Monthly Archives: February 2018

Feb 2018
It’s Only Reasonable

When someone mentions the word “reasonable”, I think it would be safe to say that most of us would have a good grasp of its meaning. For example, if I was to say it would be reasonable for someone from Philadelphia to have rooted for the Eagles last night in the Super Bowl, I’m sure we would all understand that I meant that it would only be sensible, rational or logical for that to be the case.

Our reading this morning also points out something that is reasonable. Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.”

Paul makes the statement that for a Christian to offer his or her body as a living sacrifice could only be defined as reasonable. In other words, it is a logical form of worship to the Lord for what He has done for us. Specifically, this would refer back to the teaching in chapter 11 in which Paul explains that the gospel has come to the Gentiles because of Israel’s general rejection of Jesus as the Messiah. So because God has offered salvation to the Gentiles (Romans) as well as the Jews, it is only reasonable that we offer our bodies as a living sacrifice.

Unfortunately, this often is not the case. My children attend a large Christian school and, as it would be the same just about anywhere else, for someone to be a sold-out, dedicated follower of Christ would certainly not be the norm. Instead, that person would stand out as unique, even “odd”. However, this is not the way God intended. It should be the norm for professing Christians to be distinct and ardent followers of Christ; having sacrificed ourselves and our desires to God and His will for our lives.

While for many this point of surrender can be specifically nailed to a time and place (whether at salvation or a dedication), I think of this idea of being a living sacrifice in many ways is more of a day by day or even moment by moment decision. So as we start this new week do I consider myself to be a living sacrifice for God’s glory and kingdom? Are you? Remember, it’s only reasonable!

Feb 2018
More Than He Bargained
Some people are bargain hunters, and others want a whole lot more than they are capable. A humorous letter was written from a “We Buy Gold” company to one of their prospective client who was definitely “prospecting.”
“We are sorry to inform you that the one-ounce gold coins you sent us are in actual fact chocolate coins in gold foil and would not warrant the thirty thousand pounds you requested…Just to clarify that when we offer to buy gold we specify that it is of the precious metal variety…We hope this clarifies the matter and we please ask that you not send any more items unless they are of the gold variety.” 
How many letters could God send to us like this? We have a very dim view of the exchange rate in heaven. We often do not comprehend what we are truly asking from God, like Job.
Job cried for a “daysman” who could stand between God and him. He wanted an arbiter who would represent his case to God and hopefully return with an answer to his question, “Why?” This is so one-sided, and as we will see later in the book, God never answers why Job suffered. Instead, God shows Job how incapable he is to comprehend all the decisions God makes flawlessly every day.
However, we do see the “Daysman” in the New Testament. Jesus Christ is our “Apostle and High Priest” (Hebrews 3:1). Instead of a one-sided representative, we need someone who understands the inner-workings of the celestial system and one who has experienced man’s plight to a degree he will represent us authentically. God is incomprehensible, so the only one who can understand Him is…Himself. Yet, we also can’t have a corrupted representative. Someone who is tainted with sin would suddenly fall into our same selfish trap!
Jesus Christ, as the Apostle, represents God in all His glory to us. God spoke in “sundry times and in divers manners…hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2). The Word was the full revelation of God—”the express image of his person” (Hebrews 1:3). before an audience with the One “which doeth great things past finding out; yea, and wonders without number,” we must understand His greatness mutes any grievance we have (Job 9:10). He could snuff out the light of our life, but in His purity and power, He remains merciful.
As our Great High Priest, His compassions fail not because he has been “touched with the feelings of our infirmities” and “was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” (Hebrews 4:15). He was willing to declare himself fully and die for us completely, he is the “author of eternal salvation unto all them that obey him” (Hebrews 5:9)!
I would say, Job got more than he bargained. He wanted a chance to represent his complaints, but Christ absorbed these in himself and sacrificially made an eternal way to glory.

Feb 2018
Wash Your Hands

The fool has said in his heart there is no God (Ps. 14:1). There are many people in this world who readily say that there is no God. The very word atheist has often caused me to wonder. I know that “theist” means a believer in God and “atheist” means a non-believer basically speaking. Those, who stand behind the moniker of atheist, do not believe in the God of Heaven and they simply ignore His existence. Can I deny the water in the glass I am drinking from? I can ignore the obvious, but not deny it. I do not believe that there are any true atheists in our world. Instead, they are God-haters for some reason known only to them.

This usually manifests itself in their hatred for believers (John 15:18). If you (as theists—believers in a Holy God) ever meet up with a supposed “true” atheist you will see that they have nothing but raw disdain for the likes of the child of God. But remember, the root of their hatred of a God that loves them is foolishness. God calls them fools.

Years ago, while living in Las Vegas, NV, I was walking through the parking lot of Walmart. I still remember as if it were today. I will live with it until the day I die. It was a time when the Holy Spirit was prompting me, and I disobeyed. I quenched the Holy Spirit (1 Th. 5:19).

There was a large, well-built younger man, with children (sad to think they will grow up under his tutelage), walking out of the store. He presented as an angry man, based on his facial expressions. I was sure I could have lit a self-strike match on his chest—he looked that tough. But what bothered me was the slogan on his t-shirt “wash your hands after touching Christians.”

I literally stopped and stood there, my mouth agape, in disbelief. As the Holy Spirit prodded me to ask him about his shirt, my flesh started to reason (make excuses). Rather than rely on the power of God (Mk. 13:11), I caved to thinking that this guy would probably wrap me up and stuff me back in my car. After all, who needs that?

This man, undoubtedly, had a dislike for God and His own. The man was a fool according to Scripture. I too played the fool in not following the Spirit’s direction. Yet, my deepest prayer is that someone has spoken to him since I did not. I pray that he has turned from his foolish ways and accepted the Savior.

Even fools deserve a chance at saving grace (1 Co. 1:18). After all, we all played the fool before we came to Christ; whether in thought or deed. Fools need God!