Tag Archive: Jesus


I killed Him!

English: The National Sin Offering, illustrati...

English: The National Sin Offering, illustration from the 1890 Holman Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Up until today I had always thought of the priest as the one who killed the sacrifice in the Old Testament.  A person would disobey one of the commandments, they would bring a lamb, or what have you depending on the sin and their personal financial status.  The priest would kill the animal and then away they would go.
Leviticus 4:28-29 “Or if his sin which he hath sinned, come to his knowledge: then he shall bring his offering, a kid of the goats, a female without blemish, for his sin which he hath sinned.  And he shall lay his hand upon the head of the sin offering, and slay the sin offering in the place of the burnt offering.”

Who did the killing?

 

Go ahead read it again, the one who sinned.  Not the priest, the priest would bring the blood before the lord.  But the actual killing was done at the front door.  And it was not done by the priest but by the one who had done wrong.
I sin, I kill.  No one else can do the killing for me.  To do the killing is to take responsibility.  Only by killing the sacrifice can I receive forgiveness, for there can be no forgiveness without the shedding of blood.
Jesus became that sacrifice for you and I.  We killed him by our actions, our failures, our disobedience, our sin.  And tho I know that, I still find myself doing wrong, even when I know what’s right.  Because of that sin he died, that willful, self-indulgence drove the nails through his hands and pierced his side.
If I would only pause a moment before I took that action.  Stopped to see the creator of the universe, his body racked in agony, the consequences of my actions, would I  behave the way I do?  Or would I pause, contemplate the out comes of my actions.  Stopping to take in the pain and suffering I cause because of my selfishness, maybe if I had to physically kill the Lord of all I would not run to sin so quickly.  Yet I don’t, I often just plow ahead doing my own thing.

If you and I really believed that Christ died because of our sins would we ever purposefully sin again?

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Are there things in the Bible that are hard to understand?  How about things that I wish, at least on a certain level were not true?  Yes without a doubt.  Just a couple of examples.

I have both a cousin and a couple of friends from high school all of whom are involved in same-sex relationships.  Yet Romans 1:27  “And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one towards another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet”. Wow do I wish that wasn’t there.
Now that’s tough, but for me it gets worse.  Jesus said “I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery”. Being a single red-blooded male I fail at this pretty much on a weekly basis.  I could go on and on.  But I think you get the point.

Does what I think matter?

R.C. Sproul talks about a revelation he had while at graduate school, “You are required to believe and to preach, and to teach what the Bible says is the truth, not what you think it ought to be.”  Maybe the examples above don’t bother you, but I’m sure if you haven’t found something you wish wasn’t there you will.  What ever it is really doesn’t matter.
I may not like what the Bible says, but if God is real and who he claims to be, which is what I believe to be true based upon what I can know.  Then I have to accept what He says to be true even if I don’t always understand why.  Otherwise I am assuming the role of God, and I have elevated myself to god hood.
Perhaps I should embrace something Jim Rohn used to say, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.”  Taking it a step further.  Don’t wish God was different, don’t just wish I was better, but work strive study to be better.  Work on disciplining my thoughts and emotions in order to be who God created me to be rather than wishing I did not have to be that person.

 

Are you willing to work to become the man God made you to be, or are you just going to wish God was different?

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Personal,but not private

Night Light

Night Light (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 6:1

Ever try reconciling the above?  Seems, at least at first glance, that they contradict one another. The best I can figure out the first is about our lifestyle, the second is about our financial choice.

Either way it seems to make clear in the first case that my relationship with God is meant to be personal, my actions impacted by who I am in relation to Christ. But that within that relationship, my actions are to be public otherwise others could not see and glorify God.  Too bad what others all too often see would not reflect very well on the Father.

But those are my marching orders

My actions are to be done in such a way that they glorify God.  When I was younger that was rarely the case.  Rash, brash, and self-absorbed, I would rush head long often doing the first thing that came to mind.  Actions that would often not bring glory to God.  Want I needed to do was slow down, stop and think about how what I am about to do and how it will reflect on God.  Still I far to often still jump in with both feet without asking how does this show the Father, what will people think of God if I take the action I am thinking about?
Just like me, most people probably identify you as a Christian.  It probably doesn’t matter if you’ve told them or not.  The question is do you let your light so shine that people look at you and glorify your Father?

What are you doing to make your light shine brighter?

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Over-Zealous

English: Resurrection of Christ

English: Resurrection of Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the guys at my church has a tendency to be a bit aggressive, at least for my taste, when it comes to talking about Jesus to people outside the church.  Am I being overly sensitive? Too timid?  Maybe his approach is needed more, but I think for me if I did not know Jesus I would be turned off by his way of doing things.

I was thinking of Peter cutting off the ear of one of those sent to arrest Christ, John 18:10.  I hate the idea of “balance” when it comes to living the Christian life.  I don’t think it’s about balance, it’s about being extreme.  How else do you explain ideas like love your enemy.  But do we try too hard to bring about the good while not understanding the great?
Do those pressured into a profession of faith stick?  Or is the gentle reasoned approach more likely to produce a changed life?  I’m sure there is a place for both, a time to push and a time to pull, but what is the best.  Does the highly aggressive approach to evangelism work, but when it doesn’t does it bring reproach?  Does a more gentle approach produce fewer results but leave room for follow-up?
What brings the greatest glory to God?  After all isn’t that what we are created for?  Maybe it’s just my bent to want to take the more gentle approach, 2 Timothy 2:24, but am I doing all I can?
Not sure there is a best answer and I suppose different personalities would have different answers,

but I am wondering what you think.

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Faithful Unto Death – Christianæ ad Leones (Ch...

