Letters to the Family of God

by Joe Franzone | March 7, 2024 | Pastor's Blog

Family of God - Website (600 × 282 px)

March 7, 2024


Test me, Lord, and try me,
examine my heart and my mind;
for I have always been mindful of your unfailing love,
and have lived in reliance on your faithfulness.


Psalm 26:2-3

Dear friends.


In his commentary on Acts, Calvin wrote that ambition is the mother of all heresies. His point was that at the root of all heresies is the human desire to be godly, perfected, or without fault, apart from the goodness and grace of God revealed in the finished work of Christ on the cross. In that sense, ambition is our drive to be acceptable to God without depending on God's grace in Christ for our acceptance.


By nature, human beings want to be godly, perfected, or without fault through their works. We, therefore, have to deal with the tendencies toward pride, lust, hate, jealousy, and envy. David seems to be projecting healthy suspicion of himself by asking God to test him.


Since it is personal and private, David can confess it can be easy to wander off the path of seeking vindication and assurance not based on God's redeeming love but through our moral efforts. This is why, I think, David asked God to test him. God, have I honestly relied on your faithfulness? That is your covenant promise to me.


Special The Right Way


I think it's fair to say that we all want to be special. And Christians are special in the eyes of God because of Jesus Christ. Therefore, there should be a sense of contentment in all the Gospel has provided for all of us. But when we are not content being like everyone else, that is when we can wander off the path without even really realizing it.


Paul writes in Romans 12:10 to honor one another above ourselves. In some way, Paul acknowledges that the human ego always wants to be the center of attention; this is how our flesh works. Yes, we can do it, watch us. Yes, we are very smart people. Yes, we are a cut above the rest. Like a kitten adorning itself, we want to make ourselves look good when we don't need to. And we can't do enough to protect ourselves from this unhelpful behavior.


Some human vices are easily perceived, but this one sneaks up on us. It disguises itself as honoring God and doing what His word tells us. However, selfish ambition lies hidden like a secret rebel ready to break out. You see this in the religious opponents of Jesus. You see it in those in the book of Colossians who were harassing the church and trying to demote the power of the Gospel. We see it whenever our Christian life makes us feel that we are better than someone else.


Special His Way


We are all special because of what the death of Christ and His mighty resurrection from the dead accomplished. God's intent is clear. He wants us all to humble ourselves and find comfort in His mercy and grace alone.


As far as Christians are concerned, no one is better or holier than the next person. Thankfully, God keeps protecting us from thinking these silly thoughts, but if He were ever to stop, we would fall.


Therefore, the Psalm teaches us to humble ourselves in God's presence and continually pray for His guidance, asking Him to examine our inner person. There is nothing to fear in His exam. God is our loving, gracious Father, faithful to His covenant with us.



God bless you and help you in all things.


With all my love in the Lord Jesus Christ,

Pastor Joe