Showing posts from October, 2017
Sometimes God asks us to do something that doesn't make sense. Like praying for our enemies or praying for those that have hurt us. His ways are far above our ways. But to our natural minds, praying for God to help someone who has hurt us or those we love can challenge the very core of our thinking.

Our enemies can be our literal enemies; or we can find ourselves at odds with those we call brother, sister, or family. Praying for those close to us who have hurt us can pose an even greater challenge than praying for the enemy we barely know. 

God will dispense justice. That is his right, his job so to speak; not ours.

And so God calls us to a higher place, to pray for our offenders, to pray for those who do wrong. But what do we pray. Dare we lift up our enemies and ask God to strengthen them? Do we go so far as to ask the Lord of righteousness and justice to refresh the spirit of the one who has hurt us? Do we call down encouragement from heaven on the one who has hurt our heart or th…
I once saw a cartoon of a man sitting alone in a large meeting hall. He was attending a conference for families without dysfunction. This cartoon struck me funny because every family has its dysfunction, even if we are unwilling to admit it! And if dysfunction exists in our families, it certainly exists in our churches. But we sure are good at covering up our dysfunctions, aren't we?

Jesus stands against the art of the cover-up. The truth speaks for itself and is more powerful than a good sell or a carefully woven story. It is not in our nature to be transparent. Our original parents certainly showed this in the story of the garden. We've been taught to cover our issues up, white-wash them, speak a multitude of positive words, and then try to appear as we should appear. 

In one of Paul's letters to the Corinthians, he used the human body as an analogy of the church. Our bodies function well at times, and at times they ache, they slow and they fail. As I grow older, the yard-…
All of us have a longing to belong; to be a part of something. Rejection can be one of the most painful experiences that we face. No man is an island. We were all made for community. On the opposite side of the cry for belonging is the assertion that we don't need anyone. How many lovers' paradises have ended with the words, "I don't need you! I don't need anyone!" Rejection and independence.

When God set up His church, His body, He eradicated those words. He created an organism, not an organization; a living, interconnected being. At the head of this body, this church, is Jesus Christ, the One who said that He would reject no one that came to Him and who voiced His need for His friends in the hour of His darkness at the garden of desperation. 

We need one another and we belong to one another - as the church.

Paul gave instruction to the Corinthian church, a church with many traits similar to the church of today in the United States. Strong thinkers who place gr…