This message explores the times when God is silent by looking at the two four hundred year periods of biblical history when the Bible is “silent” between Genesis and Exodus and between Malachi and Matthew to ask the question is God really silent or are we just not listening?
Posts Tagged ‘Jesus’
Tags: amok, amokarts, avoiding drama, drama, Jesus, teaching
I love to go to the theater. What I love even more is being part of the production. I rarely am on stage, but I usually help with sets and things and you know me any day with paint on my hands is a good day. I love to help my friends put on a show. That being said, the theater is place in my life where I like drama.
Why do we have so much drama in our lives? Well first of all it’s part of the human condition in this Broken World. Andy Andrews says something to the effect of “We’re all either going into a crisis, going through a crisis or coming out of a crisis.”
The thing is there are ways to minimize the drama:
- Make good decisions: There is no worse drama than the self inflicted kind. Too many people volunteer for drama by taking short cuts, taking the easy out or doing things they know are just plain wrong. Yes contrary to popular belief, right and wrong do still exist. Do the right thing!
- Stay out of other people’s drama: I’m not talking about being uncaring, but there is always someone out there who is trying to drag you into their mess. Don’t fall for it. If someone needs your help, help them but if they’re trying to drag you into something you have no business being in, STAY OUT OF IT!
- Follow Jesus and the Teaching of the Bible: Jesus never sinned. Jesus didn’t get dragged into stupid arguments and when Jesus took a stand, He was always right. His life had plenty of drama, but all of his drama had a point. He was nice enough to give us a book to follow that is jam packed with wisdom for living a life without self-inflicted drama and drama with a point. FOLLOW IT!
Remember Jesus said in this world you will have trouble (drama?) but take heart, I have overcome the world.
The best drama’s happen when the players listen to the Director!
What’s the cause of the drama in your life right now? Be honest!
Tags: amok, amokarts, arts, challenge, creative, eve, hope, illustrationfriday.com, Jesus, lost, ministry, salvation, temptation
The challenge of the week was Lost. Lately I’ve been dabbling with pop-art and there was this piece I was already working on that pretty much sums up the ultimate reason we get lost. It all comes down to a choice a long time ago. God told his first two people they could have everything they wanted in the paradise He created for them. There was only one thing they could not have. Unfortunately the one thing they could not have became the apple of their eye and they made a choice. Reject God for the only thing he did not give them. It sounds senseless, but we do it every day, every time we choose something that God tells us not to do.
What was their prize? The tempter told them they would be like God knowing good and evil. Let’s examine that. They already knew good, they were surrounded by everything good and had daily communion with God in person so what did they really gain by their sin? They got to know evil. In the same way when we choose sin we get the privilege of dealing with the consequences not to mention sometimes unleashing those consequences on the people around us.
You may finally ask the question, why did God put that tree there in the first place? Why did He allow them to be tempted? Believe it or not, because of love. You see love is a choice. Without an alternative, would ti really be love? They got to choose whether or not they would love God and they chose wrong. Today we are surrounded by billions of harmful choices, and the way to resist them is same as it has always been. Choose to love God more. Anything less is a lost choice.
Yes we are surrounded by temptations and consequences on every side, but hope is not lost. God gave His only Son to die on a cross to pay the price for our sins. If we will put our faith in Him, He will save us and lead us through this minefield called life.
Hope is not lost. Hope is a person. His name is Jesus.
(If you’d like to purchase a print of the image above, click the image, or get it on a T-shirt here.)
Tags: amok, amokarts, arts, Christ, creative, Jesus, ministry, name above every name, priorities, supremacy, victory
There’s and old maxim in coaching that says, “We win when the name on the front of the jersey is more important to us than the name on the back of the jersey.”
Nowhere is this more important and true than in the church. You see there are a lot of names on the back of our jerseys. There’s our own name of course, each of us has a personal identity. There’s our congregation, our denomination, our faction within that denomination, our theological emphases and on and on and on. There are a lot of names. The problem is, we tend to get our jersey’s on backwards and let all these other names divide us. The name on the front of every Christian’s jersey should be Jesus Christ. He needs to be first and when we work together in His name, we win.
His name is called the name above every name, remember?
Is His name on the front of your jersey and does your life bear that out?
Otherwise your jersey’s on backwards!
Tags: amok, amokarts, art, arts, Bible, creative, God, grace, Illustration, Jesus, ministry, painting
Romans 5:6-8 says You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Isn’t that a beautiful image. We see God’s grace and Jesus’ sacrifice and our salvation as a demonstration of God’s love, but what put Jesus on the cross? God’s love? Of course but we also see Jesus died for the ungodly.
Jesus died for sinners. He died for you and me because we are sinners and sin separates us from God. God’s love for us put Jesus on the cross, but our sin was the reason He needed to go there. Our sin put Him on the cross just as surely as if we had held the hammer and drove the nails through His hands and feet. That’s the reality. We killed our savior and every time we choose sin it’s as if we drove the nails again. I know this might feel like a beating but I have to establish this first.
