Friday, May 28, 1999

Christ the One Mediator

Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (Hebrews 7:23-25)

I think this verse is a good reminder of the power of Christ. He is the one mediator between a perfect God and sinful man. No one else has the authority to do so! Christ gained that authority by humbling himself to become man, living a sinless life, and serving his Father's perfect will.

Jesus shared our mortal body and shed red blood, but overcame the temptation and evil of the world. No other human being has ever duplicated the feat and no one ever will.

Saturday, May 15, 1999

Turning the Other Cheek

You have heard that it was said, "Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth." But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. (Matthew 5:38-39)

I'm sure many people find this to be one of Christ's hardest commands to follow. One's first reaction to hearing this verse might be one (or all) of the following:

  • Why should I repay an evil deed with a good one?
  • Why should I allow someone to take advantage of me?
  • Would Jesus really want me to stand by while someone harmed or hurt me?

Believe me, I've asked myself these questions many times in my life. Although I do believe in self defense, I've never seen something good come from being vengeful or spiteful. Have people done bad things to me? Have people taken advantage of me? Sure. But it's during those times that I question myself all the more "What would Jesus do if they did that to him?" It gives me the time to find ways to forgive, as He would, and not plan my revenge. Will I ever be as forgiving or loving as Christ? Never. But it sure feels good to try.

Monday, May 10, 1999

Treasures on Earth or Heaven?

Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

I've used this verse to question myself a number of times, "Who/what is currently on the throne of my life?" Is it money? Is it the desire to be successful in school / athletics / career? Is it another family member or friend? Is it God? When the answer to this question is anyone or anything but God, my life, not surprisingly, has always been in disarray. It is only when I decide to fully yield my life to God that I find true happiness and fulfillment.

Unfortunately, this is an ongoing struggle. My natural tendency is to want to be the captain of my own ship - too bad I'm not as great a navigator as the Lord. When I reach the end of myself, He is always faithful to right the ship and steer me back on course.

Thursday, May 6, 1999

Judging Others

Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, "Let me take the speck out of your eye," when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. (Matthew 7:1-5)

This verse helped changed my life dramatically in college. I was in a very judgmental stage in my life; what I like to call the "Frank is Perfect" stage. I remember vividly a non-Christian friend of mine quoting me this verse, and asking me to reexamine myself. My first reaction was "Who does he think he is quoting me, Mr. Christian, a bible verse??" It took awhile for his words to sink in, but they finally did. I no longer am so quick to judge people, but rather try to understand where they are coming from, or why they do the things they do. I no longer view myself as "Mr. Perfect" but as "Mr. Sinner" - a man in desperate need of God's grace.