Life worth dying for

Dave Ramsey asks a question in his tweet today – the day following Easter Sunday.   Did you live a life today worth dying for?

I must confess that today I didn’t.   Most who were with me today probably didn’t notice, but as a disciple the heart is really the issue isn’t it?   But that question is indeed a good one.  How do we live after the celebration of the resurrection?   What did the disciples do?   Apparently they continued on as normal.  Yet as the reality and import of what happened began to sink in and their encounters with the risen Lord increased they could not go on with “normal”.

As disciples we can no longer be normal.  Our encounters with the reality of Easter Sunday should pull us continually toward the abnormal – the peculiar.   We become a peculiar people, a royal priesthood, those who live as a people who have been chosen.

Live the life you are called to.  A life worth dying for.

Easter weekend

Looking out the window as I try to come up something for this posting I cannot help but notice the sunshine and the beginning shoots of flowers in the flower beds.  It is very natural and common to relate these early signs of spring to the way God brings new life through our connection with His grace in Christ.

Yet that is the obvious. Thinking about grace in Christ does remind me that Christianity is so deeply centered in relationship.

God’s relationship with the world — Loving it despite the reality of rebellion

Christ’s relationship with the world — providing the means for coming back into relationship with God

Christ’s relationship with the church — as savior, Lord, and as Head of all things

The relationship of the church to the world — representing Christ as ambassadors from another Kingdom  (His Kingdom).

Our relationship to one another — Love your neighbor as yourself.

Yesterday for our family was an afternoon at the zoo with Great Grandma, Grandma and Grandpa, Mom and Step-dad, and the boys.

Today is Grandpa and the boys.  Tomorrow will hopefully see all the kids and grandkids gathered along with Great Grandma for breakfast and services.

Relationships.   We have the promise that the power of Christ’s resurrection is available to us right now — to resurrect those things in life which are dead, or are causing death.  What about your relationships?  Any dead or dying ones?   Perhaps there is a need for resurrection?   With God all things are possible.

Thoughts on the Upper Room

No long before Jesus celebrated the passover with His disciples for the final time he was invited to a dinner at the home of a religious leader.  Jesus and the disciples watched as the various guests vied the best seats and the places of honor.

My years of ministry given me ample opportunity to witness similar scenes.  The wedding reception where Aunt Gerty is put out because she didn’t get a seat as close to the head table as she felt was proper.  Or — if you can believe it — the funeral during which a family feud erupted over who got to sit in front row.

As Jesus watched these events unfold at the dinner party he gave his listeners some advice.  “When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ‘Give this person your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all the other guests. 11 For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 14).

At the last passover meal (The Last Supper as we commonly refer to it) the disciples apparently forgot the lesson as they were gathering for the meal.  They began to position themselves for the best seats.  As Jesus saw this He took up a basin and a towel and began the lowly task of washing their feet.  As the Master and Lord He was willing to use His position for the benefit of others.

In this act is a lesson for us all.  When you find yourself in position of influence you have two choices.  You can use the moment to lift yourself into a better position — or you can leverage that opportunity for ministry.

What opportunities is God giving you this Easter season?  As family and friends gather look for the opportunity to serve, to give witness to your Servant King.

 

 

The Hug

Yesterday was one of those days.  You know the type.  Long and tiring.  Off to work early where the day was hectic and demanding.  Came home and made a ministry coaching call that was very emotional and mentally challenging.  Then worked on a project that was very intense as well as being completely outside my comfort zone and skill set.  Going on 12 hours straight at this point it was time to go over to my daughter’s house to help hang curtain rods and art work in a remodeled bedroom.

Both physically and mentally done in — I dropped onto the couch with my feet up on the ottoman waiting for my wife to finish gathering her stuff to leave.  From across the room the six year old grandson smiled and with a twinkle in his eye came running over to jump into my lap as he smothered me in what passes for a bear hug coming from one so small.  For almost a full minute we hugged — no words — just sharing the closeness of each other.

As I began the day today I began to wonder if what I felt during that hug is anything like what God feels when we remember to stop and simply praise Him in gratitude for nothing more than His presence.   After a long day of holding the universe together and answering countless prayers — after hours spent watching over the poor, the helpless, and the fatherless — after spending His time caring for several billion people (not all of whom really get it or appreciate it) — does God desire nothing more that to see us smile and run to Him with gratitude.  Does He feel His heart swell with love on the rare occasions when we come to Him wanting nothing more than feel His presence and His arms around us?   Does He take pleasure in returning the hug loving the fact we love Him?

I think He does.  Maybe we should stop and enjoy Him more often?

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Called, Changed & Committed: Mark 4:19

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