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Showing posts from March, 2014

Lord, please don't humble me

“Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:4, ESV)

It's funny, sometimes we do such soul searching for the mysterious path to growing in Christ. We agonize over life decisions and reading plans, hoping that we will stumble on that one thing with which we can please the Lord and find new growth.

And as we agonize, we overlook some of the things that the Lord made so obvious to us. In this passage, Jesus, with no mixing of words, tells us that the path to greatness is found in humility.

Humble yourself.

I'm reminded of that (unrelenting) Meatloaf song that goes, "I would do anything for love, but I won't do that..." I would translate that sentiment here as, "I would do anything for my Savior, just so long as it doesn't involve humility."

Personally, I want to pursue greatness in the kingdom through means that still carry some prestige, some special dignity. I tell myself that there are many ingred…

The call to radical forgiveness

““If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother.” (Matthew 18:15, ESV)

  “And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?’” (Matthew 18:33, ESV)

I can't help but notice how differently Christ views forgiveness than I do.

I am more likely to view forgiveness as the painful and humbling process that the transgressor must facilitate. They have done the harm, now they must do the work to bring healing and reconciliation.

Jesus sees it another way.

Jesus describes something so gracious that it's practically upsetting. He places the responsibility on the one sinned against to facilitate the process of forgiveness. In other words, if you've been sinned against, Jesus doesn't give you the luxury of waiting on the moral high ground for that wretched sinner to come groveling back. He tells us to go to our brother or sister and seek to make things right.

I…

Faith through trials

“As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is about to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him, and he will be raised on the third day.” And they were greatly distressed.” (Matthew 17:22–23, ESV)

Hearing of Jesus' ordeal to come, the disciples were "greatly distressed." Though Jesus meant to prepare them and even build their faith by telling them ahead of time (e.g. John 14:29), they were still shaken.

The depth of the sorrow to come overwhelmed them and they missed something they should have had.

When Jesus promised the disciples that affliction was coming, he wasn't doing so passively. He wasn't a mere spectator suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune. His suffering was actually just another event under his sovereign control. His promise of trials to come were, at their root, another reminder that he was in control. Only the almighty can promise and truly guarantee the result.

Many Christians are suf…

The Gospel's deafening silence

And Isaac said to his father Abraham, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.”  (Genesis 22:7, ESV)

I'm not sure there's a story in the Old Testament that contains as much Gospel as this. A loving father is called to sacrifice his beloved son. The son, innocent and pure, submits to the sacrifice of his own life.

We could talk about the whole story, but let's spend today on a single moment. In curiosity over what will serve as the burnt offering, Isaac calls out to Abraham: "My father!"

As you'd expect in day-to-day life, Abraham hears him and responds: "Here I am, my son." Such a small moment. A son calls out to his loving father and the father responds.

Now consider Calvary. Consider Jesus, the firstborn of all creation, nailed to a cross. Bleeding from his beatings, exhausted, struggling to breathe. And with his last gasping breaths he cried out to his heavenly Father from the depths of his soul: "My God! My God! Why have you forsaken m…

Would God unfollow you?

“Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2, ESV)

Facebook. Twitter. Blogs (I hate blogs!). Etc.

Enough said.