Time to do the will of GodBefore, we lived to satisfy evil desires. Selfish desires. Corrupt, immoral desires. Now, as God’s people, we ought to live with another goal in mind.

… live for the rest of the time in the flesh no longer for human passions but for the will of God.
1 Peter 4:2 ESV

The time we wasted was enormous. The time left to us is short. There’s no time to lose. The day to start is called today.

God of saving will, may my goal be to cease from sin and to continue with obedience. Because that’s what Christ did. Amen.

 

do the will of God

The phrase “durable goods” is a laugh. Ask the Japanese, after the earthquake and tsunami, how durable their goods were.

We seek the eternal. We try to invest in the ephemeral the quality of the permanent. We deceive ourselves to think that we possess in the world what will endure.

And the world is passing away with all its desires, but the person who does the will of God remains forever.
1 John 2:17 NET Continue reading

high priests deny GodEven at the last moment, the Jews do not speak the truth. They lie and manipulate the Roman governor to get what they want.

Then they shouted out, “Away with him! Away with him! Crucify him!” Pilate asked, “Shall I crucify your king?” The high priests replied, “We have no king except Caesar!”
John 19:15 NET

Not even the Roman emperor was their king. Their king and god was their own ambition, which led them to deny the God they professed to serve. Who says this are the high priests and not just any Jew. They coordinated the temple service. Religious leaders of God’s people. They make it clear in this moment that God was nothing to them.

When our will conflicts with God’s will, when our vision of the kingdom contradicts the divine purpose, the moment will come when we deny the God we claim to serve.

 

Peter MalchusWell intentioned. Courageous. Overly helpful. Such people will try to protect you (maybe your parents!). They will begin to intervene so that nothing bad happens to you. They think they are doing the best for you, for your faith.

But Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword back into its sheath! Am I not to drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
John 18.11 NET

This is what Peter did for Jesus. The apostle thought he was acting for Jesus’ good. But our Lord was going to the Cross, exactly as planned, because he had accepted the will of God.

Don’t let anyone save you from suffering for the kingdom of God.

 

Text: Matthew 20

Memorize: “He said to her, ‘What do you want?'” Matthew 20:21 NET

In two stories in sequence, Jesus asks people what they want. In the first, he asks “the mother of the sons of Zebedee [who] came to him with her sons, and kneeling down she asked him for a favor” (v. 20). And no small favor at that! In the second, two blind men cry for mercy, so he asks, “What do you want me to do for you?” (v. 32), as if he didn’t know already.

He denies the first, while he grants the blind men’s desires. With his questions about what they want, he shows both his willingness to consider the requests, at the same time indicating that he doesn’t fill in blank checks. Continue reading

Text: Matthew 11:25-30

Memorize: “At that time Jesus said, ‘I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your gracious will.'” Matthew 11:25-26 NET

Not everyone can see it. Those who think they see are the most blind. The learned, bless their hearts, tout their studies and cite their sources as proof of why it can’t be this way. All the while, the humble little people get it. Continue reading

A gentleman on Twitter quoted Bill Piper, “Christians who don’t share their faith can’t be really happy,” and then added, “I think he’s right.” I suspect that’s correct as well. But there’s a more important side of that to consider.

So I replied, “Whether they’re happy or not, I can’t say. I do know that God isn’t happy when Christians don’t share their faith.” Continue reading