Tuesday, August 31, 2010

How did I get that idea?

"My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust?

A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust?"

- C.S.Lewis in Mere Christianity

Monday, August 30, 2010

Love makes its own choice

Time, like an ever rolling stream,
Bears all its sons away;
They fly, forgotten, as a dream
Dies at the opening day.

- Hymn: O God, Our Help in ages Past, Isaac Watts
I don't know why my wife loves me; she probably couldn't tell you, either. It is God's gift to her and me we can enjoy but not explain.

Love is that way - it chooses its own objects of affection. Our part is to accept it, or not.

God's Love for us is like that, too. Why he would choose such an unlikely candidate, who is only here for a brief moment, is beyond my cognitive powers. Mine (and yours) is to respond with a "Yes!" or move on.
"In him we were also chosen ... to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." - Ephesians 1:11, 3:18b-19
Love doesn't tolerate, it chooses.

- fritz

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Intended Target

"Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.'" - Jesus (Matthew 25:41)
In all fairness, one should note the intended target of the supernatural eternal punishment was not mankind, but the devil and his angels.

The fact that people will go there points to the cruelty of the devil who, according to the Bible, tricked mankind into separation from the only source of life. This can't, honestly, be blamed on God; there are things, on a cosmic level, going on that we are just not privy to.

The fact that God offers a way of restoration, at his great personal sacrifice, to ALL who will accept shows a profound love to our benefit, though we can't fully comprehend it.

"That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able ... to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge..." Ephesians 3:17-18a, 19

- fritz

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Surviving the long haul

"[T]he kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish and five were wise. The foolish ones took their lamps but did not take any oil with them..." - Jesus (Matthew 25:1-3
Sadly, not every starter of the faith journey finishes. Why? The foolish virgins of this parable were just not prepared for the long haul.

Marathon runners don't just show up on the event day, the successful ones prepare, taking advantage of early opportunities to get ready.

Daniel, of the Bible, didn't start his prayer life in the Lion's den, he was a man of prayer.

When the pressure is off and there is no major crisis is the time to learn to pray, build relationships with the faithful, read the Bible, learn how to hear from God.

Wise virgins act before the immediate need.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Relevance of Jesus to Human Life

"Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life." - Proverbs 4:23
"For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he" - Proverbs 23:7a
"Heart" doesn't just mean a blood pump, it means the core of one's being. We use the term similarly all the time. It refers to our motives and deep desires which are sometimes unknown even to ourselves.

This arena is not found with microscopes, stethoscopes, or telescopes. It is, in that sense, "spiritual" instead of "physical" though some say it is the result of our physical composition.

Also in that sense, everyone has a spiritual formation - be they preachers, businessmen, terrorists, world leaders, dictators or the unemployed - and it is here where change must, and can take place.
"Indeed, the only hope of humanity lies in the fact that, as our spiritual dimension has been formed, so it also can be transformed. Now and throughout the ages this has been acknowledged by everyone who has thought deeply about our condition—from Moses, Solomon, Socrates, and Spinoza, to Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Oprah, and current feminists and environmentalists. ... Disagreements have only to do with what in our spirit needs to be changed and how that change can be brought about.

AND ON THESE TWO points lies the inescapable relevance of Jesus to human life."1
- fritz

1 - Dallas Willard, Renovation of the Heart, NavPress, pg. 14

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Example of hope

"Then Abraham gave up the ghost, and died in a good old age, an old man, and full of years; and was gathered to his people. And his sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah" Genesis 25:8-9
I am encouraged that after being rivals, and though their people groups are still are at odds, Isaac and Ishmael matured enough to put away their differences and work together.

There is hope.

- fritz

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Born that way!

Every parent wants their child to be born with all body parts; we look for fingers and toes, eyes and nose. There are other body parts we are born with that are not so immediately visible.
"Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry:" - Colossians 3:5
"Members", literally means "body parts". It's the same word Jesus used in his controversial illustration of cutting off hands, eyes, and feet.
"... it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." - Matthew 5:29b
I was born with some, you were born with others - "sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy"1 - These are the body parts, "members", the Bible says to remove so we can serve God in and with our bodies throughout eternity.

