23 December 2008
Biblically, the only God-approved type of government was a benevolent autocracy (Godly king). This was only put in place after the people asked God for a king, because His system of ruling and guiding them directly through the words of the prophets and judges was not good enough for them. The principle is the same, however, being submission to a God-appointed authority (not a constantly changing man-elected authority). The only democracy mentioned in the Bible was Rome, which the Israelites assumed would be removed by the Messiah. Majority rule by will of the people is not mentioned as something we should strive for as Christians. We are instructed in the New Testament how to act if we are oppressed and enslaved, but not how to overthrow our oppressors. The key here is finding joy in salvation and living with an eternity mindset, rather than a worldly mindset. This should leak into every aspect of our lives, including our politics, so that we can submit ourselves to the true Priest-King (Jesus) more than we do our president. When we do this, we return to God's original plan for government of our lives. Jesus is our one Savior and head of the Kingdom we should strive to build as faithful citizens. Electing this King should be on the forefront of our thoughts and concerns rather than any man standing for office. He is the only one that can save, and can bring an instantaneous and permanent change to any life. No political system or party can do that.
18 October 2008
Thank you for not expecting me to earn my way toward you.
Thank you for understanding me as I am and being cool with the fact I can never repay you.
Thanks for Jesus.
16 October 2008
Then tonight I went to Casa Havilah to help with homework before finals tomorrow. We had some goofy fun with the camera on my computer. Those girls sure do make a lot of deposits.
23 September 2008
...and then he told me that he had been saving money from the cars he guarded to buy me a gift.
He told me the Lord put it on his heart as he was praying for me (HE prays for me!! How humbling!!) to buy me a watch.
Anyone that knows me knows that I struggle with time management. How amazing is our God that he would put it on the heart of a homeless Nicaraguan man to buy me a watch!?!? In the words of Dimas..."So that you will know what time it is and can make it to all your meetings."
I go to meet him Friday at 9pm to pick it up.
I know that every time I look at it, it will remind me that God has worked in a mysterious way to help me manage my time.
Tonight I saw a homeless, destitute beggar...rejoicing (and quoting the scriptures from Romans) in the fact that we all fall short of the Glory of God, but we are saved by our faith.
He walks in it...he lives it. I look up to him. And it makes me want to crawl underground and hide that he would save up money to buy me a watch, because the Lord put it on his heart.
...he might as well have handed me the deed to a house.
Matthew 25:40..."as you have done to the least of these you have done to me."
This rings so true, as I think of Dimas and another homeless friend I had in the states named James. Those two men have taught me more about the nature of our Christ, and His passion for the poor, than any preacher in a pulpit than I can remember. James never had one material thing to give, but whenever I was about to go on a mission trip he would come to the fundraisers and work all day. He used to come watch me play church league sports and sit with my family. He asked me to stop once as we were driving down the road near a thicket of trees and he ran up and tucked his bundle in the pines before we went to lunch. He came out grinning from ear to ear, and as he climbed back in the truck he said, "That's where I hide my Bible." The only thing in the world he had to be proud of was the place where he hid God's word. It was a Bible he got in prison when he was sent up for stealing the copper wiring out of an abandoned building so he could buy food...and maybe some crack at the time. James put VALUE in that Word that he had.
These are the things I have noticed that James and Dimas have in common. In Christ, and Christ alone is where they see their own value. They are both always joyful in their hardships. They have both gone out of their way to do things for me. They pray for me. I learn more from them than I could ever teach them, just by the way they live their lives.
No wonder Jesus has such a heart for the poor...they are just like Him, and they glorify Him so much more by being so unconcerned for themselves.
Matthew 8: 20
Jesus replied, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head."
"The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'
...if you want to know what it is to live like Christ...make friends with a homeless man who has faith in Jesus to provide his daily bread. God has some missionaries out there in strange places, that might just be there to teach and convict those of us who think we have it all figured out.
06 September 2008
34When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus' feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
How often do we see the power of Jesus over evil in our lives and say, "No, I'd rather hold on to this for awhile." His power brings great fear to our sin nature, our unbelief causes us to fear. We are so comfortable in our sinful life that it is easier to say, "Go away, Jesus." than to live in the freedom that He offers. Sometimes it hurts to be redeemed because our prideful nature as men wants to pay back every good done for us to the One who does it, or try to take the punishment for our sins upon ourselves. We can't do that with God...and we know it. It's easier to deny the gift rather than accept what we can never repay.
Even on human terms, how often do we resent when someone buys us dinner when we would like to pay for our own? I do this with my own grandfather. He tries to pay when I take him for lunch...and he always wins. I go away upset that he didn't let me buy his lunch, rather than basking in the love that an old man has for his grandson. I'm his beloved child...he will always be my provider. He has done more for me than I will ever be able to repay to him. My duty is not to repay him. My duty is to love my fellow man as Christ has loved me.
How much greater is God's love for us than that of our grandfathers?
...the scariest thing about this passage though, is that when the people told Jesus to go away...He did. I pray that I never become so comfortable in my own sin, or so arrogant in wanting to deal with it myself, that when Jesus says, "I will free you of this." That I tell Him to go away.
24 January 2008
It was not only acceptable, but Biblical. I love seeing the Holy Spirit use the secular for the greater purpose of God.
21 January 2008
The first day I ever interacted with her I was installing doors at the rescue home where she lives. She was climbing on things that I told her not to, kept going through my toolboxes, and when I went to the hardware store for 5 minutes she hid my circular saw in a closet.
In other words she's done some punk stuff to me.
Saturday I was at a church party and she was there with tons of other kids at the garbage dump where she grew up. Long story short, the pinata fell early and she got caught at the bottom of a dog pile for candy. I could barely see her pink shirt and her hair as she was being pushed face down in the dirt...but I could hear her crying. The other kids were of one mind and that mind was candy.
I didn't realize how much I loved her till I saw her in that much pain and went and pulled her out of the bottom of the pile.
She didn't let go of me for at least an hour. The house mother and I washed her up and nursed her scrapes and cuts, then she wrapped herself around me and wouldn't let go.
...and I didn't want her to. She did the same thing at church yesterday.
Moral of the story...that little girl used to do some punk things to me. But I couldn't love anybody more than I do her. I have never hurt so bad as I did when I saw her scared and alone in the bottom of that pile. All I ever wanted was to pull her out and hold her.
I realized how parents feel...and maybe how God feels about us...at that moment.
And you know. Nobody started loving her because she stopped being a punk. She stopped being a punk because people started loving her.