Posts

Showing posts from June, 2009

THE COMPASS OF COMPASSION

In November, 1975, 75 convicts started digging a secret tunnel designed to bring them up at the other side of the wall of Saltillo Prison in northern Mexico. On April 18, 1976, guided by pure genius, they tunneled up into the nearby courtroom in which many of them had been sentenced. The surprised judges returned all 75 to jail.[i]These were men who knew where they wanted to go, but did not have the collective wisdom to get there.Sometimes people journey alone believing that they can do it better themselves without the interference or chaos of involving others.A man on a flight across America in 1976 rose from his seat, drew a gun and took the stewardess hostage. "Take me to Detroit," he said. "We're already going to Detroit," she replied. "Oh...good," he said and sat down again. Think about your relationship with Christ and others.Are you following the crowd at church hoping that everyone will end up in the right place?Or do you journey alone with Ch…

ABRAHAM THE PROTOTYPE FATHER

Hearing Jesus’ story about the rich man and Lazarus gives us an obvious choice.
Live like the rich man and pay the extreme price.Turn your heart towards those who need you and love them.Feed them, clothe them, and include them.They are your equal and God has equipped you to answer some of their prayers.
We may be inclined to view ourselves as the beggar and point fingers at others who are filthy rich.We tend to be wired that way, much like the Pharisees.
There is another perspective for us to consider.The real human picture of what it means to be a father is found in Abraham.While he had some blatantly, obvious faults GOD chose this man to be the father of nations. Genesis 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you.2 "I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses…

TWO KINDS OF MEN

Jesus' story about the deaths of the rich man and Lazarus is best understood as an 'example story'. Here are examples of how God shows justice and mercy. Rich ManThe rich man was preoccupied with his own comfort and respectability.He demonstrated by his diet, his real estate, his image and his religion that he was a consumer at heart.He lived the good life without a heart for others.
He knew the beggar by name and passed him each day at the gate.But he offered nothing father-like to the child of Israel named Lazarus.No inclusion, no food, no healthcare and certainly no love.Even in hell he saw the little man as being useful to serve his thirst or go as a messenger to the brothers.
There was nothing in the rich man that saw the beggar as his equal.Neither in life nor in the after-life.
GOD saw to it that his death led to an awakening in Hades.The lifetime achievement was a state of torment for not having embraced the heart of GOD.He wasted his earth life on himself with no t…

SECOND LIFESTYLES OF THE RICH AND POOR

There is a parent/child interface for God's blessing.
In the Jewish psyche godly ancestors were a reference point.Blessing originated from their obedience and faith.It was an honour to be identified as a descendant of godly fathers.
One day Jesus was engaged in teaching some Pharisees and his own disciples.He was giving a hot speech about the love of money and its juxtaposition to the value of GOD’s Kingdom.The Pharisees loved money and sneered at his views, so he told them a story about three men—Father Abraham, an unnamed rich man and a beggar named Lazarus.Luke 16:19 "There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man's table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.22 "The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham's side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In hell, where …

FATHERS - THE INTERFACE OF BLESSING

“The test results reveal that you are going to be a father.”
Are there any other words that can grip a man’s heart like these?From the dawn of man, the news has been repeated billions of times.You are going to be a father.
For those who have included it as part of their life dream, there is a mix of joy, anticipation and a sense of arriving at destiny.When the children enter our lives we are struck with the complexity and challenge of what it means to be a father.
Our GOD defines Himself as ‘Father’.The essence of fatherhood is found in the father of fathers.
Abba.Dear Daddy.
On earth there are spiritual fathers as well.
Donald Robert Rogers is my dad.I received biological life and a cultural context from him.I was born into his family.My earthly life was shaped by his hands.
But wait... there’s much, much more.
His walk with God became a path for young feet to follow.His values and his love established in me a desire to walk with His GOD.I would dare say that my earliest impressions of GOD w…

SPIRITUAL 911

James 5:13 Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.Asking For HelpIn the same way that Peter and company asked Jesus to help with his mother-in-law, we should ask Jesus to help in our household.
James said that the one suffering should call the elders of the church.God uses those placed in charge to accomplish His purposes.God can and does heal people who do not have a church to go to, but here we see James acknowledging the place of mature leadership.
Some call this spiritual covering, meaning that those who lead provide a…