Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Do you remember the Model Prayer that Jesus taught
his disciples to pray? You know, “Our Father, who art in
Heaven…” Yeah, that one – starting in Matthew 6:9. What
about these lines: “… And lead us not into temptation, but
deliver us from evil…” Why are those included?
I think it has quite a lot to do with what Jesus has done
for us, and what He calls us to do. First of all, Jesus Christ
saved us from being devoured by sin, and delivered us from it.
Secondly, Jesus calls us to follow Him, away from it.
Think about it this way – you are in a tunnel. You see
sunlight at the end of a tunnel. The sunlight came to you
through the tunnel. You see that light, and with every step you
get closer, you feel its warmth. The tunnel is brighter around
Then, you stop and turn around. You can see the
direction you came from is illuminated, because of the light
coming from behind you. You can see the nasty crevices,
along with the allure of what you knew as your dwelling place.
It was your comfort zone. Even though there are some nasty
things about it, it doesn’t look so bad. You think, “I could go
back, and fix it, I would just need to do this and this…”
Then, you feel the warm sunshine on the back of your
neck. How it feels like warm water in the shower. The light
and the warmth of the sun are pouring over your back. You
sense you should turn around, and face the sunlight again.
You’re tempted to try and fix what you see, but called
to turn around. You are not forced, you are called. And every
part of your being knows that you should head for the sunlight.
The biggest lie so many follow is that we are capable
of saving ourselves. Remember that Jesus was the one
who brought light to your darkness in the first place.
He illuminates. He saves, and He leads.
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed-always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Look at just the boxed words. Think about the Ten
Commandments, and how a youth minister broke them
by ‘coveting his neighbor’s ox’ or ‘committing adultery.’ Now
look at the picture. You see now, how the Ten Commandments
were actually ‘broken?’ Not the same thing you originally
thought, is it?
It is so easy to take the words of scripture, line for line,
and leave behind the picture that God set them in. Without the
intention that is behind the words, the Good News is lost. Just
look at Matt. 5:30: “And if your right hand causes you to sin,
cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part
of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.” Jesus
is not preaching to amputate our hands when we sin - He wants
us to separate ourselves from the instrument that puts our sin
into action. If it is a bar (drunkenness), a computer (lust), a hair
salon (gossip), or even a tradition of being ‘right’ (pride), Jesus
wants us to ‘cut it out’ of ourselves.
Discipleship is not about living right by keeping to a
strict interpretation of the Bible, but by denying our selfishness
and self-righteousness. You’re not right – God is. It’s not how
you can make people see it your way, its about how you can
see it His way. Set aside what you know about the words in
the Bible, and seek out what is going on in the Bible where
those words are written. Jesus didn’t say go follow ‘righteous
people,’ He said “follow me.”(Lk. 9:23) and His way is mercy.