Tag Archives: Jesus

Showers: Helping you figure your life out since always

“So Anna, what are you going to do with your life?”

“Anna, what’s your passion?”

“Anna, what are you going to study in college?”

“Anna, what are your plans for the future?”

These questions used to terrify me and irritate me to no end. Every day, someone asks what I’m up to or what my plans are, and up until about 35 minutes ago in the shower, my response ranged from “Well, I think I’ll go out for running back in the Dallas Cowboys*” to “Let’s be honest, I’m going to die alone with 74 cats and nobody will notice until 3 weeks later.” It was a sad, unfulfilling existence with no real direction or passion. And then I realized what has been in front of me this whole time.

The world.

All of it.

The whole thing.

I want to see it. 

If you don’t believe me, check my travel board on Pinterest.

Allow me to expound a little.

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come.

-Hebrews 13:14 NLT

If you’ve grown up in church, or even attended church for any length of time, you’ve either heard this verse or some iteration of its message. We are sojourners and pilgrims in this world. We have no permanent residence here, we are simply passing through. One might even venture to say that we are merely guests here, passing through on our way to the Home that Christ is preparing for us in Heaven (John 14:1-4).

Fair warning, this could get a little eisegesis-y, but bear with me.

So we’re guests of the world. It’s an interesting thought. This place is not our home, we are just stopping through on our way Home. And what does a proper guest do for their host? I believe Miss Manners (yes, I just did make that ancient reference.) would say that a gift is in order. Do you see where I’m going with this? Flip back to John 15, if you have your Bible available (and if you don’t, open another tab and google it. The internet is a magical thing.) and check out vs 18-27. This is the part where Jesus is briefing His disciples on everything that is going to happen after He ascends into Heaven. Jesus wasn’t just going to leave us to our own devices when He went to prepare a place for us, He planned ahead and left us the Helper, the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is often referred to as a gift. When we receive salvation, it is said that we receive the ‘gift of salvation’ or the ‘gift of the Holy Spirit.’ A gift. Are you tracking with me? Guests give their hosts gifts, the Holy Spirit is a Gift, and the logical conclusion is…

Obviously to buy the world a novelty corkscrew and a nice bottle of wine to say thanks for letting us stay for a bit.

Ok no really though.

When Jesus was training the disciples, He frequently commanded them to spread the gospel wherever they went.

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

-Acts 1:8 NKJV

And since the Holy Spirit is now within us, our job is to be witnesses wherever we are. Consider it a thank-you gift to the world for putting us up as we pass through. But above all, we are following a direct command from God. 

This is the part where my wanderlust comes in.

I’ve always loved to explore. I love to see new places, try new things, go on adventures. I can distinctly remember being approximately 7 years old, going out for a date with my daddy in his work car, telling him I wanted to go to India. I had no idea where India was or what was there, but I wanted to go there. And then I got older and Tanzania sounded cool. And now I’m looking at going to Bible college in Italy. This dream of traveling the world is becoming more of a reality as time goes by. It is now that I realize that the world is my passion. I want to see the as much of it as I possibly can. I want to meet new people, and hug them, and tell them about Jesus. Geez I sound like a starry eyed traveler. But it’s all becoming clear to me now, this is what I want to do with my life. Not necessarily be a missionary, but rather be a sojourner. I realize now that I have this incredible gift, the gift of salvation, of the Holy Spirit, and I want to share it, share Him, wherever I land.

That’s what I want to do with my life now.

Fact of Life: If you listen long enough, Jesus will tell you what to do. And if it’s really His idea, He’ll provide the means to make it happen, too.

 

*Note: After a few offers from the Cowboys, I’ve had to stop telling people that’s what I wanted to do. They didn’t seem to understand the joke.

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Sermon Notes: John 4: 27-42

We pick up here right after the account of Jesus meeting the Samaritan woman at the well, and now we get to see the fallout from that. We have the reactions of the disciples, the woman, Jesus, and the Samaritans.

1) The reaction of the disciples.

The first reaction the disciples had was one of somewhat stunned awe. I mean think about it, here’s Jesus talking to a WOMAN. In Jewish culture, women were pretty much at the bottom of the totem pole. They were baby-making housekeeping machines, and that’s it. But they don’t question Him, they watched and respected Him.

