Bread – Payback 2

September 27, 2013


Readings for Friday, September 27, 2013, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 2 Kings 9:17-37; 1 Cor. 7:1-9; Matt. 6:7-15; Psalms 88,91,92

—————————————-

Two days ago I wrote about payback and basically presented a Scriptural perspective on “turning the other cheek,” something which is very difficult if not impossible for carnal man to do.

Today we re-visit payback, not because I want to but because we are presented with this again in Scripture today, but from a different perspective and a different outcome.

Our reading from 2 Kings has Jehu coming across the valley with his army toward the kings of Israel and Judah. After sending a couple of messengers out to Jehu to discern his intentions, who do not return, the kings of Israel (Joram) and Judah (Ahaziah) leave their fortifications and go out to Jehu to discover his intentions. The following exchange then occurs:

“And when Joram saw Jehu, he said ‘Is it peace, Jehu?’ He answered, ‘What peace can there be, so long as the whorings and the sorceries of your mother Jezebel are so many?’ Then Joram reigned about and fled, saying to Ahaziah, ‘Treachery, O Ahaziah!’ And Jehu drew his bow with his full strength, and shot Joram between the shoulders, so that the arrow pierced his heart, and he sank in his chariot.” 2 Kings 9:22-24

And so Joram was paid back for his mother’s idol worship of Baal (that is what the whoring and sorcery were about; Baal is a fertility religion) by Jehu.

So in the Bread two days ago payback was not appropriate but in today’s readings it is. What is the difference?

The difference is in who the offense is against. In our readings two days ago, the offense was against the individual who was exercising payback time. The Syrian army arrayed against Elisha was arrayed against him. In Corinthians, Paul was addressing you suing your brother for a wrong your brother committed against you. In Matthew, Jesus was addressing your reaction when someone stole your clothes or when someone hits you.

Today, the offense of Joram’s family was against God, by raising up a false religion, an idol, over God and by following the corruptions of society which followed from such idolatry. Jeru was exercising payback for an offense to God, not an offense to him personally.

What then is the lesson from all this? Maybe it is this – When the offense is against you personally, you should go out of your way to be merciful and show love in the circumstances. When the offense is against God, you should go out of your way to correct the offense and, if need be, be God’s agent for payback.

How do we tell the difference? For example, is someone’s theft of my wallet an offense against me (my wallet) or an offense against God (you shall not steal)? Is the murder of an unborn child an offense against an individual (the child) or an offense against God (you shall not murder)? Is the failure to go to my church an offense against me (you won’t join my club) or an offense against God (you won’t come to church because you go somewhere where you worship idols)?

Gives me a headache. What’s worse, because our minds are so corrupt and infiltrated with the wisdom of the world rather than the wisdom of God, we will tend to re-cast offenses against us as offenses against God so that we will have an “excuse” for payback. Or we will recast offenses against God as trivial so that we can avoid the necessary reality of being God’s agents for correction. We will tend to elevate the trivial offenses against us to major events, and we will tend to deflate the major offenses against God to trivia.

Maybe this is why Jesus told us to look at the log in our own eyes before we complained about the speck in others’ eyes. Maybe it is also why He blew into the temple courts and upended the money-changing tables.

There is another aspect of this discussion worth having. Did Jehu just get a letter from Jezebel, jump up out of his bed, and say “I think today we will go to war?” No. To pull his army together, he had to think, plan, and execute the plan. He had to be deliberate, which means also that his actions were not a reaction to offense but a response. There is a huge difference, because a reaction is personal and immediate, designed for immediate payback. A response, however, is deliberate and careful, designed for a long term result. A reaction occurs because we have been offended. A response occurs because we realize that something more is at stake than merely our feelings.

Again, how do we distinguish between payback which arises from bruised pride or perceived personal wrong or loss and payback which arises from our obligations as Christians to be God’s ambassadors in the world and, sometimes, God’s soldiers?

About all we can do is, at the time, pray — Come Holy Spirit and give me wisdom in the circumstances that I may rightly discern what, if anything, you would have me do. And then wait for the answer.

