Monday, May 25, 2015

So Many Books!

 "It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of the needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!" Mark 10:25

I was tempted to just recycle my take on this last year (you can see it here).  This is just such a hard story to understand. On the one hand you see Jesus looking at this rich young man lovingly.  Then right after, condemning him to a life of eternal damnation just because he would not sell all he had and give the money to the poor.  How many of us would be able to do that at the drop of a hat?  Not many, I'm pretty sure of that! I was thinking if only that man stayed and listened. If only that young man followed Jesus!  He would have heard Jesus' teachings, and little by little, he would have desired to do what Jesus wanted him to do.  

 Jesus said to His disciples, "Everything is possible with God."  We shouldn't give up on ourselves just because we can't follow Jesus perfectly! Just because we can't give up everything and go to the ends of the earth and spread the Gospel. Just because we get impatient with little things and are ungrateful or cannot really forgive.  Jesus already paid the price for our salvation.  We just need to follow Him day after day, and we will change slowly but surely.  

St. Paul wrote to the Philippians: " And I am certain that God who began the good work within you will continue His work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."

 "There are still many other things that Jesus did, yet if they were written about in detail, I doubt there would be room enough in the entire world to hold the books to record them." John 21:25
There is a quote I like which goes: You can't have too many books. Indeed I have so many, I haven't read most of them. But the Bible is a different kind of book. So much wisdom, guidance, stories to ponder distilled into less than 80 books! Even if you read the Bible a thousand times, you'll get even more insight and understanding from its pages. Because the more you read, the more God gives His Spirit! You will see that there is so much beauty and truth in the Bible! Can you imagine what John the beloved disciple said? There were so many other things that Jesus did, and of course said, that even if the whole world was a library about Him, it could not hold all of it! Why? Why did Jesus do all that, and say all that, and not have it all documented?

 Jesus' Word will not go back to Him void, without fruit, without effect (Isaiah 55:11). Jesus showed that when He curses something, it dies. I am almost sure Jesus blessed and confessed growth and healing and strength for all those who believe in Him. In John 17:20, He prayed for ALL those who WILL believe in Him throughout the ages. His Word has power, and that is why in spite of persecution, there is an explosive growth of Christianity today, especially in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Isn't it a miracle that the teachings of an obscure rabbi changed the world, and changed the way we measured time? If His teachings can do that, can you imagine what it can do for me and you?

 "Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roar of the mighty wind..." Acts 2:2
Today is Pentecost Sunday. Does that have any significance whatsover for me and you? Yes, of course, for today marks the birthday of the Church,
On the day of Pentecost, 7 weeks after Jesus' resurrection, Jesus' followers were meeting as they usually did. But this meeting turned out to be so different, it changed their lives. God manifested Himself visibly with a mighty wind, tongues of fire and the gift of tongues. From that time on, the followers of Jesus, who numbered about one hundred twenty men and women, went out to proclaim His message and to teach His way of life. Colin Smith, in one of his broadcasts, said that God does visibly for some people what He wants to do invisibly for most people. It's like a visual aid, a teaching tool. In Genesis, God shaped a corpse, and breathed His life into a skeletal frame to bring Adam to life. In Acts 2, He breathed not on only one person, but on all the believers present, men and women. He wanted to breathe His life into the Church, He wanted to give them power. That is what He wants to do for us as well. ALL of us, not just the leaders, not just the good speakers, not just the theologians. ALL of us.

God does not change. His Spirit does not change. His purpose does not change. Jesus said in John 17:21, "Father, that they may be one..." The gift of the Holy Spirit is a uniting force. When the Tower of Babel fell in Genesis 11, the people were scattered by different languages. During Pentecost, the people of different languages could understand one another, to speed up the advancement of God's Kingdom. When God spoke to Moses through a burning bush, He wanted to give Moses a purpose, to bring freedom to His suffering people. During Pentecost, each one of the disciples had his own self-sustaining fire. God wanted them to each go out and bring His message of freedom to Jerusalem, to Judea, to Samaria, to the ends of the earth. That is our mission too. And we have to remember that Jesus is with us, and He gave us His Spirit with which to do it successfully. Come Holy Spirit, come!

1 comment:

  1. Patsy, sometimes I wish I could sit down and dialogue with you. Like when you said that we should not be discouraged that we are not willing to give up everything and go to the ends of the earth -- YET. How did you know my thoughts, dear sister?

    Yesterday a woman in our congregation was speaking. She is a woman who has used all of her vacation times for many years to make short term ministry trips. She described some of the conditions she endures during her "vacations" and I cringed.

    Today my own plans for solitude were repeatedly interrupted. I wanted to spend time alone with Jesus, but he wanted us (Jesus and me) to spend time with others along the way. It was a tiny sacrifice for me to give up my own plans to do what Jesus wanted to do. Compared to my friend, my sacrifice is laughable, but you reminded me that every step we take towards becoming more like our Lord is precious to him.

    An interesting thing that many do not know about yesterday's speaker is that only a decade ago she was too frightened to even teach a bible lesson to children.

    Now she travels to many countries (including the Philippians), preaching the gospel, handing out bibles and praying for the sick. She has witnessed many miracles, even at her own hands, but she is ever aware that it is only by His Spirit that she is able to do anything.

    What the Lord requires of me is very small in comparison with my friend, but it is no less important.

    Your posts, along with your beautiful illustrations, pour forth Life and water more souls than you will ever realize in this life. Thank you for your sacrifice and for your obedience. You are a treasure.

    Blessing hugs,


I am so glad you dropped by! You are a blessing!
:^) Patsy