Main point: We don’t always know what God is doing, but He does. Knowing His plan isn’t your job. If you knew what God was doing, there would be no need to trust Him with your life. His plan is better than anything we could possibly imagine.

2) The reaction of the woman.

When Jesus talks to the woman, the first thing she does is leave her water pot. Check this out, they didn’t have indoor plumbing, so the water pot was the only way that people could get water into their homes. If you don’t have a means of getting water, you’re gonna die. This lady straight* leaves her WHOLE LIFE at the well to go tell the world what just happened to her. That brings us to the second thing that she does as a direct result of her encounter with Jesus: she goes into the town and tells EVERYONE. Now think about it, she’s a woman. And not only that, but she’s a SAMARITAN woman. She doesn’t have a whole lot of *street cred. Her life is transformed by Jesus, and suddenly nothing matters except telling everyone what He did.

Main point: God’s desire for us is to leave our whole lives behind to follow after Him. He has so many blessings that He is waiting to pour out on us, but we have to let go of everything else and trust that His plan is infinitely better than what we could ever think of. When God gets a hold of us and transforms our lives, the natural byproduct is that we can’t shut up about it. Think about this: your life could be the only Bible that some people ever read. Does your life reflect that God has transformed you?

3) The reaction of Jesus.

So after this whole shindig, the disciples are like “hey, you should probably eat something…” and Jesus is like “Nah, it’s cool, I already did.” Notice here that Jesus and the disciples are talking about two completely different things: the disciples are talking about physical food, but Jesus is talking about spiritual food. Jesus’ satisfaction comes from doing the will of the Father. He’s not into the whole physical thing, His head is completely in the spiritual realm. Life isn’t about the things that are seen, but rather the things that are not seen.

1 Timothy 2: 3-4 – For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Main point: Our will should be to do the will of God. Life isn’t about the physical, it’s about the spiritual. When we get a hold of that, we can experience the joy that comes from living for the Kingdom of God.

4) The reaction of the Samaritans.

So the Samaritan woman runs into town, talking all about this Jesus guy. As soon as the others hear her testimony, they believe it. They ask Jesus to stick around for a few days, and they believe for themselves.

Main point: If we have truly been transformed by God, our natural response will be to tell others.

Final thought: It’s not about me, it’s about what God is doing.

*I’m sorry! I’m listening to Lecrae right now so I got my ghetto lingo goin

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Ode to the Shower

Dear Shower,

Oh, where to begin? Shall I write a flowery intro? Or just cut to the chase?

Well then. Since no flowery intro has come to me, I shall simply tell you how I feel.

I love you, Shower. You’re the best friend anyone could ask for. You’re always warm and inviting, ready to wash away the dirt and grime of the day’s events. You’re ok with me singing OneDirection at the top of my lungs when we’re hanging out. Not many people would put up with that, but you do. That’s what I love about you, Shower, you’re so tolerant and non-judgemental. You don’t care if I’m covered in horse manure or if I have paintball schrapnel in my hair. It’s so refreshing to be with someone like you. You accept me for who I am, dirt and all.

-Anna

Now if I was to make this spiritual, I could say that Jesus is the same way. Because He is (except for the tolerant and non-judgemental bit… but let’s not get into politics here.) He accepts us for who we are, dirt, slime, paint, et al., and He washes us clean and renews us daily.

Fact of Life: Yoga pants are God’s way of telling us that, no matter how bad things get, He loves us.

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Help my unbelief!

Oy. It’s been forever. Too long. Summer will do that to you. Not that that’s a good excuse, but it is what it is. Anyways, as part of summer, my family took a huge road trip out to the west coast. As part of road trips, you listen to the radio. It’s just what you do. Sometimes you hear some good stuff, sometimes you hear some complete baloney. Today we were listening to a sermon on the Christian station (scary, I know) and some guy was teaching on Mark ch. 9. This passage has always been impactful to me, but today it struck me in a new way.

The passage depicts a man whose son has a demon in him. He takes his son to the disciples, who fail to heal the boy. Now, most people would give up here. Jesus’ disciples had cast out demons before, and were known for their works. If they couldn’t something, the situation was pretty hopeless. This man doesn’t give up though. He wants so badly for his son to be healed, that he goes to Jesus Himself.

