“Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
We want options. Lots of them. The more the better. We want cars with bells and whistles. We want television service with a million channels. We want restaurants with huge menus and buffets with over 100 items. One of the worst feelings in the world today is having no choice about something. As a result, this is one of the hardest things Jesus said. Can we make it any easier?
In this final part of our series, Hard Sayings, we are faced with the ultimate reality: Following Jesus is worth everything. After blowing the disciples’ minds, Jesus makes this point rather graphically for them. Keep reading to see how and stay tuned for our next teaching series, Grace in Hard Times, as we walk through the book of Job.
It’s Worth It
Have you ever experienced the disorienting phenomenon known as sticker shock? Let’s say you’re walking through a department store and there you see it: the dress. What you might possibly need the dress for is entirely beside the point. What your husband might say about you buying the dress doesn’t even factor into the decision-making process. You must have this dress. Somehow you know that it will fit perfectly so you don’t even bother trying it on. You take it up to the counter, gently lay it on the counter, and smile at the cashier. Then it comes. The cashier scans the barcode, punches a couple of buttons on the register, and says, “That’ll be…” Well, I’m not sure what your price-point is, but whatever it is, this dress is beyond that…well beyond that. And it hits you: Sticker shock. It may be the dress, but…that price. Ouch. Read the rest…
In this second-to-last installment of our series, Hard Sayings, we wrestled with the power of the cross. Just how big is the grace Jesus won for us there? It can save a normal sinner, sure, but can it save the worst of them? We’re actually faced with a harder question here: Do we want it to? Is Jesus’ offer of life to anyone fair? Keep reading to see the answer.
The Man Who Got It
Do you remember your parents ever doing something for your brother or sister that they did not do for you? What was your immediate complaint? That’s not fair! Actually, you probably said it with a bit more…emotion in your voice. That’s not faaaaaaiiiir!!! Worse yet, do you remember your brother or sister or cousin or a friend or, really, just about anyone, getting something you were convinced in your heart of hearts they didn’t deserve? What did you say then? About the same thing: “That’s not fair!” Read the rest…
This week we got back on track with our series, Hard Sayings. One of the things Jesus made fairly abundantly clear over the course of His ministry is that following Him isn’t something to which we can get by with giving merely a cheap lip-service. The hard saying we examined together yesterday morning makes this even clearer than most. Too often we rely on serving Jesus to cover up for not knowing Him well. That won’t cut it. Keep reading to see why.
Think back with me for a minute to your bedroom growing up. What kind of stuff did you have in it? Specifically, whose poster did you have on your wall? Was it an actor? A musician? A sports star? Who was it? How much did you know about this person? Were you a casual fan or a full-blown disciple in the model of the Beliebers? It is not at all uncommon for young people to have someone they idolize. A lot of young, aspiring basketball players today want to be the next Steph Curry. Baseball players look up to Aaron Judge—literally, since he’s a giant. Singers want to be the next Arianna Grande or Miranda Lambert or Taylor Swift. Read the rest…
In part three of our series, Hard Sayings, we look at Jesus’ hard assurance that if we stick with Him, the world is going to hate us. This isn’t an easy truth to hear, but millions of Jesus followers around the world and in our own backyards can attest to the fact that it is true nonetheless. Keep reading as we talk about why and what we can do about it.
Have you ever held up someone as a hero only to have them fail you? I’ve talked before about my being a Kansas basketball fan. When I was growing up, Roy Williams was KU’s coach. I idolized Roy Williams. When I played basketball in grade school, I was convinced that I was going to play for Coach Roy someday. I wrote him a letter to tell him about it and he sent back an autographed picture of the whole team. I got to go to several KU games and watched with keen interest as Roy led team after team to victory. Read the rest…