Will You Go Anyway?

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JESUS SENT TWO disciples ahead of Him into a nearby village to carry out a special errand.

“Go into the village opposite you, where as you enter you will find a colt tied, on which no one has ever sat.  Loose him and bring him here.  And if anyone asks you, ‘Why are you loosing him?’ thus you shall say to him, ‘Because the Lord has need of him'” (Luke 19:30-31).

Once the animal had been secured, Jesus purposely rode the colt in Jerusalem.

I say “purposely” because His presence on the beast served as a sort of formal announcement.

In ancient times a conqueror would ride a stallion into a city indicative of the fact that he reigned over the people.

However, when that individual came mounted on a colt, it said peace prevailed.

So Jesus, the Prince of Peace, rode the colt into Jerusalem (cf. Zech. 9:9) proclaiming His impending coronation.

Not surprising, His entrance into the city was met with divergent response.

Many hailed Him with joy, welcoming Him as an earthly sovereign who had come, so they thought, to re-establish the Davidic kingdom and overthrow the Roman empire (Luke 19:37).

By contrast, others were angry with the Lord because they interpreted this ride into Jerusalem as rank arrogance and blasphemy (v. 39).

The religious establishment insisted that Jesus rebuke the jubilant crowds for their error.

I find it compelling that Jesus, not only rode into Jerusalem on a colt, knowing full-well how folks would respond, but He was also conscious of what would inevitably occur in that city.

While the people on this occasion shouted, “Hail Him!  Hail Him!”, before long they would cry just the opposite, “Nail Him!  Nail Him!”

Jesus knew that Jerusalem meant His torturous death–and He rode into town anyway.

He crucified self before He was crucified on Calvary.

May I ask some hard questions for your personal consideration, dear reader?

  • When a fellow Christian has sinned against you, and you anticipate friction in the meeting, will you, like Jesus, crucify self, go anyway and engage your brother or sister (Mat. 18:15)…OR will you avoid the meeting all together?
  • Husbands, when there is serious conflict in your marriage, indicative of some major heart issues, and past experience has taught you that it is easier to sweep problems under the rug than to address them, will you take the lead in your relationship as God has ordained you, and lead your wife in reconciliation (Col. 3:19)?
  • Elders, when you are aware of the fact that some of your sheep have incrementally drifted from the fold–and you anticipate some difficulty and resentment when you go to see them, do you go anyway (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:2)?
  • Christian, when you are personally aware of the fact that a fellow child of God is engaging in egregious sin, do you go to that individual with a burden on your heart and try to lead him or her back to Jesus (Gal. 6:1-2; Jas. 5:19-20)?  Do you go despite knowing that it will be a difficult conversation?

Jesus knew that going to Jerusalem would bring pain–and He went anyway.

What about you?

Will you go anyway?

“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!”–Mike

Are You Planting Peach Trees?

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THOMAS DREIER TELLS the story of a an eighty-year-old man who was in the process of planting a young peach tree.

The old man’s neighbor asked, “Do you expect to eat peaches from that tree?”

“No,” he said.

“At my age I know I won’t.

But all my life I’ve enjoyed peaches–never from a tree I had planted myself.

I wouldn’t have had peaches if other men hadn’t done what I’m doing now.

I’m just trying to pay the other fellows who planted peach trees for me.”  (David Dunn, “Bread Upon The Waters,” Trying Giving Yourself Away, 1947, 22).

THOUGHT:  We are often unconscious of the fruits of our own thoughtfulness, and likewise of the thoughtfulness other saints have invested for our benefit, perhaps many years ago.

Shouldn’t we be planting peach trees for future generations (Eccl. 3:2; 1 Cor. 3:6; John 4:35-38)?

“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!”–Mike

2 Pet. 2:20

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“How quickly and effortlessly can we slide into a series of small decisions that land us in a tangled web from which there is no easy exit.”  Erwin Lutzer, “Conflict with Doubt,” Growing Through Conflict, 48

“For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning” (2 Peter 2:20; cf. Galatians 6:1a).

Are There No Moral Absolutes?

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MODERN RELATIVISTIC THINKING suggests that we have no rule or standard by which we can distinguish between good and evil, right and wrong, or moral and immoral.

Hilary Putnam, a Harvard University professor, sums it up when he declares that moral and ethical judgments are “something that we ultimately judge by the ‘seat of our pants'” (Alan Crippen II, ed., “The Train Wreck of Truth and Knowledge,” Reclaiming the Culture, 59).  We must come to see that there is no possibility of a ‘foundation’ for ethics…” (Ibid), he asserts.

Is the professor correct–are morals and ethics based upon our own subjective opinions?  Are there no moral absolutes?

Consider for a moment the repercussions of Mr. Putnam’s philosophical extreme.  (NOTE: The following excerpts are very explicit):

  • “The pro-life groups are right about one thing:  the location of the baby inside or outside the womb cannot make such a crucial moral difference.  We cannot coherently hold that it is all right to kill a fetus a week before birth, but as soon as the baby is born everything must be done to keep it alive.  The solution, however, is not to accept the pro-life view that the fetus is a human being with the same moral status as yours or mine.  The solution is the very opposite: to abandon the idea that all human life if of equal worth” (Watkins, “Death What A Beautiful Choice,” The New Absolutes, 85).
  • “A principle at an elementary school in New Hampshire invited a homosexual men’s chorus to give a concert to the kids.  The choral members changed the words of familiar children’s songs to sing about boys loving boys and girls loving girls” (Mister Sandman, bring me a dream, make him the cutest that I’ve ever seen).  During the concert they asked the children to raise their hands if they have two mommies or two daddies living with them.  When parents heard about the concert after the fact, they confronted the principal, but she wrote them off, saying tha the concert was ‘part of a multicultural emphasis at school” (“Dial Deviant For Normal,” 145).
  • “Dr. John Money is professor emeritus of medical psychology and pediatrics at John Hopkins University and an influential voice in sex research.  In an interview with Paidika, a magazine that advocates civil rights for pedophiles, Dr. Money said: ‘If I were to see the case of a boy aged ten or eleven who’s intensely…attracted toward a man in his twenties or thirties, if the relationship is totally mutual, and the bonding is genuinely totally mutual, then I would not call it pathological in any way.”  Money believes that pedophilia is an orientation which cannot be changed or permanently suppressed” (Ibid, 148).

Observations:

  1. If there are no moral absolutes, then man becomes not the discoverer of truth–but the determiner of truth (Prov. 21:1; Judg. 17:6).  Contrast that with the revelation of Scripture: “O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps” (Jer. 10:23).
  2. Moral relativism is patently false.  Truth is absolute–fixed (Rom. 2:8; John 18:37), it is attainable (John 8:32), it is understandable (Eph. 5:17; 2 Pet. 3:16), it is identifiable (John 17:17; 14:6; 16:13; 1 John 4:6), and it is consistent (Titus 1:2).
  3. If we have no objective criteria or standard by which to distinguish between right and wrong, then it is impossible to identify certain behavior as “sinful.”  Again, contrast this with Paul’s rebuke of governor Felix: “Now as he reasoned about righteousness (i.e., morality”–Moffit), self-control, and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and answered, ‘Go away for now; when I have a convenient time I will call for you'” (Acts 24:25).

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter” (Isa. 5:20).

“God loves you and I love you and that’s the way it’s gonna be!”–Mike

 

 

INCARNATE for July 25

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But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”