After a little exchange in which Jesus assesses the situation, the father asks, “If you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Now Jesus responds, “If you can? All things are possible for one who believes”. This is where I’m getting to. After being told that, the man answers, “Lord I believe! Help my unbelief!”.

This is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. It has been since the first time I read it. I’ve always been amazed by this man’s lack of pretense. He doesnt care about putting on a facade, he just wants God to work. Here’s what struck me today: this is the way that I should always pray. I never have the faith that is required to pass whatever trial God has placed in front of me. If I could do it on my own, where would God get the glory? He doesn’t!

What God wants is for me to get to that first “I believe”, where I am willing to let Him help me. This is the easy(ish) part. The second, more difficult part is the second half: admitting that I have unbelief that I cannot fix on my own. Apart from Christ, I am uncapable of even the tiniest smidge of Faith. With that in mind, it would be unreasonable and, quite frankly, idiotic to try to fool myself into thinking that I have everything necessary to pass whatever trial God sends my way.

And that’s about all I have there, soooo……abrupt ending.

Fact of life: hashing out a whole blog post in a car on an iPhone is very difficult.

Second fact of life: that was a very long buildup for that itty bitty point. But hey it made sense to me!

Third fact of life: this is the first post to ever have three facts of life!

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Jesus cookies. Wait what?

1 John 5:21 — Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.

This morning I was told that I was not allowed to exit my room (<–paraphrase) until I had read my Bible. It was a good challenge. I’m not in the habit of doing that, I’m embarrassed to admit. So when I was startled from oblivion, I dismissed my waker and immediately grabbed my Bible. I flipped it open and began to look for little orange brackets around some verse– any verse– that was even remotely applicable to my current situation. I landed on 1 John 5:21.

I love the book of 1 John. It’s so practical and straightforward about who God is, and how to know that you KNOW Him, how to be His child and act like it, and in knowing Him, learning to Love like Him. We’re talking Jesus-died kind of Love, not cookies-are-awesome kind of love. It’s mind-boggling. And then you get to the end of the book, the very last verse, and there’s this random little blurb about idols. Idols aren’t mentioned anywhere else in that book at all. But there it is. It always stuck out to me, and that’s why I marked it out in the first place, but it took on a new meaning today.

*Disclaimer: I don’t know what John really meant when he wrote that verse. This is what I got from it.*

John talks a lot about Love in this book. Loving like how Jesus Loved the whole world enough to lay down His life for a bunch of pagan heathen scumbags who He knew would willfully disregard Him, mock Him, and generally reject Him. Personally, I find it difficult to be around people who don’t like me very much, much less LOVE them. And yet that is what I, as God’s child, am not asked but COMMANDED to do. I could easily go off on a whole other rant on that but right now I’m talking about idols. The thing about idols is that they are things that we think we love. And we think we love them SO MUCH that they take priority in our lives and in so doing, ruin them. There’s a reason God talked about idols in the 10 commandments. They have a way of sneaking in and taking over everything, and sometimes you don’t even really notice it until it’s a humongous problem in your life. So here’s John, talking all about what Love really is, and he tosses this thing about idols in there. It’s to make sure that you have the RIGHT KIND of Love happening. Jesus-died Love not cookies-are-awesome love.

What’s your love about? What do you Love? Who do you love? Is there something you love that needs to be checked out as a cookies-are-awesome kind of love as opposed to Jesus-died Love?

Fact of Life: This was written terribly. I rambled a lot and started sentences with and. Hopefully you caught was I was saying though, because it had a major impact on my life. If it didn’t, maybe I’ll re-write it sometime so that it makes more sense.

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Spiritual Weed

Ok ok, calm down. (Note: If you’re easily offended by things and you’re not strong enough in your faith to handle this, you might want to just leave now. Because I’m going to step on toes and I’m not going to apologize for it.) That title is weird, I know. But it’s something I’ve been struggling with a lot lately. God has started a fire in me recently that has made me super hungry for His presence. It’s really cool, because prior to that I had been in that limbo phase where you’re not fallen away from God, it’s just… you haven’t felt His presence lately. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. Some of you may be going through that right now. Anyway, I met with God at a prayer meeting before school, a while ago. It was a spiritual high, and I knew God was doing something great in my life. A few weeks ago, I decided to attend a youth group where a bunch of my friends (who are super on fire) are going. That’s where the whole spiritual weed thing came in.

