March 13, 2009
Jesus’ calling was remarkably consistent during His ministry.
Head knowledge is found in books but true knowledge is found in living it out
I might be tempted to think that since He is the living embodiment of God, He would be super complex, but that’s not what we see. I didn’t mention Matthew’s overview of Jesus ministry in Mt 9 Pt 1 or in Part 2, but Mt 9:35 sums up His whole 3 year ministry prior to the cross. In this chapter, He begins to involve His disciples in His work and again His message is simple and direct. Today we’ll talk about these three primary instructions that He gives His disciples before sending them out to represent Him to the people.
It’s interesting to note that Matthew shows us in the end of Ch.9, Jesus doing these things and here in in Ch.10, Jesus is sending off the disciples to do what He had shown them and what He was teaching them to do. We’ve spoken before about knowing vs. doing. The western Church has a very broken model of discipleship where the Body comes to church on Sunday (or maybe twice a week) and listens to someone else talk about the spiritual life. This is an intellectual exercise that does not usually empower the congregants to live the Gospel. Jesus taught His disciples by first showing them (doing), and then pushing them out into the world to be what they had seen Him be (do). This was not head knowledge He was teaching, but knowledge through action
Jesus was sent to the Jews. This might surprise most people…Gentile (all Non-Jews) and Jew alike, but He was the promised Messiah to God’s chosen people. He was the fulfillment of the Law and the prophets that they had been studying and following for centuries.
“Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.” (Mt 10:5-6) Read the rest of this entry »
March 12, 2009
A dedicated heart receives the new wine God is pouring out
Part 1 of Mt 9 looked at the faith aspects of the chapter and how we can block God’s blessings in our life. Today we look at what kind of person God is looking for to be His emissary on earth. If you feel like you are not holy enough or in some other way feel that you are not the type of person that God likes to use…Today we will focus on the fact Jesus teaches us that you are exactly the type of person that He wants to use! He is not looking for the person who fits the “religious” mold that many of us think about when we think of “holy” men.
Ch.9 begins with Jesus healing and the crowd being amazed that God “had given such authority to men” and ends with Jesus saying, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” He is looking for people He can hand this authority on earth to: for those willing to be the sons of God after He left so that they could represent Heaven on earth as He had.
The Pharisees asked why Jesus ate with the tax collectors and sinners (v.11) and John’s disciples did not understand how such a man of obvious Godly stature could have disciples who did not follow the customs of the religious elite as they did (v.14). Jesus was breaking the mold. He wanted those who were truly spiritually hungry, not those who practiced empty religious rituals. Read the rest of this entry »
March 10, 2009
Faith can calm the storms of your life
We finished the Sermon on the Mount yesterday here. My original thinking to do a bible study with a focus on Stewardship and Calling was not to go into minute detail, but instead to read a chapter a day and share my reflections on that chapter as it related to Stewardship and Calling. You can read about this original idea in the posts on 1/9, 1/12, 1/14, 1/16, 1/20, & 1/22 introducing this study. However, I felt the S.O.M. was important enough for us to dig deeper. Today, we’ll return to the study of a chapter where I’ll share my thoughts and hope that you fill in your thoughts and revelations on this chapter so that together we can produce a complete study on Stewardship and Calling for anyone in the world who wants to access it.
Matthew tells several stories of Jesus’ ministry and several things stand out to me; most of them are about Faith. Faith is not only the key to accepting the grace of God through Christ for salvation. It is also the key to accepting His grace into our lives in greater and greater capacity that it can transform every area of our lives. If we want more and more of God’s blessing to show up in different areas of our life…Faith in Him for this is a very important ingredient. Read the rest of this entry »
February 16, 2009
(Reynosa, Mexico – June, 2007)
Allow me to offer a few global accomplishments for this mission trip. As I said, the biggest thing to happen was the growth of each one of us. We came to help change the lives of the Mexicans there, but God wanted to perform deeper work in each of our lives. The profundity of the changes were remarkable. God removed habits that had bound people and restored relationships to His right and perfect standing. Smoking, drinking, drug habits, sex out of wedlock – gone. Marriages healed. Old wounds healed. New character built. We are different people then when we went left.
Our impact on Mexico: many people made very strong connections with the little girls and they felt loved. A couple random people met on prayer walks came either to, or closer to Christ. It was interesting to see how God put a uniquely qualified person in exactly the right place to meet exactly the right person to transform both lives. One man was trying to escape the drug life and had been tracked down by his old friends, and Glen helped him to find safe passage. Read the rest of this entry »
February 2, 2009
The Magi were looking for the truth in God even though they lived in a culture that did not know Him by name. Whether they had prophesies left hundreds of years before by Daniel and the other exiles, or whether God simply made it clear to them in their star gazing or some other means…they really wanted to know the deeper things of God and life and they found Him!
Meanwhile, King Herod, who was ruling the Hebrew people had easy access to all of the teachings of God, but he was careless about this knowledge and was focused on achieving the greatest this world had to offer. So he was not only oblivious to the marvelous thing happening in his land, but he was hostile to the wonders of God because his heart was hard.
Matthew spoke of dreams and prophecies because the Jews were accustomed to looking for signs of God in this way. Western culture has generally stopped looking for God in such things. Years of scientific advance taught us that we could understand everything through rational thought. Of course, if you’re aware of the most advanced sciences (which almost none of us are), you know that it has stretched to understand that this world is not orderly and predictable like it was thought for the last few hundred years, but is really strange and weird underneath.…. Read the rest of this entry »
January 2, 2009
For the sake of discussion, let’s say there are three kinds of people in the world:
Laws of the Universe:
- Consumers consume more value in the world than they produce.
- Producers produce more value than they’re consuming.
This is a continuum. You can never be the ultimate Consumer, and you can always be a better Producer. To be a Producer is to be all that you can be in your life’s calling. Read the rest of this entry »
December 15, 2008
Being the steward of your finances, and by extension, your life, in a way that enables you to follow God’s calling, happens best by following a 7 stage process. Each step allows you to take the next, so at the end of the process you understand your path, and the way sound financial stewardship opens your life to it. Read the rest of this entry »