____________________

© 2013 GBF

Advertisements

Bread – Payback

September 25, 2013


Readings for Wednesday, September 25, 2013, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 2 Kings 6:1-23; 1 Cor. 5:9-6:8; Matt. 5:38-48; Psalms 81,82,119:97-120

—————————————-

There are many hard teachings in Scripture, but the hardest in my opinion involve how we should treat those people who are our enemy. In other words, how as Christians should we “pay back” those who hurt us, both inside the church and outside in the world. All three of our readings today from Scripture address this shortcoming in our Christian walk.

In the first reading, the king of Syria has sent out an army against Elisha because he is tired of Elisha’s messing with his war plans. Elisha’s servant goes outside, sees the army, and panics. In one of the great scenes of the Old Testament, Elisha prays that the servant’s eyes are opened and, when he looks with new eyes, he sees the Lord’s army in the hills, in flaming chariots. Elisha says simply “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” 2 Kings 6:16. This is where I love to stop, because it tells me that, when I am surrounded by my enemies, my God surrounds them and will come to my aid. Payback time, right?

Wrong. There is more to the reading. Elisha asks God to blind the Syrian army and then leads the blind army into Samaria, where the Israeli king asks Elisha whether he should kill them all. Elisha says essentially “no, don’t do that.” Instead, Elisha says, “Set bread and water before them, that they may eat and drink and go to their master.” 2 Kings 6:22. In other words, feed them and send them home. Pay them back by being nice to them.

Our lesson from 1 Corinthians is Paul writing the church in Corinth about the stupidity of Christians suing other Christians before unbelievers, saying “So if you have such cases, why do you lay them before those who have no standing in the church?” 1 Cor. 6:4 Then Paul essentially asks, why pay them back at all for their wrong, why sue them? “To have lawsuits with one another is already a defeat for you. Why not rather suffer wrong? Why not rather be defrauded?” 1 Cor. 6:7. In other words, when someone cheats you, blow it off! No payback for you. Let them cheat you! So what you have lost money, prestige, position, or power.

Finally, Jesus hits the nail on the head by saying in our third reading today quite simply that “You have heard it said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.” Matt. 5:38-41

I believe that if I were to cut out part of the Bible as being just wrong (from my worldly perspective), it would be Jesus’ statement today. But, of course, I am in no position to judge what Jesus said. I can either accept it or not. I can either apply it or not. I can either obey it or not.

Why is it so hard for anyone to “forgive and forget.” I know it is hard for me, and I’ll bet it is hard for you. In fact, it is probably close to impossible for me and I’ll bet it is close to being impossible for you too.

Why? I think it is because we think we are king of our dominion, our world, no matter how small or large that might be. It is our rights which are trampled, our money which is stolen, our peace which is compromised, our reputation which is sullied, our status which is at risk, our power which is removed, our position which is compromised. There is one common feature of all this, and that is the word “our.”

If it’s not mine, then what difference does it make if I lose it? I’ll just report the loss and the circumstances to the person who does own it and let them handle it.

So, really, our desire for payback is really a statement that Jesus is really not our king, a statement that what I have is mine and not God’s, an assertion of priority of position and right over another of God’s creatures (as dishonest as that creature might be, for all I know he or she is one of God’s elect as well, just waiting for a undeserved kindness from a Christian to break into his consciousness that the greatest undeserved kindness is what Jesus did for us on the cross).

Our desire for payback is really a statement that we don’t trust God to make it right, that we really don’t trust God’s army on the hill.

In 2 Kings, our reading today ends with this: “And the Syrians did not come again on raids into the land of Israel.” 2 Kings 6:23.

Why not? Why didn’t they treat the Israeli’s feeding them and sparing them the sword as a sign of weakness? The ways of the world would say that, if a populace is that passive, then they can be easily overrun.

There is a great mystery here. Great power is shown by not having to exercise it.

When we turn the other cheek, what message is sent to the wrongdoer? Is it that we are weak and easily beat upon? Or is it that we don’t worry, because we have a defender who is stronger? We don’t worry, because those who are with us are greater than those who are against us. We don’t worry because our God is God.

What should we do today when we are struck by our opponent, by our enemy, by someone who intends to do harm to us? What will we do?

I know what I’ll do. If someone hits me, I’ll hit them back, harder, for payback. That is what I will do. That is not what I should do. What I should do is to obey my master, my Lord, and take the blow and maybe more so that I can tell my enemy about a power greater than him or me, so that I can present the gospel without hypocrisy. But what I should do is so against my natural grain, my carnal state, that growing from “should” to “is” will take a power outside myself greater than me. And that is why we have the Holy Spirit.

