Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Can a little deception accomplish great good?
The tricky thing about deception – it doesn’t happen when I’m thinking about it.
I wonder, when Jesus said to Judas, “what you do, do quickly” if Satan had so convinced Judas that this was the right thing to do that Judas actually felt good about his betrayal? I wonder if, when Jesus acknowledged his plot, if Judas believed he was part of some grand plan to usher in the reign of Messiah, and that somehow he was called to a special task that was part of God’s plan to save the world? Well, he was, but certainly not in the way he thought.
Lord, how easily we are deceived. It scares me to see how quickly I could become convinced that wrong is right; that a little bit of deception could accomplish a great deal of good. This helps me see how, more than ever, and more than I could ever realize, I need Your strong presence in my mind and actions this very day – to keep me from deception. Help me, Jesus, to know Your voice so well that the voice of a stranger I will not follow.
Sure I could say “I’m a Christian, of course I’ll recognize the right voice.” Yet, when I see what Christians have done in Your name and how mighty Christian leaders have fallen, I know I’m not immune from self-deception. Please, dear God, keep me from that. Protect me from my own self-deception. Deliver me from evil, for Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Lord, keep me from partial obedience
Numbers is such a heavy book. It seems to be the book of discipline - almost like when a child is young, say in his 2's, and needs to learn that the parent is serious about discipline and obedience- maybe even kind of like Corinthians in the NT.
Numbers 17 is almost the epitome, where the sons of Korah descended alive into Sheol! It says that they "sinned at the cost of their lives."
Lord, please keep me, my family, my entire lineage from such sins. Keep me, keep us, from the blasphemy of defiance (Nu 15:30), from the blindness of unbelief (Nu 14:10), from leaving an heritage of unfaithfulness (Nu 14: 33), and from the curses of incomplete or partial obedience to You (Nu 33:55,56).
Deut 5:29 "Oh that they had such a heart in them, that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, that it may be well with them and with their sons forever."
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Evil blinds us to the truth
Men who intentionally turn from God cannot see the truth, and they can't stand the truth that they already know. Both David and Saul knew the truth - that David would be the next king, by God's decree. Saul hated that fact. I'm sure there were times when David wasn't too fond of it either. Like it or not, there was no changing what God had already decreed.
David worked in the strength of that truth and eventually was victorious. Saul worked against the truth and it destroyed him and his family. How much better it would have been for Saul if he had worked with the truth instead of against it.
Lord, I know you desire truth in my innermost being. Help me to stop hiding from the truth. I want to face the truth about me and my world, and work with the truth, not against it. Help me have David's kind of perception and surrender and wisdom!
Friday, July 10, 2009
What's Your Passion?
When Lynda and I talked about this I said I didn't have a passion. Now that I think about it, that's wrong. I would say my passion is to know God - and I hope, more and more, to make Him known. But that sounds too canned or trite to the one who is looking for a more man-Christian answer ... when I feel that those answers are really more contrived.
Reading today Mt 22:34-40 I am reminded of my "mission" - receive life, live life, and give life. That can sound so unplanned ... serendipitous ... existential. Yet when Jesus said that the greatest is to love God with all your being (and can you get any greater?), and secondly to love your neighbor. This is followed by a very serendipitous way to love my neighbor. It does seem to me that what Jesus is saying is pretty much: 1. love God (receive and live life) 2. love neighbor (give life).
We want to complicate life with our agendas (alias passions) - agendas which make us feel that we are doing something for God's kingdom. Like we're advancing or protecting God's kingdom. All this while God wants us to live in His kingdom. Oh I see people "called" to great ministries or tasks, like Jeremiah, or Elijah, but they are one in a million - not the norm. Maybe I should write a book "I don't have a calling." Although that's a little misleading because my calling is this: to love god and love my neighbor.
Now, I know many would argue that the Great Commission is greater than this / supersedes this / maybe even replaces this. Personally I think I'll stick with receiving, living, and giving life.
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