Showing posts from February, 2016

Knowing Jesus #2: The Humble Path

It's not easy to follow Jesus in a Kesha and Kanye world. Fame is the desired destination for many people, and self-promotion is the clear path to get there. How can you find the path of Jesus in a world filled with so many other roads? Christians are supposed to walk in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. But too many people—even many so-called Christians—sadly know little to nothing about Jesus. They may like their own caricatures of Jesus: homie Jesus, homeboy Jesus, gangster Jesus, hipster Jesus or buddy Jesus on a dashboard bobble-head.  For these folks, following Jesus amounts to little more than believing in a fairy godmother or guardian angel who wants them to be happy. And therein lies the crux of the problem. Too many folks think Jesus is all about their personal happiness. Their fascination with Jesus is not actually about Jesus. It’s in fact a sign of self-absorption or of a desire for personal fame, glory and importance. Clearly, these folks have not paid caref

Knowing Jesus #1: His Arms Are Open

How well do you know Jesus? It's an ongoing quest to understand who Jesus really was. Throughout the centuries, Christians have grappled with the person of Jesus. How do we come to know him? Do we look inside our hearts? Do we search the pages of scripture? Do we look for him in the words & actions of others? Who was the real Jesus and how do we know him? Some have wondered aloud if the Jesus of faith and the Jesus of the Bible are one and the same. Perhaps the Bible, they say, has irreparably distorted the true picture of Jesus. Marcus Borg was a brilliant scholar. Before his premature death, he wrote prolifically for a large audience of scholars and Christians. Borg "re-imagined" Jesus for his readers. He in essence claimed that the Bible is a poor place to know Jesus without guidance from folks like him. The true Jesus, he said, is hidden behind the ancient texts which are warped and must be carefully sifted through. In his book Preaching from Memo

Spiritual Arsenal #6: Listening to God's Word

The final installment in this Spiritual Arsenal series deals with scripture. Listening to God's word as spoken in the ancient biblical texts is a key weapon in your spiritual fight. Jesus defended himself from the devil with it, "One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God."  By quoting scripture in his resistance, Jesus was modeling precisely how you can live on God's word. Just how exactly does God's word function in your spiritual battle against evil? Some folks will of course immediately protest that they can hear the Word of God through avenues other than the Bible. There's no doubt about this fact. God can speak through a sunset, in a piece of music, via the touch of another human being, or even through a donkey if needed. There's no serious argument about this. One could also point out that Jesus is the living Word of God. That's what John says in John 1:1. It's the message of the Hebrews write