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A Walking Contradiction

A WALKING CONTRADICTION

Did not Moses give you the law?  Yet none of you keeps the law.  Why are you looking for an opportunity to kill me?  John 7:19

The Pharisees had been criticizing Jesus for healing on the Sabbath and other issues as well.  They did not recognize Him as the Son of God and in their blindness, rose up to pass judgment.  They thought way too highly of themselves.  Jesus points out here that they are a contradiction.  He tells them that they love to quote Moses and the prophets and yet they don’t keep the law that Moses passed down to them. Continue reading → A Walking Contradiction

The Delivery Man

THE DELIVERY MAN

“My teaching is not mine but His who sent Me.  The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory but the one who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is true.  In him there is no falsehood.”  John 7:16,18

Our son, Ryan, lives four hours away in another city.  If some friends of ours were going to travel through his home town and made the offer to stop and see him, Ron and I would be asking them to take him a bag of homemade goodies as well as deliver a message or two from home.  We would tell them what to say and trust that their delivery would be identical to the way they heard it from us.  They would not be visiting Ryan on their own authority, with their own message, but would come to him on behalf of us, his parents.  The message on their lips is our message even though they are the ones delivering it.   Continue reading → The Delivery Man

Jesus Feels Rejection

JESUS FEELS REJECTION

So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  Simon Peter answered him, “To whom shall we go?  You have the words of eternal life.”  John 6:67-68

This passage highlights Peter’s amazing confession of faith in the midst of vast unbelief.  This morning though, I wondered about what was going on inside of Jesus, not Peter.  Did he feel the rejection of the crowd?  Was he hurt that most everyone turned away?  Did He have to go to His Father in prayer for comfort?  Did he cry?  If this seems like a stretch, what kind of a person could enjoy the warm enthusiasm of a group, a group made up of acquaintances and friends, and then feel nothing when they decided to turn their backs on him?  No one I know.   Continue reading → Jesus Feels Rejection

Limiting The Bread Jesus Offers

LIMITING THE BREAD JESUS OFFERS

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with Him.  So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?”  John 6:66-67

What caused the crowd following Jesus to turn away and leave?  Jesus words about eating His flesh and drinking His blood.  They were content to eat the bread He offered as long as it was physical provision.  When hungry, they eagerly consumed the loaves and fishes.  As soon as the subject turned to spiritual food, their interest faded.  The concept was too radical; the cost too high. Continue reading → Limiting The Bread Jesus Offers

CAT BURGLAR

The other night, I was home alone.  My husband, Ron, was away on a business trip.  It was 10:00 and I was ready for bed, answering some mail before turning in for the night.  All of a sudden, a small explosion occurred against the front door of our home.  Our dog erupted with a vengeance.  The force against the door sounded like a large person was ramming against it, trying to force it open.

Heart racing, I went to the door and flicked on all the outside lights.  I believed the lights would startle and deter most predators.  Then I went to all the other doors in the house to make sure they were locked.  I ran to change my clothes, put on running shoes, and prepared to exit the house through a back entrance if needed.

Continue reading → CAT BURGLAR

Dreams of Eloquence

Eloquence is a style of speaking or writing that is pleasing to the senses to the one listening or reading the words.  It has no aim, no goal, but consists of just gratuitous words. Is eloquence good or bad?  It depends on who it serves.

A bad eloquence has entered the church and characterized the pulpit.  My husband and I, early in our marriage, sat under the teaching of someone who made it his aim to be clever with biblical concepts.  He wanted to be memorable.  He thrived on others feedback that praised his ‘unique twists and turns’ throughout the pages of God’s Word.  His sermons became all about him having an audience, not about being a mouthpiece for God’s glory.  Not surprisingly, there seemed to be little spiritual growth under his influence over the years he served.  But oh, he was popular!  People came to be entertained by his eloquence.  He grew to have a reputation for being a wordsmith. Continue reading → Dreams of Eloquence

The Well

1532684463_f1a2e65e5eThere was a magic well and people traveled far and wide to visit it.  Legend goes that when you got near the well, you could hear the rushing water at the bottom of the cavern.  It was black, scary because of its rushing water sound.  But, when you ‘took a drink’ from it, it offered the miracle of whatever you needed.

There was a man who couldn’t speak but he got his voice back and for a short time, he could talk and tell his story. Continue reading → The Well

The Gift And The Giver

THE GIFT AND THE GIVER

And for this reason the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because He was doing these things on the Sabbath.  John 5:16

The men who made up the Jewish Sanhedrin (the religious ruling council of the Jews) took one of their jobs seriously.  They were to investigate any new teacher who came along lest that man was a false prophet and would lead other Jews astray.  They had already investigated John the Baptist.  Now, Jesus was also under their scrutiny because He was healing some people on the Sabbath.  A job, important in theory, had turned into a prison of regulations.  What was meant to protect the faith morphed into the makings of a holy war against the One they were ultimately trying to serve.  Jesus was God, the One for whom they were so zealous.

A holy calling can easily go awry and work against the kingdom instead of for it.  The God we started out to honor and glorify is the One who is ultimately dishonored.  The tragedy in the story about the Jew’s persecution of Jesus is that they served God but didn’t recognize Jesus.  These were the ones who devoted their lives to religious duty, who should have seen the first hints of deity and bowed down and worshipped.  Can the religious today miss the activity of Jesus among them?  I fear so.  Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “If Jesus were to walk into any of our churches, how many would recognize Him?”

How does a calling get perverted?  When I attempt to live it out without daily revelation.  Like Solomon, I must declare that I am but a little child without the wisdom necessary to carry out my monumental God-given assignment.  I know that without prayer, study, and meditation, I won’t have the tools necessary to live successfully.  If I become self-impressed by my education and experience, believing myself to be brilliant enough to figure things out without daily prayer, I will turn into the likes of the Sanhedrin.  Whom I started out to serve will be the One I wound.

Adam and Eve sinned in the garden when they abandoned revelation in favor of knowledge.  By eating of the tree, they decided to study the course of ‘the knowledge of good and evil’ and rule the garden by their intellect.  God’s offer to walk with them in the cool of the morning and give them guidance was abandoned.  They believed their enemy – that they could be like God through eating of the tree – and rule by their own ingenuity.  We’ve been twisting religion ever since.

The places I believe I am the most wise may be the very places I am in most need of Your wisdom.  I come to You as a humble child, once again.  Teach me to rule – your way.  Amen

 

Where Can You Purchase It?

WHERE CAN YOU PURCHASE IT?

Lifting up his eyes, then, and seeing that a large crowd was coming toward him, Jesus said to Phillip, “Where shall we buy bread, so that these people may eat?”  John 6:5

Feeding 5,000 hungry people is no small thing.  Because it was in a wilderness, no one had a kitchen to call home base.  There was no open market in the vicinity and even if there was, no one had two hundred day’s wages to buy enough food to feed that many people.  What was the disciple’s solution to the crowd’s hunger?  Send the people away.  I can understand their reasoning, can’t you?  Humanly, that was the only solution.  Make the problem disappear from view.   Continue reading → Where Can You Purchase It?

Wind Behind The Manna

WIND BEHIND THE MANNA

“There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but  what are they for so many?”  John 6:9

Jesus’ plan has always been to use His people to do His work.  A boy provided the meal, simple and meager as it was. Jesus touched it and then the disciples distributed it to the people.  The meal would have been nothing without Jesus’ miraculous touch.

Continue reading → Wind Behind The Manna