Tag Archives: humility

There is a virus in our #UMC church

In 2008 I was a seminarian and student pastor serving a rural United Methodist Church.  I began a blog around that time with the intent of taking the theological discoveries I made at Duke Divinity School out for a test drive with the public.   I discovered quickly that the more radical my ideas, the more provocative posts, the more hits my blog received.  What began as a hobby devolved into my primary pulpit, and pixelated “amens” took precedence over the parishioners in the pews.

The topics that got me the most views were homosexuality and hell.   I was one of just a handful of vocal allies in the UMC at that time, urging the denomination I expected to ordain me, and the “bigots” around me, to change.   I remember being cautioned by well-meaning church leaders that my blog posts could negatively impact my future as a UMC pastor, particularly in the south where I served.   I blew off such counsel, convinced my cause was just and that I was right.   Imagine it!  Me, a second year seminarian still so green behind the pulpit being utterly convinced I knew better than all the witnesses to a faithful sexual ethic and theology of the body who have gone before me.

They say we stand on the shoulders of the saints who have gone before us.  The weight of my pride would have crushed and silenced them.

The recent special General Conference of the UMC where the church voted to retain it’s position regarding same sex relationships has caused me to marvel at how much has changed in just a decade in American Methodism.   Ten years ago a United Methodist pastor could lose their job or at least jeopardize their future (as a candidate or member in full connection) for being a vocal ally supporting full inclusion.   Today, any trepidation people may have once had is gone.  Today in America, those holding to a traditional, orthodox view on sexuality and gender are more likely to be called bigots, close-minded, unwelcoming viruses infecting the church, distorting and thwarting the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Today in America, I find myself again to be in the minority, just as I was only a decade ago.

The testimony I wish to share today to the Church, if I may be so bold, is that what I see happening, and what I saw happen at #GC2019, is that indeed there is a virus infecting our Church, but it’s not that which was proposed at the General Conference.

This virus’s name is not Orthodoxy, but Pride.   And perhaps those of us who have been so infected and destroyed by this virus have been given eyes, by God’s mercy and grace, to see it.

My concern for the progressive wing of the church, of which I was once a rabid advocate, has less to do with the position you hold but the arrogance with which you hold it.   The Church’s theological arrogance on the issue of homosexuality seems to be a mirror image of the World’s sexual arrogance insisting on complete autonomy.   It is virtually impossible to distinguish today’s cultural sexual ethic from the sexual ethic of the Church, insofar as you don’t abuse anyone.   So long as you “do no harm” all is well in both church and culture.

Sneers are to be expected when preaching to the lost that God owns our bodies, that our fleshly desires and impulses are not “good” just because we have them, but must be surrendered to a holy God who desires to make us born again in the Spirit.   The spirit of this world causes most to recoil at such a “traditional” notion.   But this same spirit has infected our Church and Christians now mimic the world, insisting that God affirms their sexual identity.  Anyone who does not is unloving and unlike Christ.

Our collective hubris has ascended the peak of Babel.   Is it any wonder that we are now a scattered people, each with a different language for love?

Pride is the virus most infecting our churches today.  The way I understand God to deal with pride (which he hates more than our sexual sin, by the way) is by blowing up the status quo, destroying our ivory theological towers, and scattering us far and wide.   But as I also understand God, his judgment is meant to wake us, and if those of us called by His name would but humble ourselves, and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, then He will hear from heaven and will forgive our sin and heal our land (2 Chron.. 7:14).

 

This story about Peter changed my life, and could yours

I want you to remember a time you were publicly humiliated by someone.  Maybe somebody insulted you in front of others, or pointed out what you were doing wrong in a condescending manner.  Maybe they made fun of you for wearing something that didn’t match (all my fellow color-blind people, unite!), or maybe it was a teacher who embarrassed you in front of the class.

Got it?  Is your blood starting to boil as you picture that person?  Ok. Take a deep breath.  Lay that aside for a moment.  We will come back to it.

My biblical doppelganger is Peter, the perfectly flawed disciple of Jesus.   One of my favorite pastors, Mark Beebe, has been doing a teaching series on Peter during our Thursday night recovery services.  He reminds us that throughout the gospels, Peter’s shortcomings are not scrubbed out.  We see him have some great moments, such as when he answered rightly Jesus’ question, “Who do you think I am?” and we see him have some bloopers, such as 7 verses later where Jesus rebuked him, calling him Satan (Matthew 16).   We get to watch Peter full of faith walk on water and then moments later get overwhelmed and drop like a rock.  We read about him declaring he’d never leave his Master’s side only to disown Him not once, not twice, but three times that same night.