Come Holy Spirit.

____________________

© 2013 GBF

Bread – Respect

September 20, 2013


Readings for Friday, September 20, 2013, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 2 Kings 1:2-17; 1 Cor. 3:16-23; Matt. 5:11-16; Psalms 69,73

—————————————-

In our readings today, respect for God appears to be foremost. In 2 Kings, we are given an example of respect for God’s representatives on earth. In 1 Corinthians, we are given an order to respect God’s temple, our bodies. And in Matthew, we are directed have respect for God’s works in us and in the world by being salt and light.

In 2 Kings, the king sends three troops of men (a captain and 50 men) to Elijah, one group at a time, to get him to come down from the top of the hill and go to the king. The first two groups tried to accomplish this task by ordering Elijah to come down, and the fire of God consumed them. The third captain showed respect for Elijah and, really, to God, by kneeling down and asking for mercy. In response to this showing of obedience, this demonstration of respect for God’s representative (Elijah) and God’s power, Elijah came off the hill and went with the captain to see the king. Respect for God’s authority, for the people appointed by Him, is something that is often missing in our relationships with others. Respect for authority (all authority is appointed by God for His purpose) would result in greater respect by children for their parents, greater respect of the citizenry for police, greater respect of students for their teachers, greater respect for elected officials who attempt to govern, and even greater respect by us for the institutional church.

In 1 Corinthians, Paul is telling the church about God’s temple, by pointing out that it no longer existed in bricks and mortar or in the tent of meeting, but within each of His followers – “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” 1 Cor. 3:16. If you have respect for God’s holy place, His temple, then you will have respect for yourself, your body. Respect for God’s temple would, if we exercised it, result in eating well, exposing ourselves to less danger, exercising more, and exercising our mind through reading and discussion with others as opposed to passively watching television or engaging the computer or video games. One side effect of having respect for God’s temple is that we would be better at creating good boundaries between ourselves and others, recognizing that by setting good boundaries we are showing respect for ourselves, God’s temple. If we had respect for ourselves as God’s temple, we would be more careful about what we listen to, what we watch, what we read, what we learn, and what we do.

In Matthew, the respect element is a little more hidden because, in Matthew today, we are charged by Christ to be salt and light in the world. What has this to do with respect? Everything. If we believe that our works are really God’s works in us and through us into the world, don’t we disrespect God’s works by refusing to do them, thinking that they are not what people need? If we are not salt and light, aren’t we really saying that we don’t believe that God can do any good work in us and through us? Is this disrespect for His works and His sovereignty and power? If we do not shine in a dark world, is it because God’s battery is dead or because we have so little respect for His power that we cover the flashlight for fear that the light will be too dim? Or, equally, do we so disrespect the power of God through us that we cover the flashlight because of what it will reveal in the world and others, which will then compel us to even more Godly involvement with our neighbor? In a very real sense, by our failure to be God’s ambassadors 24-7, by our failure to be salt and light, we are showing the ultimate lack of respect for everyone – for the people who would be benefitted by God through us, for ourselves as persons who are privileged to be called children of God, and for God Himself, thinking in our hearts that He is not big enough, great enough, loving enough, powerful enough, merciful enough, gracious enough to deal with the consequences?

Respect is an element which is missing in much of today’s doings and discourse. Perhaps in thinking about this, we should meditate on the consequences of lack of respect to the first two captains and their fifty men each when they ordered Elijah off the hill. What happened? God destroyed them in fire.

We can disrespect God all day long and maybe, just maybe, at that particular moment God will choose to stay His hand. This does not mean that there are not consequences, just because something doesn’t happen immediately. Indeed, for those people who disrespect Him by rejecting His son Jesus Christ, there is the same fate which occurred to the two disrespectful captains – death by fire.

Or we can begin to respect the Creator and the Savior and, in so doing, respect ourselves and others, letting our light shine in the world today before all people, to God’s glory and His alone.