Too many Christians forget this point and when we forget it, we get proud and we forget about the grace we’ve received and when we forget we’ve received it, it makes it very difficult for us to give it.
When we forget grace, we either cheapen it or we withhold it. Let’s look at withholding it. In Matthew 6, Jesus taught his disciples to pray. We call it the Lord’s prayer, but really it should probably be called the disciples prayer, a prayer all Christ followers should take to heart. Now I could do a whole sermon on this prayer but for today I want us to lock in on verse 12. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. Do you see what Jesus is doing here? It’s a little strange, but it’s as if Jesus is teaching us to pray to God, giving Him a loophole on forgiveness. Work with me on this for a second. This statement is conditional. He doesn’t just say “God forgive me.” He says “God forgive me the way I forgive others.” How are you doing with that? See this is where it gets tough. What condition would your soul be in if you were forgiven based on your forgiveness of others? Anyone else a little scared? check verses 14 and 15. 14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. All this forgiveness is really hard. I can almost hear people thinking “but Dave you don’t know what He or she did to me…” or “you don’t know what he put me through…” And before we go any further, I want to remind you, I struggle with this too and this is hard for me too, but I have to ask you this question and I ask it of myself too.
Does any of the things they did to you compare to driving nails through your hands and feet? Did any of them hang you on a cross and leave you for dead? Because that’s what you and I did to Jesus. I mean as He hung on that cross I believe He knew you and I and the things we would do that put Him there and He cried out “Father forgive them for they don’t know what they’re doing.” That’s the grace we have received and it’s the grace we are called to give. Just like in this painting. We see two bloody hands one holds the bloody nail, the other the bloody hammer. Both are guilty in the death of the Savior, and this is what it’s like when we forget grace and withhold grace and point fingers. We ignore our guilt and focus on another’s sin and that helps neither of us. When we accept God’s grace and we forgive and extend grace, we acknowledge our own guilt and we point the way to grace for others. Isn’t that what we’re called to do? You’ve received grace freely isn’t it time to give grace freely?
Tags: amok, amokarts, arts, Christ, Christian, creative, illustrationfriday.com, issues, Jesus, ministry, speak the truth in love, vocal
Needless to say I’ve been reading the passages around the crucifixion and resurrection over the last few weeks. I came upon the passage where Jesus rides into Jerusalem on the colt of a Donkey (Palm Sunday) from Luke. The people are finally (if only momentarily) giving Jesus the praise He deserves. The pharisees hear their praise and are deeply offended. They tell Jesus to silence His disciples. Jesus’ reply is “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” I love that quote but as I started to think about it, I found myself wondering something.
Most people in our society would have a hard time saying Christians are a quiet bunch. We’ve been quite vocal about a great many issues, usually those we have come out against. I’m not saying it’s wrong to take an unpopular position, nor am I saying it’s wrong to stand on principle. What I am questioning is do we spend as much talking about WHO we’re for as we do about what we may find ourselves against (or our issues and causes)? Do people see us as loving representatives of the One who dies to set us free or judgmental jerks who alienate them from the God who loves them.
Jesus told us people would hate us because we belong to Him. As a result, we should expect to not always be popular. If we’re unpopular because of Jesus, that’s honorable, but there is no honor in being hated because you’re a jerk.
Be vocal about Jesus, and speak the truth in love.
Tags: amok, amokarts, Christ, crucifixion, Jesus, salvation, Savior, TheJesus Film
Tags: amok, amokarts, Easter, illustrationfriday.com, Jesus, resurrection, return
Well, maybe it’s just too close to Easter but when I saw the word return, I kind of got a one track mind. Jesus is going to return and set things right. He’s going to come and fix the mess we’re in. He’s going to redeem creation and return this world to what it was intended to be… Perfect. In the mean time, the best thing any of us can do is return to Him. It won’t give you a perfect life but it will give you a purpose. To love your neighbor, share the Gospel and prepare for His return. He loves you and He’s preparing a place for you. Easter reminds us of His love. How He died on the cross to free us from our sins and rose again to redeem us for ever.
He shall return!
Tags: "Good Friday", amok, amokarts, arts, creative, Easter, greatest story ever told "Jesus (Deity)", Jesus, ministry, palm sunday, sermon, story
The Palm Sunday/Good Friday Message looking at Jesus as the hero of the greatest story ever told and exploring how we can live heroically. Follow Jesus into living a better story.
Tags: amok, amokarts, arts, Bible, challenge, creative, God, illustrationfriday.com, Jesus, ministry, redemption, sin, temptation, yield
I think it really is this simple. God loves you, wants what’s best for you and His way leads to life. To turn from that way is to really mess you up.
Joshua, near the end of his life challenged the people of Israel and he said this…
if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.”