Reading for today:
Psalm 42, 43, 85, 86
Gen. 46:1-7, 28-34
1 Cor. 9:1-15
Our need is to turn our minds to Christ. Our problem is that we are self-obsessed.
“Teach me your way, Lord;
so that I can walk in your truth.
Make my heart focused
only on honoring your name.” — Ps. 86:11
Some thoughts from Life Without Lack, Dallas Willard’s newest book:
We need our hearts and minds turned toward Christ. Our trouble is… ourselves. We too often operate out of hurt. Wounds we have received become our focus. (Hit your thumb with a hammer and notice how much you think about that thumb for the next few days.)
Hurt in our lives can become a prison. That, in turn, becomes our frame of reference as we turn to others. What flows out of us? Hurt. We end up wounding others and cause a literal “world of hurt.”
We are a world of individuals trying to become our own saviors.
The need in our lives is the fullness of the gospel. It’s not the transactional gospel of “say the right words and you get into heaven.” It’s not the social justice gospel of filling in the gaps we think Jesus left behind on this earth. It IS the gospel of the availability of the kingdom of the heavens through trust in Jesus Christ.
In is about Christ with us. It is about the abundance of the kingdom of heaven (John 10:10). Our minds need to dwell on the richness of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Our hearts and minds are incredible. We can absolutely think on Christ. We can choose where our minds dwell. That is the incredible beauty of the mind created by God in the first place. We are magnificent beings with immense possibility. That is what God has created!
I am tired of being my own savior. It’s worn me out. Trusting Christ? The focus is truly “mind blowing.” The Kingdom is vast. it is beautiful. And I have decided I simply won’t settle for anything less.
The way of the cross doesn’t make sense. Not to this world. Not to culturalized Christianity. But the way of the cross is exactly what we need.
Reading for today:
Psalm 45, 47, 48
I Cor. 1:20-31
This hymn was sung in the church we attended the past Sunday. The words have tumbled through my spirit ever since.
Bless now, O God, the journey that all your people make,
the path through noise and silence, the way of give and take.
The trail is found in desert and winds the mountain round,
then leads beside still waters, the road where faith is found.
Bless sojourners and pilgrims who share this winding way;
your hope burns through the terrors, you love sustains the day.
We yearn for holy freedom while often we are bound;
together we are seeking the road where faith is found.
Divine eternal lover, you meet us on the road.
We wait for lands of promise where milk and honey flow,
but waiting not for places, you meet us all around.
Our covenant is written on roads, as faith is found.
Words: Sylvia Dunstan (1955-1993)
The second verse is something I carry this week. We often walk in bondage and just don’t recognize it. We think we have freedom, yet we are bound. The way of the cross will lead us to true freedom. This is my longing prayer for the day.
The scandal is that the gospel means liberation, that this liberation comes to the poor, and that it gives them the strength and the courage to break the conditions of servitude. This is what the Incarnation means. God in Christ comes to the weak and the helpless, and becomes one with them, taking their condition of oppression as his own and thus transforming their slave-existence into a liberated existence. — James Cone, God of the Oppressed Continue reading “God of the Oppressed”
In that renewal there is no longer Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and free; but Christ is all and in all! (Col. 3:11, NRSV) Continue reading “One humanity”
Now as Jesus was going out of the temple courts, one of his disciples said to him, “Teacher, look at these tremendous stones and buildings!” Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left on another. All will be torn down!”
So while he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will these things happen? And what will be the sign that all these things are about to take place?” (Mark 13:1-5, NIV)
We always want to know the what and when. We need to surrender OUR view of the end of the age. What is the KINGDOM view? Allow Jesus to mess up your theology.
“When Jesus described himself as a physician to sinners, a healer of the inner life, he was calling himself much more than one who associated with the broken, more even than one who could and would forgive them for the damage they had wreaked in their relationships with God and with one another. He was claiming to be one who could take damaged souls and restore them to health… He actively sought out the broken, not to pity them but to transform them.” — Chris Webb, God Soaked Life
45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45, NIV)
Self-giving love is the key. This is the power set loose on the world. This is the heart of the revolution launched on Good Friday. (NT Wright, “The Day the Revolution Began”)