Saturday, June 28, 2008

Which Pot Will You Stir

Everything is going fine. Your walk with God has reached new levels, and your spirit is filled with his Spirit. Feeling confident, your peace is unshakable and you know you are blessed and strong. Then, an event occurs, a word is spoken, and suddenly, you are sliding down the mud-soaked, slippery hill of strife once again. What happened?

There are always two pots cooking on your stove, and at some point in our lives, we chose both of them. Decades ago, when we chose our first sin, Satan's pot was placed on our stove and set to cooking. This pot contains an odorous gruel that simmers on the back burner, and when the smell reaches our consciousness, we stir the pot releasing even more of its foul odor. The stench fills our kitchen and permeates the walls of our souls.

At some point we may have chosen another pot for our stove. When we accepted Jesus as our personal Savior, we placed His pot on the front burner. This pot simmers with a pleasing aroma which we can stir to release its fragrance, thus, overpowering the stench from the offensive pot.

Although the fragrant pot is on the front burner, the pot hiding on the back burner continues vying for our attention. By releasing its odor, jiggling the lid or by threatening to boil over, this foul pot tempts us to approach. Then, worry, pain, anger and fear will cause us to remove the lid and stir it up hoping to avoid a spill over. Its odor is now released requiring more stirring, and releasing more odor.

Instead, we should turn down the heat on the back burner by ignoring our worry, pain, anger and fear and continue to stir the pot on the front burner. This will release the savory smell and overpower the stench.

In Luke Chapter 6, we see Jesus entering the synagogue to teach. A man with a withered hand approached the Lord and immediately the Pharisees questioned whether it was lawful to heal on the sabbath. Jesus turned down the heat on the boiling pot by asking, "I ask you, is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do ham, to save life or destroy it?" Then Jesus stirred the pot on the front burner by healing the man's withered hand. The back pot spewed angrily, but Jesus left the stove and continued his ministry with a pleasing fragrance.

So, how do you stir the pot on the front of the stove?

Luke 6:27-31 "But I say to you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To him who strikes you on the cheek , offer the other also; and from him who takes away your cloak do not withhold your coat as well. Give to every one who begs from you; and of him who takes away your goods do not ask them again. And, as you wish that men would do to you, do so to them."

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Christians Are Weak Willed

Since birth - we have all submitted to something. As babies, we submit to our mothers for our sustenance and care. The mothers submit to their babies by responding to their cries. Men submit to their families when they go off to work each day. New homeowners submit to the mortgage company and their local towns by agreeing to pay their mortgage payments and property taxes. Yes, we all submit to someone.

There are other submissions we make, as well. Some submit to their sexual impulses, some to tobacco; some to heroin. People submit to money and things, for as we soon realize, each possession requires that we care for it if we want to continue that possession. This is why we call them possessions for they possess us.

Their are two types of decisions - active decisions and passive decisions, and both types are made every day. When a person actively decides to purchase a car, they have also passively decided to fill the car with gasoline and change the oil. When we marry, the active decision may have been that we wanted a life partner that will remain faithful to us. The passive decision is that we will remain faithful to them, as well.

We all submit to people, things, governments and situations every day, whether actively or passively yet, when Christians submit to God, we are called passive. But, I challenge you to find a stronger decision than submitting to God. It is a choice - The decision to submit to those things of the world are a less active decision than submitting to the Creator of all.

"I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." Deuteronomy 30 RSV

So you see - by actively choosing God, I have passively chosen Life.