Wednesday, June 25, 2008

When Jesus just couldn't do much

He was not able to do a miracle there, except to lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. – Mark 6:5 (NET)

Did you catch that? In this situation at least, Jesus couldn’t do a miracle. Not wouldn’t, but couldn’t. Somehow the Almighty faced limitations while in the flesh. Why is that information important?

In this case Jesus' limitations tell us something about God’s interaction with human beings. As far as we can tell from the Bible, God doesn't force anyone to believe in him or receive his blessings. No doubt God has the power, if he wanted, to make everyone believe and be saved. But God doesn't work that way. He wants us to obey and co-operate willingly.

Why? Maybe because God shared his own image with us, he expects us to share in some of the work as well. And here’s the scary part: if we don't do our part in that work, it may never be done.

(c) Copyright 2008, A. Milton Stanley

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

David and Goliath

Too many sermons on David and Goliath rattle on about secondary issues. If you’ve ever heard a lesson on D&G, you know what I mean: be brave, be strong, God gives us power to overcome the giants in our life.

That approach misses the point completely. As someone has said, when Christians read about David and Goliath, we aren't David. We're the Israelite army, cowering back, too scared to so much as take a step in the giant's direction.

In this case David, anointed one of God, is a foreshadowing of Jesus, who single-handedly beat the giant of sin and death. Praise God that we not only don't have to beat the giant alone, Jesus has already beat him for us.

(c) Copyright 2008, A. Milton Stanley

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Old or young creation

One of the most useless subjects for believers to argue about is how many years old the earth is. A lot of Christians believe the Bible can be true only if science comes up with the same number of years as Genesis from creation to now. But here's the problem: If science can “prove” the authority of the Bible, then science, not the Bible, is really the authority. Either we believe the Bible is true or we don't. If it is, then whatever science tells us doesn't matter at all.

(c) Copyright 2008, A. Milton Stanley