Monday, October 28, 2013

What Was Given To Judas?

Don't ask me why, but this has been in my head for the last little while. What did Jesus entrust to Judas, the guy who would betray Him?

John says Judas was in charge of the disciples' money, and that he regularly robbed from it for himself (John 12:6). But where did that money come from? Obviously walking around for three years with 12 disciples had a cost, eating, shelter, etc. Did people give to Jesus' ministry and Judas took from that?

Or what about this? When Jesus was young three gifts were given to Him, gold, frankincense and myrrh. Was there enough of these gifts to provide for all of Jesus' life including His ministry with the disciples? Was Judas possibly robbing Jesus of the gifts He received as a baby?

I don't know why it's been bothering me. Both seem incredibly wrong, stealing from the charity of people giving to God's work or stealing from the gifts of the wise men to 8 lb., 6 oz. baby Jesus, all wrapped up in His swaddling clothes (sorry, I saw part of Talladega Nights on TV the other day). And yet, in either case, Jesus still entrusted Judas with it. Jesus allowed Himself to be stolen from by this person for three years.

I don't know, I'm starting to think we can learn more about Jesus' character from how He treated Judas...


Monday, October 21, 2013

Drawn To Extremes

In television, there is a way to help ensure people keep watching.

Make the characters more extreme.

If you don't believe me, go back and watch the first season of your favorite shows and then jump immediately to the new ones. Robin Scherbatsky is angrier (especially with Patrice), Patrick Jane is cockier, Sheldon Cooper is... well... crazier (even though he's not crazy, his mom had him tested), the list goes on and on.

People are drawn to extreme characters. It's something in our nature that we want people who are 100% at whatever it is they are.

And faith is no different.

Many people like to live out their faith and use that as their way of sharing Christ. I'm all for that, but I have a question. Are you extreme enough? People aren't going to be drawn to a "slightly Christian" anymore than they like a "slightly know-it-all" Sherlock Holmes. We want someone who is all in, good or bad. Someone who is completely what they are.

When it comes to living for Christ and chasing after Him, are you extreme enough?


Monday, October 14, 2013

Giftings and Callings

For those that don't know, in our student ministry and our church at large we have been talking about sharing our faith, what that means, how we do it, etc. It's one of those interesting topics. Everyone thinks we should do it, but most people also think it's someone else's job.

One reason that has come up for this is how people are gifted. Some are more gifted at sharing the gospel (evangelism) while some have different gifts, like encouragement or mercy. So there are those who feel since they are not gifted at evangelism, they don't necessarily need to do it.

But there's a few problems with that. For one, most of the people I work with have not done a lot of sharing their faith. So when they take tests that ask "do you feel comfortable doing ____" or "do you like _____", sharing Jesus never comes up because, well, they've never done it. Unless you have prior experience building a house, building a house will never show up as a gift from God... until you actually try doing it.

The other is there are some things God created us specifically to do and there are other things He expects all of us to do. We are all called to serve (Galatians 5:13), we are all called to love (John 15:17), and we are all called to go and tell people about Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8). You don't get to be excluded from these expectations because of your gifts, you use your gifts in different ways to live up to these expectations. We are all called to do these things.

So as you live out your life for Jesus, don't use how God wired you as an excuse to get out of doing the things we all should. Instead, use the way God wired you to uniquely live out the things Christ asks of all of us.


Monday, October 07, 2013

Looking & Seeing

I've noticed something over the last little while. An observance that happens from time to time and place to place. Something many of us share in common.

We don't look anymore.

I've run into people going in the out door (who then glare at me for being in their way), had to show people more than once when the instructions were right in front of them, things like that. We have come to this cultural belief that if something is really important, the presenter will grab our attention and do their best to make us listen (like the emergency procedure on an airplane). It's the communicator's job to grab our attention if they really want us to see something. Otherwise, we skim it like babble on Facebook (which we still have set for Facebook to tell us what's important and put those posts at the top). We don't look unless someone screams for us to.

But God is different. He is everywhere in plain sight. Psalm 19 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God, and the skies announce what His hands have made. Day after day they tell the story; night after night they tell it again. They have no speech or words; they have no voice to be heard.
But their message goes out through all the world; their words go everywhere on earth." When it comes to finding Him, Jesus told us, "Ask, and you will be given what you ask for. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened. For everyone who asks, receives. Anyone who seeks, finds. If only you will knock, the door will open."

Notice who has to take the first step. We have to look. We have to seek. We have to knock. Even though God is everywhere, we need to train ourselves to see Him.

So try it this week. Be observant. You never know just where you may see God...