- fritz

1 - Colossians 3:5b The Message Bible

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Faith "of" Christ not just "in" Christ

"[W]e have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ" - Galatians 2:16b
More than just having faith in Jesus Christ, we must have the faith of Jesus Christ; that is, we are to believe what Jesus, himself, believed.

It is a slippery slope to think of Christ, the Bible, or the apostles as being products of their environment's world view, currently regarded as uninformed and scientifically ignorant.

Jesus' abilities and approach to world renewal far surpasses anything modern "science" has been able to duplicate. What hospital can cure blindness, leprosy, or palsy with a touch? What psychiatrist can take hardened lunatics and turn them into wise counselors? What ethics class can take dishonest businessmen and turn them into upstanding citizens?

Early will a wise christian learn what Jesus, himself, believed and accept it as his/her own beliefs.

- fritz

Monday, August 23, 2010

Time with God now

"Early the next morning Abraham got up and returned to the place where he had stood before the LORD ... Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the eventide ..." (Genesis 19:27, 24:63a)
Men and women of God, from Abraham and Isaac through the centuries to today take time to get alone with God.

Abraham's time was in the mornings at a scenic overlook; Isaac's in the evenings in the fields. It's not what time or where that is important but the consistency and privacy.

Suzanna Wesley, unable to leave the house because of responsibilities for her 19 children (John and Charles being two of them), sat in a chair with her apron over her head - all because there must be time alone with God for every believer.

Jesus said to go to the closet to pray in secret.1 Your closet may have four wheels and your time may be on the way to work, but take time every day to get alone with God.

- fritz

1 - Matthew 6:6

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Now that we are friends

"For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life." - Romans 5:10
When God was our enemy he loved us so much he gave Jesus to die for our sins and make us his own.

Now that he is our friend, how can we think he would reject us for our shortcomings and failures?!

It is time for those who have covenanted1 with Christ, to stop looking at difficulties as God's anger and start seeing them as God's allowed opportunities to grow up and experience his life in real circumstances.

Seizing this one fact changes us, seasons us, and makes us more like the people we always wanted to be but had no ability to become.

Ever see a child after conquering a major (to them) problem? That's how children become mature adults! Us too.

- fritz

1 - "Think Covenant" blog post on August 15, 2010

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Confusion more from prejudice than logic

Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things. - Proverbs 28:5
Confusion is caused more by prejudice than logic. Unwillingness to release precious ideas, pride, or action(inaction) prevent an honest assessment. That honest assessment is all God is asking.

Truth can be discovered by those who want to know and who are willing to act on what they learn.
"Anyone who wants to do the will of God will know whether my teaching is from God or is merely my own." - Jesus (John 7:17 New Living Translation)
Dallas Willard, in his book, "Renovation of the Heart" makes this point:
"[T]he confusion now publicly prevailing over the makeup of the human being may not be due to its inherent obscurity. Rather, it may be due to the fact that it is a field where strongly armed prejudices—assumptions about what must be the case, “don’t bother me with facts”—prevent even well-intended people from seeing what, at least in basic outline, is fairly obvious, simple, and straightforward".1
- fritz

1 - Renovations of the Heart NavPress, Copyright 2002, pg 30

Friday, August 20, 2010

Faith, Proof, and Trust

"Faith is not believing without proof, but trust without reservation" - Fr. Desmond Goonesekera1

- fritz

1 - Mr. James Kanaganayagam, August 15, 2010, Executive Director of Broadcast and Ministry outreach for Back to the Bible ministries.
2 - Picture's source and descriptive comments can be found here

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Only one life..."

“Two little lines I heard one day,Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice, Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years, Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill, living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore, When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep, In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn, And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone, Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one, Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call, I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

C.T Studd

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Always Personal

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
Life changing faith is always personal; it has always been that way.

The love of Christ is not just for "us" but "me", individually.

- fritz

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Living "In the Flesh" by Faith

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
Being "in the flesh" is not a bad thing if we mean, as the Bible periodically does, the physical body, indeed, that's why God gave us bodies in the first place.

Our individual bodies are intended for Christ's use:
"[T]he body is ... for the Lord; and the Lord for the body." - 1st Corinthians 6:13b
When we give ourselves to Christ our physical bodies become part of his, like my arm is to me.
Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. - 1st Corinthians 12:27

Monday, August 16, 2010

Christ in me

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. - Galatians 2:20
I'm not just living "in Christ", he is living "in me". I am not trying to do what he did and to be like him, instead I am allowing him to guide my daily tasks as if he were living through me, which he is. I become more like him as a byproduct.

