Archive for May 2008

Progress

May 29, 2008

“Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress” (I Timothy 4:15).

Progress, not perfection. As we saw a couple of Sundays ago, the word “perfect” in the Bible means “completion,” “maturity,” “going all the way,” rather than never faltering or sinning or committing an error. But in order to go all the way, I have to pass through today. There are no short-cuts. The goal for today isn’t perfection, it’s progress toward perfection. Perfection isn’t my measuring stick, progress is. (more…)

Harvest Time

May 27, 2008

I intend to give you the best years of my life.

In a few months I’ll be 55. Part of me says that’s hard to believe; another part says, “Admit it: you’ve known this was coming for quite awhile.” I won’t guarantee they’ll be the healthiest years, or the years I’ll have the most stamina, or that they’ll be my most creative years. At some point my singing voice will begin to sound, well, old. (Did I hear someone say, “Begin?”) My guitar-playing will sound even more unimaginative, and I’ll forget to shift my capo even more often than I do now. (Hard to believe, I know.) (more…)

Staying Yoked

May 22, 2008

As you can tell, blogging hasn’t been at the top of my list of priorities this week. I’ve been trying to catch up on a few things, as well as write a newsletter article. Personally, I’ve been encouraged by my attempts to find and maintain that “sweet spot” in being yoked with Christ. (more…)

Powerful People

May 16, 2008

Jesus and the Soldier Uploaded by  anjotesorero(ii) on FlickrThis morning at our men’s Bible study we talked about power. (Hey, it is a men’s Bible study. What else are we going to talk about?) At first glance, compared to Rome, Jesus looks pretty powerless. Sure, he turned over a few money changers’ tables in the temple and drove out some animals, but when Jesus came head-to-head with the enemy (i.e. Rome), he got taken out. Instead of death by crucifixion being a badge of courage, people in the first century would have viewed it as a sign of defeat, pure and simple. (more…)

Loving What We Hate

May 15, 2008

There is so much to love. Creation, Jesus, God’s Word, God’s will, and other people. So why aren’t we “smitten?” Why aren’t our spirits constantly buoyed by the glory and wonder of it all?

Because there is also so much to hate. About creation, Jesus, God’s Word, God’s will, and other people. (more…)

Abba — Ways We Can Love Him

May 14, 2008

Our Father. Our Abba. Most of you already know this, but it bears repeating: the word “Abba” is Aramaic for Father, or better, Dad or Papa. It’s how Jews in first century Palestine, both children and adults, addressed their father. They would have never thought to address God as Abba. In fact they would have considered it sacrilegious if not blasphemous. Actually, this was Jesus’ unique way of addressing his Father. As “the only begotten Son of God,” he was the only one who had the “right” to address God in this way. (more…)

The Lord’s Prayers

May 13, 2008

This past Sunday I talked about the Lord’s prayer — not the usual one, but the shorter version: “Abba!” The apostle Paul refers to this prayer in both Romans 8 and Galatians 4: “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, ‘Abba, Father.'” So it is the Spirit of Jesus in us that cries, “Abba!” Sometimes it’s a cry of delight and praise (“I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…” [Luke 10:21]); at other times a “groaning” (Romans 8:26) and a call for help (“‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me’…And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground” [Luke 22:42,44]). (more…)