Friday, May 27, 2016

LETTING GO

“Looking at [the rich young ruler], Jesus felt a love for him and said to him, ‘One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.’ But at these words he was saddened, and he went away grieving, for he was one who owned much property.”  (Mark 10:21-22)


Some of you know you can’t find satisfaction in a box. You can’t buy happiness off a rack or order it off the internet or drive it off a lot.


“They exchange their Glory for an image of a bull, which eats grass.” (Psalm 106:20) That’s just not a good trade. Have you exchanged the glory of God for a car that can really handle the corners? Have you exchanged the glory of God for a job that He hasn’t called you to, but pays really well? Have you exchanged the glory of God for a house that has all the upgrades? These things are fine and good, but we have turned good things into God things. Fans of Jesus hold back because they’re afraid they will miss out. Followers of Jesus go all in and find that when they finally let go, they discover what they really wanted all along.


I wonder what happened to the rich young ruler. He walked away sad, but that’s all we know. I wonder if he went on to become a richer older ruler.”


-- Kyle Idelman in Not a Fan: Follower’s Journal




#3886

Thursday, May 26, 2016

STRAYING FROM THE PATH


“We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  (Isaiah 53:6 NIV)

Human beings have a predisposition, a tendency, to be drawn to do that which is not God’s will. Here I will mention the word sin. The Hebrew and Greek words most frequently translated by the English word sin mean to “stray from the path” or to “miss the mark.” The path is God’s path. The mark is God’s will for humankind. Human beings, even the best of us, have something within us that draws us to stray from the path. This is sometimes called the “sin nature.”

The story of Adam and Eve is illustrative and defining. Adam and Eve know the path God wants them to take -- “Don’t eat the fruit of the tree” -- but they find themselves drawn to examine the fruit. A serpent whispers to them, beckoning them to eat the fruit. They convince themselves that it is beautiful and that God did not really mean for them to miss out on such a lovely fruit. They rationalize sin and then eat of the fruit of the tree and paradise is lost.

What I love about this story is that it is so powerfully captures what happens in my life on nearly a daily basis. I hear the serpent beckoning me to do what I know I should not do or convincing me that it’s okay not to do what I should do. I have to decide each day, often many times in a day, whether I will follow God’s way or the path of the serpent. And when I choose the serpent’s path, inevitably some part of God’s paradise in my life is lost.

-- Adam Hamilton in Why?: Making Sense of God’s Will


#3885

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

TOSS IT AWAY


“Though your sins are like scarlet, they can be white as snow.

Though your sins are deep red, they can be white as wool.”  (Isaiah 1:18)

Sometimes we try to deal with a mistake by covering it up with more mistakes, or by repressing it, or by justifying it. That’s like walking around with a pebble in our shoe -- it causes us so much frustration that our whole body compensates for its presence, when all we have to do is take it out and toss it away.

-- Max Lucado in Walking with the Savior


#3884

Friday, May 20, 2016

THE FORMATION OF CHRIST IN US


"It's morphing time."… This little word morph has a long history. It actually comes from one of the richest Greek words in the New Testament… Morphoo means "the inward and real formation of the essential nature of a person." It was the term used to describe the formation and growth of an embryo in a mother's body.

Paul used this word in his letter to the Galatians: "… until Christ is formed in you." (Galatians 4:19) He agonized until Christ should be born in those people, until they should express His character and goodness in their whole being. Paul said they -- like us -- are in a kind of spiritual gestation process. We are pregnant with possibilities of spiritual growth and moral beauty so great that they cannot be adequately described as anything less than the formation of Christ in our very lives.

-- John Ortberg in The Life You've Always Wanted


#3883

Thursday, May 19, 2016

FACING UP TO THE TRUTH

The teachings of Christ reveal Him to be a realist in the finest meaning of that word. Nowhere in the Gospels do we find anything visionary or overoptimistic. He told His hearers the whole truth and let them make up their minds. He might grieve over the retreating form of an inquirer who could not face up to the truth, but He never ran after him to try to win him with rosy promises. Jesus would have men follow Him, knowing the cost, or He would let them go their ways.


-- A. W. Tozer (1897-1963), quoted by Edythe Draper in Draper's Book of Quotations for the Christian World (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1992).




#3882