Tuesday
Mar252014

You are working AGAINST Jesus

Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him here to me. (Matthew 17:17)

One of the characteristics people often ascribe to Jesus is "nice." We think of him as a "nice" man. But his response in this situation doesn't seem to be particularly "nice." It's straightforward, to the point, even brutally honest. But nice? Probably not the best word to describe him here.

His words were not directed at his enemies; these were spoken to his followers and his friends.

"faithless": unfaithful, unbelieving, not to be trusted, These were the guys who had left houses and land, family and friends, businesses and beds to follow Jesus. What do they get for their trouble? Jesus calls them "faithless." Ouch.

"perverse": distorted, turned aside, plotting against the saving purposes and plans of God. Jesus doesn't write them a thank you note. They've just failed a test, been unable to cast a demon out of a young boy. Jesus doesn't say, "Well, you gave it a good effort," or "Thanks for trying," or even "you'll get it next time." No. He calls them "perverse." Fail.

I wonder...What would Jesus say to you and me today? Honestly, I'm more than a little afraid to hear his message. What is our following him like? Are wefaithless? Can we be trusted with his broken, hurting world and falling-apart-people?

What would Jesus say to you and me today? Are we on the straight and narrow, following him closely or are we working against the saving purposes and plans of God? Are our lives straight and narrow or perverse.

I have to say, looking at this test, I am need of serious help. How 'bout you?

Lord have mercy. Christ have mercy...on me.

Grace & peace

Thursday
Mar202014

Lenten Gardening

A Facebook post.

A text.

A facial expression.

A purchase online or in a brick and mortar store.

Anything that comes out of our mouth. Anything that goes into our eyes and ears.

Each of our thoughts, our words, or our actions contains within it the potential for good or evil, creating peace or disrupting the balance of the created world and those who are in it. Helping others out or keeping us from helping them and worse, maybe even hurting them.

Maybe too small to notice but this is what life is made up of for most of us.

Doing something that needs to be done...or putting it off.

Speaking a difficult word or remaining silent.

Speaking a word out of anger or hurt...or patiently waiting to bring that emotion under control.

Letting a poisonous thought fester or vigilantly removing it so the garden of our mind stays useful, clean, healthy.

The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers... (Matthew 13:31 NASB)

We don't like to think of ourselves as "evil" do we? I don't. But if we will submit our deeds, words, and thoughts to the Son of Man, his Spirit will be faithful to meet us, show us, refine us, and separate out from within us all that is a "cause of sin”.

May we take time to sit silently, obediently, humbly today before Him.

Grace & peace

Tuesday
Mar182014

Miracles that Don't Lead to Change

Then he began to denounce the cities in which most of His miracles were done, because they did not repent. (Matthew 11;20 NASB)

We want Jesus' miracles. But we don't want to be mastered by him.

We would like the things he does that cause the "ooh's" and "ahh's". But we don't always like the obedience to which he calls us.

Jesus is dumbfounded by this ability to NOT be moved.

He says "if the miracles had occurred in" the pagan cities of "Tyre and Sidon...they would have repented long ago…"

I wonder…

If he looked at our lives, would he see people who are living lives of repentance?

Do the miracles and gifts that have been done to us and for us lead to change?

Grace & peace

Thursday
Mar062014

Good Decisions for Parents, Owners, & Teachers

"Bind them upon your heart always; tie them around your neck." (Proverbs 6:21 NASB)

Good parents want to put their children in position to make good decisions. But the parents don't want to MAKE the decisions for their kids, much as they THINK they do. They know the day comes when the children are grown and gone and all you can do is hope that all those hours and words and examples have TRAINED them to do right on their own.

Good employers want to put their employees in position to make good decisions. The business can't grow if the boss is having to make ALL decisions and be everywhere ALL of the time. The owner needs people who have been given resources to make good decision on THEIR OWN.

Good teachers want to put their students in position to make good decisions. They know that for a time, the student can mimic their work, their thought process. But if REAL learning has taken place, the student has to OWN the good patterns.

God is the Top Teacher, the Original Owner, and the Primary Parent. And God wants YOU to be able to make good decisions. So God has given you gifts.

God has given you the gift of LIFE. You wouldn't BE here if he hadn’t.

God has given you the gift of GRACE. His son has paid the price to bring us back into the family.

God has given you the gift of the SPIRIT. The Power and Resource to experience and share God's blessings.

God has given you the gift of TEACHING and COMMANDMENTS. They may seem like JUST rules but they are the way to abundant, overflowing life and joy unspeakable.

THAT is why God has instructed us to bind them upon your heart. They can help shape our purpose and our intent, our passions and our desires.

THAT is why God has instructed us to tie them around your neck. It is only as we continue to meditate upon them and think on these things that they will really begin to form us.

May YOU find opportunities to push away from the computer, spend some time in silence, and let the commandments and teachings sink deep, deep, deep down into your life today.

Grace & Peace

Thursday
Mar062014

Good Decisions for Parents, Owners, & Teachers

"Bind them upon your heart always; tie them around your neck." (Proverbs 6:21 NASB)

Good parents want to put their children in position to make good decisions. But the parents don't want to MAKE the decisions for their kids, much as they THINK they do. They know the day comes when the children are grown and gone and all you can do is hope that all those hours and words and examples have TRAINED them to do right on their own.

Good employers want to put their employees in position to make good decisions. The business can't grow if the boss is having to make ALL decisions and be everywhere ALL of the time. The owner needs people who have been given resources to make good decision on THEIR OWN.

Good teachers want to put their students in position to make good decisions. They know that for a time, the student can mimic their work, their thought process. But if REAL learning has taken place, the student has to OWN the good patterns.

God is the Top Teacher, the Original Owner, and the Primary Parent. And God wants YOU to be able to make good decisions. So God has given you gifts.

God has given you the gift of LIFE. You wouldn't BE here if he hadn’t.

God has given you the gift of GRACE. His son has paid the price to bring us back into the family.

God has given you the gift of the SPIRIT. The Power and Resource to experience and share God's blessings.

God has given you the gift of TEACHING and COMMANDMENTS. They may seem like JUST rules but they are the way to abundant, overflowing life and joy unspeakable.

THAT is why God has instructed us to bind them upon your heart. They can help shape our purpose and our intent, our passions and our desires.

THAT is why God has instructed us to tie them around your neck. It is only as we continue to meditate upon them and think on these things that they will really begin to form us.

May YOU find opportunities to push away from the computer, spend some time in silence, and let the commandments and teachings sink deep, deep, deep down into your life today.

Grace & Peace

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