Apart from me you can do nothing. Have you heard that before? Do you know who said it? And if you do know, do you understand what it really means? Is it really as obvious as it seems?
The Shepherd and His Flock
How can I leave you again? Some of you will recognize that question as the title of a John Denver song. Others will be reminded of someone. But who?
I’ve liked the song, How can I leave you again, for many years. Most likely ever since it came out in 1977. But the last few years, it has more meaning to me. Maybe, after reading this, it will for you as well.
Blessed are the peacemakers. But who / what are peacemakers? Some of you will think of a Colt handgun. Or a strategic bomber. Or maybe even an MX Missile. If you’re Christian, or think you’re Christian, hopefully those aren’t the first things that come to mind. Why not? Because Blessed are the peacemakers is something Jesus said. It’s one of the Beatitudes, from the Sermon on the Mount.
Is the Bible relevant today? Of course, I say yes – absolutely. The Bible is relevant today! But then there’s the question of why? Why should anyone believe the Bible is relevant today?
To that end, I’m going to do a series on something written for secular people. 23 Things Successful People Never Do, from bestlifeonline.com. It’s an interesting approach. I was surprised how much the general thoughts line up with things Christians should do. The only real differences were in the actual examples, not in the concepts. In a way, maybe not all that surprising.
Jesus came to earth to die for us, and one of the results of that is that His followers can have “life to the full”. Let’s examine that passage. After that, we can better understand why a Christian might want to look at a secular list of things to not do.
Beer, biscuits and butter – is that settling for less? Some people will ask, “less than what?” Others will just say, “I’m fine with that.” How about you? Is that enough to make you happy? Keep you happy? Or do you want more? A whole lot more?
It seems weird – a site about religion talking about beer, biscuits, butter and bourbon. Relax, I’m not going to get into the evils of drinking and eating unhealthy food.
No, we need to consider something Jesus said. Something we probably just assume means we can eat whatever we want. But Jesus points out a whole new category of things that we should have been watching out for all along. But probably didn’t. Check it out.
Ours Is Not To Reason Why. Remember that saying? Ours is not to reason why, ours is but to do or die. I was pretty sure I remembered it –
but apparently, that’s not the way it goes. It really goes – Theirs not to reason why, theirs but to do and die.
But what if it really is, Ours is not to reason why, ours is to do and live?
Do Christians really know what “Christian Hope” is? In a word – no.
“Most of we Christians are blind to the truth of who we really are, and so are afraid to enter the valley of the shadow of death to find the light beyond it. Our hope is that we’ll find it in the next life and so remain powerless in this life, yes?”
from “Waking Up: To Who You Really Are (If You Dare)” by Ted Dekker
I really like reading Ted Dekker.
Although – sometimes it’s just so hard realizing that what he says is just a bit too true.
If we quit, all we do is prove those who said we couldn’t do it were right.
If we try something, we may or may not succeed.
But if we quit, failure is guaranteed.
Some may not like what I just said – for lot’s of different reasons.
Maybe you don’t believe in God. Sorry – I’m not going to address that issue here. There’s plenty of other articles you can check out though.
Maybe you don’t believe in the devil. Same answer.
Maybe you’re a Christian and remember verses like this one –
Jn 14:14 You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Yet again – sorry, although for a different reason.
Have you ever heard of a Grown-again Christian? Me neither. But the Apostle Paul did. “But for right now, friends, I’m completely frustrated by your unspiritual dealings with each other and with God. You’re acting like infants in relation to Christ, capable of nothing much more than nursing at the breast.” The Message