When I walked in, it was like walking into Hollister. It was so dark you couldn’t see your hand in front of your face, and the music was so loud you couldn’t hear your friend yelling right next to you. I tried to keep an open mind. Maybe that’s just how they roll, whatever. The music was good. Then the service started and everyone crowded to the front. That’s cool, down with that. They sang alternative rock songs that happened to be about Jesus, not actual worship songs. And also one Jesus Culture song. The Spirit was not in that place. There was so much hype, it was ridiculous. By the end, there were people on their knees praying in tongues. This was a new experience for me. I’ve never been in a place where people prayed in tongues, and it certainly did not sit right. Paul talks about the gift of tongues in 1 Corinthians, chapters 12-14, and he gives very specific guidelines on how they are to be used.

1 Corinthians 12: 7-11 — But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

1 Corinthians 14:13-14 — Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful.

I believe in the gift of tongues. I believe it’s a gift of the Spirit, absolutely. However, just because you’ve been filled with the Holy Spirit does not mean that you’re immediately going to be speaking in tongues. We have all been given different gifts through the Spirit. Later in that chapter, Paul talks about unity in the Body of Christ. One is no more important than another, and we all depend on one another to function properly.

I’m getting off topic though. What I’m really struggling with is all the hype surrounding this situation. When I was at that youth group, I might as well have been at Lollapallooza or something. Emotions ran high, energy was through the roof, but the source of it was questionable. Were these people really moved by the Spirit, or was it just the loud music and the expectation of being moved? It’s like the last night of camp. Always super emotional, always a come to Jesus thing. And you go, and you get all high on God and what happens after that? You go home, and nothing has changed. You probably haven’t actually grown. You just got high. I’ve struggled for a long time about whether to say this, if it’s right, if it’s too controversial, but I think this is something that really needs to be addressed. Being filled with the Spirit is an awesome thing, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not the same as getting high on God. One involves solid, biblical teaching and worship, the other involves loud music and blinky lights. And hype. Lots and lots of hype.

So here’s something to think about, what does being filled with the Spirit even look like? Is it like going to the gas station, filling up, and then running on fumes by the end of the week? No. And it’s not like being a pothead either. You don’t smoke up on God and ride the high for all it’s worth. It’s a relationship. Good relationships don’t spike and drop, they build up gradually, always growing. If you are saved, you are automatically filled with the Holy Spirit. He never leaves you, it’s not like you can even go and get “filled up” with the Holy Spirit anyway. Where was He before if you had to go get filled up?

John 14: 15-18 — If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans, I will come to you.

There you go. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit, who abides with us forever. You can’t go get filled up with Him because you already are. Or are you? If you need to go get filled, what was in you before?

And one other thing (I know, this is really long). Being high on God is an incredible experience, I’ll give you that. Sometimes, when our spirit is renewed with that fire, it’s easy to look at other people who aren’t as pumped as you and say “Well, obviously there’s something wrong with them. They don’t know Jesus like I do. Why isn’t everyone feeling this?” But here’s the thing: God works in individual people according to His plan for their lives. Just because one may be high on God (in a good way, not a superficial hype way), does not mean that everyone else isn’t experiencing God. He may be doing different things in the lives of others.

Ephesians 4:1-7 — I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to have a walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God, and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Just writing this post was difficult. It’s been sitting here for over a month as I’ve struggled with it. And if I rambled and didn’t make sense, I’m sorry. But I want you to think. What is the point of all this hype? Why do you think you need to go get filled with the Holy Spirit? Is it really a desire for God, or is it the desire for the feeling you get? Don’t write that off. Think about it. Spend a solid 10 minutes on that. Do you really want God? Or do you just like that feeling? At that point, you’re hooked on spiritual weed. Examine your heart. Pray and meditate on this if it’s an issue for you. I’m not up on my high horse at all (no pun intended, sorry), because I’ve struggled with this too. Are you hooked on Jesus or spiritual weed?

