Knowing Jesus

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.

 

Knowing Jesus

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…

Digging in Deeper: Daniel 6:10-11

“When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem.  He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.  Then these men came by agreement and found Daniel making petition and plea before his God.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Daniel had been doing this three times a day in this same place for years.  This time, though, had to feel a bit different.  This was the first time he knew he was actively breaking the law by doing it.  And yet, the place and the pattern were both well-worn in his life.  At the time to which he was very much accustomed, Daniel got down on his knees in front of the window in his upper room and prayed.  Shortly afterwards–as he knew would happen–he was arrested and hauled before the king. Read the rest…

Morning Musing: 2 Peter 1:5-8

“For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love.  For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Do you want to be effective?  We all do, don’t we?  We want to be able to have an impact on the people and environment around us.  Not only that, but we want to do so in a way that will last and have meaning.  The question, then, becomes: How do we do this?  How can we have an effective impact on our situations? Read the rest…

Digging in Deeper: Hebrews 12:7

“It is for discipline that you have to endure.  God is treating you as sons.  For what son is there whom his father does not discipline?”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

Facing hard stuff is something we all have to do at some point in our lives.  It may be a little hard.  It may be a lot hard.  But in a broken world, hard stuff is part of the journey.  The only variable here is how we handle the hard. Read the rest…

Morning Musings: Colossians 3:5

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you; sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”  (ESV – Read the chapter)

This is tough language here.  Paul seems to soften a bit a couple of verses later, but that’s just an appearance.  This is what Paul really means.  When it comes to the fruits of sin in our lives–and they are manifold well beyond the list Paul offers here–it is not enough to put them aside or turn our backs to them or knock them off their perch or anything else like that.  We must actively put them to death.  We must kill them completely and not allow for even the slightest chance that they will get up again. Read the rest…