Learning Lessons: Episode 1, What If…?

My study group is going through a multi-media study called AHA based on a book by Kyle Idleman.  In it, after the third video there are five days of assignments with elements for morning and evening.  I’m going to start using this blog to complete my homework.  I figure after the ‘parable’ it can be something more than exposition and postulation about Scripture.

My choice of ‘Aha’ moment is based on my blog entry from August 18, “The Temptation of Gluttony?”  I chose this one because it was the most striking to me of my insights from Scripture.  Also because it only got one ‘like’ and no comments.  Which means that it didn’t resonate with anyone else the way it did for me.

In this assignment, I look at the ‘alarm’ that God is using to ‘wake me up.’  AHA is made up of ‘Awakening’, ‘Honesty’, and ‘Action’.  In this instance, the alarm is the realization that the first temptation isn’t really about obeying the devil, but really about being self-sufficient.  It was realizing that Jesus didn’t do even what He could do, but chose to be humbly dependent upon His Father.  That’s the alarm, the realization of what this temptation is about: the temptation to be self-sufficient.

If I ignore this alarm, what is the best possible scenario?

If I ignore this realization about the sin of self-sufficiency then I will continue to experience life with the philosophy that I’m responsible for what I can do, and God is responsible for what I can’t.  I will continue to live as if He and I work together, something like equals each with our part of the tasks to be responsible for.  I can expect to experience a measure of success as I am able to accomplish various things on my own.

I will experience the same level of God’s power in my life that I have so far.  I will experience the same depth in my prayers to my Master.  I can even expect that I will continue to experience the same depth of understanding of Scripture, at least in the details, if not the insight.  The life I live now before my Master will continue at the same level, no deeper, but possibly no more shallow either.

My marriage may be the same, my relationship with my daughter may be the same, and my service at church will probably remain the same.  I doubt I will appear much different to anyone, or even to myself.  I will live tied to the belief that I must do what I can in my relationship with God.

I suppose this isn’t bad or even ‘evil’ really.  But it doesn’t leave me enthused for the future.  And this is the best possible outcome I can imagine.


A Parable About Jesus

This is what life with Jesus is like:

One day Jesus invited everyone over to His house for a potluck dinner.  I was very excited, and looked forward with anticipation to go to His house.  But when the day arrived, life happened.  One thing after another derailed my plans and preparations.  What was supposed to be an hour or so outing turned into an all-day ordeal.  I didn’t make it home in time to shower, or prepare anything to bring.  I even spilled coffee on me at some point, so I looked and smelled a mess.

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Should We Let Jesus Go?

 When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them.    But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.”  So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. (Luke 4:42-44 NASB)

Can we ever have so much of Jesus that we need to ‘let Him go’?  Is there any point in our lives where we are supposed to let Him move on to someone else?  I believe the answers are yes, and no.

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Because He Said So

Then He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbath.   They were astonished at His teaching because His message had authority. (Luke 4:31-32 NASB)

Growing up I always hated it when my parents said, “Because I said so.”  It felt like I was being talked down to, like they thought I wasn’t smart enough to understand their reasoning, as if I wasn’t able to be like them.  And I wasn’t.  I wasn’t able to understand, I didn’t know, and I wasn’t experienced enough to get what their reasoning was.  And so, yes, they talked down to me. After all at the time, I was probably four feet shorter than they were.

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