Peter is every one of us who vowed to go to Africa for the sake of the gospel during the 11am altar call only to remember an hour later how much we love Olive Garden.

I love Peter, and I suspect you do as well, because we can identify so easily with him.   But there’s a story about Peter that isn’t found in the gospels and is little known. It’s my favorite one.   I’d like to share it with you.

It begins in Galatians, a letter written by Paul, a Jewish religious leader turned Jesus freak who is credited with taking the message of Jesus to the Gentile (non-Jewish) world.   During this time period, Christians were still getting used to the radical idea that Jesus broke down all the barriers between people, setting aside the purity regulations faithful Jews had observed for centuries (like abstaining from unclean food or not eating with Gentiles).  Paul was fighting an uphill battle trying to convince Jews who had converted to Christianity that it was perfectly acceptable to eat with Gentiles.  Heck, they could even host a pork BBQ if they so desired.

Enter Peter.  In Galatians 2, Paul writes that he found Peter in Antioch.   Before Peter’s Jewish friends arrived on the scene, Peter was known to eat with Gentiles.  But when these guys from Jerusalem showed up, Peter drew back. He didn’t want to get in trouble with his Jewish friends.   Paul writes that he “opposed Peter in public because he was clearly wrong…the other Jewish believers also started acting like cowards along with Peter” (Gal. 2:11-14).

Paul publicly humiliated Peter, calling him a coward in front of all his friends.   I imagine Peter felt a lot like you and I feel when the same thing happens to us.  Galatians was written around 40 A.D., a decade after Jesus was crucified, resurrected and ascended to heaven.   Ten years later Peter still had moments where he wasn’t at the top of his game.   Once again, Peter is just like us.

But the story isn’t over.

Nearly 2 decades after being embarrassed in Antioch, Peter would write his own letters to churches which would be added to our New Testament.  In his second letter, the aging disciple writes one sentence that convinces me the gospel is true, that the Holy Spirit is at work, and God isn’t done with any of us yet.   He writes,

Bear in mind that our Lord’s patience means salvation, just as our dear brother Paul also wrote you with wisdom that God gave him (2 Peter 3:15).

Isn’t that astounding?!  Do you see how Peter writes so affectionately about a man who called him a coward in front of all his friends?   Do you catch how he publicly praises the one who publicly humiliated him?    Over the years Peter made spiritual progress, and along his journey he chose humility over bitterness, reconciliation over retaliation.   Peter continued to grow, to change, to be conformed into the image of Jesus.

This insight into Peter’s life, a man who lived 2000 years ago and whom I only know through letters, is enough to convince me that a life pursuing Jesus is worth it, if for nothing else than to achieve the sort of serene disposition the aged Peter has for Paul when none of us, who are just like Peter, would fault him if he had held a grudge to the grave.

Now, recall the image of the person who made your blood boil a moment ago.   See them?  It’s one thing for us to take comfort in knowing someone like Peter, a disciple of Jesus, is just like us when he falls on his face.  But if he’s just like us in our low moments, can we believe together that we can be just like him in his best moments?   Can we believe for a moment that the gospel is true, that the Holy Spirit is at work in you and I, and that God isn’t done with any of us?  Then can we dare to imagine that one day – maybe not today, this month or even this year – but one day our hearts might be so changed that we would write affectionately about the person we can’t stomach today?

If the words of a dead man from two millennia ago can inspire us to imagine Jesus isn’t done with any of us yet, imagine what might happen if the world saw living examples of Peter today.   After all, he’s just like us.   Or even better, maybe we are just like him.

By God’s grace, may it be so.

 

 

Jesus the Door

I’m in the middle of a teaching series on Sunday called “Reveal” which takes us through the Gospel of John.  The aim is to reveal who Jesus is and why he is significant.   I don’t normally blog about my sermons but am doing so here for two reasons.  One, I think there is something beneficial for everyone, whether you are in recovery or not (yet).  And two, I leaned heavily on a chapter in one of my favorite books, We Would See Jesus, by Roy Hession.  Perhaps in reading this you will be led to buy his book and read it once or a thousands times.  I would.

hession

So the following are highlights from the sermon and the book.  You can view the sermon below.   I pray it blesses you.