____________________

© 2013 GBF

Bread – Miracles

September 11, 2013


Readings for Wednesday, September 11, 2013, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 1 Kings 17:1-24; Phil. 2:1-11; Matt. 2:1-12; Psalms 49,53,119:49-72

—————————————-

In 1 Kings today, we read about a woman who has shown hospitality to a prophet of God, Elijah, and whose son has just died. The mother gets angry at Elijah, accusing him of bringing tragedy to her home because of her sins. Elijah takes the boy to his room, lays on him, and prays to God three times to let the child’s life come back into him. “And the Lord listened to the voice of Elijah/ And the life of the child came into him again, and he revived.” 1 Kings 17:22

This was a miracle and the woman responded to the amazing, supernatural event by saying to Elijah “Now I know that you are a man of God, and that the word of the Lord in your mouth is truth.” 1 Kings 17:24. The woman recognized the miracle of her son’s revival from the dead, and acknowledged it, saying that she now believed.

This woman is so much like us. For a miracle from God, we look for the amazing event, the circumstance which could only have been put together by God. We expect spectacular results, a mountaintop religious experience. If there are fireworks of sight, that is a great add-on, but we’ll take fireworks of experience as a substitute.

But there are other kinds of miracles all around us, which when we think about them add up to a miraculous experience, mundane yes, but miraculous nonetheless. It is the miracles of everyday life which should drive us to our knees.

The widow in our story had actually experienced one of these mundane miracles many times previously. When Elijah first met her, the widow was at her wits end. She had no money and only enough food to last for one more meal. She had no help apparently from her neighbors, and she was preparing for she and her son to die. When she showed hospitality to Elijah by sharing what little she had with him (at his request), her pantry was never empty after that – “The jar of flour was not spent, neither did the jug of oil become empty …” 1 Kings 17:16.

But this daily miracle, this provision of God literally from thin air, from left field, was not enough for the widow to declare that Elijah was a man of God. God’s miracle stared her in the face every day at every meal, and yet it was not enough to recognize the presence of God in her surroundings. She harbored doubts until the “big” miracle happened.

And, like I said, isn’t this woman so much like us. For the moment, sit back and drop the pretense of knowledge, the veneer of science and education, the chimera of reason. Just drop them and look around. Isn’t it a miracle that every day we are warmed by the sun? Isn’t it a miracle that our farms produce good food for us and that our cupboards have any food at all in them? Isn’t it a miracle that, whether I live a shack or a mansion, that I live at all? Isn’t it a miracle that we have a God who cares so much for us that He has saved us when we cannot save ourselves?

When we look at a young child in new circumstances, we see wonder and curiosity in their eyes, words, and behavior. What happened to the wonder in our lives, in our eyes, in our words, and in our behavior?

What if we couldn’t explain things? Would we then be excited about the miracles that surround us all the time?

This is not a plea to toss away reason or education or knowledge. It is a plea that these not be shrouds and blinders by which we are covered up, hidden from God’s wonders.

You want to know that God is real and His Word is truth? Walk outside and look around. Look inside yourself and walk around. And then give thanks to God, for it is His miracle which caused us to be borne, His miracle which causes us to be sustained in this life, and His miracle which will bring us into relationship with Jesus Christ and eternal life.

____________________

© 2013 GBF

Bread – Endings

September 9, 2013


Readings for Monday, September 9, 2013, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 1 Kings 13:1-10; Phil. 1:1-11; Mark 15:40-47; Psalms 41,44,52

—————————————-

What is the end of man? It seems as if there are really only two answers – nothing or everything. Nothing is going to the grave and staying there. Everything is going to the grave to be brought into eternal life with Christ. If you don’t believe in Christ, then you would substitute “XXX” for Christ and fill it in.

Now there are then two basic ways to get to everything, according to the world religions. There is the way whereby man proves himself worthy of promotion, through good works, pious deeds, a moral life, obedience to the law, care for others, etc. In various forms, this is all of the world’s religions except one. We may believe in a god or gods, but the work is ours to do and we can either meet the standard or we can’t. In these various religions, the god may be presented in stern form (we never know whether we are good enough) or easy form (any good work will add up to something positive), but it is still us building the tower of Babel to heaven, so that we may ascend under our own power to the place of eternal life.

The second basic way to get to everything is to recognize that there are no good works by which we can ascend to heaven, but only one work, the work of God, where He comes to get us. There is one religion which tells us that God came for us, grabs tight to us, and gives us everything. That religion contains Christ as the centerpiece, God made man on earth, God the Son put to death for our sins that through Him our shortcomings, our sins, our filthy rags, might be forgiven for eternity. Because man has nothing to do with this rescue operation, it is a stumbling block to those of us who see ourselves first.

