Monday, April 25, 2016

The Cost of Serving Jesus

The other day I was reading a story I've read and heard at least a hundred times thanks to growing up in church. It's a pretty popular one, Jesus is teaching and some guys bring their friend to be healed. But the crowd is so big they can't get into the house to see Jesus so the friends make a hole in the roof and lower their buddy in front of Jesus Who forgives his sin and heals him. A nice, feel-good type of a story.

But for the first time I noticed something:

Soon the house where he (Jesus) was staying was so packed with visitors that there was no more room... (Mark 2:2a, NLT)

Jesus wasn't at some random person's house, He was at a friend's house, the house He was staying at while in town. Think about that for a second, this poor guy said he'd help Jesus out as the traveling preacher. And what did it cost him? To give Him a bed probably didn't cost anything (other than space), but what about food? What about all these other people, were they fed too? The traffic of crowds and wear on the house? And now, the roof? And how did all this effect not just the guy who said Jesus could stay but his wife and children, what was this costing them? What probably started out as a simple "here's the spare room" to help Jesus out turned into so much more. Their lives would have stopped because of it, and now their lives and home were being broken.

There was a huge cost to having Jesus stay with them.

Here's the real question: Does it still cost to invite Jesus to stay with you? And if so, what?


Monday, April 18, 2016

The Bible Order

This has been something weighing on my mind for a while. Is there significance to the order of the Bible
Some are obvious and talked about. Letters and books of prophecy are arranged by size or author. That makes sense. But what about something bigger?

For instance, have you ever noticed there are always stories before instruction? Before you have the rules given to Moses by God you have the stories of creation, God choosing His people and the Exodus from Egypt. You have the historical stories before the books of prophecy. The stories of Jesus and the church precede the rules on "how to be a good Christian." Maybe we need to teach things that way...

But the one that is in my mind is Ecclesiastes. A book that seems very dark and "woe is me", everything is futile and meaningless. And it is followed immediately by Song of Solomon, a book that speaks of the intimate love of God for us. Why would God place those books that seem like polar opposites right next to each other?

Maybe it means we can't have one without the other, there will always be tension in our relationships and we need to love beyond that. When things seem futile we love anyway and love conquers all. Maybe it means if we are in a state where everything is meaningless we need to take our focus off of what is around us and put it back on our One True Love. The way out of the darkness is to ignore the darkness and focus on the light.

Or maybe I'm reading too much into this, but I have a hard time believing there is any little coincidences when it comes to God...


Monday, April 11, 2016


My wife is now obsessed with this show. It took me weeks to convince her to give it a try, now the second our daughter's in bed she's priming the TV getting us ready to continue whatever episode we are on.

But I have always loved Sherlock Holmes. I've read some of the books (I wish I could say all but there are quite a few and I didn't have them all). The idea of being able to see what others don't amazes me. Especially since for so long I sucked at it. I still remember someone damaging the front wheel of their bicycle and it took me three tries to see the dent (which was huge).

So one of the things I love about the show is their pull back to the books. The episodes are almost like remakes of the originals in today's world (which if you've read my book, I like that idea). The Study in Scarlett becomes the Study in Pink. Holmes and Moriarty's meeting at Reichenbach Falls becomes an episode called The Reichenbach Fall. The other day we watched an episode entitled "The Scandal in Belgravia" which was an omage to the story "A Scandal in Bohemia" and they included one of the lines directly from the book:

You see, but you do not observe.

For me, this is one of the reasons why so many people miss Jesus, or at least don't have a complete view of Him. God is all around us. There are miracles happening every second of every day. His love is in action constantly. But so many people miss it. Why? Because they haven't been taught to read the clues like Sherlock Holmes. We see dirt, he sees a footprint telling us the person's height, weight, shoe size and gate. Some see coincidence, others see God's divine providence at work.

May our eyes be opened that we may see Jesus.