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In the light of TRUTH

February 23, 2012

On Thursday afternoons, my son takes ice skating lessons. I know you are reading this thinking, “Hmm…does this have anything to do with our Acts study this week?”. It does. Trust me. When my son put on his skates for the first time in the lobby, he could stand up. His instructor even had his class do some really fun marching, jumping and crazy walking drills – IN THE LOBBY. The final lesson in the lobby section of his first class was how to fall and get back up. The instructor spent more time on this instruction than on any of the other moves. After she taught the kids how to fall and get back up, it was time for the ice. My son was confident that he would not fall – he was just jumping in the lobby. He stepped onto the ice, followed the teacher’s instruction to hold onto the wall, and slowly walked to the area where she was. The teacher asked all the students to face her. They all turned. So far so good. Next, she asked them to march to her (something they had just done moments before in the lobby). They all took a step, and then they continued to practice the falling and getting back up lesson.

I feel like gospel was ice for a lot of the priests and Jewish leaders. Up until Jesus’ life, death and resurrection, they were doing well. They could quote the Scriptures, observe the festivals, instruct the younger how to fear God – all the great MOVES of the faith. However, when they were faced with the reality that they had just been practicing those moves in the lobby – that they didn’t have a righteousness (right way of living) that was actually good enough to have a restored relationship with God – they didn’t like that accusation very much. They didn’t want to hear that there was something more – something that their blades of piety could and should cut into. They liked the Lobby where they were in control. They didn’t want to step out onto the ice. They didn’t want to fall. They didn’t want to learn how to get back up.

Over and over again the Jewish leaders were threatened by the good news of Jesus. Why? I think part of their opposition was sincere. They really believed that Jesus was an imposter and that they should ONLY WORSHIP YAHWEH (God). Even in their sincerity, I still think that part of their opposition stemmed from pride. These people saw their failures when they heard the Good News of Jesus and didn’t want to admit that all of their acts of obedience were not enough to fix their broken relationship with YAHWEH (GOD). They wanted to live in the Lobby where they could try to have a relationship with God by themselves.

I empathize with the Jewish leaders because when I stand in the light of Truth (the Bible) and it shows me something about myself that is not right, I get angry. I make excuses. I cast those sections of verses aside. Eventually the Holy Spirit quiets my souls. I see my sin. I confess, repentant and get back onto the ice.

Skating on the ice is hard. You slip. You fall. You might even get hurt. BUT skating on the ice is more fun. It is where skates were meant to be used. Living life rightly relating to God with a righteousness given to us by Jesus is hard. We slip. We fall. We get hurt.  We want to go back to the lobby and to our old way of living.  BUT living life righteously is what we were meant to do. It is God’s great design,  which gives Him glory and ultimate fulfillment for all humankind.

For this week’s discussion, please feel free to answer one or more of the following questions:

  1. What did you learn this week that really stood out to you?
  2. What did you learn about God?
  3. What is your response to the Good News of Jesus? To the truth of the Bible?
One Comment leave one →
  1. Luray permalink
    February 24, 2012 9:36 am

    I don’t remember my original response to the good news of the bible. When I was four years old I walked into the kitchen and asked my Mom to pray with me to receive Jesus as my Savior. I remember doing it, but I don’t remember why I felt the need at the time. Since then I’ve been learning and praying and sitting comfortably on the assurance of my salvation. I have no (traditional) testimony, no life before Jesus, no memories of how lost I was without Him. (Not that I didn’t stray along the way.)
    A few years ago I read “Falling in Love With Jesus” in a bible study. I related more easily to God the Father. I understood an unconditional love that had always been there and the need for a relationship that had always existed for me. I had more trouble relating to a passionate longing to know Jesus and follow him everywhere with zeal. As a happily married woman, I understand falling in love, but Jesus never wooed me. When it comes to Jesus I considered him more of a brother. I have a real brother that I love completely, pledge lifelong devotion to and appreciate simply because he exists. But despite the fact that we spend our lives with our siblings, there can be so many things we don’t know about them. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know my brother very well at all, but I can tell you a million stories about him. I never felt the requirement of effort in our relationship. I never had to get to know my brother the way I did my husband. He was just always there, a part of who I am. I love him, but I certainly wasn’t going to fall in love with him. It took me some time to realize that Jesus is not my brother. If I limit him to friend or brother, he can’t be all he wants to be for me. It is important, no matter how long you’ve been a Christian, to seek the Savior. We need to give the same effort and time to knowing Him that we would the new love of our life. It might be harder when he isn’t “new” to you at all. But it is just as important, because you can’t get to know Jesus simply by belonging to the same family (believers) or spending time in the same house (church). A deeper connection requires more.

    Each time I look at the “limits” of being a believer or have trouble receiving the grace offered, I always try to view them through the eyes of a parent. I love my kids and I know better. I want the best for them. They can’t see the bigger picture. They have no idea just how much they Don’t know. No matter what they do in life, despite my disappointment (for them, more than in them) I will always love them and continue to want the best for them. God feels the same about me. That’s awesome. I pray each day that God will help me respond to his guidance and to his grace the way I want my children to respond to my parenting and my love. With humble appreciation and with trusting obedience.

    One of my favorite songs is from the animated film “Joseph King of Dreams”.
    The lyrics say it all, in my book.

    You know better than I.
    You know the way.
    I’ve let go the need to know why.
    I’ll take the answers you supply.
    You know better than I.

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