Methuselah’s Birthday

Son:  “Dad, who is the oldest man in the Bible?”

Dad:  “Methuselah”

Son:  “How old was he?”

Dad:  “The Bible says he lived 969 years.”

Son: “I bet he liked that, because he got to celebrate lots of Birthdays!”

Does obedience to Christ ever seem unreasonable?

"Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men."

Jesus tells Peter in Luke 5, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.”  Peter fished for a living and he had been fishing all night with no success.  Peter initially protested.  I wonder if Peter thought to himself, “Doesn’t Jesus, the carpenter, know this is not a good time to fish?”  “I am so tired, not right now Jesus!”  Whatever Peter might have thought, he had a change of heart and said to Jesus, “But at your word I will let down the nets.”  Peter did what seemed  at first  to be unreasonable.    He initially opposed Jesus’ word, but then obeyed.  

Sometimes I can reason myself right off the path of obedience.  One minute I seem to be a humble shepherd, the next a wandering sheep.     I sometimes go my own way because I have my own good reasons!  To be sure, we should use our limited power of reason to make wise and informed decisions.   Our faith in Christ is indeed a reasonable faith, Peter himself said so (1 Peter 3:15).  Jesus commanded his followers to love God with all their mind, didn’t he (Mark 12:30)?  Yet, there are those times in my own life, more than I care to admit, that I reason myself right off the path of following Christ.  It seems to me, that Luke 5, among other lessons,  warns us about the limits of human reason and our experience and the blessings of obeying Christ’s commands.  Luke’s fish tale gives us good reasons to obey, don’t you think?

What is the mushy middle?

 

Hard “Candy” Sayings of Jesus

Hard sayings of Jesus

Have you noticed that some of Jesus’s sayings are like hard candy?  They’re not like choclate, which you can let melt in your mouth, swallow, and it’s gone–a momentary pleasure.  With a hard candy, if you try to take it in too fast, you’re likely headed for the dentist chair or the Heimlich Maneuver.  Many of Jesus’s sayings are like that.  You work on them, you work into them, and you work through them, and only then are you rewarded with layer after layer of increasing sweetness  (King’s Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus, Tim Keller).

Below are two sayings that are easy enough to grasp.  However, when read together they aren’t as easy to swollow. 

John 7:28 ESV, “You know me, and you know where I come from? . . . .  He who sent me . . .you do not know.

John 14:4 ESV, “If you would have known me, you would have known my Father also.”

How well do you know Jesus?

One Reason why a local church should have a body of elders.

Wolf in sheep clothing

Acts 20:29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. (ESV)

“No Mr. President!”

“Wicked Wisdom”

Some time back I read Proverbs 24.  That chapter supplies sound counsel when dealing with the wicked.  These are great lessons to pass on to the next generation

1.  We should not rejoice at the calamity of the wicked (24:17). 

2.  We should not worry about the prosperity of the wicked (24:19). 

3.  We should not envy the good fortune of the wicked (24:19).

4.  We should not align ourselves with the wicked (24:21, 1). 

5.  We should not imitate the wicked, by preying on others (24:15).

6.  We should not show partiality to the wicked (vs. 24).