Tag Archives: Jesus

We Need More Than Jesus

 

Take the World

I love the classic Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell song, “You’re All I Need To Get By”, it’s a song that speaks of a couples dedication and need for each other. Ashford and Simpson were talented writers, but as beautiful as this song is, I would hate for someone to think that I was the only thing they needed to get by in life; frankly that’s too much pressure. I don’t need someone depending on me emotionally for survival, no thanks!

I often hear people saying that all they need is Jesus, “Just give me Jesus”, “Jesus is all that I need” and other phrases of that sort. I’ve also read clichés and comments like these in one too many books. Christians tend to get all bent out of shape when I tell them that I need more than just Jesus. If you’re wondering what I would need more than Jesus here is my list:

  • Oxygen
  • Water
  • Food
  • Shelter
  • Sleep

Jesus is an important part of our spiritual lives as believers, but we need more than him in order to meet our most basic essentials for survival. Jesus never said that he was taking the place of what human beings need in order to survive on earth.

Give Me Jesus

It’s easy to misread the gospels and incorrectly assume that Jesus wants us to believe that we don’t need the essentials of life when we have him in our lives, but he never alluded to that. What Jesus did tell us, was that we are not to worry about obtaining our daily needs. Worry never leads to anything good. Worry leads to heart attacks, increased risks of stroke, stomach ulcers, muscle tensions leading to headaches and, various aches and pains.

Matthew 6: 27-34 is where Jesus tells us not worry because God will provide for us and a reminder that worry doesn’t add any years to our lives. While worry doesn’t solve our problems, we can’t ignore them by assuming that God will provide our basic needs. The fact is, millions of people have died from starvation, the elements, and from not being able to breathe. Doing what needs to be done on a daily basis in order to meet our basic needs for living is not a sign of worry or a lack of faith in God.

We are fortunate to live in North America where no child will have to die of starvation or malnourishment. Even the poorest person in the city can find an abandoned building or create makeshift shelter somewhere in the city. For those on the other side of the world it is not so easy for them to be told that they don’t need anything except Jesus to survive, because the falsehood of such a statement is real to them.

In Christ

What I take from Jesus’ statement about worrying is that it is useless. He knows that worrying isn’t going to make a difference and he wants his followers to be aware of this. He wants his followers to turn from the wastefulness of worrying and instead, take that energy and focus on giving God our concerns and fears. By handing over our worries to God we able to focus more on finding a solution. Worrying doesn’t allow us to be calm enough to think clearly. The sad truth is that despite praying to God, despite trusting him to take care of our human needs, there is no guarantee that these essentials will be met and the worst that could happen, that being death, might actually happen.

Our worship of God is filled with paradoxes, things that might seem contradictory, and lots of asking ‘why God why’; but with each new day we have to continue to trust and have faith in God, allow the confusion, and accept the unknown. I don’t know what the answer is to ending war, world hunger, and injustice, and why God allows these to continue to happen, but I do know this; we need more than Jesus.

If the spirit of Christ is within us, we will see those around us who are in need, and in whatever way we can, we will help others. And for those who lack the essentials in life, we will continue to trust that God is good even when our basic needs are not met. Matthew 11: 28-30

He Gives Us Rest

QUESTION:

Do you believe that Jesus is all that we need to survive? If not, what would be on your list of things that we need other than Jesus for survival?

How do you answer those who ask why God “allows” people to die at the hands of war, die of starvation, or other atrocities?

REFLECTION:

Read or watch the news this week, make note of when famine, starvation, lack of clean water, and war is mentioned. Take time to pray for their essential needs to be met.

During your time of prayer remember to bless the LORD for all the essentials for living that you have.

The Blessing of Crazy Family Members: Jesus Style

cray-cray for J.C. :)
cray-cray for J.C. 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2014
2014

My One Word for 2014: Blessing

a(1) :  strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties <e.g. maternal love for a child>

(Webster’s Dictionary, one of many definitions)

Biblical love is hard! Love often asks, “What’s in it for me?” This is not a result of being evil or a bad person; this is simply how it is because we are human and to love as Jesus did really does require some divine DNA.

When I read the gospels, I shake my head in amazement at knowing that Jesus still went to the cross for humankind simply because he loved us enough to offer himself up as a living sacrifice. Think about it. There was nothing for Jesus to gain personally by being a living sacrifice. Absolutely nothing. Jesus spent his short time on earth having to deal with bickering disciples who were more concerned about who was going to be first in this new concept of the afterlife. He still headed to the cross knowing fully well that his best friends would at one point desert him. He loved his family even though his cousin John was like, “Whoa, cuz, you are saying some strange things and acting really weird. This is not what our Pharisee family teaches and practices. Are you for real or are you just out of your mind?” (Matthew 11:2-6) and (Mark 2:18).

Jesus still loved his mother, brothers and sisters when they came to get their reportedly crazy family member (Mark 3: 31-35). They came to look after him, and Jesus made it clear to his audience, “You are all my family.” I’m sure this had to have left his siblings and mother hurt, confused, and worried. I wouldn’t doubt it if they thought, “Yeshua, are you rejecting us. We are your family. How can you refuse to come home with us and choose instead to stay with these strangers? We are your family. We love you and only want to take care of you.”