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Hype

Verb
1. to stimulate, excite, or agitate (usually followed by up ): She was hyped up at the thought of owning her own car.
2. to create interest in by flamboyant or dramatic methods; promote or publicize showily: a promoter who knows how to hype a prizefight.
3. to intensify (advertising, promotion, or publicity) by ingenious or questionable claims, methods, etc. (usually followed by up).
4. to trick; gull.
Noun

5. exaggerated publicity; hoopla.
6. an ingenious or questionable claim, method, etc., used in advertising, promotion, or publicity to intensify the effect.
7. a swindle, deception, or trick.

Think about this. It’s the world we live in today. Advertising, videos, even church. There’s a whole lot of hype for something that may or may not have a whole lot of substance.

And here’s the part where I step on toes. Take, for example, the Kony 2012 movement. If you don’t know what it is, you’ve clearly been living under a rock for the last two weeks, because I’m pretty sure almost everyone with access to the internet has seen it. If you happen to be the only one left in America who hasn’t seen it yet, though, watch it here before reading any further. No, really, stop what you’re doing and watch it before you read the rest of this. Otherwise you will have no idea what I’m talking about and you’ll think I’m crazy. And if you do watch it and read what I have to say, you might think I’m a jerk. Whatever though, nobody’s forcing you to read this.

It’s thought-provoking, isn’t it? Makes you want to get off your butt and do something. Go get in somebody’s face about social activism. All from a 30 minute Youtube video. You’re excited, passionate, convicted. Kony is a horrible person and must be stopped, right? But let’s think about this. Prior to that video, I’m pretty sure you hadn’t heard the name Kony before, probably didn’t know what the LRA was. And now, here you are, ready to storm the White House in the name of a crisis that you know about just because of one Youtube video. You’re ready to go to that website, buy that action kit, do all that stuff. The only reason I can say this is because that was my exact reaction to the video. Then someone who thought rationally threw the blanket on my fire that I’m about to throw on yours.

Let me just say here, I have nothing against the goal of catching Joseph Kony in the year 2012. It’s a great thing. I hope it happens. However, I don’t think that making a video to stir the pot was necessarily the best way to go about it. Yes, Kony and the LRA are huge problems. Yes, people should be aware of what is happening in the world even if they aren’t living with the problems being presented. But getting a bunch of angry teenagers together, giving them a cause, and singing kum ba yah in a drum circle isn’t getting any terrorists arrested. It’s making a bunch of cookie-cutter teens into angry “social activists” who won’t know what to do when someone asks them what they really believe about something that wasn’t covered in that video. Recently, frontman Jason Russel was taken into custody for a nude rampage in the streets of San Diego. There goes a ton of credibility. The organization has been criticized for spending more of their budget on making videos than helping kids, which, I mean, awareness is good and stuff, but again, angry teenagers are not helping save children. They’re still dying every day while we’re sitting here on our rear ends being all like “oh somebody should really do something about this. It’s horrible what’s happening over there. It’s a disgrace. Blablabla Kony 2012 *incoherent mumbling*”

The whole movement is taking a lot of heat lately. It’s taking heat for being all hype and no substance. It’s taking heat for presenting skewed information. It’s taking heat because the director lost his marbles a little bit. And here’s the part where Jesus, Christianity, and a little bit of common sense come in.

Colossians 2:8 — Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Basically, don’t let someone with a fancy, flashy video tell you what to think. Do your own research, study the scriptures, then decide what you’re going to do about it. It would be dumb to do anything less. I’m not telling you what to think, I’m telling you what I think. I want you to think for yourself.

2 Corinthians 10:3 — For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.

In the video, a dramatic montage is shown of youth gathered at a rally, shouting the following words: “We’ve seen these kids. We’ve heard their cries. This war must end. We will not stop. We will not fear. We will fight war.” Ok for one, I’m pretty sure most of these kids have never stepped off of American soil, much less into the thick of where all this stuff is happening. They have not seen anything yet. And neither have I, I’ll be honest. But it sure sounds cool. It sounds like going off to fight the most noble war there is. But war isn’t clean. There’s mess, there’s stuff that we’re not hearing about. I hope Kony gets caught, I really do. I hope he gets strung up for the world to see. But the people who want to get involved in this need to understand that it’s not as simple as authorizing troops to go in after him. People will die. Kids will die. You can’t get into this thing and keep your hands clean. It’s not a matter of donating a few dollars a month to an organization nobody’s ever heard of. It’s a global thing now. What is that money doing? Making more videos to get people riled up? Whoop de doo. Go ahead, pay for more hype. It’s all just so exciting, I know. Just keep your head on straight, k?