Jesus as the Door

In the beginning there were no walls.   There was perfect fellowship between God and humans, and perfect fellowship between man and woman.  We didn’t have walls between us until sin entered the fabric of the universe. You can read about this in Genesis 3.  Almost immediately, after Adam and Eve reached beyond what God instructed, a wall went up.   Shame and guilt surrounded the relationships both here on earth and between us and heaven.  This is what sin does.  While it promises life and freedom it delivers only death and shame.  With each transgression it’s as if we are adding another rock to the layer until we wake up one morning and find our fellowship with God and others strained.

Even those of us who have walked with God for many years experience this wall from time to time if we are not vigilant.  It’s so easy to allow jealousy or bitterness or some resentment to erect a wall almost without our awareness.   Creep happens, where the things of this world entice us bit by bit and we unintentionally give ground, allowing sin to tantalize us just for a moment and before we realize it a habit has developed.  This habit soon becomes an addiction and we wake up one morning with a great wall between us and God and our fellows.   Who among us have not had periods of famine where it seems as though the pages of scripture have dried up and our prayer life has grown stale and worship has become routine?

And what do we try to do when we find a wall?  We try to fix it by doing more.  We pull up our boot straps and determine to scale the wall.  We try, try, try harder.  We white-knuckle ourselves until we are blue in the face and we fail again, frustrated that the wall now seems higher rather than more manageable.   If only there were some other way through this wall!

Read John 10:1-10.  Here we discover the great truth that God has not left us to eternal separation and frustration but has provided not only the one who can show us the way through the wall, but is the way himself!   Jesus not only points us to the door, but he is the Door!  If only we will come to him and acknowledge that we are in no position to scale the wall on our own, we will find the abundant life he promises (John 10:10).

As we consider Jesus as the Door, we discover four characteristics of this door.  Each of these by themselves are significant and praise-worthy.   Taken together, they will revolutionize anyone’s world, and set them free.

Door used in worship Sunday
Door used in worship Sunday

1.  It’s an OPEN Door. 

When Jesus hung on the cross and announced it is finished, the wall (veil) separating the most holy place within the Temple from the rest of the world split in two.   Jesus forever demolished the wall that stood between us and God requiring that we work our way towards salvation through the Law.  So open is this door that the biblical authors declare we may now go boldly before the throne of grace to receive mercy (Hebrews 4:16).

What qualifies us for this door?  It is our sin that makes us qualified to come enter through it.  It is our coldness, our unbelief, our hard hearts, our addictions, our jealousies, and a myriad other ways in which we sin which qualify us for this Door, provided we will simply acknowledge this.  We cannot conquer or suppress or scale these things on our own, but are invited to judge these things as sin and bring them to the open Door.

2. It’s open at STREET LEVEL

Not only is the door open to everyone, it’s open to us right where we are.  We do not need to dress ourselves up in order to make ourselves look more presentable before we come to Jesus the Door.  This is Good News!  The door to God is open to the sinner as a sinner, and the failing saint as a failing saint. 

I know in my own life I may have thought of the door as open at street level for others but never myself.  Whenever I was failing in some area of my life I placed the door just a bit higher up, just out of reach.  I would convince myself that I need to get a few days sober before I approach God, or in some way make myself a better Christian before I can be accepted.  No!  Our failures do not disqualify us for the door but rather make our need for him all the more urgent, and his grace all the more abundant.  Run to him the moment you fail him and discover that he is everything he promises to be and more.

3. It’s a LOW Door.

In order to pass through we are going to have to bow our heads in repentance (turning away from our old ways and accepting Jesus’ ways).  Scripture speaks again and again of “stiff-necked” people whom God cannot use or transform because they are stubborn, self-willed, and full of pride.

If you have come to the door again and again and have left unchanged and unfulfilled, it might be because you came to the door with your own agenda and your own ideas of how this new life is going to look.  Remember, our best thinking has gotten us here, to this point of need.  All it has done is erect a great big wall.  If we are going to pass through this door into life we are going to have to be broken, lower our heads to the dust and trust that the things God requires of us are for our own good and will lead us to wholeness.  Everything must change.  And that change begins with me as I bow my head and enter.

