Truth Trumps All #9

by admin on December 16, 2014

Jesus was Born to Die

 

During this holiday season we celebrate the fact that the Son of God came down to earth from heaven. Let us not, however, forget the reason he came. On one hand there were many purposes for his incarnation. Everything he did on earth had meaning behind it.

 

Jesus frequently taught the masses while on earth. He performed miracles and healed countless ailments. But his main focus was always on teaching his twelve disciples by example through all of the things he said and did. In the book, The Master Plan of Evangelism, Dr. Robert E. Coleman explains, “All the disciples had to teach them was a teacher who practiced with them what he expected them to learn.”

 

Despite having multiple goals to accomplish while living among the children of Israel, Jesus did have one ultimate objective while on earth. Jesus was born to die. Now his physical death on the cross was extremely significant. We wouldn’t have atonement for our sins without it. However, that is actually not the death I’m referring to

 

 

“And he [Jesus] said to all, ‘If anyone would come after me,

let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.’”

– Luke 9:23

 

 

 “All the disciples had to teach them

was a teacher who practiced with them

what he expected them to learn.”

 

 

 

Wouldn’t it be reasonable to assume that Jesus intended to show the disciples what it looked like to “take up his cross daily” with his life? He did this by continuously submitting to what the Father wanted. He showed that the pinnacle of taking up our daily cross is giving up our will so that God’s will can be accomplished. He cared for the broken. He gave of himself endlessly. He stayed up late and got up early to pray. Jesus did all of this because that’s what his Father desired. And here’s the thing: he found joy in obedience.

 

 

“For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you,

leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.”

– 1 Peter 2:21

 

 

Therefore, if we are disciples of Jesus, he expects us to take up the cross daily just like He did. Our fate has to be the same as the one who is in charge of us. The great news is that when we die like him he gives us the new life that can only be found in him, and this new life is the best thing we could ever experience.

 

 

 ”If anyone would come after me,

let him deny himself and take up

his cross daily and follow me.”

 

 

But how do we actually die like Jesus? By taking the advice of people like Bill Bright, Cru’s founder. “As you begin each day, acknowledge the fact that you belong to Him. Thank Him for the fact that He lives within you. Invite Him to use your mind to think His thoughts, your heart to express His love, your lips to speak His truth. Ask Jesus to be at home in your life and to walk around in your body in order that He may continue seeking and saving souls through you.”

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Truth Trumps All #8

by admin on December 2, 2014

When there’s no room at the Inn try the Barn

 

At first glance of the sacred text (Luke 2), Mary and Joseph had no problem sleeping in a barn rather than at the inn. But think about it. They’ve been traveling all day. Mary’s been ready to give birth for weeks. They expected a room at the 5-star hotel in town; instead they were directed to a barn. Talk about humiliating.

 

Did the Bethlehemites even know with whom she was pregnant? The Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit! He’s too noble to be born in anything less than the absolute best. Surely they could’ve made room for him at the Inn! Or God could’ve put in a special deluxe suite just for that occasion.

 

 

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, 

it’s thinking of yourself less.” 

– C.S. Lewis

 

 

But if we’re being honest, he’s too noble to even come down to earth. And that’s the point. From day one he wanted to show us what true humility looks like: submitting to the Father’s will no matter what.  God makes clear from the start that whatever happens to Jesus, good or bad, it is all part of the bigger purpose of giving God glory.  Later on in his life, Jesus reveals that whatever he says or does serves the bigger purpose of pursuing God’s exaltation.

 

“So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing. And greater works than these will he show him, so that you may marvel.”                             

-       John 5:19-20

 

They expected a room at

the 5-star hotel in town; 

instead they were directed to a barn.

 

 

C.S. Lewis defines humility in a simple yet remarkable way. “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.” Jesus’ life is the epitome of what Mr. Lewis meant. This Christmas season let us ponder this humility that God’s desire for us to emulate. As the apostle Paul said,

“So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”

-       Philippians 2:1-7

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A Confession

by admin on November 30, 2014

This morning was another link in a long chain of hopelessness

There might not be a link for every morning

But I can’t tell you for sure, it was the morning

This hopelessness is so easy to welcome into my heart

Why?

7am logic?

My worldly passions?

A desire for companionship?

Perhaps just that, perhaps that and more

It knocks at my door promising to redecorate the walls

 With the coolest new thing

Instead it transforms my room into a jail cell

How many times have I fallen for this?