I look at the documented dynamics of Jesus’ family members and I realise that love asks questions. As a family we are going to ask questions, we are not likely to sit by in silence wondering what our whacky, lost, wandering, confused relatives are doing with their life. Having observed this, I also came to accept that there will be times when we have to be that crazy family member who follows their dreams, passions and divine calling. In order to love God there are going to be times when we are in disagreement with our families.

Jesus made it clear that he did not come to bring peace. There is no way that following God is going to bring peace within families. There is sometimes that tug of war between wanting to do what God has asked us to do verses what our family is asking us to do. I am a firm supporter of adult children choosing their own way of life over their families’ decisions. Are you an adult? Then that means making your own decisions using wisdom, knowledge, experience, and hopefully, a bit of common sense.

Can you imagine what would have happened if Jesus threw in the towel and listened to his cousin John by following the Pharisee traditions? What would have happened if Jesus left with his mother and sisters so they could tend to the care of his mental state? The story of a saviour who died and rose again out of love for the human race might not have ever been. Instead we would have the story of a crazy man who failed miserably at trying to shake up the religious establishment and as a result retreated to his parents’ home for the rest of his life.

Duck family values
Duck family values

All I can say is dear families, please be careful not to stand in the way of that family member who feels a divine calling to pursue a particular path in life or take on a task that God has anointed he/she to fulfill. Like Jesus’ family, you are likely intervening out of love for that person, however, that love becomes unhealthy when you become a barrier and a hindrance to someone fulfilling a calling. If you love God and you love that relative, then in the name of love, stand back and let that person be.

Love means trusting God’s work in the lives of those you care about even if you don’t understand the calling they’ve received. That calling is for them and not for you, so it is going to be alright if God hasn’t given you all the details and the vision.  Show your godly love by lifting up prayers for that person, assist that person with whatever tangible help they might need, and if you don’t desire to do either of these, then show your godly love by stepping out of God’s way and let Him do His work through your loved one.

QUESTION:

1. Are you being a barrier to a loved one’s divine calling?

2. Have you ever had a Christian family member negatively intervene in your walk of faith?

ACTION:

1a. Prayerfully ask God to reveal to you if you have been or are currently a barrier to your loved one’s walk of faith? Ask God to reveal to you how you can step out of His way in order to support your family member?

2a. If this intervention is a source of emotional hurt in your life, ask God to open that family members’ eyes and heart; also ask God to continue to heal your emotional wound. Release that hurt to God for healing.

 

Source: rockstarposters.com
Source: rockstarposters.com

Jesus Never Laughed, Should You?

Did Jesus Have a Sense of Humour? 

Jesus Smiling Meme

I once heard a fundamental preacher say, “Jesus never laughed, because there’s nothing funny about hell.” WHOA! I can’t say for certain that Jesus did indeed laugh only because I can’t find it anywhere in scripture. That being said, the bible also doesn’t say that he didn’t laugh. I simply can’t imagine that Jesus never laughed. There had to be times when Jesus was sitting around with his 12 best friends eating and having a great time joking around.

Life and salvation are no joke, they are both serious realities, but in the midst of the seriousness of all things eternal, we need to remember to have a good laugh. My rule is that I gotta have at least one good laugh per day. This might be too much for some people, but however often you choose to do so; you gotta laugh at some point.

 Jesus Noah

What the experts say…

“We change physiologically when we laugh. We stretch muscles throughout our face and body, our pulse and blood pressure go up, and we breathe faster, sending more oxygen to our tissues. … The effects of laughter and exercise are very similar”, says Wilson. “Combining laughter and movement, like waving your arms, is a great way to boost your heart rate. … And laughter appears to burn calories, too. Maciej Buchowski, a researcher from Vanderbilt University, conducted a small study in which he measured the amount of calories in laughing. It turned out that 10-15 minutes of laughter burned 50 calories.”

O.K., I have no memory of ever having laughed for 10-15 minutes straight, so I’m not going to recommend ditching a physical workout in exchange for a laughing session. But I will recommend that both your physical fitness and your spiritual fitness be infused with some laughter and humour. Working out has some funny moments; so the next time you fall flat on your face while running, get up, dust yourself off and have a good laugh about it. The same thing goes for our faith. Being a believer doesn’t have to be confined to sad, tear filled and dreary feelings. We can laugh at ourselves; life is hilarious sometimes.

 Adam and Eve joke

Application:

Ask yourself when was the last time you had a good hearty belly laugh; the kind that leaves you in tears. If that’s too extreme for you, think back to the last time you laughed. Hopefully it doesn’t take more than a minute to remember.

If you are in need of a few more laughs and less tears and stress, here are a few suggestions:

-Go online and find some comedies that you like. Watch one or two and don’t be afraid to laugh out loud, even if you are alone.

-Head to a comedy club with your spouse, family or some friends.

-Find a funny novel to read

-Signup for an account with Netflix or something similar and you’ll always have comedies at your convenience

Advent Day 24: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

Emmanuel

Matthew 1:23

“Look, the young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel, which means, ‘God is with us’.”

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Rod of Jesse, free
Thine own from Satan’s tyranny
From depths of Hell Thy people save And give them victory o’er the grave
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Day-Spring, come and cheer
Our spirits by Thine advent here
Disperse the gloomy clouds of night And death’s dark shadows put to flight.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel.

O come, Thou Key of David, come,
And open wide our heavenly home