4. It’s a NARROW Door.

When we arrive at the door we stand there utterly alone, with no room on the left or right of us for anyone else.  We cannot wait for nor depend upon our family and friends, our church or pastor, to get us through the door.  One day we will all stand before God and give a personal account of our lives and no finger pointing will do (Rom. 14:12).

Nor can we wait for someone else to get right before we do.   This drives the co-dependents among us, myself included, crazy.   We can’t be the door for others, or wait for them to get through the door before we start taking care of ourselves.  If we are going to realize Jesus as the Door and all the blessings that come with it, we will have to trust that He is also the Door for them, but only as they come alone and decide on their own to walk the path Jesus has made.

Thank God for Jesus!  The wall between us and God or us and others cannot be scaled on our own by our own power.  But thanks be to God for Jesus, who is himself the Door, always open, right where we are, ready to transform us one by one.  All that is required of us is that we come to him.  Just come. Don’t wait.  He’s ready and willing and more than capable of doing for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

5 Ways to Battle Your Most Deadly Enemy

Uzziah was only 16 when he took the throne as king over Judah.  In the beginning, this young ruler “continued to seek God in the days of Zechariah and as long as he sought the Lord, God prospered him” (2 Chronicles 26:5).    As God blessed him, Uzziah’s fame increased throughout the land.  And then this happened.

But when he [King Uzziah] became strong, his heart was so proud that he acted corruptly, and he was unfaithful to the Lord his God, for he entered the temple of the Lord to burn incense on the altar of incense (2 Chron. 26:16)

A few verses later we are told the fate of Uzziah.  His pride prevented him from heeding the correction of the priests and rather than humble himself he grew angry with them.   The Lord struck him with leprosy, and this once obedient, God-fearing king who could do no wrong died a leper, “excluded from the house of the Lord.”

Pride is not just ugly, it’s deadly.  It’s no wonder God hates it so much, and it’s no wonder all of Scripture seems to shout in various ways and means “Stay Humble!”

The number one reason people relapse back into their old sinful habits and addictions is because they fall prey to the lie that they are doing great.   They may in fact be “doing great,” at least in the eyes of the casual observer, but the moment they see themselves as well and in control, look out.   A fall is coming.

After reminding the church in Corinth (and us today) that Israel’s blunders and missteps were recorded to serve as warnings to us (like Uzziah above), he writes,

Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall (1 Cor. 10:12).  

Satan is waiting with outstretched arms and chains made of re-enforced steel to welcome back the one God had prospered and blessed who now thinks they can take the wheel.     Friends, whenever pride whispers it’s seductive lie that you can take it from here you need to crank up some Carrie Underwood or something, anything that will help ensure Jesus takes, and keeps, the wheel!

I have found in my own life that freedom is a daily choice and the choice is this: Will I live in my own strength and power and might, or will I turn my will and my desire over to God.    I must daily die to my self so that His strength, His grace, His power, His mercy, His spirit can manifest itself in me.    Left to myself, on my own, I am a mess.

killpride

So how do we do that?  What are some practical ways you can keep from taking the wheel back and do battle with this most deadly enemy called PRIDE?

1.  Pray, pray pray.    There is no other way.   Print out the Mercy Prayer which is HERE and keep it in your back pocket or purse and read it and pray it every day, all the time.   Pray it over others, yourself, your wife, your children, those who offend you, those you lust after, those you despise and those you cherish.     Praying mercy for others kills the root of bitterness and strife within us which pride thrives upon.

2.  Pray for humility.  Pray not just for humility, but pray that you would love to be humbled.  Andrew Murray, in his excellent book “Humility” (which you must read), taught me that I needed to pray for this queen of virtues.  It does not come naturally to any of us, and must be sought.    Jesus said we should seek the kingdom and his righteousness, and that blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.   Humility is to live rightly before God and neighbor.    Do you hunger for this?   Pray that you will.

3.  Read.  In addition to staying in God’s word daily, read books about pride and humility.    Murray’s book mentioned above is a great one.   The book I’m re-reading now, Irresistible to God, is another.   Going through Fenelon’s  Seeking Heart as a daily devotional is another excellent practice.

