us through it all and love your neighbor. Preach the ONLY true gospel of free and sovereign grace, and give up on anything that takes your mind off of said gospel.  I'll provide a dare in this case, that someone will, against the gospel, try to refute this very post.

Ephesians 3:14-21

[14] For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, [15] from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, [16] that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, [17] so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, [18] may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, [19] and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

[20] Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, [21] to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.