Former pastor and author, Dallas Willard, puts it this way:
[H]e is, in any case, interested in my life, that very existence that is me. There lies my need. I need to be able to lead my life as he would lead it if he were I. So as his disciple I am not necessarily learning how to do special religious things, either as a part of “full-time service” or as a part of “part-time service.” My discipleship to Jesus is, within clearly definable limits, not a matter of what I do, but of how I do it. And it covers everything, “religious” or not

1 - The Divine Conspiracy, by Dallas Willard, pg.276

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Think "Covenant"

"Great are the works of the LORD ...he remembers his covenant forever." - Psalm 111:2a, 5b
God acts according to what's called a "Covenant".

Covenants, like present day legal contracts, have terms, conditions, remedies, and participants. Also like a contract it takes a purposed agreement from all participants before it is binding. Unlike contracts, once entered they last forever; or at least as long as the participants live.

In the Bible there was a covenant where God promised not to destroy the earth again with water, and where God promised land and descendants to Abraham. God made a covenant with Moses and Israel when he gave the Ten Commandments. There was a "Covenant of peace", a "Covenant of salt", a "Covenant of everlasting priesthood" - covenants all throughout the Bible, each with its special provisions, all remembered and followed by God.

Finally, God promised a "New Covenant"1 different from all the rest - a commitment by God to put his laws into participants hearts and take them as his people forever. That's the covenant we enter when we receive Jesus as our Savior!
"But ye are come ... to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant" - Hebrews 12:22, 24
Think in terms of covenants and a lot of the Bible makes more sense.

- fritz

1 - Jeremiah 31:31-33 and Hebrews 8:8-12

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Losing something important

"God's household ... is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth." - 1st Timothy 3:15
Anglican headlines were recently made by a visiting priest serving the Eucharist1 to an attender's dog.

The news article reads:
After the action became public last week, Rea apologized during her Sunday sermon to anyone who may have been hurt or embarrassed by her actions. She explained the initial gesture as a way of welcoming a stranger.

[The dog's owner], who had never been in the church before, thought the action was “very innocent.”

"And the joy and happiness on the face of one old lady in the front row made it all worthwhile," he told the Toronto Star. 2
What troubles me is not the event but the explanation with its underlying perspective of both leaders and laity concerning the purpose of the church.

When church services are viewed as mere social events to be as inclusive as possible and a smile being the determining factor of what is worthwhile, we have lost something important - a Christ centered focus that make our corporate gatherings worthwhile.

Maybe that's the real reason church attendance is declining.


1 - Eucharist: A church ritual believed by most Christians to represent, either symbolically or actually, the members' partaking in the life of Christ.

2 - California Catholic Daily, July 31, 2010

Friday, August 13, 2010

Still the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob

"[H]ave you not read what God said to you, 'I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob'? He is not the God of the dead but of the living. When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching." - Matthew 22:31b-33
The faithful knew this verse as God's introduction of himself to Moses,1 but Jesus revealed a meaning they hadn't realized.

Sadducee's, a scholarly religious group in charge of the temple, did not believe in a literal life after death because they found no evidence of it in the books written by Moses, Genesis through Deuteronomy. This caused real contention and confusion among the less studied who were considered common and unintellectual.

Jesus settled the issue and gave hope to all by pointing out, from their own section of the Bible, that when God said "I am"(not "I was") Abraham's, Isaac's, and Jacob's God he was saying they were still very much alive in a very real place, still worshiping God as their own.

The term, "gathered to his people", was not a euphemism for some bone pit but a place of continued fellowship with God and loved ones who had passed on.
"We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord" - 2nd Corinthians 5:8

- fritz

1 - Exodus 3:6

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Wait 'til they're 15 and 17

A Julia Roberts quote in an interview caught my attention (she, a popular film star, and her cameraman have three children together):
"You make these people and you love them and you want them around for a thousand years," she says about her three kids - 3-year-old Henry and 5-year-old twins Phinnaeus and Hazel - with cameraman Danny Moder. "And you want to be there for them for a thousand years."1
Having a number of children, myself, I know early years are wonderful and we wish they could last forever, but eventually reality sets in and it is not so wonderful until life's true source of wonder is found.2

Jesus compares life's choices to building a home,3 he compares difficulties to storms and floods against that home. The wise and the foolish both built but the proof of their wisdom did not come until the storms. I'll be interested to hear Julia's interview when her children are 15 and 17, or better yet when they are 40 and 42.