4.  Seek out ways to go low.   “Going low” is the opposite or “rising up” in pride.   Throughout the day there will be numerous opportunities where you can go low.    When someone says something that offends you, you can choose to ignore it and pray for them.  When you really want to ensure you get in line in time to get one of the few pieces of cake left, choose instead to hold the door open for others.   When your spouse has sinned against you and you just know you didn’t do anything wrong, be the first one to say you are sorry.    The more  you practice going low the more this virtue will grow within you and become part of you.   Every fiber of your being will resist it at first (and throughout your life, most likely), but press on by repeating # 1 above.

5.  Consider Jesus.   I have probably preached or mentioned Hebrews 12:1-3 more than anything else this past year apart from 2 Cor. 5:17.  It reads,

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.

Whenever you feel like rising up inside (or presently are doing just that!), consider Jesus who, like a silent lamb who did nothing wrong, went to the cross for your sins and mine.    I’ve yet to be faced with a situation where just one glimpse of Jesus suffering on a cross for me hasn’t helped to diffuse.  It makes all my prideful assertions over my “rights” seem petty and cheap and gives me the strength I need to be obedient in humility.   Does it sometimes hurt?  Of course!   But count it joy that we get to share in the sufferings of Christ! (Rom. 8:17)

Practice these 5 things on a regular, if not daily, basis and avoid the trap into which Uzziah and so many before and after him have fallen.  Pride is not just serious, it’s deadly.

I’ll leave you with these words I have written in the front cover flap of my bible given to me by a great teacher on humility.  Feel free to put them in yours, too:

Chad, you leave your first love and lose the filling of the Spirit by a judging, critical heart which refuses to pass on to all others the mercy by which you alone live.   The love of lowliness and mercy defeats and destroys that spirit of emulation which is the love of achievement or place or plans.

 

You Have a Need-To-Know Spirit

You’ve got a need-to-know spirit.

I heard this once or a thousand times from the staff at Pure Life.   Any time someone was found desiring to know something they had no business knowing, looking around trying to pick up conversation others were having, asking “Who are you talking about?” to anyone, etc., they were told they have a need-to-know spirit. 

Image

To the average person that might sound like making a big deal out of nothing, but to the addict it will make a lot of sense.   The addict knows all-to-well the urge from deep within to know more than they really ought to know, to experience something or someone they have no business experiencing, to find what lies just beyond the next pill, hit, bottle, hookup, website, etc., etc.    Addicts have a thirst to know stuff, and to be known by stuff.

Just the wrong stuff. 

Our desire to know more than we ought has been with us from the beginning.   It was the tree of the knowledge of good and evil that God forbid our first parents to eat from (Gen. 2:17), and it was the prospect of knowing that enticed them both to grasp beyond that which God prescribed.   Since then we have been consumed with an insatiable appetite to know and be known, partaking of anything forbidden in order that we might be like God.  That we might know

You have a need-to-know spirit.  

The writer of Ecclesiastes realized the vanity of such a life near the end of his own.   The wise man who would not deny himself from knowing anything his eyes desired (Ecc. 2:10) finally came to know something we are learning today: 

For in much wisdom is much vexation,
    and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow (Ecc. 1:18)

We live in an age today where we know more stuff than at any other time in history.   At my fingertips on this laptop is a world of knowledge, anything my heart desires.    And yet, is it not true that the more we know, as the preacher of Ecclesiastes states, the more sorrowful we become?    A recent study done by the University of Michigan concluded that the more people use Facebook, the less happy they are.   They found that the more people knew about what other people were doing, the less satisfied they were with their own lives.  

Our desire to know can cause us to be anything from being dissatisfied with life to being addicted to pornography.    This is why the staff at Pure Life were intent upon squashing the need-to-know spirit in all of us.   

How can you squash it in yourself?   Apart from having someone in your life who will call you on it every time it rises up, you can do this: 

  • Name it.    Recognizing that this spirit exists in you, and that it works against God’s desire for you.  Confess your pride of life and repent.  
  • Pray for humility.    It is a prideful heart which thinks it deserves to know more than it ought.   Seek ways to purposefully humble yourself.  Ask God to provide them.  He will! 
  • Two books I highly recommend are Andrew Murray’s Humility: The Journey Toward Holiness and Irresistible to God by Steve Gallagher.    Both will help you better understand the nature and workings of pride and the beauty and freedom of humility, which is a gift from God. 
  • And finally, and most importantly, direct your thirst for knowledge God-ward.   Commit yourself to chunks of time each day to gorge on God’s word.   Spend time talking with God each and every day.   Get to know God.   Pray to know, and be known, by Him and Him alone. 

