Posts Tagged ‘Christ

21
Aug
08

Jesus utters the condemning sound byte (mark 14)

For much of the Gospel of Mark, Jesus has been reluctant for his true identity to be openly disclosed, but in Mark 14, he finally identifies himself as the Christ, who will be seated at the right hand of Power (v. 62).  No Jewish rabbi would or could make such a claim.  For a mere mortal to do so would be blasphemy, an affront to the supremacy of God.  Yet Jesus of Nazareth makes that assertion, not because he is a deluded mad man or an impudent con artist, but because he is the divine one, God’s anointed.

Not only Jesus’ enemies, but even his friends stumbled about trying to live in the light of this truth.  Peter was so sure of his unshakable allegiance to Jesus, but his eyes were heavy with sleep while Jesus’ heart was heavy with sorrow (v. 37), his sword was swift when it should have remained in place (v. 47) and his own lips betrayed his devotion as they spoke thrice the words of denial (vv. 68ff).

I am prompted to ask of myself whether I would have fared any better than Peter did.  Better question: Am I right now faring better than that?

31
Jul
08

Who do you say that I am? (Mark 8)

In the latter half of Mark 8, Jesus is traveling with his followers, when he asks them, “Who do people say that I am?” (see v. 27).  This sets the stage for a more significant question, “But who do you say that I am?”  Peter answers that Jesus is the Christ (the anointed one of God).  Peter has the right answer, but as we will soon see he really doesn’t understand what that means.

Jesus places a gag order on the disciples, they are not to make this known to others.  Jesus then proceeds to teach his disciples that he, the Christ, must suffer many things, be rejected, killed by the religious leaders and then rise from the dead.  It will be these events that establish him as the Christ, not the premature testimony of the demons, nor the ones he has healed, nor even the testimony of his followers.  Peter, and I suspect the rest, did not like the sounds of suffering, rejection and death.  Was not the Christ going to come as a king to finally deliver the nation of Israel from the foreign oppressor?  Jesus rebuked that kind of thinking, popular as it might have been, it was not the way of God.  The Christ was not to be some nationalistic saviour, but a suffering servant that deliver people from the power of sin.

I have to ask myself whether I don’t slip into the same type of error that gripped Peter.  Do I project onto Jesus what I want him to be, rather than who he truly is?  Would I prefer Jesus to be my ‘buddy in the sky’ that gets me out of a pinch, rather than the Lord who calls me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow him?

23
May
08

Becoming a man of God – Experiencing Divine Intervention part one (ch. 5)

“Authentic prayer brings heavenly realities to bear on earthly situations.” For the next two chapters, Beltz is going to unpack that for us.

In chapter five, he explains that the Kingdom of God is best understood as God’s reign and rule. Although the fullness of that rule lies in the future, the first coming of Jesus prepared the way for God’s Kingdom to be experienced in the present. Prayer is asking God to intervene into our lives and into our situations now. We are not seeking to force our wills upon God, but rather to affirm God’s will and ask that it become a reality in our lives. The author suggests five key areas to be praying that God’s will be done. This week we will cover the first two.

The first area is our personal lives; we seek God’s blessing and favour by praying for it. The author shares a lengthy list of spiritual needs that he prays for regularly. That list includes:

  • To submit to the will of God
  • To receive empowerment from the Spirit
  • To abide in Christ
  • To develop character
  • To be humble
  • To be useful

The second area is our family; we seek God’s blessing and provision for our spouse and for our children.

Beltz underscores both the responsibility and privilege a father has to exercise spiritual authority by praying for his family.

This week’s assignment is to carry on implementing what we have already covered so far.

For me one of the battles is trying to figure out how to pray for my kids with them there. Their combined schedules seem to make chaos a routine.

Previous post in this series

18
Feb
08

Green side out!

//farm1.static.flickr.com/45/141173311_720d4200ce.jpg?v=0He talked about his journey toward God, while he moved the cube that his hands held. This way and that way went the cube, as did his journey. Then the moment came and he came alive to God in Christ; the green tiles of the multi-coloured cube were now aligned all on the same side. He turned the green side outward toward us and said that this represented his Christian ‘face’. By looking at the green side, he said, we might think that everything in his life was now together, but…he turned the back side of the cube toward us…there are still facets of his life that are not yet all together. Just like the backside faces of the cube they remained a jumbled array of coloured tiles.

It was an illustration with which I easily identified. I prefer to turn outward those ‘faces’ that are together, but I know that there are aspects of my life which are still being moved into full alignment with God’s purposes. For example, as a father there are too many times that I miss the teachable moment with one of my kids. I fail to build sufficient margin into my world so that I have both time and reserve to enter theirs and speak words of encouragement and gentle correction.

Anyone relate?

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. (Php 1:6)

18
Oct
07

Living in the moment

Do you know people that live for the moment? What about those that seem to be haunted by the past? And others that live in fear of the future?

The guys talked about that (and prayed about that) over our weekly fix of doughnuts. Here is my two cents.

As followers of Christ, our past may be full of “issues”, some that we own and some that was dumped on us; either way Jesus can deliver us from that darkness. Our past doesn’t need to cast condemning shadows on the present. We are free.

As men of the Way, our future is secure with God. He knows what we need to live and grow and he promises to provide that. The future need not be a source of fear or worry or paralysis. It is a destination we anticipate with hope.

As sons of the King, we are able to live fully in the moment, but we do not live for the moment. Our priorities and passions are becoming kingdom-centred not self-centred. Our moments are opportunities to lead boldly by serving Truth.

What is your two cents?




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