Who is Jesus to you?

bible-matt 21Matt 21 “Lord, Son of David”

In the previous chapter we read the story of the two blind men who received healing and they followed Jesus. One of the reasons Jesus healed them is that even in their physically blind state and having never met Jesus they knew who He was: Lord, Son of David.  Matthew doesn’t tell us if they followed him all the way to Jerusalem but as he begins chapter 21 we find Jesus approaching Jerusalem. Did the recently blind men tell others along the way that they were accompanying he who was the Son of David? We may never know but what we do know is this:

The blind men called him Lord, Son of David. The crowd along the city streets called him Son of David. The children in the temple called him Son of David. All were saying he is not only genealogically connected to King David but is then the rightful heir to the throne of Israel. By calling him Lord they were acknowledging that he is master.

Yet the religious leaders hearing this became indignant because they considered themselves above these who were illiterate as far as being able to read and explain the scriptures. What the blind “saw”, the children knew, the crowds recognized touched their hearts BUT the Pharisees remained in spiritual ignorance. John the Apostle records the interchange with these religious elite in John chapter 9. At the end the Pharisees said ‘we are not blind too, are we’ hoping Jesus would respond with no you are not. Instead he turned to them and said “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin, but now because you claim that you can see, your guilt remains.”

Oh Father open our eyes to see who You are; the Son of David. Keep us back from presumptuous sin.

Facing a Conundrum?

Psalm 73 Asaph’s Dilemma/Conundrum timothy-eberly-the conundrum ps 73

Conundrum: a confusing and difficult problem or question

Asaph, who pens this chapter, offers us his view of life on two sides of a mirror; good and evil. Why and how do they exist?  Philosophy professor Eleonore Stump also tells of coming to know Jesus through studying the problem of evil and suffering. Reflecting on her own experience Stump writes:

“So, in an odd sort of way the mirror of evil can also lead us to God. A loathing focus on the evils of this world and ourselves prepares us to be the more startled by the taste of true goodness when we find it and more determined to follow that taste until we see where it leads.” [R. Alcorn “If God be Good; p128]

This is the same dilemma Asaph faced and how he too came to that same conclusion. He began with this observation: those without God seem to not suffer. He noted they were the haves and he the have not.

He asked what is wrong with this picture?  

Both Asaph and Stump faced God squarely in the eye. What they saw was the destiny of those whom the world calls good but God calls evil. Apart from the wisdom and understanding of God no one can rationalize it but in God’s presence they came to the same conclusion: God is the sovereign God. To know God is to know the peace that the world without God does not know.  Apart from God there is no destiny with Him in His presence after death.

Do you know Him?

Crown or Cross?

Matthew 18 ‘Crown or Cross?”

We all seem enthralled by the Olympics. We covet the gold medals because in our culture winning is what people yearn for. They want to be first and sometimes at all costs. But, Jesus reminds us that being first is not God’s way and in fact to be the winner you must first be the loser. If you want to be first you must be a slave to all and to be like a child. That is not what the disciples wanted to hear and the world does not either. We want to know how to win! How to beat the odds! How to be head of the class! Jesus wanted to remind us that if we are not willing to deny self, pickup our cross and follow Him we are not worthy of being first in the kingdom.

However, we also must be teachable and not be children tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine. We must not remain as a child in our thinking or behavior BUT we are to be childlike in our faith, attitude and our heart.

Too often, I am more concerned about the crown than the yoke and cross.

How about you? 




Am I Ashamed of Jesus?

covering-face-2Tim22 Tim 1&2 “Am I Ashamed?”

Continuing on from our conversation from yesterday’s blog post *if you haven’t read it do so now here  Matt 16 The Right Question* or the blog post below regarding the Right Question as you dialog with unbelievers as to their eternal destiny.

Let’s get personal here.

How would you answer this question: Am I ashamed of Jesus? If not what keeps me from speaking to unbelievers about my faith? When God gives me a divine appointment do I step up to the plate or am I ashamed and do not speak? Is your answer: I don’t know what to say? If that is the case then how do you explain Jesus’ counsel: “do not worry about how to speak or what to say, for what you should say will be given to you at that time?”  [Matt 10:19] Or what Peter said: “always be ready to give an answer to anyone who asks about the hope you possess.” [1 Pet 3:15]

Do we not trust the Holy Spirit to guide us to speak or not? Paul says “do NOT be ashamed. Don’t be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord. I am not ashamed—don’t you be either.”  And then Paul reminds us of Onesiphorus who was not ashamed of his imprisonment.

Are we ashamed?

That is the real question.

Matt 16 The Right Question

ask matt 16-Matthew chapter 16 

Do you wonder how to start a conversation that will lead to sharing Christ? How about the simple question Jesus asked the disciples? “Who is Jesus?” The world has several answers such as He was a good man and a good teacher. Notice the answers: good man and good teacher. Those answers are the same that Jesus heard when someone came to him asking on how to inherit eternal life and He responded: “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.”

You might ask, what do you consider good? You might be surprised to hear that goodness involves “doing” not being. Listen closely to their standards of what is good and you will certainly hear their own justification based on not the standards of God but on their own standards. I am better than others because I offer my money to the poor, I serve others in the homeless kitchens; I am good to my neighbor. Their standard of “goodness” is the balance scale of works. Then ask if you can share what the Bible says. If permission granted share what Titus [Tit 3:5] and Paul [Eph 2:8/9] explained. God rejects our works. It is only by faith and not works lest we should take credit for our salvation.

Questions and answers reveal their heart. Pray for discernment and the right questions to ask so you may know how to lead them to Christ.

Meet You At The Meeting House

Psalm 122  “Meet You at the Meeting House”

This used to be a common saying among many but with time, busyness and other distractions it seems to have fallen by the wayside. The psalmist implores us to celebrate God’s blessings and goodness at the “meeting house.” It is there that we join with others of like faith to celebrate togetherness and communion. Perhaps that is why the author of Hebrews reminded his readers: “let us take thought of how to spur one another on to love and good works, not abandoning our own meetings, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and even more so because you see the day drawing near.” The prophet Zechariah said this is what we should be saying: “Let’s go up at once to ask the favor of the Lord, to seek the Lord who rules over all. Indeed, I’ll go with you.” It is at the “meeting house” we encourage, pray for others and celebrate. But how often do we hear “you go and pray for me while we stay at home.” Beloved, this should not be for the Lord Himself went to the “meeting house” upon the hill, Mount Zion as well as the “meeting houses” in cities and towns as he journeyed through Israel.

Plan now on attending your “meeting house” wherever you are. Pray that this might be a time when you celebrate the goodness of the Lord.church-768613_640