Fact of life: Cats hate being thumped over the head with a bible just as much as people do.

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Merry Christmas :)

Merry Christmas!

Seriously, this is probably my favorite time of the year. There’s so many things that are totally awesome about this time of year. Food, presents, family, friends, food, shopping, food, lights…did I mention food? Oh, and…I don’t know…IT’S JESUS’ BIRTHDAY!!! Ok, so maybe it’s not really His actual birthdate, but it’s when we celebrate it. Anyways, it seems like Jesus’ birthday gets lost with all the other stuff we do during the holiday season.

And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

-Luke 2:7 ESV

Jesus’ birth got lost among other “stuff” at the time as well. Notice, there wasn’t any room for Him at an inn, so He went where there was room. Same thing applies today. Jesus isn’t going to barge in and demand people make room for Him. He’ll just go the the next place, and wait for an open door.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.

-Revelation 3:20 ESV

He’ll come to anyone who hears His voice. He didn’t mind that He had to be born in a dirty stable, in fact He planned it that way. In the same vein, He doesn’t care what your heart looks like prior to opening the door, He just wants to be let in.

Is there room in your inn?

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Ouch.

I have just been slapped in the face. Listen to what Jesus had to say here:

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

John 5:39-40

Jesus was talking to the Pharisees here, telling them that they were complete hypocrites. They were hypocrites because though they looked to the Scriptures, they refused to look to Jesus. I thought to myself, “Goodness gracious, that’s me!” I don’t know about you, but I know that I am far too often guilty of looking for life in the Scriptures, instead of going straight to the source. Jesus was upset at the Pharisees for this very shortcoming. They were so wrapped up in searching the Scriptures and obtaining knowledge that they missed the point completely.

You see, the Pharisees loved the Scripture. In fact, they started out very well as far as that is concerned. They formed as a group of priests and rabbis who were sick of Jews who didn’t follow the Law. They interpreted the Scriptures literally, and in general had very solid doctrine. They opposed the liberal Sadducees, as well as extremist groups on the far right. You might compare their beginnings to the Calvary Chapel movement. I’m taking some liberties there, I know, but the similarities are undeniable. Over time, however, they began to place a higher importance on God’s word than on God Himself. Dangerous decision.

If you look back at the above quote, you’ll see that Jesus doesn’t necessarily have a problem with the Pharisees searching the Scriptures. In fact, he admits that the Scriptures bear witness of Him. His problem is that they think that they have eternal life in the Scriptures. This is a huge problem. Only Jesus is capable of giving eternal life. Yes, he reveals Himself to us through His Word, but the Bible is meant to point us to Jesus. It is a means to an end, not an end in and of itself.

Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.

John 4:13-14

I think that sometimes Christians (especially in the circles I frequent) tend to focus more on the Bible than on Jesus. Don’t get me wrong, the Bible is great. It is God’s living word. The problem is that often we’d rather spend time in the Bible than spend time with Jesus. We have an issue, and instead of going to Jesus we go to the Bible. Do you see the problem here?

Here’s the root issue: the Pharisees didn’t want to see Jesus as who He was. It was too uncomfortable. He even told them that if He were anyone else, they would surely believe His words. Yet because of Who He was, they refused to believe in Him. We have the same issue. It is often more convenient, more comfortable to put our faith in something tangible. We can pick up our Bibles, open them up, see them with our eyes. But that’s not really faith, is it? No, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Look at the countless believers in persecuted nations who have little or no access to the Bible. What do they have faith in? Jesus Christ.

Again, I’m not advocating that we all stop reading our Bibles, I’m just saying that we need to rethink our priorities. Jesus had harsh words for those Pharisees, I pray that we would stop being like them. All too often we worship the Bible instead of worshipping God. Granted, it’s much more comfortable to worship that which is tangible, but God never called us to be comfortable, did He?

I didn’t think so.

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