Today's society worships youth but it is the seasoned followers of Jesus who really have something to offer.
"The [Gray] head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness. - Proverbs 16:31
"That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, ... That they may teach" - Titus 2:1-5a4
- fritz

1 - Exerpt from Washington Post 08/10/10,
2 - Related Post: December 30, 2009 "Happy the Man with Lots of Children?"
3 - Matthew 7:24-27
4 - Titus 3:1-5

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Rendering to Caesar and to God

When they handed [Jesus] a Roman coin, he asked, “Whose picture and title are stamped on it?” “Caesar’s,” they replied. “Well, then,” he said, “give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God.” - Matthew 22:18b-21
The determining factor of ownership is the imprinted image or likeness of the object. Jesus told the crafty Pharisees that since coins were made with Caesar's likeness Caesar has the right to them.

Focus on that last part of Jesus' statement, "give to God what belongs to God". This was not a lesson on money but on ownership.
"God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them." - Genesis 1:27
God's image has been etched on our lives, by rights he possesses legitimate ownership. God is not interested in our money, he wants us.

"Lord, you made me in your image and rightfully deserve my life. Come take possession and use me for your purposes" - Amen.

- fritz

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

You always have a choice!

"You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die." - God (Genesis 2:16-17)
With these words the Bible says God set man on his way. But why allow temptation and the opportunity to really mess things up? Why not keep mankind, along with the the pristine world, safe and protected? Because of Love.
"Love ... does not demand its own way" - 1st Corinthians 13:4a, 5b (New Living translation)
Evil tries to eliminate choice and allow only its own twisted way but God always promotes freedom and, with it, responsibility for one's choices. That is the way God is.
"I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live" - Deuteronomy 30:19b
The first man made the wrong choice and we've been suffering since, but God sent the "Last Adam"1 who made the right choices and offers freedom to all who will choose him.2

- fritz

1 - Last Adam: 1st Corinthians 15:45
2 - Adam & Christ compared Romans 5:13-15

Monday, August 9, 2010

Making the Longest Journey

Love ... Puts up with anything, - 1st Corinthians 13:4a,7a (Message)
Someone said the longest journey is the distance between the head and heart.

We have a difficult home situation with people needing to be there, needing to be cared for, seemingly unable to make personal adjustments to cooperate or even to just get along - it has been an almost constant source of stress.

My lovely spouse and I have discussed and grappled with how to respond in love toward the family, but though I can know this is God's path, it hasn't resonated until I read this verse again and heard God speak it into my heart.

"Love puts up with anything." I don't think this means that anything goes but that I, with God's help, can have real heart felt compassion and forgiveness as we live together.

- fritz

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Prophets in Sackcloth Underwear

(Isa 20:2) At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
Most, reading this story about the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, focus on his naked three year walk as an object lesson of God's coming wrath. This time I noticed the sackcloth underwear.

Sackcloth, known to us as burlap, was a course, scratchy, and uncomfortable material not usually intended for underclothes - except in times of extreme mourning, repentance and crying out to God. Isaiah, that fiery prophet, had been wearing sackcloth!

True men and women of God, like Isaiah, pronounce judgments not in anger or hate but in love, always crying out to God for mercy and grace. Pharisees can't understand this, but Jesus did,
Mat 9:13 "But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Laughing and Believing

"God can so fill a man with His Spirit that he can laugh and believe in the face of a thousand difficulties."1 - Smith Wigglesworth (1859-1947)

1 - Smith Wigglesworth on Prayer, Power, and Miracles, Compiled by Roberts Liardon, pg.15

Friday, August 6, 2010

Becoming a Good Leader

"[T]he rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, ... but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant ... just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." - Jesus (Matthew 20:25b-26, 28 NKJV)

Jesus pulled his disciples aside for a much needed leadership lesson. But he wasn't telling them how to become leaders, as many interpret this passage, he was telling them what kind of leaders to become.

