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Saturday, October 18, 2008

What do you see?
I've been studying recently in the book of Luke, looking specifically at what people saw.  It struck me that the people Luke records looked at the same things but saw different things.  The disciples looked at Jesus and saw their Master. The lost looked at Jesus and found The Way.  The religious leaders looked at Jesus and saw a problematic trouble maker.  Their individual perspectives and agendas affected how they interpreted what they saw.  We are no different.

In this political season, we can look at the candidates and come away with very different conclusions.  We can listen to a speech and hear completely different things.  I recently asked someone why they disliked a particular candidate.  Their response was "he is a liar".  Now to the best of my knowledge, that person hadn't ever interacted with the candidate.  What they had done was listened to a "voice" they trusted and that "voice" told them "he is a liar" and they believed it without question.

I am the same way. I short cut reason and independent thought by assuming some source is accurate and can be trusted.  This is dangerous and not the way of a disciple of Jesus Christ.  I wonder if we would have experienced the same crisis in the mortgage industry if more people had questioned and sought to find out for themselves if they could afford and could service a particular loan instead of blindly trusting a banker or broker or builder who was willing to say anything in order to "make" the loan.  None of us is good enough, smart enough, or consistent enough to allow someone to base their decisions on soley on our input and direction.  As a Pastor, I cannot bear that responsibility nor does God's Word teach that the Pastor will be responsible for your decisions.  God's Word does teach us to see with our own eyes through the lense of truth.

As disciples, we are instructed to...
>  Know for ourselves by studying;
>  Test the influences and influencers against the truth of God's Word;
>  Seek the counsel of other believers (as a test, not as THE answer);
>  Ask for God's giudance.
It isn't the fastest path.  It isn't the easiest road.  It IS the way of the Disciple so that we can "know" (or for the purposes of this post "see correctly") what is the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).
11:51 am edt 

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Driving is a metaphor for life
1.  Life is journey.
2.  There are lots of roads, lots of modes. 
3.  It is important to know where you are going.
4.  There are penalties if you don't follow the laws.  (Even if you think you aren't being watched.)
5.  I can't control anyone elses journey.  If they want to go fast or slow, break rules or follow them, be rude or kind, there isn't anything I can do about it.
6.  Getting directions makes a difference.
7.  Side trips are all bad as long as you don't get lost.
8.  Keeping "filled up" helps me keep going.
9.  Rountine maintenance helps avoid major problems.
10.  I get to honk my own horn.  :-)
12:48 pm edt 

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Are We John, The Baptist?
I was reading through Luke, doing some research for a different study, when the passages about John jumped out at me as speaking to me (to us) as a call and model for the disicple of Jesus Christ.  Let me explain...

Luke 1:16-27 talks about John being the forerunner to Christ.  That he would bring many back to the Lord. He was to be possessed by the Spirit, that filled Elijah, and filled with power.  He would reconcile, covert, and prepare a people to be fit for the Lord.

Luke 1:76 again calls John the foreronner for Christ.  He is the preparer of the way.  John was to lead people to a knowledge of salvation through forgiveness of sins.  He was to shine on those who live in darkness under the shadow of death (Psalm 23).  He was a guide to the way of peace (John 14:6 Jesus calls himself "the way").

In Luke 3:3, it says that John proclaimed baptism in token of repentence for the forgiveness of sins.

Luke 3:4-6 quotes scripture in reference to John, that he was to prepare the way for the Lord, to clear a straight path for Him.

In Luke 3:18 is says that John appealed to the people and announced the Good News.

This sounds a lot like what we are called to as Disciples of Jesus Christ.  Matthew 5:14-16 calls us to be light to illuminate the way to salvation.  Matthew 28:19-20 instructs us to go and make disciples, teaching them to observe what He has commanded.  In this, I find instruction to bring back the lost (James 5:19-20).  We see the possession by God's Spirit in the Acts.  We are instructed to reconcile, to convert, to prepare people for the return of Jesus in Paul's letters.  We lead people to knowledge of salvation through the forgiveness of sins.  We are a guide to Jesus, the Way.  We are instructed to baptize as a token of repentence for the forgiveness of sins.  We are "Path Clearers" and "Way Preparers". 

As John called people to demonstrate the fruit of repentence (Luke 3:8-14 - Share our excess with those in need, don't abuse the priviledge of our position), we too are to call the believers to bear the fruit of their repentence.

Of the times Jesus became disturbed (angered), it strikes me it was the religious leaders of His day who were impeding, blocking the way, clouding the requirements of relationship with God. (Matthew 23:1-39).  We don't want to be those who anger our Lord by impeding others.  We want to be viewed as favored, as John was, for clearing the path, making the way straight, for leading others to repentence for the forgivenss of thier sins and into relationship with Jesus, the Christ.

I'd ask that you be praying for me.  I have a unique opportunity.  As a member of the Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce, I have access to a networking event and given 90 seconds with each individual who attends this luncheon.  In that 90 seconds, the intent is to tell people about your "business".  I am a member of the Chamber on behalf of the ministry of KenNeff.com.  Our "business" is the manufacturing of disicples for Jesus Christ ("...go make disciples...").  Pray that I will be clear in the presentation of the Good News.  That I will be a path clearer and way straightener.  Pray that the Spirit will have opportunty to convict, compell, and convert lives from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of Light.  The event takes place on October 10 from 11:30am to 1:00pm.  Please pray as I prepare. Pray for those with whom I will be "networking".

9:56 am edt 

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