How many times have I walked back to my Saviour

Only half-heartedly believing he could rescue me?

Only half-heartedly believing my actions weren’t justified?

So now I’m turning the light on

Praying the Sword of the Spirit will paralyze the hardness of my heart

 With the joy of the truth

Praying my deep-seated reasons for welcoming the Traitor, the Pretender

Will drown in the ocean of God’s grace

And begging the Messiah to do what I can’t

- Alexander B.

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Truth Trumps All #7

by admin on November 18, 2014

Has God ever asked you to do a trust fall?

 

A trust fall is essentially a situation in which a person can’t see exactly what is going to happen and so they must trust that someone else will come through on that person’s promise to assist the first person. It usually consists of the first person falling backward and trusting the second person (or group) to catch them.

 

He’s proven himself time and time again

through Scripture, our own personal experience,

and the personal experiences of other believers.

 

 

Honestly, every situation is like that for us as Christians. There is never a moment when we can truly see the full picture of what’s going on. Only God can. This means that we always have to trust him with the unknown. There’s no guarantee that I’ll live long enough to finish writing this blog. I can only trust Jesus that it would be the right time for my life on earth to cease. There is no guarantee that you won’t lose everything for the sake of Christ. You can only trust that God is worth it.

 

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,

whose trust is the Lord.

He is like a tree planted by water,

that sends out its roots by the stream,

and does not fear when heat comes,

for its leaves remain green,

and is not anxious in the year of drought,

for it does not cease to bear fruit.”

- Jeremiah 17:7-8

 

We’ve established that we need to trust God. But why can we trust God? We can trust him because he can see the whole picture. God loves us. He wants what’s best for us. His motives for influencing our lives are completely pure. He’s proven himself time and time again through Scripture, our own personal experience, and the personal experiences of other believers. Whenever we doubt God’s trustworthiness these are three valid sources to remind us again why we can believe God.

 

There is no guarantee that you won’t lose

everything for the sake of Christ.

You can only trust that it would be worth it. 

 

 

What if you were playing football for a coach who had the opponents playbook memorized plus ALWAYS knew what EVERY player on both teams would do before it happened? Would you question what he tells you? Never! It’s because he strongly desires for you to succeed in your role so that the whole team can succeed together. He always knows what you should do and when to do it. He knows every single variable. In fact, he is the only ting that is truly consistent. That’s what it’s like to serve God. That’s why you don’t have to worry when he asks you to trust him with more.

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,

and do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge him,

and he will make straight your paths.

Be not wise in your own eyes;

fear the Lord, and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your flesh

and refreshment to your bones.

- Proverbs 3:5-8

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Truth Trumps All #6

November 4, 2014

What can we be separated from?   There are enough passages in Scripture dealing with communion with God or separation from him that it can sometimes become confusing what these verses really mean. We’ll look at three aspects of this issue that can be rather blurry and confusing.   Can we be separated from God? […]

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Truth Trumps All #5

October 21, 2014

Masks   This month the American culture celebrates Halloween by putting on costumes and taking on a different persona. But, believe it or not, masquerades happen daily. Every day people pretend to be what they aren’t. Maybe it looks like someone who is going through a difficult time and doesn’t want everyone to keep bugging […]

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Truth Trumps All #4

October 7, 2014

God is bigger than the Boogeyman   “Since 1993 Veggietales has been helping children discover that God Made Them Special – and He Loves Them Very Much!”  – http://veggietales.com/vtmain/whoweare/   The creators at Big Idea Entertainment have told countless, humorous stories over the years that teach kids about God, the Bible, and good behavior. One […]

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Truth Trumps All #3

September 23, 2014

Pruning & Cultivating   Many of the people in Jesus’s day lived off of the land. Because of this, his illustrations often involved farming or gardening. And even today, although many of us aren’t farmers by trade, we can still understand these illustrations because many of us invest a significant amount of time and energy […]

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Truth Trumps All #2

September 9, 2014

“Why do you seek the living among the dead?” – Luke 24:5   These words were originally spoken to the women who came to the tomb on Easter morning but it is a question for every Christian. Why do seek the living among the dead? Why do you search through death hoping to find life? […]

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Truth Trumps All #1

August 26, 2014

God’s Truths are Like a House   In many ways the truths of God’s word are like a house. They provide rest, security, joy, hope, peace, and many wonderful memories. They are well-defined boundaries that we strive to live within.   “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like […]

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