We all have a need-to-know spirit.   But by God’s grace, we can overcome it.  I pray that this is as helpful for you as much as it is for me, and that together we can halt our grasping of that which we have no business knowing.  

 

 

 

Son, Come to your Senses

Yesterday my wife and I were talking about the radical lengths required for real reconciliation to transpire.     We both agreed that as a couple we both had to abandon our right to have rights and humbly confess that we were both in need.   She for different reasons than I, obviously, and perhaps she will speak to that from her perspective in a later post.

As the outright offender in our marriage, it might seem obvious that the very least I or anyone in my position can do is take a posture of complete and utter servitude and humility, willing to surrender any and all rights for the one betrayed.    Yet you would be surprised to know how many people refuse to come to this place (and how long it took for me to get there myself!).   They are sorry (at least they think they are) for what they have done, and they desire to reconcile with their family but they want to do so on their own terms, or at best, expect some compromise in the negotiations.    The following sentiments are expressed far too often by people who want reconciliation:

She expects me to leave my job!  Is she crazy?  I want to get back together but she’s totally unreasonable! 

She’ll take me back but only if I drop all my friends.   It’s she or them, she says.    I want our marriage to work but her ultimatums are ruining our chances!

She says that for us to work out I need to give up the internet.    I don’t mind cutting back some, but I have to have it for my job.  She doesn’t get it. 

Such negotiations are the exact opposite of the truly penitent.   As Amy and I thought about the sacrifices necessary to reconcile we were reminded of the story Jesus tells of the prodigal son in Luke 15.    When this son “comes to his senses” after living unfaithfully as a son to his father, he determines to return home and say,

“Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.   I am no longer worthy to be called your son.   Treat me as one of your hired servants” (Luke 15:18-19).

prodigalson

Absent from this confession and plea are any grasping for rights.     The son returns with head bowed and heart torn, willing to be treated as a slave rather than a son.   Can anyone imagine this prodigal returning home to say that he is sorry for squandering everything and betraying the love and trust of his father, but dad, I want my old room back?    Dad, don’t ask me to clean the pigsty cause I’ve been living in it long enough.   Dad, you need to show me some consideration, as I’ve been through a lot.  

Let me be blunt.  If you have been unfaithful to your spouse and are bargaining in these ways or others you are not truly repentant.  You haven’t yet come to your senses like the prodigal son and are deluding yourself into thinking you still have rights.    The tension and angst your feel and the reason reconciliation seems so impossible is because you won’t die to yourself completely but still hold out hope that you can keep some of the old man around, though perhaps dressed up in new clothes.

If there is any hope for restoration you are going to have to be the first to die.     A necessary part of that death is a dying to self – to your rights, your dreams, your ideas of what the marriage ought to look like, your former life altogether.    This is the path so few are willing to walk.   But I can assure you that you do not walk it alone.    You can know that as a forgiven sinner, as you walk a path of humility before your spouse and others whom you’ve hurt, that you are walking the path of Jesus, who took your sin upon his sinless shoulders like a lamb being led to the slaughter (Isa. 53).    “Consider him,” the author of Hebrews writes, “who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted” (Heb. 12:3).

If the Son of God, who did not deserve it, could endure with patient humility such hostility from us, surely you, who does deserve it, can endure the evacuation of your rights for the sake of true repentance and reconciliation.

If not, then son, may you soon come to your senses.

 

 

“What do you want me to do for you?”

My devotion time this morning was spent in Mark 10.   In this chapter Jesus asks the question,

What do you want me to do for you?

two times.

The first he asked to his disciples – his closest followers – those whom we would naturally assume would have the right answer.    

They don’t.   They ask for glory.   They ask for honor.  They seek greater position in God’s kingdom.  They desire to be known.

The second time, just a few verses later, he asks the same question to a blind begger.   This man gets it right.  When asked what do you want me to do for you?  he humbly replies,

Rabbi, let me recover my sight.

I want to always stay needy like this blind begger before the feet of Jesus.  The moment I answer this question the way Jesus’ disciples did I know I am on dangerous ground.  

Lord, give me eyes to see you today.   

Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness (Psalm 115:1).