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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Jesus Didn't have a Webpage

Today I began by thinking about prayer and how my prayer practice has developed over the years and I may write about that at another time. But then I was thinking about Isaiah 42:1-4 which talks about the servant of God that he will uphold, and of course refers ultimately to Jesus. But as a disciple, Jesus is a pattern for me to consider.

In thinking about the Isaiah passage I was thinking about how Jesus didn’t have any media to announce his upcoming revival meeting. There was no webpage for people to find out where he would be next. Jesus simply went around healing the sick and telling stories. Or providing free lunches for a lot of people, and telling stories.

Matthew 13:34 tells us that

All these things Jesus said to the crowds in parables; indeed, he said nothing to them without a parable.

Those who came to Jesus seeking, searching, requesting more understanding, more in depth teaching were shown more.

I see three things that I need to give close attention.

First: I need to suppress my desire to make others see the valuable truth that I have found. Mostly they are not interested.

Second: I need to be among those who ask, seek and knock.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Matthew 7:8)

And finally or maybe first I need to be finding the good that I can do and be doing that.

Following Jesus is a matter of doing what I can see he did and doing the things he says I am to do. 

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Wars and Fighting

Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that make war inside you. You want things, but you don't get them. So, you kill and are jealous of others. But you still cannot get what you want. So, you argue and fight. You don't get what you want because you don't ask God. Or when you ask, you don't receive anything, because the reason you ask is wrong. You only want to use it for your own pleasure.

Does this sound familiar?

How many ways do I try to justify my selfish, self-righteous attitudes?

So many times, I find myself getting angry with religious people who build little kingdoms so they can rule over others and get their living from others. Other times I see business people taking the larger part from the labors of others and I am angered by their greed. Politicians, take extreme wages when most of them are already wealthy, because they want to rule over others.

It is easy to point the finger. All pointing of the finger is just another way of wanting to rule over others.

The first paragraph is a quote from the Easy to Read Version of James 4:1-3. The passage goes on to say that this attitude is the manifestation of our unfaithfulness toward God, and that this love of power and things makes us the enemy of God.

God is a jealous God. You may not like that but it is true. The really good side of that is that He only wants us for our very best. We make ourselves God’s enemy when we make demands and strive to rule over others. God’s greatest desire is to bless us, but he can only bless us according to righteousness. That is why it says,

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says, God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble.
James 4:6

It’s something to think about.