Saturday, July 16, 2011

Something Better

I never used to be afraid. I was all faith.

Or so I thought.


What I feared most was being forgotten. I was afraid to live an insignificant life.


During one weekend away spent in whitespace, I decided to share my list of disappointments with God. After writing pages and pages of unanswerable dilemmas, God gently and lovingly brought two pictures to my mind:

* In the beginning, there was nothing.

It was in nothing, the Holy Spirit hovered, where God created something.

* Mary’s empty womb. How can this be? she asked.

It was in nothing, the Holy Spirit hovered again, where Jesus became flesh.


Nothingness. That’s me! I had never been so happy to discover I had become the perfect place for Jesus to rest in.


It irrevocably changed my direction. I decided to stop setting my sights on where I was going or what I would end up doing in the future. I set my sights on who I was walking with — Jesus.


I realized the best life — the most significant life I can live — is the one I grow in my faith.


In the Old Testament, the patriarchs of faith recognized God’s blessings by taking possession of a physical Promised Land. God’s presence was symbolized by physical blessings of harvest and goods.

This all changed after Jesus arrived in the New Testament. The author of Hebrews tells God prepared a spiritual blessing – something better.

“And all these [patriarchs of faith listed earlier],
having gained approval through their faith,
did not receive what was promised,
because God had provided something better for us…

fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the author and perfecter of faith”
Hebrews 11:39-12:2

Our something better isn’t a plan.
Our something better is a Person.

Our spiritual Promised Land is life with Jesus.

-Bonnie Gray
Snippets from a worthwhile post: here

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Oh Come All Ye ... guilty

“Come to me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

One is struck with the personality of this text. There are two persons in it, ‘you’ and ‘me.’ ... Jesus says, ‘Come to me, not to anybody else but to me.’ He does not say, ‘Come to hear a sermon about me’ but ‘Come to me, to my work and person.’ You will observe that no one is put between you and Christ. ... Come to Jesus directly, even to Jesus himself. You do want a mediator between yourselves and God, but you do not want a mediator between yourselves and Jesus. ... To him we may look at once, with unveiled face, guilty as we are. To him we may come, just as we are, without anyone to recommend us or plead for us or make a bridge for us to Jesus. ... You, as you are, are to come to Christ as he is, and the promise is that on your coming to him he will give you rest. That is the assurance of Jesus himself, and there is no deception in it. ... You see there are two persons. Let everybody else vanish, and let these two be left alone, to transact heavenly business with each other.

C. H. Spurgeon, The Treasury of the New Testament (Grand Rapids, 1950), I:171.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Biblical application...

The Bible is the word of God by virtue of its relationship to Christ and not by virtue of its spiritual application to our lives... Any attempt to relate a text directly to us or our contemporary hearers without inquiring into its primary relationship to Christ is fraught with danger. The only thing that controls the matter of the relationship of the text to us is its prior relationship to Christ.

Graham Goldsworthy,
Preaching the Whole Bible as Christian Scripture, p. 113