Archive for April, 2016

two

April 27th, 2016

For some reason, this little teaching of ChiChristom the Sermon on the Mount came to my mind.  I was thinking it seems that we don’t talk about this concept very much anymore?

 

41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.  Matthew 5:41

 

 

Samson

April 25th, 2016

I spent a lot of time this weekend studying the quizzical story of Samson.  It’s a puzzler that is full of violence, deceit, and bad relationships.  It’s one of those stories that when you are done reading it, you have to wonder how this man could have been a man of God.

But then you realize that he’s a redeemer for an  oppressed people.  Although he has some serious flaws, he was used by God has a vehicle towards a people that were worshipping other gods and oppressing His people.  With that bit of knowledge, it helps explain why he’s in faith chapter in Hebrews 11.

With our post-modern sensibilities, this is still a complicated story.  I do like however, the example of how vengeance is really in God’s hands, and not in ours, just like the Romans writer tells us.  Our job is to treat our enemy with respect and love.  God will take care of the rest, which he does.

18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Romans 12:18-20 (NIV)

 

 

Worship

April 22nd, 2016

The other thought that has been bumping around in my brain is ‘are we worshipping worship more than God’. I am not sure exactly where I read this, but it’s just a condemning and mind provoking thought.

As you head to your church to worship God this weekend, give this some thought. Are we more in love with the ceremony and process and methods than the outcome?

Psalms 29:2 Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
Psalms 95:6 Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
Psalms 99:5 Exalt the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!

Psalms 100:4 Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!

Laws and Liberty

April 20th, 2016

My heart and head have been over in a different space, studying and thinking and I haven’t had great thoughts nor have I allowed much time to share with all of you.

But I have been thinking about two little sentences this week.  One is from Martin Luther when he was writing about the liberty we have in Christ discussed in Galatians 5.

The Law is not given for the righteous man. A true Christian conducts himself in such a way that he does not need any law to warn or to restrain him. He obeys the Law without compulsion. The Law does not concern him. As far as he is concerned there would not have to be any Law. – Martin Luther

That’s a pretty interesting thought. If we live the life that Christ asks (not tells) us to, then we really would not be concerned with any law. ( and that makes the parking ticket I received on Sunday for ‘wrong direction’ even more frustrating!)

 

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23 NIV

Because of

April 11th, 2016

Yesterday I was reminded on one of my favorite verses. One that encourages us to action and to doing something with the gift of salvation we have been given. It’s Romans 12 that starts out ‘In light of his mercy’

I tell the teenagers I teach all the time that they can’t save themselves. No matter what they do, they can’t do more than what Christ already did for them.  However, there’s still an expectation of behavior and action.  That action is not a not an ‘in order to’ proactive action, but a ‘because of’ reactive action.  One that prompts us to realize that with what we have been given, why would we not give it all back?

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)