Can We Have Wisdom Like Solomon?

Hopefully We’re Wiser Than He Was

Making decisions can be a hard thing. Should I do this, or should I do that? It’s easier when there’s a clear choice of good or bad.

It’s much harder when it’s deciding between good and good.

Wouldn’t it be nice if God would just tell us what to do?

The problem with this is that we would not have free will. We would be nothing more than puppets. We wouldn’t like that either.

We just need wisdom to help us make these choices.

Solomon is often associated with wisdom. In 1 Kings 3:5-15, God comes to Solomon in a dream and asks him what he wants.

Solomon was a young man and had become the leader of a huge nation. He asks God for, “…an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”

The Lord was pleased that Solomon asked for wisdom.

So, God replied, “Because you have asked for wisdom in governing my people with justice and have not asked for a long life or wealth or the death of your enemies— I will give you what you asked for! I will give you a wise and understanding heart such as no one else has had or ever will have!

And I will also give you what you did not ask for—riches and fame! No other king in all the world will be compared to you for the rest of your life!

And if you follow me and obey my decrees and my commands as your father, David, did, I will give you a long life.”

Later, Solomon starts listening to the wrong voices…mainly his 1000 wives. (1 Kings 11:1-13)

“In Solomon’s old age they turned his heart to worship other gods instead of being completely faithful to the Lord his God, as his father, David had been. In this way, Solomon did what was evil in the Lord’s sight; he refused to follow the Lord completely.

The Lord was very angry with Solomon, for his heart had turned away from the Lord…”

Both David and Solomon received direction and blessings from God, but their lives ended up drastically different.

David made plenty of mistakes, but he repented and realigned with God. Solomon, on the other hand, did not. This resulted in consequences for Solomon’s family and the entire kingdom.

We need to constantly be in communication with God. This ongoing, nonstop connection is the only way that we can align our desires with His. Sure, we’ll make mistakes and wrong decisions. This is what happens in a fallen world.

But we also have the power of choice and can ask for forgiveness and repent of those mistakes. David chose this and Solomon didn’t.

We need to align what we ask from God with God.

The Final Step of Peter’s Journey

What Does it Mean to Let Jesus IN?

Over the past several weeks we’ve been going through the journey of Peter getting to know Jesus and the development of their relationship. This week we’ll discuss the final step of that process.

Have you noticed how all the previous messages have included words starting with the letters IN.

  • INtroduction
  • INvitation
  • INstruction
  • INterruption
  • Re-INstallation

This week we’ll look at INdwelling.

This journey began with Peter’s INtroduction to Jesus. All relationships begin here. Introduction is the act of introducing two people. We need to be introduced to Jesus as well as introduce others to Him.

The next step on the journey was Jesus INvitation to Peter to join Him in His journey. Invitation is what happens after being introduced. Peter needed an invitation from Jesus. One we’re introduced, Jesus invites us all to join Him.

As Peter is following Jesus, he gets INstruction from Him. This is when someone is showing and telling you how to do something. Instruction is the next level of learning. The Bible is full of God’s instructions for how we should live our lives.

Then what happens too often in everything we do is INterruption. This is where Peter let the things of the world interrupt his relationship with Jesus and he denied Him three times. Don’t let the world interrupt your relationship with Jesus. But if it does…

Jesus will forgive you and allow reINstallion.

This part of the journey is one of the hardest. After we mess up, why would anyone want anything to do with us, especially Jesus? This is probably the most important thing in this journey. This forgiveness we receive from Jesus is the reason He gave Himself up to be hung on a cross.

Don’t let this act of love go to waste.

This brings us to the final step of Peter’s discipleship journey – the INdwelling of Jesus. Indwelling is to inhabit or possess a person. This is what Jesus wants. He wants to inhabit and possess us fully. When this happens, we’ve come to a level in our relationship with Him that involves Him in everything we do.

The act of letting Jesus IN isn’t the same for everyone. But it’s up to us to take the journey.

To Whom Would We Go?

Peter Has Foot-in-Mouth Disease

We all have experienced cases of foot-in-mouth disease, but it seems that Peter has a severe case.

There are several instances of Peter talking (or acting) before thinking.

There was the time when Peter, James and John are with Jesus on the mount of transfiguration.

