Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Time Out

I read two articles recently on children. The first, by a pastor, referred to Mark 10:13-16. Jesus says "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

I always picture happy children running and playing in this Jesus scene. It’s easy to imagine these children being examples of those who will enter the kingdom of God, right?

The reality of my own experience was described in the second article where a mom speaks of a snow day with her kids.

“Children are gifts from God and I know we are all thankful for them, but sometimes they can push us to the limits of our patience! There is nothing that breaks my heart more, than to deal with sibling rivalry. I would rather clean up ten milk spills (or broken eggs and coffee pots) than hear my children quarrelling with each other, and the black and white striped referee shirt that I seem to be forced to wear all the time is not a flattering fashion statement!”

What did Jesus mean when he said we are to receive the kingdom of God like a little child?

One thing that has always amazed me about children - I’ve seen this with difficult children in daycare centers as well as with my own strong willed children – the wildest of children will sit in a time out chair. They can be running around throwing a whopper of a fit but when the adult in charge disciplines them to sit, they sit (yes, I know there are a few exceptions but very few if the authority is respected).

All of us are like children to God. Think of the good traits you see in children. Now think of the children you would rather not be around. Ever have the desire to place one of those in the second category on your lap and let you teach them something – let you bless them with what you have learned about life?

Whatever your current circumstances, wild or cheerful, Jesus says “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29 NLT)

If Jesus is Lord of your life, run to him and let him bless you. If he is not Lord of your life, I suggest you take a time out and think about who knows best. When you are ready to listen and learn, Jesus is ready to accept your apology and show you how to really live.

Recommended Reading:

Making Children Our Priority by Rich Nathan (Vineyard Columbus March 2007 Congregational Letter)

Brothers and Sisters by Tracie Miles (Proverbs 31 Ministries)

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Only Human

Have you ever said these words? – “I’m only human.” Most of us offer that phrase as an excuse for mistakes or poor behavior. As followers of Jesus Christ we are called to be more than human. “For he himself has said, ‘You must be holy because I am holy.’” (1 Peter 1:16 NLT)

To say that being “only human” allows us to behave in selfish or less than excellent ways indicates that Jesus was not human like us. True, the fullness of God lived in his human body (Colossians 2:9). But did he not come to restore us to God so that we may truly live as he lives?

We are made in the image of God – body, mind, and spirit. John 6:63 says “the spirit gives life, the flesh counts for nothing.” It is a decision of the mind whether we will focus on the body or focus on the spirit.

"Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:25,33

Like a plant fed through its invisible roots, our body is fed through our spirit. To say “I’m only human” is not an excuse. It should be a confession - a confession that our mind is set on earthly things, earthly abilities, earthly appearances, and earthly expectations.

Since you were brought back to life with Christ, focus on the things that are above--where Christ holds the highest position. Keep your mind on things above, not on worldly things. You have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Christ is your life. When he appears, then you, too, will appear with him in glory. Let every detail in your lives - words, actions, whatever - be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Colossians 3:1-4,17 MSG

I confess, I am only human more often than I want to be. But “because of the Lord’s great love [I am] not consumed, for his compassions never fail.” Lamentations 3:22

Additional scripture:
1 Peter 1:13-21; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Romans 12:1-2; 1 Corinthians 15:19,40; John 14:1-21

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Game Plan – Christ Follower to Self Leader

Terry Whalin’s blog today speaks directly to writers but a writer is just someone who puts their thoughts and conversation in print. If you like C.S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters, you’ll enjoy the style of this clear message to anyone who is a follower of Christ. Here’s the link

Grow and Sow that others may Know

Monday, February 05, 2007

Questioning God

Rich Nathan at Vineyard Columbus spoke on “Meeting God at the Cross” this past weekend. His emphasis was on the reality that not only did God come to earth to suffer for us, he also suffered with us.

Throughout the message God was revealing something to me that was bigger than I could comprehend at the time. As I was journaling it became a little clearer. Here’s the one statement from my journal that blew me away:

“Not only did God become like man, he became man. He became his own creation so that he would fully experience what his created experiences – questions.”

Let that soak in while you read Mark 15:24-24 and Psalm 22.

May God add the blessing of understanding as you read his word.

the mission:
PROCLAIM the good news; HEAL the sick and oppressed; BRING JUSTICE
~ Luke 4:16-20

Anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing (John 14:12)
~ Jesus 

Copyright 2005-2010 Lisa Biggs Crum
Email for reprint permission