“In this life, we can do only a few things really well; I think it’s a good idea to make certain that one of those things is what Jesus says is most important.” –Brian Mavis
I think we can all agree that’s true. In this life, we can only do a few things well. With that in mind, why wouldn’t one of those things be what Jesus says is most important? If you’re not a follower of Christ, then it doesn’t matter. But if you are a follower of Christ…
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” –Jesus Christ, Matthew 22:36-39
And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” John 1:19-20
I have failed as a leader. As a father, most importantly, and also as a leader in the fire department. Many of the scraps of wisdom you read on this blog come from my failures. I offer what I offer so you don’t have to fail where I did. You can learn from experience but it doesn’t have to be your own. I invite you to learn from mine. And this idea that I am not the Christ, that was one of my greatest failures of all.
Maybe you’re saying to yourself right now, “That’s not a problem for me. Of course I know I’m not the Christ.” If that’s you then let me just say, that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m not talking about intellectual understanding. I’m talking about behavior. In my case, I was one of those people: a type A personality. I tried–to the point of exhaustion–to be the rising sun of my organization and my family: simultaneously.
It doesn’t work.
I can tell you (because I’ve lived it) that when you forget you’re not the Christ you’ll fail. More specifically, you’ll tend to experience the following 5 problems: Continue reading →
(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”) For from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known. John 1:15-18
The Law And It’s Result
“…the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” The law was given through Moses, and what did we get when all we had was the law? When Moses was up on the mountain receiving the law, receiving the stone tablets engraved with the ten commandments, he was gone from the people for awhile. And the people grew tired of waiting. They gave up on Moses, and they gave up on God Himself too. They created their own thing to worship, an idol, and they threw a party. And when Moses finally came down from the mountain and saw what had happened, he was devastated. He broke the stone tablets in anger and 3,000 of the idol worshippers died that day. (Exodus Chapter 32)
The law brings death, because we can’t measure up to it, we can’t meet that standard. The law is important, even as we saw in the last blog post on John 1:14, because the law is truth. The law reveals the truth of our sin. And the wages of sin is death. So the truth of the law is essential. It’s the educator, as Paul said, yet it brings death. (Galatians 3:24)
I was talking with a thirty-something last night and he and I both concluded we never feel bored. Maybe that’s not surprising. There’s Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. There’s podcasts, blogs, and Google searches. There are 300 hours of new video uploaded to Youtube–every minute, more than 150,000 new Reddit posts and submissions each day, and at the bottom of every Google News category there’s a link that says, “More Sci/Tech stories,” or “More Sports stories,” or “More U.S. stories,” or “More World stories.”
There’s more amazing information available to occupy our attention than ever before. (And I haven’t even touched on TV, music, movies, and video games.)
I love living at this point in the time-space continuum where we can have such an incredible amount of information available to us. I love doing research. I love checking out Youtube videos, articles, and subreddits in my areas of interest. But there’s a catch. Continue reading →
Some of you might be offended by this book review. If you find yourself beginning to lean in that direction I hope and pray you’ll read the entire article and, more importantly, read Kevin Palau’s book, Unlikely. I’m convinced God’s Holy Spirit is behind this movement.
Palau’s purpose in writing this book is to tell the amazing story of what God is doing in and around the city of Portland, Oregon. God does amazing things in many cities, but His work in Portland is evidence He can do what He wants, when He wants, wherever He wants. Because Portland is weird (and they like it that way). Portland is a place where 8,000, many of whom are naked, cycle through the streets to remind people of the positive impact cycling has on the environment. Continue reading →
“He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 1:11-13
Women Are More Amazing Than Men
Women are amazing, aren’t they? I mean, they have an ability no man has. They have the ability to Continue reading →
(Tied for the most popular post of 2014 so far, from the archives)
Read Genesis 39:6-23
I don’t know what Joseph’s early responsibilities were when he first began at Potiphar’s house, but they may have been intensely physical, because Joseph was ripped (“well built” verse six tells us). He was also a good looking guy. And because of this, Joseph’s master’s wife notices him, and begins to proposition him, without much in the way of subtlety either.
The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, (John 1:9-12)
When I was 9 years old I lived just south of Chicago, at 14910 South Kenton St., in Midlothian, Illinois. Somehow all the other kids on that street rejected me. They unanimously decided to exclude me from all their games and group activities. It was pretty bad. The level of hostility was pretty high. One time they even Continue reading →
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. John 1:6-8
The Most Inclusive Of All Religions
John the Apostle wrote those words about John the Baptist. God sent John the Baptist so all might believe through him. All–everyone–every single human being. That’s what God wants. And He went to extreme lengths to make that possible. He sent the Light, His own Son, to die on your behalf. Unlike other religions, it doesn’t matter who you are or what you’ve done. It’s not dependent on the works you do or the depth of your meditative state. Christianity is the most inclusive of all religions. Anyone, anyone at all, can receive the Light who is Jesus Christ. “This is the work of God,” Jesus said, “that you believe in him whom he has sent.”
“…that all might believe,” that is God’s heart.
But as you read the scripture at the top of this post you might be saying to yourself, Continue reading →
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:4-5
Napoleon Bonaparte And Jesus
Have you ever heard what Napoleon Bonaparte said about Jesus? Toward the end of his life Bonaparte was living in exile on St. Helena, a remote island in the South Atlantic. It was there that he said to his friend General Bertrand: “I know men and I tell you that Jesus Christ is no mere man. Between Him and every other person in the world there is no possible term of comparison.”
Many believe Bonaparte converted to Christianity while living in exile on that island. Bonaparte recognized that Jesus is more than a man. “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Hello Darkness My Old Friend
“Hello darkness my old friend” Simon and Garfunkel sang in the seventies. There’s darkness in your life. I know there is because Continue reading →