We who respond to God's heart pull to follow Christ have already been chosen for leadership,1 the focus now is how to become a good leader.

- fritz

1 - Related Post: Swinging Pendulums, August 4, 2010

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Key that Unlocks God's Gates

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands...
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
and into his courts with praise.
- Psalm 100:1,4
Gates are barriers preventing passage.

There are times when prayer is not comforting, worship falls flat, and God seems nowhere to be found - liked a locked gate, even for the believer.
"The key that unlocks the gates of heaven is a thankful heart"1
In those times of little feeling and difficult progress begin with thanking God specifically for the wonderful things he has already done AND for the specific things you expect him to do.

Giving thanks opens the gates and lets God's graces flow.

- fritz

Related Post: "Loving God Like He Is", June 16, 2010

1 - Pastor Steve Meeks, Calvary Community Church, November 26, 2006

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Swinging Pendulums

"Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." - Jesus (Matthew 19:27b-30)
Jesus daily encountered a literalist mindset. When he told the crowd he was the real bread from heaven, that they had to eat his body and drink his blood, they went wild thinking he was implementing a new form of cannibalism. The context of his statement clearly showed otherwise.1

We, in our culture, have swung the other way to the point we don't take anything he says literally.

Jesus taught there is an actual, touchable, noticeable change coming to this world - what he called "the regeneration". Those who "spiritualize" this miss the point of why we remain here in this life; why we continue to have struggles and work through our problems.

Jesus is taking real human beings as leadership material and engaging them in an apprenticeship program. We who follow Christ were chosen to have real responsibilities in that coming renewal. All the apostles knew this and believed it literally.
"It is a faithful saying: ... If we suffer, we shall also reign with him..." - 2nd Timothy 2:11a, 12b
Don't spiritualize it to the point of irrelevance; live like it, expect it. Appreciate the privilege!

- fritz

1 - John 6:30-60

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Being touchy

Matthew 19:14-15
14 But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven. 15 And he laid[ his] hands on them, and departed thence.

Jesus went about touching people, not just spiritually, but actually touching. There are reasons God gave you and me a body; I believe one is to enable us to touch, it conveys more than words ever could.

Touch your children, even the teens, they may pretend they don't like it, but they will know you love them. Take your spouse's hand while walking. Touch a friend on the arm while talking.

Actually touch people with God's kind of love.

- fritz

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lopping off body parts...

"If your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life maimed or crippled than to have two hands or two feet and be thrown into eternal fire. And if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than to have two eyes and be thrown into the fire of hell." Jesus (Matthew 18:8-9)
Preachers use good sermon illustrations more than once and Jesus was no exception.

His most [in]famous illustration was the call to cut off an offending hand or pluck out an offending eye - he used it here when the disciples argued over who among them would be the greatest, and in his Sermon on the Mount when talking about adultery.1

With an illustration you have to ask what it is illustrating. What, here, is the real body part that causes the problems? It's not the hand or eye, they just do what they are told - it has to be the heart and mind that does the offending; one can have no body parts left and still be just a depraved as before.

What Jesus is really advocating is a heart transplant - that's available for the asking!
"A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. - Ezekiel 36:26
- fritz

1 - Matthew 5:29-30

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Three Score and 10?

"For we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled.

Thou hast set our iniquities before thee, our secret sins in the light of thy countenance.

For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told.

The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away."
- Psalm 90:7-10
This psalm of Moses, giver of the 10 Commandments and more, is a prayer for God's mercy not a definition of God's intent.

This is not saying we are allotted 70 to 80 years; the number, in context, is indicated a result of sin and God's wrath, as is the description of labor and sorrow. We are intended for Joy1

In Christ we have been delivered from God's wrath.2 Our lives are not bound by 70, 80, or any number of years. The bible indicates we can shorten our life3 or lengthen it,4 and when we give our life to Jesus we give him our death, too.

Whether we live 5 or 105 years on this earth, in Christ our focus is no longer the number of years but God's purposes and grace.5

Moses, himself lived to be 120 with his most productive years after age 80, don't set low expectations.

Someone once said, "I would rather aim high and miss by a little than aim low and hit it."


1 - See Post from July 31, 2010 - "Intended for Joy"
2 - Romans 5:9
3 - Psalm 55:23
4 - Proverbs 3:2
5 - Philippians 1:23