Aug 18 2014

The Four Stages of Light

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Try telling a little kid they’re really good at doing something. You’ll usually get one of four reactions: they could ignore you. Or say, “I know!” Or say, “I don’t think so!” Or say, in a surprised tone, “I AM!?!?”

Here’s something that Jesus told us that seems wild…

You are the light of the world.
_Jesus, Matthew 5:14

Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhh. Man.

IGNORING
It doesn’t feel like that to me very often. Previously in my life, I’ve just tuned out and ignored what Jesus said about being the light of the world.

DENIAL
At other times I’ve denied it and said, “Light of the world? I don’t think so.”

SURPRISE
Occasionally, I’ve been shocked. “WAIT! You’re saying that _I_ am the light of the world? I am!?!?”

I want to leave these three reactions behind.

I hear what Jesus is saying, but I don’t know that I’ve ever internalized it.

ASSURANCE
I want to reach the place where Jesus says, “You are the light of the world.” And somehow, I can say back, in a quiet, humble, confident tone, “I know.”

We ARE the light of the world. And thinking about that makes me uncomfortable. I don’t FEEL like the light of the world. I do a lot of really crappy stuff every day. How could I possibly be the light of the world?

It happens in the same way that we might say cars are fast. Technically, cars aren’t fast. They can’t move an inch on their own. They need fuel (gas or electric) to move. It’s the same with us and Jesus.

God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
_Colossians 1:27

Two things about this. First, see that Christ is now IN us! He’s like our fuel. Somehow he lives inside us through the Holy Spirit. So it’s really Jesus who is the light inside us. We’re supposed to be walking around with his light in us.

Second, there are parts of our Christian life we CAN’T explain. Paul says here, “this mystery, which is Christ in you.” It was a mystery to Paul about how Jesus could be in us! He couldn’t fully explain it. And some things we can’t explain either. Not just because we may not be the best theological thinkers but because it CAN’T be fully understood.

This mystery stuff makes me personally uncomfortable sometimes. Because it’s the kind of thing a cult might say – “Hey, don’t question this. You can’t know. It’s a mystery.” But it can also be true that it’s so unbelievably complicated and incredible that we can’t understand. After all, there are a PHENOMENAL number of things we don’t understand about the universe and stars and planets and black holes and pretty much everything else around us. These are incredible mysteries.

I want to hear Jesus tell me I’m the light of the world and somehow say, “I know.” And then go and do great things in our world because I have the confidence that comes with shining.

We. Are the light of the world. May God make us bright.

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Aug 17 2014

Where to Find Wisdom

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Andrew, wherever you’re confused today, don’t fret. There’s a voice calling out for you if you’ll listen. Ask for help in which way you should go.

For the Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.
_Proverbs‬ ‭2‬:‭6‬

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Aug 16 2014

Ridiculousness: Why Wisdom Laughs

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For a long time, it has confused me that the bible talks about God laughing at us in certain situations. (Interestingly, there is absolutely NO mention of God laughing at our plans!)

Here’s one instance though. Proverbs 1 starts off by telling us…

Out in the open wisdom calls aloud, she raises her voice in the public square; on top of the wall she cries out, at the city gate she makes her speech…
_Proverbs‬ ‭1‬:‭20-21‬

But many people don’t listen to her so then Wisdom says this…

…since you disregard all my advice and do not accept my rebuke, I in turn will laugh when disaster strikes you; I will mock when calamity overtakes you— when calamity overtakes you like a storm, when disaster sweeps over you like a whirlwind, when distress and trouble overwhelm you.
_Proverbs‬ ‭1‬:‭25-27‬

Seems harsh, eh? But think about TV shows like America’s Funniest Home Videos and Rob Dyrdek’s show, Ridiculousness. What do we laugh about in those shows? Isn’t it other people’s misfortune or lack of common sense? Many of these people get hurt.

When Wisdom sees us do dumb things, I think it’s only natural that she would laugh. She is so smart that it’s humorous to see simple people do crazy things.

It may not be that Wisdom’s laughter is vicious and hateful but more along the lines of, “HEY CHILD! What did you THINK was going to happen?”

May God lead us into all wisdom!

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Aug 15 2014

Another Reason Suffering Increases – It May Be Natural

Published by under Life

I read that 1 in 88 children has autism. Another sad thing: It seems like more and more people these days are getting cancer. Some die, some suffer.

Our country had The Great Depression in the 1930s. That had to do with economics. Now, we’re materially prosperous but many of us are crushed in our minds with various mental health issues – brought low with a LITERAL, psychological Great Depression.

This type of information can bum us out. We think, “Man, what is this world coming to? We’re eating bad food or have bad habits or something. Is God punishing or humbling us for some reason?”

Possibly. But maybe there’s an additional explanation.

…the world is passing away…
_1 John 2:17

In science, we have the idea of entropy - a degradation of matter that moves to disorder and chaos over time. For example, when a house is first built, it’s crisp and awesome. But 30 years later, without any repairs, it’ll start falling apart. That’s entropy.

Isn’t that what’s happening in our world? Just as a human body gets old and breaks down, maybe the same is happening to the earth and our bodies.

Many scientists believe that various factors have increased the amount of mutations taking place in our DNA – mutations that can lead to cancer. For instance, simple radiation like UVA and UVB can cause cancer. With the destruction of parts of our ozone (some of which are probably man-made and some of which are just happening on their own), we get more radiation when we’re outside than we used to, thus increasing our chance for cancer. Earth and humans are almost always tightly coupled.

There are probably reasons for some of the breakdown that are our OWN faults (using CFCs that destroy the ozone or eating huge quantities of sugar). But maybe John was right. Maybe our increased disease is just part of the breakdown. Maybe the world IS passing away. And we’re passing away with it.

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