In high school, my friend Alec and I took James 4:13-17 to heart. Instead just of saying that we would do this or that, we would add a “God willing” to it. At first glance, this can seem like a trite little Christianism. And I think it could be for some. But not for us.
Our efforts were not to be or seem more like a “Christian.” We desired to really be more mindful of the Lord’s will. After reading the passage in James at some point, Alec and started to discuss how we often forgot to look to God in our daily lives and decisions. We would make plans to do things, but we’d forget to ask Jesus for direction. And we desperately wanted to be more mindful of the Lord and his direction.
So, what was the outcome? We became more mindful of the Lord’s will and his leading throughout our day.
Do you need to be more mindful of what the Lord desires for you? I know I do.
“If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off….”
–Jesus (read Mark 9:42-48 for full passage)
This is a pretty big command. If part of you cause yo to sin, get rid of it. I don’t know about you, but I’d have a pretty hard time cutting off my own hand. But it’s what Jesus told us to do. So, why don’t we see more people without eyes or hands?
The thing about it is this: Your hand doesn’t cause you to sin, it’s your heart. The sinful nature, or flesh, is what causes us to sin. The hand is just the accessory to the crime. And we tend to blame the crime on the accessory. “My hand just did it” or “My eyes just looked at that girl inappropriately.” We don’t take responsibility for our sin.
By talking about cutting off a hand or eye, one thing Jesus is telling us to get rid of the excuses. Jobs, friends, video games, and other things tend to be our excuses for sin in our lives. Get rid of the excuse! Ask God for help and the Holy Spirit will help you overcome your temptations and sin.
What excuses do you need to get rid of today?
“Get behind me, Satan!” he said. “You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”
–Jesus (Mark 8:33)
After Peter rebuked Jesus for predicting his death, Jesus called Peter to the carpet with these words. It wasn’t on account of Peter’s lack of love for Jesus—his love was quite apparent—but it was for Peter’s lack of understanding of God’s purposes. He was concerned with the purposes of men. “If Jesus dies, he can no longer lead us and into his kingdom. I need to protect him,” Peter thought. He was concerned with man’s purposes and understanding: death and suffering are bad.
So, Peter tried to correct Jesus. Think about that. Peter tried to give guidance and direction to the Lord God Almighty. God doesn’t need our advice, he can take care of himself.
In my observations, we tend to do that same thing. We try to defend God and protect him from the insults and stones that the world throws at him. But the reality is this: He doesn’t need us to protect him, he needs us to obey him. Jesus is more concerned that we would be mindful of his purposes rather than protect him from people.
Be aware that God’s purposes in somethings aren’t always clear or easy to understand. In our love for God, we may get it wrong sometimes. But, may we be like Peter, who, when rebuked by Jesus, listened and allowed God to fulfill his plan.
Finding inspiration for great web design is always fun. There are some stinking creative designers out there. Recently, I’ve been searching for sites that have spent a lot of time thinking through their information architecture.
The problem is that most of the sites you find in galleries or design blogs are simple sites. Their navigation isn’t too extensive and they tend to be light on content (aside from the blog element). So, instead of going to the normal galleries of well designed websites, I went searching for the big corporations who likely spent thousands upon thousands working out their IA systems.Read More»
“You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to the traditions of men.”
–Jesus (Mark 7:8)
I often find myself thinking about God and doing things a certain way because it’s the what I was taught. That’s how people learn and grow. We put into practice what we are taught. If we endlessly asked the question “why?” and not put into action anything until we completely understand, it would take forever. It’s not a practical way to live.
At the same time, if we just do what we are told and do it exactly how we are told without thinking about it, we often miss out on the purpose and the heart behind it. This is especially detrimental when it comes to our faith and relationship with Christ.
God has always been more concerned with the heart of things than the specific action or tradition. You see this even at the beginning with Cain and Abel. “If you do what is right, will you not be accepted?” (Genesis 4:7). As Christians, it is important for us to seek out the heart of God. And God has revealed himself and his heart to us through the Bible. That’s why we need to be reading through it and praying and asking God to make his heart clear to us. And he will.
Have you been seeking the heart of God or just following the traditions you’ve been taught?