Monday, March 16, 2009

Blessed are the entitled for theirs has already been given to them.

Blessed are the entitled for theirs has already been given to them.....or maybe we should say, "Woe to the entitled for we cannot see how good we have it." I am convicted everyday that I learn more about myself and our generation of entitled, selfish and self-righteous people group. What is it that we think we deserve? We are the most endowed group of people to ever exist on this earth. More money, technology, education and power than ever before, so we think we deserve to have all things? I don't understand it! Why am I so entitled? If I really examine my entitlement issues it is really just pride and selfishness. So, why am I so proud? Why am I so selfish? I was never raised this way! I was raised to follow Jesus and to imitate Him. Jesus was never selfish or prideful! In fact, quite the contrary! Jesus was humble and made himself lowly in the face of his friends. Remember how he washed their feet and how he would never let anybody boast about how he had just healed them? Now that's something to brag about, and Jesus never did that.

I think there is something our generation is good at though, regardless of the selfish ambition. That is the reality that we are wrong. We can admit that. We can start a change and we can make something new happen in life. It is interesting that while we were still entitled Christ died for us. It is interesting that if we confess our entitlement, Jesus is faithful to forgive us. No matter what Jesus will forgive our entitlement and make us the lowly servants that we deserve to be. I say that we begin a new movement in our generation, we turn the established upside down as Jesus did in his day. I say we drop our rights, our priveledges, and our entitlement and pick up a wash basin and a towel and wash someone's feet. We are no better than anyone else, in fact let's be lower than everyone else. Let's change from the entitled to the humbled generation.

Narcissism, Self-love, Incurvatus in Se (Bent in on self). Is that what we have become? Or is that what we have always been? Maybe it has gotten so bad that we finally notice it. But maybe we are so bent in on ourselves that we don't care to do anything about it. Take notice of yourself, and then do as Jesus says, "The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life." Then he said to them all: "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will save it." Luke 9:22-24 (NIV)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Blessed are the poor in spirit

I have been looking at Jesus' sermon on the mount, specifically the beatitudes up to this point and I am in awe of how deep just one verse goes! I feel like I am totally being wrecked by Jesus and his words. All he said was, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." You look at that and you think no big deal right? WRONG!!! What does it mean to be poor in spirit? Who is poor in spirit? I have been thinking about this for a while now and have thought several different things. First I thought that being poor was literally not having any money or material possessions, or whatever. But now that I look at it, a person who is poor has no less than a rich person in spiritual standards! I have seen boasting with the poor man as much as with the rich man. But think of it this way: the poor in spirit are those that understand that there is nothing they can do in order to pay God back for the debt they owe him! WOW! It is being humble enough to know that you are not enough, you are not sufficient, you have nothing of value that you can give in order to be more spiritual. All you have is nothing! That nothingness is what God will fill with more of his spirit. We must decrease so that he may increase. Look at the parable of the tax collector and the pharisee, the pharisee comes to the temple boasting about how great he is because he gives so much to the temple tax and makes his sacrifices, etc. The tax collector comes before God and throws himself down crying out that he is unworthy to look up to the heavens. That is the poor in spirit. When we are rolling in the dust and honestly assessing the facts of our own spiritual inadequacies.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Relentless love

"How refreshing to know you don't need me. How amazing to find that you want me." Those are the words from a Casting Crowns song that have been going through my head for the last two days. I thank God that he doesn't need me, but at the same time I am always thankful that he wants me. Not that he has to have me around for anything other than his own enjoyment, but to know that he loves me and wants nothing more than to have a relationship with me that he will focus his immensity on me......Is there anything more pleasing than to know that the Father of fathers has acknowledged me as his son? Could I bring anything to him that he needs? I try and try to give him anything good that I have and it falls like rotting flowers before him. He wants me. That is all. Just me. Why? Why? Why? Is there an answer to this question or is it like trying to find one thing in an infinite space? I am thankful, truly thankful for one thing: There is no end to God's love. I have smacked God across the face, spit in his eyes and nailed him to a cross....yet there is no end to his love. He keeps coming after me. Relentlessly loving me. Why? To ignore him is to be in HELL. To follow him is to go through hell and come out a victor and a prince. Following Jesus, who loves endlessly, is no easy feat. I can no better become rich while I am a pauper. Nor can I love like him who loves me when I am without capability to love as he loves.

Again Jesus said, "Simon son of John, do you truly love me?" He answered, "Yes, Lord, you know that I love you." Jesus said, "Take care of my sheep." How can I take care of your sheep lord? Please show me. Let me have answers so I can do your will as you did your father's will, even unto death.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Why we do what we do?

It seems there are so many things people do to get them into trouble. I just read an article about two Israeli kids who decided it would be funny if they exchanged vows and rings. Well, according to Rabbinical Law all people need to do to get married is to exchange vows, rings and do it in front of witnesses. The girl is 14 and the boy is 17, unfortunately, they were married as part of a "fun" joke. The Rabbi's didn't think it was very funny and they proclaimed the marriage a divorce which inevitably becomes a disgrace to the girl and not to the boy. Why? What is the point of all of this garbage? Have you ever noticed that humor is completely different now days? Look at jackass and Bam Margera. What a bunch of losers! But the youth of today think they are amazing. If someone takes a crap in the middle of their kitchen and puts it on tv then it is considered hilarious? What the F@#$? If I broke my leg and someone put it on tv and people began laughing at it I wouldn't be very happy. I just don't get it, has society just become so corrupt that the only way we can laugh is to hurt someone? Whatever happened to slap-stick comedy, you know, when someone actually says something half-way witty and it makes sense!

Also, what's up with all the horror crap out there? Horror flicks and tv shows are the biggest thing out there these days. I think it is sad that people want to be scared, they want to feel something so bad that they are willing to let it happen through scare tactics and not through love and compassion.

Ever look at Craigslist and see the personal adds? How about all those people out there putting themselves out on the meat market. They can't meet people in real life, so they put their flesh out on craigslist in order to feel like they are worth something.

If you haven't noticed, our society happens to be in a moral downturn unlike has ever been seen. Filth, corruption and evil run and control this earth with such complete anonymity that people do not understand that they are being sucked into a hole so deep and so black and dark, that by the time they wake up to see where they are, they find they are in a certain kind of hell that will not go away with human cures. Nobody can cure you for all the evil you have committed.

At least the way things look we should all be hopeless and depressed. We should be looking for anything and everything that will please us, a world of hedonism. But wait, isn't that what kind of world we are in right now? Anything goes, nothing is impossible, even for the poorest people on earth. Anyone can become what this world calls free, and still be as bound and locked up as the foulest con on deathrow. Is there any hope? Can anyone free us from this pit of dispair?

Not to be cliche, but I believe there is a way out, a way of freedom. It is no secret and it's free. The problem is, it's the hardest thing for a person on this earth to do. The way out of dispair and death is through Jesus Christ. He lived and died the perfect man and while fulling being God never imposed his deity on humankind in order to have his way, only the way of his father. The way of his father was that he die for all people because he loved us so much. Believing in Jesus is easy, understanding the basic concepts of what he did seems to make sense, but what is hard is that you must follow Jesus and the way of the father just as Jesus did when he was on earth.

Following Jesus is hard, but if it keeps me from the pits of hell and keeps me close to him, then I will do whatever I can in order to stay with him.