Wednesday, June 20, 2007

John 12:40

John 12:40 - "He has blinded their eyes and deadened their hearts, so they can neither see with their eyes, nor understand with their hearts, nor turn—and I would heal them." (NIV)

The Lord would heal people from their fallen state, if they would only turn. And yet because he has blinded them and deadened their hearts, this will never happen. I don't understand this. My human mind cannot grasp that there are those who are unable to accept Christ.

I have to assume that it's not that God has maliciously blinded these people, but rather that this is the effect that God has on people who have rejected him. And I also assume that although they cannot turn in their own strength, if the Spirit drew them, then they would be able to turn in Christ's strength, and receive the healing. I have assume there is always hope for the lost, and that is why I tell people about Christ.

There are things I don't understand about God. But I do understand that my part is to tell people about him.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Luke 22:42

Luke 22:42 - "Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done."

Philippians 4:13 is very well known - "I can do all things...". I think that's the King James Version - some more recent versions seem to suggest something more like "I can get through anything" instead. So it's not so much like "I can leap tall buildings at a single bound", so much as "I will survive." Personally, I prefer the first option.

Jesus showed us both. He healed people. He fed people. He did supernatural things. But as well as that, he coped with everything that came at him. He handled the storm, the temptation, the tricky questions. And here in today's verse, we see Jesus faced with the problem of going to the cross. He would've wanted to have said "I can't do this", but because he had the power of God within him, just as we do, he knew that he could get through it. But as well that, I think he also knew that he could do the incredible task that was ahead of him. This wasn't just something that was coming his way - it was the task that he had become man for.

When things come our way, let's remember that we can get through all things. But let's also not fear doing those things for which we may need supernatural strength.

Monday, June 11, 2007

James 1:14-15

James 1:14-15 - ...each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death (NIV)

So we sin when we give into temptation. Sin is acting outside the will of God, and of course as Christians we get tempted to live outside God's will on a frequent basis. I'm not going to list the methods through which we get tempted - but I'm sure the media would be right up there. Regardless of how we get tempted, I consider that sin happens at the point when we make a conscious decision to step out of God's will.

In Romans, Paul says that he finds himself doing things he doesn't want to do. But he also says that he is no longer a slave to sin, but rather a slave to righteousness. In Romans 8, having just written about having a sinful nature which is still struggling with sin, he writes that we do not live according to the sinful nature, but according to the Spirit.

So live that way! Don't sin. Live according to the Spirit instead.