All this today is pre-cursor to almost a throw-away line by Paul in his letter today to the Philippians, which we read now: “And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6

One of the reasons I like to capitalize pronouns referring to God is to avoid the next question. In the preceding quotation from Philippians, “he” who? Who is being referred to? In the preceding sentence, it starts out with “God” (“I thank my God…”) and makes reference to the gospel (“…your partnership in the gospel…”), but does not mention Jesus Christ (although the introduction does make reference to Jesus (“To all the saints in Christ Jesus..”). The “he” certainly does not make reference to Paul, because he would have used the word “I.” So we have as likely candidates for the reference to be either “God” or “Christ Jesus”), and since Jesus is God, it may not matter. The ESV translation assumes in the study notes that the “he” refers to God, and that is fine.

So substituting the word “God” for “he,” we have two parts to the quoted sentence: “…that [God] who began a good work in you …” and “…that [God] …will bring it to completion…”

We often focus on the Good News that God saves through Jesus Christ, limiting our focus to the beginning of the relationship where, from our limited perspective, it seems like we chose Christ as our Savior (and Lord) [however, as noted above in this sentence, it is God who began the good work, not us, so it is God who chooses us, not vice versa]. However, what we should do, once this initial stage is past, is to recognize that it is God who not only begins but it is God who “will bring it to completion,” not us. The same God who begins the good work in us is the same God who by His mighty power will bring it to completion. God saved me and He is saving me. I neither saved myself nor am saving myself.

So this throw away sentence is no throw-away at all. It is the heart of the Good News. We are not only saved by God but we are being saved through the grave into eternal life. If it does not depend on me, then that is good because I am inherently flawed; God is not. I can be diverted by the wiles of the enemy; God cannot. If it were up to me, I would likely lose my salvation quite quickly; but it is not up to me and God “will” bring it (my salvation) to completion.

Thank God.

___________________

© 2013 GBF

Bread – Consequences

September 6, 2013


Readings for Friday, September 6, 2013, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 1 Kings 11:26-43; James 4:13-5:6; Mark 15:22-32; Psalms 31,35

—————————————-

We learn in physics that for every action there is a consequence, a reaction. We often act in ignorance of this simple truth because the consequence may take minutes, hours, weeks, years, or generations to reveal itself, but the rule holds true – for every action, there are consequences.

Perhaps we depreciate the actions established for us in Scripture because we do not fully comprehend the consequences of those actions. I would like to say that we don’t care, but that is not true. We do care when the consequence is immediate. Who, being hung over three feet above molten lava would not plead for his or her life? Who would not accept the benefit of rescue when one is a couple of seconds away from drowning? The fact is that the imminent danger (the consequence), when it is imminent, brings to our mind immediately what we did wrong and we instantly seek to fix the problem we created. In my examples of the molten lava and the deep waters, how did we get out there? We know in our hearts and in our minds that our presence in such dangerous circumstances is the end result of a series of choices we made, a series of actions we took. Every action has a reaction. Every action has a consequence.

Our readings today have everything to do with actions which have led to consequences.

In 1 Kings, Solomon has been disobedient to God and not followed in His ways, permitting himself and his country to be overcome with the worshiping of other gods, Ashtoreth (the mother-goddess, fertility, earth mother, sexual freedom), Chemosh (god of war), and Milcom (another name for Moloch, a god who reveled in the death of children) [as a side note, sexual freedom, war, and abortion – do we recognize this place?] As a consequence of these actions, God took away ten of the twelve tribes of Israel and gave them to Jeroboam, resulting in civil war and the split between Israel and Judah in the Old Testament. Notice, however, that this consequence was delayed until Solomon’s death (1 Kings 11:40), which was some time off. So, do you think that the people connected their actions [sexual immorality, war, abortion] to the consequences [civil war and the division of the country]. Probably not, because they were remote. Unconnected actions at unconnected points in history? No, very, very connected. Actions have consequences.

