Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Absurd Commands of God

“The commandments of the Lord are right, bringing joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are clear, giving insight for living.” Psalm 19:8 (NLT)

Have you ever read something in the Bible and thought, “God wants me to do that!”? You know, the sudden discovery of a command that does not make sense to us because it seems so extreme, so outside of our experience, so absurd. For instance, we are asked in scripture to pray without ceasing (I Thess. 5:17), not to be anxious about anything (Philippians 4:6-8), hate your family (Luke 14:25-33), and love your enemies (Matthew 5:43-48; Luke 6:27-36). All of these seem… well… absurd! We don’t wish to be disrespectful or question God but some things we read in the Bible can be a bit uncomfortable at first glance.

Over the next several weeks we will explore just a few of these “uncomfortable” commands and, hopefully, find comfort in them. You see, His commands are meant to bring joy, not discouragement. They are to be clear, not muddy and confusing. God’s instruction and commands are meant to really help us have clarity for living this life the best we possibly can. But this takes some exploration of the meaning of these “absurd” commands and putting them into practice.

Here are a few suggestions as we go forward and as you seek God through His Word:

1) Seek clarity and understanding. The answers are available to those who seek diligently.

2) Seek His Truth through prayer. Tell Him when you are unclear. He won’t be mad for your questions.

3) Seek out community. For 2000 years Christianity has been lived out in a community called the church (not a building, but a people). Let’s explore, study, and seek the answers together.

May God bring joy to our hearts and insight for living as we fully seek and find Him in all His commands.

Pastor David

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Sour Grapes

Have you ever woken up in the morning and just felt heavy? I have. I immediately go to the coffee maker or espresso maker and count on my caffeine in the morning to give my day a jolt. About an hour and a half later, I feel heavy again – sluggish and drained. I blame it on the weather, I blame it on my mood that day, then I blame it on my husband who probably did something wrong (I just can’t think of anything right now). My day continues with slow moving traffic and other small annoyances that seem a lot bigger than they actually are. What went wrong today? Did I wake up on the wrong side of the bed?

John 15:5-8

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

I woke up this morning and felt heavy. I opened my bible and read this scripture and Christ reminded me that He is with me. He desires to be in my day. In my small annoyances, in my conversations with my husband. I thank Him for the rain. I ask Him to be with me all day.

He agrees :)

What does it mean to bear fruit in your day? What are the benefits of starting your day connected to the Vine?

Father, Guide our days. Father, forgive us when we lose focus and try to do this life without you. Humble our hearts Lord and remind us that we are not alone and we cannot do this life alone. We love You.