Legacy Church Blog

Filter By:

Naked and Exposed

main image

During our evening meal the other day, my son, Charles Isaac said to me, "I can't imagine you having hair on your head!"  

I have no idea why we were discussing my baldness, but we were. This made me realize that "bald dad" is the only dad that he has ever known. He doesn't know anything about the glory days of my follicles. It is true, I have not always been a bald man. I once had long, majestic, flowing beautiful hair that I shampooed, conditioned, and brushed with loving care. Nowadays, I just rub a bar of cheap soap on my head, and shave the rebel stragglers who do not realize that they lost the war. The Fabio look is just not in the cards for me at this age of my life. I probably more closely resemble John Malkovich. 


Being bald has its unique challenges. When I go to a store with my wife, I always gravitate to the hat section. My head needs to be protected from the elements. In the winter, a hat or toboggan is not a fashion statement, it is a basic survival tool. In the summer, I cover my head with a straw hat to protect it from the sun, yet give it access to the cool breeze. Sometimes, I resort to slathering it with sunscreen to guard against damaging ultraviolet rays. 


We all attempt to protect and cover ourselves in a different way. The writer of Hebrews said "...all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do." 


When Adam and Eve sinned, they hid behind the trees of the garden. God already knew that they were naked, and that they disobeyed Him. The trees were not accomplishing the goal that Adam had in mind. We are already naked and open to God, but God wants us to realize this, and come out into the open. He wants us to stop standing behind the trees that he made and be honest with him about our hearts. Just as He did to Adam and Eve, He now asks the same questions of us: "What have you done? Where are you?" 


Where are you? Where is your heart? When God asks us, we do that same thing our ancestors did. We hide behind the things that He created. 


God knows this about us and provided an answer. He incarnated His perfect Son, Jesus to die in our place. That's the good news. If you have heard this before, don't tune out on me now. Listen. 


Why is it good news? Because once we see that the cross has already exposed us for who we are, we can stop hiding. God knows that we have all sinned. Not only that, all other people, whether they be Christians or not, know that we all have sinned. Just ask them. Oh, they may use different verbiage. They may say: "Nobody's perfect. We all make mistakes". That's just another way of saying, "I acknowledge that we all fall short of God's glory". 


So how does this pertain to your day to day life?   


If you didn't fall short, it wouldn't make sense for God to send His flawless Son to die in your place. It's not a secret. You sin. You have sinned in the past. You sin now. You will sin until the day that you die. So why hide? The good news gives us freedom to come out from behind the trees & confess to God. When we do that, God continues to cover us with something that works - the gospel. It also gives us freedom to be honest with those that we are in community with, with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Our brothers and sisters can pray for us, encourage us and help us because they realize they are right there with you - saved by grace. We are saved from the embarrassing attempt to cover up the truth with our pitiful, anemic lies.  


My son doesn't know everything about me, even though He has known me all of his life. The problem is, he hasn't known me for all of my life. God, on the other hand, has always known us. Before we were conceived in the womb, He knew everything. Before anything in creation was created by Him, He knew it all. He foresaw our lives, and He knew that we would sin. He knows how many hairs are on your head. If you counted one star in our universe every second, it would take you 12,500 years to count them all. He knows how many stars there are, and He knows everything about them, things that mankind will never know. 


So be honest with the Lord when you pray. As you do, His grace will become bigger in your eyes, and His power will slowly, over time, help you to sin less. Be honest with the Christian friends that you trust. They may not handle it perfectly, but if they are true, they will falteringly and humbly try to lead you again and again to this amazing grace that we share. 

Community is a work of art, not accident.

main image

I learned this the hard way. I will never forget the day I walked into my first art class in college. I was confident. I had always been the kid who could draw. Grandmas, aunts, boyhood friends, and my mom’s refrigerator bore witness to that fact. I had a talent. And, now I would finally get the affirmation of a degree, proving it. It would simply be a formality. My art instructors would all nod in agreement while stroking the beards on their eccentric chins. I would get the stamp of approval and be sent out into the world to officially be, what I was already pretty sure I was, a talented artist. Uhh…then I met my teacher.

He was a thin man, wearing overalls and, if memory serves me, a tie-dye shirt of some sort. He was either barefoot or was wearing sandals. I can’t remember which; I just think I remember seeing toes. He was sipping coffee from a ceramic mug that was made to look like a cowboy boot. He had longish hair- the kind that 90’s grunge singers wore. He was mustachioed and bearded before this was ever popular, and this facial hair was, sculpted, curly, and waxy. He didn’t smile much, and if he ever did, he seemed to fight it, which resulted in a curious sort of half smile. I discovered quickly that he and I had different goals for the class, and I’m thinking this was true of some of my beloved classmates as well.

My new eccentric art instructor informed the class straight away that the class would not be easy. I can’t remember how it was communicated, whether by words or some other means, but I was getting the idea that he did not consider us to be artists yet. He had a smug and irreverent attitude toward our grandmas’ and aunties’ assessments of our talents. He would not recognize them. No, we would be proven by hard work and seemingly unreachable expectations. He did not assume that anyone would make it through the class with a passing grade, nor did he assume the opposite. Though there were a variety of skill levels, experience, and talent in the room, he quickly managed to convince us we were all overrated. In one session, he had, well, humbled us. We had nowhere to go but up. To my surprise it was very liberating! I was now free to learn from the kid who had less game than I did and visa versa. We would have to band together, working as one, pressing on to the lofty goal- a passing grade.

My instructor would have been a great Church community leader. Think about it. He refused to allow us to continue our childish desire for cheap affirmation. Haven’t we seen this in our Christian community? Don’t we strut into our community groups holding up our strengths and gifts, waving them around, in hopes we will be valued for them? Or maybe we are the ones, who hope we are not noticed, because then something might be expected of us, and we will be drawn out of our comfortable walls of protection. Then, if we are not affirmed, or we are called out, we leave. That’s because we think community is an accident. In other words, we don’t see God orchestrating it. We just think it’s convenient, every now and then, to bump into other Christians, but we’re pretty sure we’ve got this. Yes, we drag that baggage right in through the doors of our community groups. But, good news! Jesus leveled the playing field for us.

He has shown us how pitiful our attempts are at the art of this life. Jesus has pointed to the fact that He did it all perfectly in His work, into which, He poured His sweat, blood, and tears. And, now we can actually delight God! We can delight in God. We can! We can by the Spirit of the greatest artist that ever lived, who now lives and moves through us. Oh, and Jesus didn’t die for a bunch of isolated loners who happen into the same “classroom” randomly. He did it for his church. He threw Himself into the messy creative process of redeeming his people. Then he rendered the portrait of His bride, like a painting on a canvas. His grace became the vehicle carrying the paint of our lives toward the beauty he envisioned. We are now transformed a little each day from rawness to refined character. No, it was no accident; it was and is His work in progress. And, some day we will enjoy the finished masterpiece in the presence of the artist Himself. -Kevin

Posted by Kevin Gentry with

12...26272829303132333435 ... 4142