In 1976, Israel pulled off an amazing undercover op to rescue Jewish people taken hostage and being held in Uganda.
It’s a 40-day devotional retelling the important moments in Brian’s life with 40 of his favorite verses.
Although I’m impressed that any Christian actually knows 40 verses, I fear that his devotions are more about him than the Savior, but I will admit I have not read it. My perusal of it struck me this way, however.
I do not detract from the man’s obvious change of life. Now the hard part comes, the “no more I but Christ” part.
When we think of someone getting “converted,” we generally associate it with new birth, being made a new creation by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. That probably isn’t a wrong correlation, but it does have a different meaning.
Psalm 19 says “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul.” To
“convert the soul” means to transform the life, change the heart, or that your way of life completely shifts.
The law of the Lord can facilitate this change. Timothy knew the Scriptures, the law, and it was able to make him wise unto salvation. Timothy’s life changed.
We downplay the power of God’s Word way too much. We chalk up conversion to our decision-making abilities, our spiritual discipline, our taking part in sacraments and many other things.
The Word seems tacked on. Sort of like that fork your mother-in-law puts on the platter of sausages and cheese that no one uses because it’s so much simpler to use your fingers.
The law of God is no sausage fork, my friends. Oh no, it’s the sausage.
I will conclude before I break something tripping over my metaphor.
“True Christian fortitude consists more in a gracious security and serenity of mind, in patient bearing, and patient waiting, than in daring enterprises, sword in hand.”
All to often we assume that faithful Christianity has to convert masses of people, be a best-selling author, pack stadiums with your riveting speeches, go to exotic locales to preach to head-hunters, or at least translate the New Testament into a new-found language.
In reality, most of these opportunities will escape us and, for most, are not our calling anyhow. Yet we often suffer from a debilitating ministry envy. Since we can’t change the world we decide to do nothing.
True Christian faith is a patient abiding life of Christlike influence. Start with the small stuff–reading the Bible, prayer, giving money, hospitality, helping the helpless–let God take care of the world.
Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral has declared bankruptcy with $50 million in debt.
Here is a 7 minute video of a Dateline feature on it. One of the people highlighted in the video is the family that rented out animals for the Easter and nativity plays at the Cathedral.
They are still waiting for $57,000 from the Cathedral. The family had to sell their house last year after the Cathedral stiffed them last Christmas.
One should not rejoice in the downfall of an enemy, however, an enemy of the Gospel going down does not bother me. But it’s hard to be happy knowing how many have been fooled.
Even so, come quickly.
People like to worry. It’s sort of a bummer that Jesus so often tells us not to. This does not bode well for us.
Worry comes when things are out of our control. Usually we don’t worry about lifting a spoon to our mouths because we’re all over that one.
Jesus says that nothing is in our power, even the lifting of a spoon.
Should we worry about everything then? On the contrary:
“If ye then be not able to do that thing which is least, why take ye thought for the rest?”
You can’t do anything on your own,so why worry about anything!?
I love the logic. I worry about the implications, though.
Christianity has many faults and Christians are the fault for these faults. You can poke holes in Christianity and the Bible. You can find hypocrites, scoundrels and rebels within the doors of the Church.
That’s fine. Poke away. As long as you poke on yourself occasionally.
Eternity is a long time. Consider your place in it. Don’t play a game with your soul.
“Do you realize that most men play at religion as they play at games? Religion itself being of all games the one most universally played.
“The Church has its “fields” and its “rules” and its equipment for playing the game of pious words. It has its devotees, both laymen and professionals, who support the game with their money and encourage it with their presence, but who are no different in life or character from many who take no interest in religion at all.
“As an athlete uses a ball so do many of us use words: words spoken and words sung, words written and words uttered in prayer. We throw them swiftly across the field; we learn to handle them with dexterity and grace-and gain as our reward the applause of those who have enjoyed the game.
“In the games men play there are no moral roots. It is a pleasant activity which changes nothing and settles nothing, at last.
“Sadly, in the religious game of pious words, after the pleasant meeting no one is basically any different from what he had been before!”