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Monthly Archives: January 2009

All throughout the ministry part of Jesus’ life, his fellow Jews had no idea who he was. They did not recognize him as being the Son of God. In the end, they killed their own savior just because they were expecting him to free them from the king instead of eternal death. It made me think, do we truly know our savior and God? Even as Christians? When Jesus returns, will we be able to recognize him? In Luke 21:27 it says, “At that time they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.” and in Revelations 1:7 is stats “Look, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of Him.” Other verses are I Thessalonians 4:16-17 and Matthew 24:27. He tells us right in the Bible the way he will come. Jesus died for us, so why would he go through all of that to just lead us on? It definitely comforts me. However, we know that there will be imitators that try to lead us astray. Luckily the description in the Bible is very clear as to what we are to expect. It is just a shame that God’s own people were not able to recognize who Jesus truly was. Hopefully the second coming will be quite different.

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Most wars are won by a series of battles that accumulate to an over all victory.  In John 16:33 Christ says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Dang.  Christ won the war for us, now we just have to be his soldiers in the battle.  Sounds kind of backwards, but so does everything else Jesus did.  We live our lives like we can screw up God’s plan or as if we might be overcome by Satan.  Need I remind you.  “I have overcome the world.”  Not just Jesus, but all of us who believe (“those that remain in me, and I in them…”).

Why don’t we live our lives as if we’ve already won?  We freak out and do stupid stuff.  We get depressed and self-loathing.  Our fear is merely pride masking itself.  We believe that we are important enough to mess up the plans of the Creator of the Universe.

Let’s start living as victors in Christ rather than servants shaking in the shadows of the big bad monster.

Peter, Do you love me?

Bjorn, Do you love me?

Matthew, Do you love me?

Mike, Do you love me?

Harrison, Do you love me?

Do you love me beyond emotions? Beyond highs and lows? Will you be there for me when I call upon you? Through thick and thin?

I’ll be there for you.

Thanks Jesus for the example. John 21:15-19

John 14:13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, because the work of the Son brings glory to the Father. John 16:23b The truth is, you can go directly to the Father and ask him, and he will grant your request becaues you use my name.

Dang, What an easy way to simplify life. Why don’t we do it? Because we’re scared of living a life so close to the Lord. We’re afraid of what life will look like if we ask God to remove the sin from our lives. God, please remove cursing from my life, in Jesus’ name. With that prayer, there are no longer excuses. Think of the revival that would occur if we each prayed a similar prayer.

There’s a challenge in there for you.

Gatorade released their new logo.  Have you?  In John 17, Christ is praying to the Father about us believers.  He is praying that there may be a complete revolution of our hearts.  That we may be one as he and the Father are one.  That we may be examples of his love and truth in a world that seems quite dim.  At the end of the chapter Jesus prays, “I made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them”.

Is HE in you?

In John 12:23-26 is a slap in the face every time I read it.  Christ talks all about why he must die…but he does not end there.  He then goes even further and states that anyone who serves him must be willing to do the same.  He does not demand or require that every do it.  There is no forcing.  It is a simple, come follow me…and this is how you do it.  I find this so hard.  How do I daily lay my life down.  What does it look like to carry my own cross?  You can give me characteristics, but I want to start seeing examples in my life…and better yet, start being an example and leader for others.

We complain so often about how we do not know how to follow God.  Verse 26 puts it simply, “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.” Are we where God is?  One could argue God is everywhere.  But you get the gist of what he is saying.  Christ’s heart is with the poor, with the broken, with the voiceless, the widows, the orphans…Christians always trail it off at the end.  Is Christ’s heart not with the CEOs of the motor industry, Steve Jobs, Derek Jeter, Ted Kennedy? The people of money and affluence?  It’s easy to love an orphan, but a hell of a lot harder to love your boss who’s a dick and rakes in $200,000/yr.  It’s a risky mission field, but certainly one that is necessary.  The danger is that we can get sucked into their mentality.  But the danger with the mission field of poverty is an equal sense of pride.  Just thoughts.  That’s all.  Where is Jesus and are you there? If not, where are you at and why?  Please respond.

It is interesting to me that the disciples who were walking beside Jesus and were able to see and touch him had moments of disbelief.  John 6:66: “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”  This passage stuck out to me, in that when Christ spoke the truth that was “hard teaching”, a decent amount of his disciples left him after grumbling.  It might be a simple thing but reading this passage the idea of coming to Christ with our doubts or questions about him or with his teachings.  In the Bible somewhere :), it says that God hates lying, which I assume means also that He loves the opposite, which would be honesty.  I think its so crucial to our relationship with Him to come to Him with honesty about doubts we have.  In relationships with people one of the biggest things that comes between couples is dishonesty, and it is so evident to me that our relationship with Christ is a relationship that needs honesty.  Christ is honest with us, with his expectations and desires for our lives, so we should be honest in the same way to him.

John 14: 14-15 “When the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!” Jesus saw that they were ready to take him by force and make him king, so he went higher into the hills alone.

John 7: 1-9Jesus wants to chill and the disciples want him to go to the party.

This is what I’m feeling. Jesus recognized the need to retreat and refuel from others, from friends, and from the party. He knew that intimacy with the Father is a one on one thing. He did not want distractions so he excused himself and met the only way that makes sense. I honestly can’t remember the last time I retreated to be alone and silenced myself in prayer; I’m talking about the type of prayer where you just listen to his still small voice…I need that and ask that you pray for me. Pray and God will know who you are praying for.  Thank you.

“If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  ~John 8:31-32

I don’t think I can say anything to add to the meaning or power of this verse.  I won’t try.  All I can say is:  let’s be free.

Looking at the portion of Scripture from John 4:43-54, I am amazed by the simple statement that “The man took Jesus at his word and departed.” in reference to Christ’s promise to heal the official’s son.  Jesus said, “You may go. Your son will live” and that was enough for the man.  We too often need Jesus to walk all the way with us and do all the work in front of our eyes, then maybe we’ll believe.  With regards to our sin and our obstacles in life, we say a prayer, talk about all the changes we are going to make, but then sit around and wait for the Big Guy to show up.  We like to go window shopping with our sin.  We walk by, look in the window and say, “Yeah, God, if you could just walk in and pick up the tab for me and make me look better that would be great.  I’ll sit out here on the bench, while you go in side.  Make sure it’s going to fit just right too!”  We are lazy, afraid, or something…to go inside, wrestle with our sin, and work through things with God and try on the new coat of righteousness ourselves.  God already knows what will fit.  We need to be there with him trying it on.  We simply rub our magic lamp and expect God to do the rest.  I need to stop wishing for a better life and simply start living for Christ.  I need to be willing to get dirty and work through my sin instead of expecting to wake up with a clean conscience so I can just purposely sin again.  I need to start living.  Period.