Monday, April 21, 2014

Rxmxmbxr My Typxwritxr

Evxn though my typxwritxr is an old modxl, it works quitx wxll excxpt for onx of thx kxys. I havx wishxd many timxs that it workxd pxrfxctly. It is trux that thxrx arx forty-six kxys that function wxll xnough, but just onx kxy not working makxs thx diffxrxncx.

Somxtimxs it sxxms to mx that our church is somxwhat likx my typxwritxr – not all thx kxy pxoplx arx working propxrly. You may say to yoursxlf, “Wxll, I am only onx pxrson. I won’t makx or brxak thx church.” But it doxs makx thx diffxrxncx bxcausx a church to bx xffxctivx nxxds thx activx participation of xvxry pxrson.

So nxxt timx you think you arx only onx pxrson and that your xfforts arx not nxxdxd, rxmxmbxr my typxwritxr and say to yoursxlf, “I am a kxy pxrson in thx congrxgation, and I am nxxdxd vxry much*.”


*Taken from Roy B. Zuck’s The Speaker’s Quote Book (Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 2009), pg. 90.
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Who is Jesus' Mother and Brothers? (A Reflection on Mark 3:31-35)

Then Jesus’ mother and brothers arrived. They stood outside the house and sent in a message,
 asking for him. A crowd was sitting around Jesus, and they said to him,
Look, your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, and they want you.’”
(Mark 3:31-32, GNB).

I think His family was still there when they first “set out to take charge of him” (Mark 3:20-21). They probably had heard the teachers of the Law’s accusations against Jesus, and thus, added more to their concerns for Him. So they “sent in a message, asking for him” because a great “crowd was sitting around Jesus.” Some commentaries suggest that Jesus’ family was tried to identify themselves with Jesus now that He is famous… I doubt strongly. They really care but they don’t know what they do. They also misjudged and misunderstood Him like the teachers of the Law. They not just “stood outside the house” – they are the outsiders.

Jesus answered, ‘Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?’
He looked at the people sitting around him and said,
Look! Here is my mother and my brothers!
Whoever does what God wants is my brother, my sister, my mother.’” (Mark 3:33-35, GNB).

I imagine when the messenger brought the news to Jesus that His family was standing outside the house and seeking after Him, I heard Jesus replied with a mild rebuke. The messenger, the people and including some of us as well, I assume, thought that external relationship is what make us related to Christ. Jesus replied was the other way round: “Whoever does what God wants is my brother, my sister, my mother.” It was time for His immediate family to learn the new relationship that must bind them to Him. The relationship was (and is) no more based on flesh and blood. It is spiritual and inward, not outward and automatic.

To be Jesus’ Family – The Kingdom Family – one must “does what God wants” or “does the will of God” (ESV) or by obedience to God’s will. The knowledge of God is inadequate. It must be accompanied by obedience. Faith without actions is dead (see James 2:14-26). Do you want to be Jesus’ brother, sister or mother? Do the will of God. But what is God’s will? To find the answer to this all-important question requires us of our time and energy to find it for ourselves. It’s a lifetime pursuit where God will guide us through. After all, to know and to do the will of God is part of the journey of becoming God’s sons and daughters. Just keep in mind that it is God’s will for you and me to know His will. My suggestion is first start with the most obvious one; it is God’s will for us to have a constant relationship with Jesus Christ and to obey His Word.
This is the first step.

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Saturday, April 19, 2014

C.S. Lewis on the Spirit of God

The Holy Spirit is like a dove, not a dove.
Like I wrote earlier, think and read imaginatively when you read this long-unauthorized quote from C.S. Lewis in his book Mere Christianity:

The union between the Father and the Son is such a live concrete thing that this union itself is also a Person. I know this is almost inconceivable, but look at it thus. You know that among human beings, when they get together in a family, or a club, or a trade union, people talk about the ‘spirit’ of that family, or club, or trade union. They talk about its ‘spirit’ because the individual members, when they are together, do really develop particular ways of talking and behaving which they would not have if they were apart. It is as if a sort of communal personality came into existence. Of course, it is not a real person: it is only rather like a person.

But that is just one of the differences between God and us. What grows out of the joint life of the Father and Son is a real Person, is in fact the Third of the three Persons who are God. This third Person is called, in technical language, the Holy Ghost or the ‘spirit’ of God. Do not be worried or surprised if you find it (or Him) rather vaguer or more shadowy in your mind than the other two. I think there is a reason why that must be so.

In the Christian life you are not usually looking at Him. He is always acting through you. If you think of the Father as something ‘out there’, in front of you, and of the Son as someone standing at your side, helping you to pray, trying to turn you into another son, then you have to think of the third Person as something inside you, or behind you.

Perhaps some people might find it easier to begin with the third Person and work backwards. God is love, and that love works through men – especially through the whole community of Christians. But this spirit of love is, from all eternity, a love going on between the Father and the Son.”

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