Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Honest Day's Pay for an Honest Day's Labor.

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the parable in Matthew Chapter 20. The owner of a vineyard goes into the marketplace to hire workers, early in the morning and offers to pay them 1 denarii for the days work. Then three hours later he goes back to the market place and hires more workers, and tells them he will pay them what is fair. At the eleventh hour he goes again and hires more workers, telling them he will pay what is fair. So this last group only worked 1 hour, then go to receive their pay, and gets 1 denarii. Then the second group goes, and gets 1 denarii. The first group watch and assume that they will get more, because they worked all day, but receives 1 denarii. This parable shows an interest side of grace. Our age at the time of salvation is irrelevant, the time and culture that we live in when we are saved is irrelevant the reward is the same for all. Whether you become a Christian 50 years before you die, or 1 week your reward is the same, whether you are persecuted for your belief, because of your culture, or if it is accepted in your culture, the reward is the same. This is an awesome principle, because the reward is great, but you don't have to compete with those around you to attain it first, because it is the same for all who surrender their lives to Christ Jesus.


I was reading in Matthew chapter 1 earlier this week and going through the genealogy of Christ, which normally I would skip or skim quickly through all he begats. But something that stood out to me is one of the first people mentioned is Rahab. If you remember Rahab was a prostitute in the city of Jericho, her and her family the only ones spared in the city, because she hid the Israelite spies. This points out one of the very coolest aspects of grace in my opinion, which is that no matter what your past mistakes are, at any point that you come to Christ, he not only cleans you up and saves you but he gives you a purpose. Even a pagan prostitute was used by God, and for her faith, she was allowed to be listed as an ancestor of the messiah.

A Lesson from Nature

One of the many things that constantly amazes me is when I look at something in nature and see how it reflects how our spiritual life should look like, or in some way mirrors our spiritual life.
Have you ever wondered why bugs, are attracted to lights. It is often this attraction that kills them, whether from the heat, or simply being congregated around the light making them easy prey for toads. I was thinking about this and realized it is a perfect metaphor for humans and our savior Jesus Christ. We also must go to the light, and die. We can not follow Christ if we will not take up our crosses daily.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Romans 12:4-5

For we have many members in our bodies, but not all members have the same function, 5 So we being many are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

I combined four and five, because I did not want to separate a sentence.
I like the comparison of the Church to a body, because of it's many applications, from the dependance of one Christian on the others, to the importance of unity. Here the meaning is greater if you view the verse in light of the previous verse. This explains why it is necessary that no one be conceited.
I also think that "individually members of one another," is a challenge for us to share life together, we need to do more than have the model church conversation: church goer 1: Hi, How are you?
church goer 2: Great and you?
1: Wonderful, see you next week.
2: Sure see you next week.
There's nothing wrong with the above conversation, except it does not go deep enough. How can you be a member of one another and not know each other?

Romans 12:3

For I say, by the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3)
For this verse I will just leave these questions, and hope to be able to see your answers.

What does it mean to not think more highly of yourself than you ought?

Can you take the idea of humility too far, and leave yourself unable to use the measure of faith dealt to you?

I look forward to reading your answers to these questions.

Romans 12:2

To continue the study of Romans let's take a look at verse 2 : And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed, by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
"Be transformed," notice how it does not say transform yourself. The way this verse is written indicates surrendering to the transformation more than doing the transformation. The same is true earlier in that verse where it says not to BE conformed to this world. The verse presents the idea that you will be subservient to either the world, or to God. You must make a choice which power you yield to and allow to control your life. You might argue that you could deny control to either, but unforunately to choose neither is impossible, to deceive yourself into believing that you are fully and soley in control of your life is in fact conforming to this world, using the wisdom of this world.
Secondly I notice the phrase, "that you may prove, what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Our lives are to be proof of God's will. We are to be an exhibit of the greatness of God, in all aspects of our lives.

Romans 12:1

I will for the next several posts, be going through Romans chapter 12 verse by verse, posting thoughts on each verse or asking for discussion of each verse. I feel that this study will be beneficial to me in my walk with God and hope and pray that it will benefit you as well.I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies, a living sacrifice holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. (Romans 12:1)
One of the first things that sticks out to me in this verse is the phrase, "by the mercies of God." Paul gives the credit for his request to God. He shows gratitude that God has put him in the position to request anything from them. I think that we as a body need the same attitude in our ministries, in our relationships, in our spiritual walk. the kind of attitude that honors God, in gratitude, and recognition, that without his mercy there is not any good in us.
The second thing that stands out to me is that he uses your bodies plural, then living sacrifice singular. I believe that this shows the kind of unity that God desires from his Church, and the need for the church that we all have. All of his people give their bodies to form one single living sacrifice. There can not be a lone ranger Christian. We are all a part of one body, one church, one living sacrifice. We are connected to all Christians past, present, and future, as one sacrifice holy, acceptable to God.