Christ Alone

“This Jesus is ‘the stone that was rejected by’ you, ‘the builders, that has become the cornerstone.’  And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among people by which we must be saved.”  Acts 4:11 (NET)

I am not a yogi.  But I do practice yoga.  Once a week, on average.  Yoga is great for my body, but it also teaches my mind and my spirit things.  One of the things it is teaching me is to let go of self.  Because sometimes I make mistakes in my yoga practice.  Sometimes I have an off-day, for example, and I have trouble finding my focus and my balancing series suffers.  On those days, I have a choice:  to get frustrated and upset with myself or to let it go.  To accept my frailty and imperfection, learn from it, and let it go.  Or to beat myself up and continue in the falsity that I can do all of it right.  Because I cannot focus on this posture if I’m still beating myself up over the last one.

And so it is with the rest of life.  I make mistakes.  Sometimes big ones.  I make mistakes and I fall down and I sin.  At that point, I have a choice:  to beat myself up because I am “better” than that (Ha!) … or to accept my fallenness, turn to the love and grace of Jesus, let it wash me clean, and move on.  You see, even self-flagellation about mistakes and sins and missteps is an exercise of self.  Yoga reminds me  to see my mistakes — to accept them and learn from them — to bury them in Jesus’ wounds — and to move on with deep, deep gratitude.  Deep, deep gratitude, profound humility, and exorbitant praise.

You see, the God of the cross is not a God who then demands perfection.  He knows me better than that.  He is a God who loves me, who knows all about me, who knows my story, and loves me anyway.  He loves me enough to provide me with a  way out of my mess.  He loves me enough to give me Jesus.  And Jesus gives me the chance not to rely on myself, but to rely on Him.

And so, as I rely on Jesus — on Christ alone — I am choosing to let it go.  Not to reside in the past, but to pursue God and focus on Him more and more in each present moment.


“And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do ….”  Hebrews 10:35a (NLT)

Once a week, I attend a Bikram yoga class — you know, the hot one where you sweat a lot.  A LOT.  Other good things happen there too, like stretching and balance work, lots of focus and concentration.  It’s been a really good practice for me, and once a week has been a good rhythm for me.  Each time I go, I focus on God (the place where I attend seems to have divorced the practice from its eastern spiritual roots), I work hard, and I sweat a lot.  And when I leave (after a shower, of course), I feel renewed — purged of toxins and old junk and refilled and with fresh cleanness.  It’s like my system has been flushed, and I’m ready for a restart.

It’s just like what the writer of Hebrews meant in his encouragement not to “neglect our meeting together.”  Something powerful happens when the church gathers, and it’s something we need to do an a regular basis.  I believe the gathering of God’s people is like a flushing.  It helps us get rid of our toxins and fills us with the power and encouragement to live renewed lives.  Acts 2:42 states that when the early church gathered, they “devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, sharing in the Lord’s Supper and prayer.”  They confessed their sins to one another and partook of the communion elements.  They got out of their daily life routines, and met to encourage each other with Scripture and prayer.  Out with the things of the world; in with the things of God.  In a word, they flushed. They flushed regularly.

So let us not neglect our meeting together.  Whether it’s a big church, small church or house gathering of faithful followers of Christ, let’s not neglect the meeting together.  We need each other, and we all need a regular flushing!