In James, the wealthy have glorified themselves on earth, suppressing the poor and the righteous. They live well, so what are the consequences of their actions? We can’t see any consequences. That is because the consequences are delayed, but they are real. As James says, “Come now, you rich, weep and howl for the miseries that are coming upon you.” James 5:1. James does not say what those consequences are, but he can clearly see them. Can you? If not, maybe you should re-visit the images of being hung over molten lava or three seconds away from drowning in deep waters.

And then finally, we see in Scripture today the ultimate consequences of our sins, our actions. Let us pick up the reading: “And they brought Him [Jesus] to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull)….And they crucified Him…” Mark 15:22-24 Yes, our actions have consequences. Our actions killed Jesus, offered as a consequence, a sacrifice, for our sins so that we would not have to bear the wrath of God, condemned for eternity.

Now, all we have done today is talk about actions leading to negative consequences, but the Bible is full of actions which lead to positive consequences – repentance and trust in Jesus with a consequence of eternal life, subordination of our rights leading to love and joy, obedience to God resulting in peace, etc.

Of course, these consequences may not be immediate and so we run the risk of ignoring them, thinking that what we do today has no effect on tomorrow because we cannot see it. But we can see it if we will see it.

Today, ask yourself a different question and see if it doesn’t begin to change your behavior. Ask yourself what will be the immediate, intermediate, and long term consequences of what I am getting ready to do, both consequences to myself and to others. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom to see these consequences. Ask yourself this question about what you are going to do before you do or say it. And see if it doesn’t begin to change what you do and how you do, and who you do it to. Maybe, even, you will decide not to do it all – and spare you and us the consequences.

____________________

© 2013 GBF

Bread – Enrich

September 4, 2013


Readings for Wednesday, September 4, 2013, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: 1 Kings 9:24-10:13; James 3:1-12; Mark 15:1-11; Psalms 38,119:25-48

—————————————-

Who do we enrich? If we were to take an inventory of who we benefit from our actions, I bet it would look something like this, in order: (1) Me (75%), (2) My Family (24%), (3) Others (1%), (4) God (whatever is left over).

Now I am probably being a bit harsh, so please change the order and the percentages if these do not apply to you. Somehow, though, I doubt that the order will change and I think that the percentages are closer than we would like to admit.

Who ought we to enrich? Well, if you consider bringing glory to God an enrichment of Him, both the order and the percentages probably should invert as follows: (1) God (50%), (2) Others (25%), (3) My Family (25%), (4) Me (whatever is left over). But since God returns in great measure, well pressed down, the end result of a God-centered life probably distributes the enrichment evenly across Me, My Family, and Others (33% each).

Why this question today? Well, it is raised in our reading from 1 Kings, where the Queen of Sheba comes to admire Solomon and to question him so that she can test his wisdom. Among the grand pomp and circumstances contained in this event are these words from the Queen: “Happy are your men! Happy are your servants, who continually stand before you and hear your wisdom!” 1 Kings 10:8

It is obvious to the Queen that Solomon’s great wisdom, wealth, and power are enriching someone, but who? Obviously Solomon but also, to the Queen, Solomon’s servants, in other words the people who work and live close to him. Who is missing from this? The people of Israel. Me (75%), My Family (24%), everyone else (?).

God gives us blessings and gifts, just like He gave Solomon. Today we live in the splendor of stuff, just like Solomon did. Today we live in the midst of great knowledge (maybe not wisdom, but that is for a different Bread), just like Solomon. And who do we bless with our blessings? Who is enriched through us using the gifts that God has given us?

We as gods know how to enrich ourselves and we do it every day. We as servants of the only God need to learn how to enrich others, those close to us and those far away. Servants enrich others; masters enrich themselves.

When we talk about being masters of ourselves, masters of our ship, masters of our destiny, masters of the universe, is it any wonder that we are selfish, that we enrich ourselves and our own? Is it any wonder that we act like Solomon rather than Jesus?

If we are going to begin to enrich others, there is not only a heart change required but a vocabulary change. How do we change our vocabulary from words of mastery to words of servanthood? I think it begins by recognizing the we had nothing to do with our salvation; our salvation is all Christ’s. Because, if we cannot save ourselves by our works or by uttering the right formulas, then we are masters of nothing and servant of the One who saves. And from that beginning, in the power of the Holy Spirit, we begin to shift the percentages of enrichment away from us and toward those who we, now, can love.

____________________

© 2013 GBF

%d bloggers like this: