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Showing posts from October, 2013

INTENTIONAL DISABILITY

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How do we deal with our own spiritual malaise? The choice is to be changed or to believe a lie saying ‘others are worse than I’ or ‘I’m not as bad as I once was.’ Corruption must be remedied if we are to thrive.


Jesus is given to extremes. He exaggerates a point to shock people awake. This is the prophet-like nature of God where words become swords that wound and sever.
We do a great disservice to ourselves when we try to explain away or nullify the shocking statements. God’s Word is supposed to cut deep. For example:
Mark 9:43 If your hand causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life maimed than with two hands to go into hell, where the fire never goes out. [44] 45 And if your foot causes you to stumble, cut it off. It is better for you to enter life crippled than to have two feet and be thrown into hell. [46] 47 And if your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out. It is better for you to enter the kingdom of God with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown…

WALKING THE PLANK WITH A MILLSTONE NECKLACE

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Just as infection and disease can ravage and destroy a body, spiritual corruption is consequential. Suffering and death inevitably follow corruption.

In Jesus’ mission to introduce the Kingdom of God, he had much to say about spiritual corruption. Sin is not a private problem, but a plague that spreads through the community.


Jesus had harsh words for those who pollute and harm others.


Mark 9:42 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them if a large millstone were hung around their neck and they were thrown into the sea. 

Everyone from my generation who read books or watched movies about pirates knew that enemies were bound and sent at sword tip to walk the plank until they fell into the ocean and drowned. Jesus’ words here imply that same effect.
We often quote this verse in response to child abuse. We want to comfort victims by inferring that Jesus must hate their abusers and want the death penalty as payback. Taken in isolat…

IS THE REMEDY WORSE THAN THE DISEASE?

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If there is something wrong with you, is it better to treat the problem or let it steal your life away? If you are concerned for your well-being, you might be inclined to agree. Sometimes we doubt that a cure will be desirable or effective. 

Francis Bacon said, ‘The remedy is worse than the disease.’[i]I have known cancer patients who made the decision to stop treatment because they believe the remaining time can be spent better with the disease than the suffering that comes with treatment.  
We often have a ‘wait and see’ attitude to the things that are problematic. Maybe a solution will come along or the problem will go away. Maybe it is not serious and we can learn to live with it.
Henri Frederic-Amiel said,
What we call little things are merely the causes of great things; they are the beginning, the embryo, and it is the point of departure that, generally speaking, decides the whole future of an existence. One single black speck may be the beginning of gangrene, of a storm, of a revo…

RELIGIOUS PROFESSION OR RENEWING CONFESSION

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Do you have a religious profession or a renewing confession?
Charles Spurgeon indicates that these foolish virgins were not reprobates; they were members of the church. 
The comparisons between the foolish and the wise indicate that they were so much alike that only the bridegroom could tell the difference between them.  Spurgeon even goes so far as to state that their lamps may have even burned at one time.  Yet, Spurgeon notes, “yet they were not of it, nor in it, for they had no oil in their vessels with their lamps, no grace, no indwelling of the Holy Ghost.” Spurgeon clearly indicates that these virgins were not born-again.[i]
You cannot borrow the life of God from another person.You must have your own supply of godliness and readiness.
Let’s not neglect the presence of God in our lives.Let’s not grieve God’s Spirit by holding bad attitudes and acting out contrary to God’s ways. Jesus will recognize you in His Kingdom because you have light.He will say to those who are still in darkn…

PATIENCE GIRLS

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Ten virgins... bridesmaids of an ancient time waiting through the night to celebrate a marriage. Five with enough oil to keep the lamps trimmed and burning. Five who were not prepared. Ready or not, they all had to wait.


The foolish ones probably expected the Bridegroom to appear quickly and so they had no reserve of oil to keep their lamp burning through the time of waiting.Life in God’s Kingdom involves seasons of waiting and preparation.
The wise ones knew that the timing would be uncertain and so they were ready to wait and watch.How long can you sit still and wait on God’s timing?After you have waited on God, are you prepared to leap to your feet and respond to His bidding?

SLOW BURNING FLAME OF HOLINESS

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We are called to live holy lives.To be holy is to be specially prepared for service to God.Have you taken seriously the need to be set apart from the world in order to fulfill your purpose in God?
There are professing believers who lack the oil of holiness.There is no light coming from their attitudes or behaviour.They prefer to live the same as they always did, without recognizing the importance of the One they are waiting for.
In the parable of Ten Virgins, The five wise ones placed a high priority on being ready for the call.Are you ready and fuelled up if Christ calls on you to come near to Him?The foolish virgins followed the crowd, but they were not equipped for their mission.