Tuesday, September 27, 2005

sad news

my memaw passed away last night at the age of 90. she had been in a coma since saturday and had not been keeping food down for a while.

as much as i will miss my memaw i am happy that she had a great life and was a great spiritual example to me as to how to live a christian life.

i will be leaving for atlanta on thursday.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

i missed my 2 year anniversary!

i missed my 2 yr anniversary as a blogger. i know i should have something deep and profound to say about that but i don't right now accept thank you all for reading and i hope you enjoy the blog.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

the worst dinner guest ever part two

The Meals of Jesus: The Worst Diner Guest Ever
Part Two Luke 11.37 – 54

As Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees for tithing but forgettin justice and
the love of God (Luke 11.42); seeking honor from people and not God
(11.43); and finally for being unmarked graves that look good on the
outside but on the inside are dead and decaying (Luke 11.44). In the
middle of this an “expert of the law” spoke up and said “Teacher,
when you say these things, you insult us as well.” (Luke 11.45)

So the “expert of the law” steps into the line of fire and Jesus lets him
and his collegues know what is wrong with them. First Jesus rebukes
them for loading people down with burdens and doing nothing to help
them (Luke 11.46). Their teachings are hard to follow and it is
difficult to live out what the experts are teaching. To make matters
worse the teachers are unwilling to help people live out what they
are teaching. They have forgotten that we, as teachers, are called to
challenge people to live a life that glorifies God. We can not forget
that it is not easy. We need to help those who are new to Christ or
are struggleing to live a life pleaseing to God. We need to show
them forgiveness. We need to show them that we also struggle to live
a God pleasing life. We need to bare each others burdens.

Then he rebukes them for honoring the prophets with fancy tombs
but not honoring the teaching or life of the prophet. Their “fathers”
killed these prophets and didn't follow the teachings of the prophets.
Now the “children”, the teachers of the law are not honoring the
prophets teaching or life but are simply paying lip service to the
prophets lives. The teachers of the law are just as guilty as their
fathers. This is a warning to us as well. As Christians we get caught
up in the birth of Jesus and his crucifiction but we forget about his
life. When Jesus is born he is a small and safe little baby that makes
us all feel good. With the crucifiction Jesus dies, forgives us, raises
from the dead and then ascends into heaven. His life on the other
hand is full of uncomfortable teaching and activity that we need to
honor with our lives.

Finaly Jesus wraps up with the teachers of the law and puts the two
woes together, jut like he did with the pharisees. The teachers of the
law have taken the “key to knowledge” away from the people. Not
only that but they don't use it themselves. The teachers lived in a
time when very few people had access to the written word of God.
The teachers were keeping it to themselves and not sharing it with
the people. They were also not using the key themselves in allowing
the Word to work in their own lives. Unlike the teachers we live in a
time when anyone can buy a copy of the Bible and read it. Many
people will not understand what they read. We need to help them to
understand the messages found in the Bible. The story of God's
wonderful love for us. The story of Jesus' life with us. The teachings
that Jesus, Peter, Paul and others leave for us to help us live in a way
that pleases God.

In conclusion, the woes against the Pharisees and teachers of the
law can apply to us as well. Like the Pharisees we are trying our best
to live a holy, righteous and pure life that pleases the LORD. Like the
teachers of the law, we have access to the Word and are struggling to
understand the Word and its teachings. Like the Pharisee and
teachers we can sometimes be guilty of pride and hypocrasy that lead
us to drift away from God and lead others astray as well. Our
challenge like theirs is to be aware of these pitfalls and to rely on
God's power to stay out of them.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

the worst dinner guest ever parts one

The Meals of Jesus: The Worst Diner Guest Ever Part One
Luke 11.37 – 54
Imagine you have invited a very important person to diner. This person comes to your house and begins to eat but he never washes his hands. Now you may think this is pretty disgusting there is no telling where his hands have been or what they have touched. You don’t say anything but he knows what you are thinking and confronts you about it! With a lecture about your own hypocrisy! How would you feel?

Now you know how the Pharisee in Luke 11.37 - .54 felt. He has invited Jesus to eat after of day of teaching and healing. They all recline at the table when the Pharisee notices that Jesus has not washed his hands! (Luke 11.37 - .38) With Jesus we have a good idea that he has touches sick people to heal them. All those germs and all that dirt were on his hands. This washing was not just for hygene but also to be ceremonially clean before you ate. His hands were unclean literally and religiously. Now if you read the text carefully you will notice that the Pharisee never says anything but Jesus knows what he is thinking and responds to that with a strong rebuke!

First he confronts them with a general rebuke (Luke 11.39 - .41). The Pharisees are so careful to make sure they look righteous and clean that they have forgotten to clean the insides. Jesus uses the anlogy of a cup or dish. If you have cup that is dirty all over you wash all of it so you can use it but the Pharisees were only cleaning the outside of the cup so that they looked clean but were really dirty on the inside. He tells them they need to clean both the inside of their lives and the outside. You need to care for you wicked and greedy inside like you would take care of a poor person.

Then Jesus gets specific with three “woes” against the Pharisees (Luke 11.42 - .44) and then three against the teachers of the law (Luke 11.46 - .52). All 6 woes are important for us to listen to because they can apply to us today as well. We are going to explore the first three today and then finish out the last three tomorrow.

First He rebukes them for getting the tithe right but forgetting to show justice and the love of God (Luke 11.42). He is accusing them of being hypocrites. They should have done them all! They got tithing down perfect but they forgot to get justice and the love of God right. We face the same danger. We may have baptism, communion and worship down perfectly but do we forget to show justice. Are we neglecting the love of God?

Secondly he rebukes them for loving recognition and honor from people (Luke 11.43). The Pharisees love to sit in the important seat at the synagogue and to be greeted in the market. They sought honor and recognition from men and not from God. They suffered from the oldest sin, pride! We face this danger too. Who are seeking approval from? Do we seek the approval of other people? Do we want to be seen with important people? Or Do we seek to be humble and be satisfied with the status we have? Do we seek approval from God by living the life he calls us to live?

The third woe deals with the consequence of the first two rebukes (Luke 11.45). Pride plus Hypocrisy in a religious leader leads to them being unmarked graves! Instead of showing people how to be holy and live a life that pleases God, the Pharisees, unknown to their followers, were actually making people unclean! Are we leading people astray as we try to live a holy life? If we only get our actions right and not our heart and attitudes we are hypocrites. If we seek the approval of other people rather than living a life that pleases God our pride has gotten in the way. The result is that we make people unclean instead of helping them to be holy.

Part Two Tomorrow!