I recall a woman telling me about taking her son to a football game for the first time who had to leave early in a panic attack, because she had been convinced for so long that if Jesus came back for his Bride, and you were at a ball game, you would be left behind! “For God gave us a spirit not of fear, but of power, and love and self control.”
Isaiah 29 is nearly verbatim to the condition of Israel in Jesus’ day. The people were hypocrites, doing lip-service to God but in truth, they were creating a system of fear-based on their own traditions, as if they were the commandment of men.
Let’s digest this verse, found in Luke 14. This is important because I personally know families that have been torn to shreds over denominational stances, with players in the story using this verse as justification for why they can Biblically separate and tear their families apart with justification. The reality is, Jesus gave us a beautiful verse that has been abused, misused and made ugly.
It is the silliest thing to be now, to believe that my personal obedience, which is still expected, by the way, is what would make me righteous. That it somehow is more necessary and powerful than what Christ has already done on that Cross… That it would save me, or even keep me saved. The system of religion I left believed that their ideals of Holiness (which is code for dress standard) would not save a person, but in the absence of obedience to them, a person couldn’t be or stay saved.
No wonder that when Jesus spoke of the parable of the wedding feast in Luke 14 he said, “Go out into the hedges and the highways and compel them to come, that my house may be full!” I spent 15 years of my life in Christ believing and being taught that God wasn’t anywhere to be found except at 1145 Wallace Road. You couldn’t go to the beach, the mountains, the park, the bar, and find Christ, and most certainly, you couldn’t be a light for Him in those places – your work, His work, ALL the work, was in Church.
There are, however, some organizations who have white-labeled Worship and mass-produced it, created the methodology and then sold it as the recipe, like Grandma’s Sweet Apple Pie. Get one ingredient wrong or out of order and the pie is ruined. But worship isn’t like that and every worshipper should be free to worship in the Beauty of Holiness.
One of my favorite moments of Scripture is arguably one of those that is in question whether or not it is in the original manuscripts. Regardless of its historical veracity, it’s principle is without a doubt indicative of the nature of Christ (and the nature I want to mimic) and […]
This morning included a weekly three-hour drive through a beautiful Oregon mountain pass and into God’s country – Central Oregon. As the driver (and alone) I don’t get to take in too much of the scenery – I have to drive safely after all. I do, however, get a lot […]
It has been an amazing journey learning the Scriptures and the people they were written for, by and because of. The history of the people and the times in which our books of the Bible were written is a fascinating topic and one that really helps to translate the writings […]