Monday, August 31, 2009

It's All About Me

Mark 1:41-45 "Moved with pity, he stretched out his hand and touched him and said to him, "I will; be clean."  And immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean.  And Jesus sternly charged him and sent him away at once, and said to him, "See that you say nothing to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them."  But he went out and began to talk freely about it, and to spread the news, so that Jesus could no longer openly enter a town, but was out in desolate places, and people were coming to him from every quarter."

This amazes me.  A man is healed and Jesus tells him not to tell anyone.  This doesn't mesh with what "I think" would be the right move.  I mean Jesus could get major brownie points for heling this man.  People would see his power and know he's God!  But...alas...Jesus is much more wise than I am .... Jesus knows what is in a man.  Jesus wanted the man to be silent so that God the Father would receive the glory due Him, v. 44"...See that you say nothing to anyone, BUT go show yourself to the priest and offer for your cleansing what Moses commanded, for a proof to them."  Jesus wanted God the Father to receive the glory and not himself.  He also, knowing the heart of man, knew the self-centeredness of man.   Verse 46 tells us "Jesus could no longer openly enter a town..." now again, that just doesn't make sense to me! if this man went and told others about Jesus healing him wouldn't this be good publicity for Jesus and the gospel campaign?  

The ESV study bible explains why it wasn't...

"The joy of the healed man overrides Jesus' injunction to silence and therefore Jesus could no longer enter a town, lest he be mobbed.  So Jesus cannot stay hidden. Mark often emphasizes how the crowds' excessive attention to Jesus' miracles is a frequent problem, causing the crowds to miss the true purpose of his ministry (i.e., to proclaim the good news of the kingdom."

We are often like the man healed of leprosy.  In our excitement we go and tell others of what God is doing in our lives (a great thing to do!) however, sometimes,  along the way our proclamation of God's work in our lives becomes more about us getting attention then God receiving glory. Ouch...

Jesus told the man not to tell anyone b/c he knows the heart of a man.  Our hearts want what Jesus can do for us more then him.  The large crowds were a hinderance to Christ because they were seeking him for His miracles rather then for He was ... the Messiah, Immanuel, the Christ, our Savior.

May our lives be less about what we can get from Jesus and more about Jesus. 

Thursday, August 27, 2009

When I can't get no satisfaction

The first thing that comes to mind when I hear the Rolling Stones is always my dad.  Back in the day he used to be the lead singer of his college band, "Whoopie," which used to cover stones songs.  The second thing that comes to mind when I think of the Rolling Stones is the song "I Can't Get No Satisfaction."

Now, I know there's more to this song then this one single line, however, this line holds a lot of truth for us all.  We may not be singing this Stones hit as the theme song of our days but we certainly live our lives as if we can't get no satisfaction.  I am convinced the reason we are left unsatisfied is because we are deceived about what it really means to be satisfied to begin with AND we are looking in all the wrong places.

Psalm 107:9 says, "For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things."  

Jesus is the answer to our satisfaction. What? I can already hear so many saying this now and I'm not talking about those who don't "know Jesus personally" I am talking about the very children of God!  We, followers of Jesus, are some of the key contributers to the I can't get no satisfaction mentality!  We fall into "I'll have Jesus my way" Burger King like Christianity.  We live like we are running the race marked out for us through a drive-thru! "Excuse me... I know the bible says Jesus satisfies but can I please add a side of short-term conditional love, a size 0 pair of jeans and more money for my wardrobe?"

God says that he satisfies the longing soul.  The longing soul knows that it needs more than the things of this world to be fulfilled.  The longing soul is desperate.  The longing soul has tasted the bland manna and longed for the sweetness of honey and milk from the promised land.  The longing soul wants an unfailing love that won't disappoint.  The longing soul begins to see that it's not about putting forth effort to achieve satisfaction in the things of this world, it's about laying down our efforts to experience the One who does satisfy us in every way.  

The answer: "...He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things."

God doesn't just satisfy the soul....He satisfies the soul with what is good.  He satisfies the soul with what lasts...himself.