Faithful Unto Death – Christianæ ad Leones (Christians to the Lions). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notice I didn’t say like.

Our command, our marching orders are to love.  Not because it’s easy, or even fun, but that’s the Christian ethic.  Sometimes we have to love people we may not even like very much.  We are not told to revolt, rebelling against the rightfully, God established government.  Neither are we to collaborate, trying to reach some weak-kneed compromise.  And don’t even think about withdrawing, if Jesus wouldn’t pray that we be taken out of the world, then why would we ever think that’s the best answer.

I am still hearing all kinds of goofy talk about revolting against the authorities in place.  Not sure what part of Paul instructing the early Christians to submit to the magistrate some people are thinking does not apply to them.  Lets be honest any kind of “persecution” you or I face today as a result of our Christianity is little more than a pinch compared to what the early church went thru.  I don’t know about you but I have not heard of a single Christian in America being used as a living torch for an executive BBQ.  No reports that I am aware of a circus lion noshing on anyone for claiming the name of Christ.  So let’s get real about persecution.  Let me be blunt and probably irritate more than a few, but the Church in America should be so lucky as to come under real persecution.  Before you rant go look at what is happening to the church in China.

Love isn’t compromise

The another option is to collaborate.  I know some would say let’s find the common ground and work on that.  Now I’m not saying be antagonistic for the sake of argument.  But what is going on when a church leader is ignoring the Christian ethic we are commanded, not a suggestion by the way, to tell and show the truth.  For example what the heck is the snuggling up to Hinduism, Buddhism, or some other ism because there is 10-15% similarity.  Are you really going to try to convince me, or worse yourself that God is going to someday in the future tell you that since you had good intentions that is good enough?  I would love you to show me where you read that in the Bible.
Finally, disappearing into the mountains in Montana with freeze-dried food and a handful of guns isn’t the answer either.  If Jesus wouldn’t pray for his disciples to be taken out of the world, what makes you think your special?  What’s more the world needs you, your salt, your light.  You have an obligation, a duty to show people Jesus, in word and in deed.  If you’re not then what value does your “Faith” really have?

Not easy doesn’t mean hard.

What the heck made you think it was going to be?  Maybe someone told you when you came to Christ the suffering would be over.  “Just come to Jesus and it’s all going to be  rainbows and unicorns.”  I hope not, but if they did I’m sorry.  It’s not easy, but compared to the alternative what else are you going to do?  Being a Christian is not for the faint of heart.  On the upside the one who runs the show has said he will be there no matter what happens.
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Assumptions

I was just reading the story of Jesus and the woman at the well and had a new thought.  This woman had been married 5 times, was living with a man she was not married to, but she was not an outcast.  When she went into the town and told people what was going on, they did not mock her or tell her to go away.

Was this woman exceptionally beautiful?  Powerful, rich beyond words?  There seems to be more here.  She is drawing her own water, and yet people will listen to her.  She has been married five times and still has men risking shame and being ostracized to be with her.

I wonder what the whole story is?

I wonder what else do I see, but not see?  Where else in my life am I making all kinds of false, or at least uninformed assumptions?  Often not knowing or even considering the whole picture.  Maybe I should be a little bit slower to react, ok JUMP to conclusions.  Perhaps using a bit more of the Christian ethic, you know that whole judge not thing, would be in order.  And maybe a little more curious about asking questions and willing to learn more.

What about you, are there areas where you have assumptions that might not be true?

Isn’t there more?

Being what some would define as moral does not mean your kind.  But as a Christian we are to be kind, gentle, humble.  And what’s more to love our enemies.

I don’t know of anyone who is seen as simply moral, who also loves their enemy.  Marcus Aurelious was known as a moral leader, his writings about stoicism are still read, studied, and followed.  Often by those looking for a moral guide to life.  Yet this was a man who had no problem persecuting Christians of his day, because they were the other.
We are called to more than just a moral life.  We are called to be more.  Christian ethics mean to be not just good people, but to be a reflection of our Creator.
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Unfit to lead?

Is there anyone qualified to actually lead on a big, huge, outsized level?

Reading and listening to a handful of Atheist and critics of God, and what is sticking out is a focus on the actions of individuals & organizations as a yardstick of what and who God is.  Beyond that is either a lack of exposure to a true Christian or a willful disregard of those they have.

First to those of you that are setting yourselves up as leaders.  Yes I’m sure you want to believe that God is calling you to be his servant.  But if you cannot keep your hands off of a little boy’s butt,  or a big girls boobs.  If you can’t allow God to have all the praise and the money.  Then trust me it’s not God “calling” you to be a leader.  Maybe he’s telling you he wants’ to use you for good, but first you need to be good.  If you aren’t doing what’s right, quit trying to lead when you are going the wrong way.

Now while you egotistical knuckleheads are stewing over that, the rest of us are going to point to Jesus as an example of what God is like.  If we do not keep pointing at Jesus, the cross, and the empty tomb as what God is about and what people should be really looking at.  Then we will not only have to answer to God for screwing up people’s lives, but also for trying to take his place.

Now some of you are all bent out of shape saying “Who are you to judge” or “Judge not that you be not judged” And I could get all snotty saying who am I not to.  But instead let’s keep this civil, at least for the moment.  Jesus, Paul & others made it clear that there would be false prophets, bad leaders, and plenty of “Wolfs in sheep’s clothing” Also stated multiple times is the concept of holding leaders to account, and finally that people will be known by their actions.  Add in that only God is good.

If anyone is out there saying –look at me, look at me, look at me I would suggest, that is enough on its own to make them unfit to lead.  The truth is you want to know what God is like look at Jesus, that’s where the answer is.  If you must have a human representative, though not a guarantee, start with one who will say “Look at him, Look at him, Look at him