Archive for May, 2009

How Did Jesus Do All That Stuff?

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

In Luke chapter 4, Jesus did many amazing things, including the following:

– He ate nothing for forty days (verse 2)

– He taught with such authority (15, 31) that the people were amazed (32)

– Yet, his teaching filled the people with rage, and they drove Him out of the city (28 – 29)

– He laid hands on the sick and healed them all (39 – 40)

Did Christ do these things in His divinity, or in His humanity; i.e., are these among the things that we should do because Christ did them, or was He a special case in this regard?  I suggest that Jesus did these things out of His humanity, and that each of us is expected to do them as well.  In fact, we’re told how to attain the power to do them:

– In verse 42, Jesus went to a secluded place to pray.  If we’re going to accomplish such marvelous things, we must pray; and we must seclude ourselves in prayer in order to give our undivided attention to God.

– In verse 43, Christ continued fulfilling His purpose by preaching.  We don’t each have a gift of preaching, but we do each have a spiritual gift.  Without looking to what gifts others may have, we simply need to pray that we will effectively use the gift that God has given us.

– Finally, we see in several places in Luke chapter 4 that Jesus did these marvelous things by the power of the Holy Spirit:

– Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” (1).

– He was “led around by the Spirit” (1).

– He was “in the power of the Spirit” (14).

We must likewise fully submit to the Holy Spirit, and simply let Him do wonderful things through us, all to God’s glory.

I Am Not Second

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

When the reader first notices the title of this blog, he might well wonder what direction will be taken in the ensuing paragraphs.  Why am I not second? Is it because I’m first, or because I third, fourth, or fifth, or lower?  Let’s find out:

There’s a popular movement calling itself I Am Second.  Its web site says that it is designed to help people discover their purpose in life.  However, if I may throw some constructive their way, when I research this movement more deeply, I find what seems to be a group of Christians who claim to be “proud” to be second; i.e., because this somehow places emphasis on Christ’s being first.

However, Luke 14:8-10 says, “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. . . But when you are invited, take the lowest place …”

We should not consider ourselves to be second. We should consider ourselves to be last.  After all, Paul considered himself to be the foremost (chief) of sinners (1 Timothy 1:15), and who of us can hold a candle to Paul, who is already at the very end of the line?

Aren’t we setting our sights too high if we want to be, or think that we are, second?  I understand the supposed nobility of this, recognizing that God is first.  However, do we really think that we’re second only to God?

What about servant leadership, as Christ demonstrated when he washed the disciples’ feet?  Aren’t we supposed to just serve others; i.e., everyone else?  What about Philippians 2:3, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;” We’re supposed to be humble, and regard everyone else as being more important than we are.

If we’re married, shouldn’t we consider our spouses to be more important than we are?  Isn’t that inherent by the very fact that we love them?  We should want to pursue their well-being, above our own. If we have children, shouldn’t we elevate them above ourselves?  Plus, if we really do put Christ first, then we should probably also put His Church somewhere at the top too, as well as our ministries, and the jobs that we have in order to take care of the ones we love.  So, with this paragraph alone, I don’t see a possibility for claiming a position higher than seventh place, but I still don’t think that’s my rightful position.

I can’t say for sure about you, but I do know about myself.  I’m not second; I’m last, and I’m rightfully last because I deserve to be last.  I’m just a saved sinner, holding onto God’s grace as tightly as I can.

Synopsis of the Entire Bible

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

Have you ever needed Cliff Notes for the whole Bible?  Check out Believe, A Synopsis of the Entire Bible.  It’s an overview of the Bible, book by book, with paragraph headings for easy reference, plus it’s filled with great chronological charts in the appendix.  You can read the whole thing in just an hour or so.