Monday, October 23, 2017

The Cost of Discipleship

 “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch:  You have said, ‘I am overwhelmed with trouble! Haven’t I had enough pain already? And now the Lord has added more! I am worn out from sighing and can find no rest.’  (Jeremiah 45:2-3 NLT)

Baruch was the young scribe that wrote and read to the people Jeremiah’s prophecies.  Like Jeremiah, he got a lot of persecution for the prophet’s words. The Lord responded to the scribe’s pain with truth and loving kindness.  Baruch found out there is always a cost in following God.

Young disciples often become discouraged when they find out that serving God is not all fun and games. Discipleship, usually involves God crossing our will with his. The Lord’s response to Baruch came in the form of correction and encouragement. “Are you seeking great things for yourself? Don’t do it! I will bring great disaster upon all these people: but I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (V.5) If we have our eyes focused on the things of this world, be it fame or fortune, we become impatient when difficulties arise.  We can develop a spiritualized entitlement mentality.  When trouble comes, we lose heart and our passion wanes. When desire diminishes, we can never fulfill our calling. 

Attitude is a big part of dealing with adversity. It appears that Baruch had come to the point of blaming God for his predicament (“And now the Lord has added more! V.3). Our response when God crosses our will with his determines when discipleship starts and ends.  Discipleship has a cost but also a prize. “I will give you your life as a reward wherever you go” (v.5).

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email: 
kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
            http://gleanings757.blogspot.com
                http://gleaningspodcast.blogspot.com




Thursday, October 19, 2017

The Mystery of Christ

Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. (I Timothy 3:16a NLT)

The incarnate Christ will always be a mystery. The Bible is not a science textbook.  It reveals God to us, yet, authentic faith and pure science are never contradictory.

The great commentator Matthew Henry once wrote, “Christianity is a mystery that could not have been discovered by reason or the light of nature, because it is beyond reason, though not contrary to it.”  Faith in God’s revelation to man, the Bible, reveals God to us.  Science does not explain God to us, but it does confirm his existence.  In the early part of the church-age, Christianity and science worked together to reveal the truth.  What happened?  The church has to take at least part of the responsibility for the split.  The church started to make scientific observations based on what they believed the Bible said, such as the Earth is the center of the universe. 

The Bible was never intended to be scientific in nature. The Bible was written in poetic language as we view things from the earth.  The sun does not move around the planet as it appears, but vice versa. Science picked up on this and has mostly written off religion ever since.  The estrangement has only become wider and wider.

Scripture, improperly interpreted is not a good science teacher, nor is science a great theologian, yet if both are correctly exercised, they can be complementary and not contradictory. If we as Christians would speak to the unbelieving scientific world a little more by reason, maybe they would be a bit more open to hearing about the mystery of Christ.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email: 
kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
            http://gleanings757.blogspot.com

                http://gleaningspodcast.blogspot.com