Thursday, January 10, 2008

A House Divided

Scripture: Gen. 20-21, Ps 10, Mat 12

I've been a little bothered by something today and it is addressed in Mathew 12 so I'm just going to talk about that. In Mathew 12:25 Jesus talks about a house divided against itself not being able to stand. I'm afraid there's a little bit of that going on among Christians today.

I was doing some research on-line today because, well I needed to, and what I came across concerned me a little. I knew that within the Christian faith there are countless different viewpoints on almost every aspect of Christianity. It seems sometimes were looking for things to disagree about. I think what surprised me the most was the amount of tension involved in some of these debates. I guess I was spoiled growing up by the dialogue I had with my friends. We disagreed quite often, but the discussions arising from those disagreements were always friendly and edifying. I always felt like there was growth in those conversations. That's not what I saw out there today. Peoples lives are being ruined, relationships broken, and our witness is being undermined. We would rather argue amongst ourselves than reach out to a lost world.

I believe that the Bible is a living document capable, through the Holy Spirit, of speaking to different people in different ways. Is it naive of me to think that God reveals the part of himself to me that I need to see to and the part of himself to you that you need to see? Could we all be seeing different sides to the same truth? I don't know, I do think problems arise when the finite try to define the infinite. You can never fully understand God or know all his truth, hopefully faith fills in the gaps.

I'm obviously not intelligent enough or well enough informed to really engage in much of the debate, but I know this: I am broken. Always have been. I have no authority over sin or death. I know that God does. I know that all roads or the road to heaven leads through the cross of Christ. I know that I am a child of the most high God. I am redeemed, justified, forgiven. I am saved. That's enough for me.


Scripture: Gen 18-19; Ps 9; Matt 11

Observation: This is an over simplification, but the thing that stands out to me in all of these passages in the awesome power of God's will. God's plan is simply going to be carried out. It seems that leaves us with three options: stand in opposition (Sodom), get out of the way (Lot), or take hold (Abraham).

Application: It seems to often in my life that I've been Lot. I would never knowingly stand in the way of God's advancing kingdom, but I'm afraid that I have been content to begrudgingly let it pass by. I can think of plenty of times in my life where God has had to move me in order to advance without destroying me. I'm thankful he took the time to do so.

I'm encouraged that it doesn't seem to be that difficult to be Abraham in the story. He doubted God, tried it his own way, and openly questioned God to his face. I guess that means that the moral of the story is not, go be Abraham. I think that the primary difference between Abraham and lot was that Abraham was willing to be used by God where Lot was content to simply not disobey him. There seems to be a real difference between obedience and lack of disobedience. One way makes you the father of nations while the other makes you the father to your grandchildren.

I think this is where Mathew 11:12 comes into play. Its talking about the kingdom of heaven and says that "the violent take it by force." To simply not disobey takes nothing, but to actively reject the world and take hold of God's kingdom requires something more.

Prayer: Father God forgive me when I allow your kingdom to pass me by. Too often I am governed by fear and apathy. I'm content to simply stay out of your way. I pray for the wisdom to recognize the perfection of your will and the strength to violently take hold of your advancing kingdom.

A Little Housekeeping

I noticed tonight that I am on the S.O.A.P blogroll, so I feel inclined to warn you that this is not one of those. This is an account of my quiet time. I love the S.O.A.P idea and think its great, but I don't function exactly like that so mine will be a little different. I will say that doing this blog has been very good for me. I haven't been doing it long, but I can already see God working through it. Isn't it amazing how powerful the smallest things can be in when offered to a mighty God?

Tonight I will be doing the blog in S.O.A.P format as a special treat to all of you. Plus I just spent some time with the pastor and I really like him right now so I feel inclined to try it his way (its usually better than mine).