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Showing posts from September 13, 2009

Cleansing Confusion

Lambs, doves, sacrifices, priests, temple, worshipers.So far it sounds like a recipe for good, healthy, Old Testament style worship. And indeed all of these things were elements that God had prescribed as part of that system and were designed to help sinners better understand His plan of salvation.But introduce a few more things and suddenly there appears to be reasons for God to be very unhappy with the situation. But I think it is very beneficial to carefully think about the real reasons why, not our first impressions upon reading these stories.Money, chaos, arguing, anger, bitterness, pride, cheating, arrogance, deception, manipulation, taking advantage, abuse of authority, hypocrisy.It is obvious at this point that I am thinking about the two times that Jesus “cleansed” the earthly temple, once at the beginning and again at the end of His time of ministry here on earth. Most people assume from the descriptions of what happened that Jesus was very angry when He chased the money-cha…

Prophecy: Imposed or Reported?

I have trodden the wine trough alone, and from the peoples there was no man with Me. (Isaiah 63:3)I read this morning about Jesus' experience in the garden of Gethsemane where the disciples all slept when Jesus wanted and needed them to stay awake and pray for Him. This was one of the saddest times of interaction between humans and God because it was possibly the greatest opportunity in all of history where people literally had a chance to offer strength and encouragement to God in a very tangible way. That concept seems almost bizarre to put into words, but the humanity of Jesus was such that He could benefit from the joy strength offered Him from other humans through their attention and prayers.But what caught my attention this morning in this situation was the fact that prophecy had predicted that this very thing would happen. There would not be a single person willing to support Jesus in any way during His greatest time of agony, when prayer and simply an awareness or even a f…

Like a Bull With China

Like a bull in a china closet.That's what I feel like sometimes. It occurred to me while I was just writing to a friend whom I have never met. Our relationship has developed online and we have many values and interests in common. I have longed to connect with them on a more tangible basis for a long time, even something as simple as talking on the phone. But at this point they seem to maybe feel reluctant about that. It does not come up in our emails but I get that sense.So the pragmatic thought came to my mind. I could track down their phone number and call them myself. I wouldn't have to wait for them to get up the courage to call me. They do have my phone number but they have never chosen to use it thus far. I could just track them down online and initiate a closer level of communication myself.Of course that idea was immediately attacked and shot down by a flood of intense objections from the heart side of my mind. But what caught my attention was one thing in particular t…

Judas and Peter

The last two mornings I have been impressed with the messages in the morning devotional book that I am reading this year. Nearly all of them the whole year have been deeply inspiring, but the last two selections brought into stark relief the contrast between the spirit and choices of Judas and Peter during their time with Jesus in the upper room during the last Passover.First I will simply quote the relevant sections and then I want to come back and compare the two to learn things that I really need to hear and apply to my own heart.The request of James and John to sit on the right and left of Christ’s throne had excited the indignation of the others. That the two brothers should presume to ask for the highest position so stirred the ten that alienation threatened. They felt that they were misjudged, that their fidelity and talents were not appreciated. Judas was the most severe upon James and John.When the disciples entered the upper room, their hearts were full of resentful feelings