March 04, 2016
In Mark 11 the Pharisees question Jesus as to who gave Him authority to do what He was doing. The problem was, He threatened their little self-made kingdoms. They wanted to be in charge of their lives and would not surrender to God. This is why, when God sent His Son, it threatened their existence. Someone had entered to take over.
Jesus answered them, but then expanded on this thought further. In Mark 12 he tells the story of a ""man who planted a vineyard and put a wall around it, and dug a vat under the wine press and build a tower, and rented it out to vine-growers and went on a journey"" (Mark 12:1). When the vineyard owner sent his slave to gather some of the proceeds of the harvest, they beat him. He sent another slave and they did the same. Finally he sent the son and they killed his son. Remember, he was the OWNER of the vineyard. They were simply the workers, the stewards entrusted with doing with the owner's property what he desired.
God had given the Israelites (and us) all they had. He had ""dug out"" their vineyard and prepared it and led them into the Promised Land and provided abundantly for them. But when He went to the people of Israel expecting their gratitude and fruit from their lives, they rejected every messenger He sent, over and over again. And when he sent His Son, they killed him.
Why? Control. A proud feeling that they had built and earned what they had; that THEY owned it all, and that they knew better than God how to run their lives and their country. They didn’t want anyone interfering with the little life-system they’d established. They thought everything was theirs, forgetting they are mere tenants on this earth that God has created and owns.
The same issue is in all of our hearts. God has given us this earth, our lives, indeed, ""every good and perfect gift."" He owns it all (including us) and yet when He asks us to surrender our lives to Him (or any part of our lives) we often balk and resist and rebel. We want to be in charge of our lives and will not submit to Him. We want to be in CONTROL.
When you see this in this way, it is so incredibly selfish. We own NOTHING! (Read that last sentence again). We get mad at God for doing what He desires with what is rightfully His. We forget we are but stewards, of even our own lives.
We should bow humbly, fully in every area of our lives, and give him everything he desires and deserves. To do anything less is gross ingratitude and the highest form of treason.
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September 07, 2019
September 06, 2019
Pay attention to holiness. Be intentional about all He has already said to you. Set aside deliberate time to fast, pray, and read and meditate on His Word. Be extremely careful about your obedience.
And then, cry out to Him for greater intimacy. For as clear as His conditions are for you to see Him, they are clearly promised! He desires to reveal Himself to you more than you are aware for He is a God of perfect love towards you.
September 04, 2019