While Jesus was praying, “the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes became as bright as a flash of lightning. Two men, Moses and Elijah, appeared in glorious splendor… Peter and his companions were very sleepy, but when they became fully awake, they saw his glory and the two men standing with him. As the men were leaving Jesus, Peter said to him, “Master, it is good for us to be here. Let us put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.” (He did not know what he was saying.)” (Luke 9:28-33)

Then there was the time when the disciples went ahead in the boat and saw Jesus walking on the water.

When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear.

But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.”

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”

“Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:22-31)

And don’t forget the time when the disciples are eating their last meal with Jesus, and He tells them that they will all deny him before the night is over.

 “This very night you will all fall away on account of me, for it is written:

“‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’

 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

Peter replied, “Even if all fall away on account of you, I never will.”

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”

But Peter declared, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” (Matthew 26:31-35) And we talked about Peter’s denial last week.

Peter was Peter and even with his mistakes he would continually come back and ask for forgiveness.

And then Jesus was crucified before he had a chance. This left Peter broken and lost so he went back to what he knew…fishing.

After Jesus’ crucifixion and appearances His followers were left not knowing what to do. Then while they were fishing on the Sea of Galilee this happened.

Several of the disciple were fishing and not having any luck when a man on the beach asks if they’ve caught any fish. They replied that they hadn’t.

Then he said, “Throw out your net on the right-hand side of the boat, and you’ll get some!” So they did, and they couldn’t haul in the net because there were so many fish in it.

Then one of the disciples said to Peter, “It’s the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he jumped into the water, and headed to shore. When the others got there, they found breakfast waiting for them—fish cooking over a charcoal fire, and some bread.

“Bring some of the fish you’ve just caught,” Jesus said. So Simon Peter went aboard and dragged the net to the shore. (John21:1-14)

After breakfast Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these.”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter replied, “you know I love you.”

“Then feed my lambs,” Jesus told him.

 Jesus repeated the question: “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

“Yes, Lord,” Peter said, “you know I love you.”

“Then take care of my sheep,” Jesus said.

 A third time he asked him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was hurt that Jesus asked the question a third time. He said, “Lord, you know everything. You know that I love you.”

Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep. (John21:15-17)

I find it interesting that Jesus asked this question of Peter three times. This is the same number of times Peter denied knowing Him.

In John 6:22-70, Jesus is telling the people the commitment it was going to take to be one of His followers and people began to leave. Then His disciples were complaining, and Jesus ask the Twelve, “Are you going to leave?”

And Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go?

You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.”

This is really what it all comes down to. No matter how many times we mess up or what we do, Jesus will forgive us because…

To whom else could we go?

It’s Important to Have a Good Guide When Fishing

This is Especially Important When Fishing for People

When some of my family was on vacation staying in a house on a lake, they hired a guide to take them fishing. They met the guide at the dock at 4:30 in the morning and went fishing. They were back before lunch with a nice catch of fish. Needless to say, they had a fish fry.

This guide knew what time to go so that they would have the best opportunity to catch fish. The guide knew where on the lake to go to find the fish. The guide also knew what to do and how to catch the fish.

As Christians we’re called to fish for people

When fishing for people we need a guide. Someone who knows when to fish, where to fish, and how to fish.

Jesus is our guide when fishing for people.

Last week’s message was about Peter being introduced to Jesus. This week Peter is invited to follow Jesus.

In Matthew 4:18-20 Jesus is walking along the shore and sees Peter and Andrew fishing. He calls to them to follow Him and He will show them how to fish for people.

In Luke 5:1-11 Jesus was preaching on the shore of the Sea of Galilee. The crowds were pressing in on Him. He stepped into a boat and asked Peter to push Him offshore a little.

“When Jesus had finished speaking, He told Peter to go out to deeper water and let down his net. Simon replied, “we worked hard all last night and didn’t catch a thing. But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.”  And this time their nets were so full of fish they began to tear!  A shout for help brought their partners in the other boat, and soon both boats were filled with fish and on the verge of sinking.

When Simon Peter realized what had happened, he fell to his knees before Jesus and said, “Oh, Lord, please leave me—I’m such a sinful man.” For he was awestruck by the number of fish they had caught, as were the others with him. His partners, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, were also amazed.

Jesus replied to Simon, “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!” And as soon as they got to shore, they left everything and followed Jesus.”

Like Peter, we are invited to follow Jesus and fish for people.

Just like my family met the guide where and when he said, went with him to the right place, fished like he told them, and brought home a catch of fish. Jesus will do the same if we show up when and where He tells us, go where He tells us, and do what He tells us. We too can bring home a catch.

Now go do some fishing!

How Would You Feel if You Met Someone Famous?

Maybe It’s Easier Than You Think

Meeting famous people can be exciting. We’ve all seen people fawn over some famous person. If we meet or know someone famous, we tend to drop names like we’re old friends. I know I’ve done this on occasion.

Why is this?

I think often it’s because we have a low perception of ourselves, and it makes us feel more important and valuable.

This low self-perception is a lie. We’re all just as important as anyone else.

If you’ve ever had a chance to get to know someone famous, more often than not, you find that they aren’t that different than anyone else.

After all, God made us all in His image. (Genesis 1:27) That sounds to me like we’re all pretty important!

When Jesus was just starting His ministry, John the Baptist introduced Andrew, one of his disciples, to Jesus as “the Lamb of God”. Andrew then went and found his brother Simon and invited him to come meet Jesus, whom he called the Messiah.

Jesus was someone pretty famous.

Andrew invited Simon to come meet Jesus…he didn’t just tell him about Him.

We know Simon as Peter, the Rock on which the Church was built. (John 1:35-42) Peter also became pretty famous.

So, if Jesus is famous and we know Him and He knows us, (John 10:14) doesn’t that mean that we are important and worthy?

People are interested in famous people. It’s no different with Jesus. People are curious and want to know more about Him. If people are invited into a community of authentic Christian believers…they can get to know Jesus, rather than just being told about him.

People need to be invited to meet Jesus.

This invitation can come from Christians in a church. There’s also an invitation that comes from within each of us.

Preceding or prevenient grace is a way to understand how God’s grace works in our lives even before we become saved. 

Prevenient grace is the idea that God’s grace enables people to respond to him. It goes out to everyone, enabling them to respond in faith to what Jesus has done for us.

The theory of prevenient grace was developed to reconcile the tension between God’s sovereignty and human free will. It allows believers to exercise the free will God has given us.

Prevenient grace is a form of grace that only acts on a person before they are saved. It is distinct from sanctifying grace in that way. There is a change in the type of grace a person receives once they enter a relationship with God. The process of sanctification is still similar; it is still a yielding to God’s perfect will at our own expense. In sanctifying grace, however, the Spirit helps us as we become more and more like Jesus.

Prevenient Grace is at the very beginning of that process.

The idea of prevenient grace developed in response to Calvinism by Jacob Arminius. At the time, it emphasized the Calvinist idea that God had unconditionally chosen who would believe, and he also condemned those who were not chosen.

Prevenient grace became prevalent because Arminius opposed the idea that God has already unconditionally chosen who would believe and who would be condemned. He saw predestination as an affront to God’s justice.

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, further popularized it. He saw prevenient grace as the first of three stages in the believer’s life. These were gestation (prevenient grace), birth (justifying grace), and death (sanctifying grace). So, prevenient grace is how God prepares the believer to respond to Him. It is the links in the chain pulling someone closer and closer to God.

Prevenient grace is a way to reconcile how God’s grace is extended to all people, even though not everyone responds. It differs from Calvinism, which says God has already predestined and elected the people he has chosen to save.

Before a believer comes to Christ, he is dead in sin. Therefore, we need God to intervene before we respond to him. Those who believe in prevenient grace also believe that man cannot respond to God unless God acts first. Genesis 6:5 supports this because it says fallen humanity will only seek and do evil without God’s intervention.

Prevenient grace means that Jesus died for everyone, but his atonement only affects those who believe in him.

Knowing the famous Jesus starts with being aware of the pulling of this grace. The next step is understanding that there is a pulling. Third is information and instruction on what it is. Fouth is learning more about it and accepting Jesus as the only way to Heaven.

If you already know that famous person Jesus, feel free to drop His name.

Don’t just tell people about Him, invite them to meet Him and get to know Him through an authentic community of Bible-following believers!

For God So Loved the World…

That He Made a Promise to Us

Probably the most well known Bible verse ever is John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.”

Eternal life sounds like a good deal, and all we have to do is believe.

Believing is a little more difficult than it appears at first. True believing requires action. It means you believe what Jesus said. This means believing what the Bible says and living your life accordingly.

It’s no good if you just say you believe.

God’s promise to us is a covenant. The word covenant is commonly used in legal, social (marriage), and religious conversations.

The term “covenant” is of Latin origin (con venire), meaning a coming together. It presupposes two or more parties who come together to make a contract, agreeing on promises, stipulations, privileges, and responsibilities. It is used in various in biblical contexts. In political situations, it can be translated treaty; in a social setting, it means a lifelong friendship agreement; or it can refer to a marriage.

A covenant is a binding promise of far-reaching importance in the relations between individuals, groups, and nations. It has social, legal, religious, and other aspects. 

God made a covenant with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, but Adam and Eve didn’t keep their part of the covenant.

God made a covenant with Noah, but the people didn’t keep it. God made a covenant with Abraham, and once again…the people didn’t hold up their end of the agreement.

As humans, we struggle to do our part in the covenants that we have made with God. That’s why He sent His Son.

As we come to the end of the Roots: Advent study we look at the last part of Jesus’ family story.

Jesus is the final covenant.

If we don’t follow through on this agreement, we will get no more second chances.

We are living in the “Already, but not yet”. This statement summarizes the past, present, and future of the Bible.

We live now in the light of what God did in the past through Christ, but also looking to the future when Christ will come again.

We live between the already—what Christ has done—looking forward to the not yet—what He is still to do.

Christ became incarnate, lived, and died, and rose again. He ascended, and is now reigning, still the same incarnate Savior. But He has not yet brought about the consummation that will occur when He returns in majesty and glory.

We need to learn from our past, look to the future, and live in the present.

This Christmas season remember how much God loves us and the price Christ paid for this final covenant. Don’t let that payment be wasted.

We All Come from Someone, Some Place, and Some Thing

These All Contribute to Who We Are

We are continuing through the Roots Advent study this week.

Last week was about the “someone”. We discussed Jesus’ family and the imperfect people that were a part of His family. It showed us that neither us nor our family have to be perfect to be used by God.

This week we look at the “some place”.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem. A small, insignificant, out of the way place. But this small, insignificant, out of the way town is probably the most well-known town in the world.

This small, insignificant, out of the way town, in reality, is the biggest, most significant town. It is, after all, the place where Jesus, the Savior of the world, was born.

What’s really amazing is that it is so much more than just where Jesus was born.

For being a small, out of the way place, Bethlehem had a lot going on. Jacob’s wife, Rachel, is buried near Bethlehem. (Genesis 35:16-20)

The book of Ruth is a small book in the Bible, just four chapters, but there’s a big story in this small book.

Ruth was a Moabite woman who married an Israelite, Mahlon. After the death of all the male members of her family (her husband, her father-in-law, and her brother-in-law), she decides to stay with Naomi, her mother-in-law, and move back to Bethlehem. (Ruth 1:1-2)

This is where Ruth wins the love and protection of Boaz, a wealthy relative of Naomi. Ruth is the great-grandmother of David. She is one of five women mentioned in the genealogy of Jesus found in the Matthew, (Matthew 1:1-16) alongside Tamar, Rahab, Bathsheba, and Mary.  

Ruth’s seemingly small decision to be loyal to her mother-in-law and move with her back to the small town of Bethlehem had a big impact.

The world’s focus is on big, powerful, and popular. The world looks at the outside, but God looks at the inside.

Three things that Bethlehem show us are…

  • God works through the small – The little town of Bethlehem had a big impact. Jesus, a small baby was born there.
  • God works through the powerless – Bethlehem was powerless in the governmental landscape. Jesus as a baby was powerless. He needed to be taken care of.
  • God works through the hidden – Bethlehem was an out of the mainstream, ordinary place. Jesus was born, hidden away there.

It’s easy to get sucked into the worldly perception of what our lives, businesses, organizations, and churches are supposed to be like, through the bombardment of social media, internet, television, etc. Don’t be sucked into the worldly focus.

God can do amazing things with the small, powerless, and hidden.

Let God do amazing things through the small, powerless, and hidden.

Let God do amazing things through you.

Peter Says He Doesn’t Know Jesus…What Are You Going to Say?

Going Through the Last Days of Jesus’ Life

Sorry about being a day late getting this post published. I would like to blame it on this being a short holiday week, but that wouldn’t be totally true. The short week may have played a small part, but it’s more to do with simply being busy.

The past several weeks we’ve been going through the Book of Luke. This week we finish up Luke going through chapters 22-24.

In these chapters, Jesus’ journey is coming to an end, and these things take place –  

  • Judas betrays Jesus.
  • Jesus shares the Passover with His disciples.
  • Pilate and Herod look for a way to set Jesus free.
  • The people want the murderer Barabbas set free instead of Jesus.
  • The sun stops shining for hours during the middle of the day.
  • The curtain in the Temple is torn in two.
  • Jesus is killed.
  • Jesus is buried.
  • Jesus returns and appears to His disciples.
  • Jesus opens their minds to understand.

There are a lot of people involved in the chapters.

  • Judas – Satan enters Judas (Luke 22:3), and he goes to the chief priests and the officers of the church to help them arrest Jesus. Satan couldn’t come into Judas’ heart without Judas letting him in. Judas had to allow this. The same is true for Jesus. He won’t come in if we don’t let Him. Just like Judas, this is a choice that is ours to make.
  • Peter – Jeus is telling His disciples that they will be tested. (Luke 22:31-34) Peter tells Jesus, “Lord, I am ready to go with you to jail and even to die with you.” Jesus replied, “Peter, I tell you that before a rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will say three times that you don’t know me.” You know the rest of the story. After Jesus is arrested and Peter is standing in the courtyard of the high priest’s house, Peter denies knowing Jesus three times. (Luke 22:54-65) Just like Peter, this is a choice that is ours to make.
  • Pilate and Herod – Neither of these men thought Jesus was guilty or deserved to be put to death. They weren’t willing to stand up against the people and set Him free. (Luke 23:1-23) Pilate and Herod were persuaded by the culture. Just like Pilate and Harrod, the choice to let culture persuade us is ours to make.
  • Barabbas – Upon the demanding of the people, the guilty Barabbas was released in place of Jesus. He was forgiven for his wrongdoing and set free. Then the innocent Jesus was killed on the cross in his place. (Luke 23:24-25) There are some that believe that after this Barabbas became a follower of Jesus. This is the same thing Jesus does for us. Just like Barabbas, Jesus paid for our wrongdoings and it’s our choice whether to follow Jesus or not.
  • Simon – As Jesus was being led away, some soldiers grabbed Simon of Cyrene and made him carry Jesus’ cross. This was not Simon’s cross. For all we know Simon may not even knew who Jesus was, but yet he carried Jesus’ cross for Him. (Luke 23:26) This is what Jesus will do for us. He will carry our cross.
  • Men on the cross on either side of Jesus – There were two criminals nailed to the crosses on either side of Jesus. One of them was insulting Jesus by saying, “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and save us!” But the other criminal told the first one off, “Aren’t you getting the same punishment as this man? We got what was coming to us, but he didn’t do anything wrong.” Then he said to Jesus, “Remember me.” Jesus replied, “I promise that today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:32-43) Just like the criminal, we just need to ask Jesus and we can be in paradise with Him.
  • Joseph – Joseph was a church leader from Arimathea and member of the council but did not agree with what was decided. He believed in Jesus and was looking forward to God’s kingdom coming. Joseph went to Pilate and asked if he could take Jesus’ body down and bury it. He wrapped Jesus’ body in fine cloth and put it in his tomb that had never been used. (Luke 23:50-53) The fact that no other bodies had been buried there makes the empty tomb a big deal. Joseph believed and acted on that belief. Just like Joseph, we need to believe and act on that belief.
  • The women – On the day after the Sabbath the women prepared spices for Jesus’ burial. When they got there the tomb was empty. Suddenly, two men in shining white clothes stood beside them. The men tell the women that Jesus is risen and is not there. (Luke24:1-12) In that time women were seen as second-class citizens. This is partly why the apostles did not believe them until they went and looked for themselves. Just like the women, sometimes people won’t believe you but we still need to share the truth anyway.
  • Cleopas – Two of Jesus’ followers were walking and talking about what had happened. Jesus joined them and asked what they were talking about. With sadness in his voice, Cleopas answered, “You must be the only person from Jerusalem who doesn’t know what’s happened over the past few days.” “What do you mean?”, asked Jesus. They told Him the whole story and then Jesus asked them, “Why can’t you understand?” They asked Jesus to stay with them and when they sat down to eat Jesus broke some bread and He disappeared. The two men went back to tell the others what they had seen. (Luke 24:13-49) Just like the Cleopas, if we listen and learn, our eyes will be open to Jesus.

We are all these people. We are Barabbas. We are set free even though we don’t deserve it.

This isn’t the end of the story. Just like Peter’s story doesn’t end with his denying Jesus.  Our story is still being written. Remember the tomb is empty.

We’ve come to the end of Luke and now we’re going into Luke volume two…Acts.

The book of Acts picks up where Luke left off, providing us with a front row seat to the birth of the church, the coming of the Holy Spirit, the spreading of the Gospel and the growth of the church.

What Are We Going to Do About Jesus?

Because it Looks Like He’s in Trouble

Most of us have heard of some of the strange and odd laws that are out there. Like for example, crazy law #14 of the 20 Most Stupid Laws in the U.S.

In New York, “It is illegal for a group of people to wear masks in public”. I wonder how that’s currently working out?

Here are a few of the 50 Dumb Laws from Across the United States. In Alaska, flamingos are not allowed in barber shops. A pickle is not a pickle in Connecticut unless it bounces. Christmas decorations are not allowed up after January 14th in Maine.

Most of these laws made their way onto the books because of some specific situation and/or understandable reason at the time. The problem is that we tend to get caught up in the rules and regulations and lose sight of what the underlying reason was.

Laws have been a problem since the beginning of time.

In Luke 6:6-11 Jesus was teaching on a Sabbath and a man with a crippled hand was there. The Pharisees and teachers of the law were watching Jesus to see what He would do.

Jesus knew they were watching and asked the man to stand up. He asked the question, “On the Sabbath should we do good or evil? Should we save life or destroy it?”

Jesus knew it was better to heal than to hurt.

He asked the man to hold out his hand and it became well.

The teachers and Pharisees were furious and started asking each other,

“What are we going to do about Jesus? He had crossed the church leaders and now…

It looks like Jesus is in trouble.

These church leaders had gotten caught up in the law. They were missing the reasons behind them. What started as a good they had made bad.

The wrong focus by the leaders of the church made Jesus angry.

Too often, we think of Jesus as only soft and weak. He is also strong and powerful. He is, after all God. The Bible is full of examples of God getting angry with us for doing the wrong things.

If you don’t think Jesus gets angry just look at what he did to the people in the temple who were cheating. John 2:14-15 The GREED of the people in the temple and the SUPERIORITY of the church leaders are just a couple of things that make Him angry.


These things should make us angry too.

We need to put our focus on the right things. The things that Jesus focuses on.

It’s okay to get into trouble when we’re doing it the way Jesus does.

Living a Christian Life is Like a Game of Tag with a Twist

In This Game, It’s Good to Be Tagged

We’re all familiar with the game of tag and most of us played it as kids. 

It involves two or more players chasing each other in an attempt to “tag” them out of play. When a person is tagged, the tagger says, “Tag, you’re it.” The last one tagged is the loser and is “it” for the next round.

The Christian game of tag works a little differently. Instead of tagging people out of play, in the Christian game, we “tag” them in. Every person we tag joins in the effort to tag others, who then do more tagging. 

The people tagged in this game are the winners.

In Luke 9:28-36, Jesus takes Peter, John and James up on the mountain. While up there with Jesus, they were tagged. They went on to tag others, who tagged others…

This experience, among others, made them want to be like Jesus and “tag” people.

Being like Jesus, sounds relatively easy on the surface, but think about the sacrifices He made. He came to earth and lived like a human. He shared in our sufferings. He loved us that much.

Dr. Maxell Maltz tells a remarkable story of a love like this.

A man had been burned and disfigured in a fire while attempting to save his parents from a burning house, but he couldn’t get to them and they perished. 

He mistakenly interpreted his pain as God’s punishment. The man would not let anyone see him — not even his wife.

She went to Dr. Maltz, a plastic surgeon, for help. He told her not to worry. “I can restore his face.”

The wife was unenthused. Her husband had repeatedly refused any help. She knew he would again.

Then why her visit? “I want you to disfigure my face so I can be like him! If I can share his pain, maybe he’ll let me back in his life.

Dr. Maltz was shocked. He denied her request but was so moved by her love that he went to speak with her husband. Knocking on the man’s bedroom door, he called loudly. “I’m a plastic surgeon, and I can restore your face.” No response. “Please come out.” Again there was no answer.

Still speaking through the door, Dr. Maltz told the man of his wife’s proposal. “She wants me to disfigure her face, to make her face like yours in the hope that you let her back into your life. That’s how much she loves you.”

There was a brief moment of silence, and then, ever so slowly, the doorknob began to turn.

The way the woman felt for her husband is the way God feels about us. But He did more than make the offer. He took on our face, our disfigurement. He became like us. 

The places He went to reach us show how far He will go to touch us.

“Tag, you’re it.” Now go and tag someone else.