Monthly Archives: May 2016

Making Our Name Great

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“Let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth”.

We might be tempted to conclude from this study that cities are inherently bad, but this is not so. God gave Israel their capital city of Jerusalem, and the ultimate abode of God’s people is God’s holy city coming down from heaven (Rev. 21:2). The concept of “city” is not evil, but the pride that we may come to attach to cities is what displeases God (Gen. 19:12-14). We sin when we look to civic triumph and culture, in place of God, as our source of meaning and direction. Bruce Waltke concludes his analysis of Genesis 11 in these words:

Society apart from God is totally unstable. On the one hand, people earnestly seek existential meaning and security in their collective unity. On the other hand, they have an insatiable appetite to consume what others possess….At the heart of the city of man is love for self and hatred for God. The city reveals that the human spirit will not stop at anything short of usurping God’s throne in heaven.

Of course we are blind to this because it is happening all around us. In this day and age for thousands of years. We are still seeking significance and fame apart from God. We disguised it in our quest to honor and worship God through our “offerings”. But He just wants our obedience; nothing that we offer to Him by our own strength can even hold up.

The insidious nature of this is so subtle that we tend to miss. That’s the great work of the devil. It is never the fights on moralistic grounds that he is interested to engage. He willingly allows us to be distracted by it.

How do I counter this? By living with gratefulness. To be blameless when mocked by those whom I’m tempted to please. To allow God’s non-order (the Flood) to overcome my disorder.

And then new creation begins again. As He breathes the Spirit into me.

 

 

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Live a Questionable Life

 

“There’s an old communication theory that goes: When predictability is high, impact is low. In other words, when the audience thinks they know what you’re going to say, and you go ahead and say it, your words makes very little impact. On the other hand, when an audience is surprised or intrigued, they will think long and hard about what they’ve heard.

The same goes for Christian outreach. Remember that one of the primary acts of the evangelistic believer is the arousal of curiosity among unbelievers leading to questions and faith sharing. Acts of philanthropy and hospitality by Christians today are not unheard of, but neither are they unexpected. If we hear a Christian businessman donated money to a cause, or that a church has opened a feeding program or a hospice, we aren’t intrigued. It is expected. I’m not suggesting Christian philanthropy shouldn’t continue as an expression of the grace offered to us in Christ, but it doesn’t evoke questions the way it might have in the fourth century. Neither does living a fine upstanding middle-class lifestyle in the suburbs. Again, I’m not saying we shouldn’t live our lives this way, but if we’re trying to live questionable lives, then cutting the lawn, saying hi to the neighbors, washing our car, walking the dog and driving to the office every day is hardly an intriguing lifestyle.”

Frost’s challenge leaves no room of me to be comfortable. I’m forced to confront the demons of mediocrity (as far as understanding how Christ’s message compels us to live) that has been released by the systems of this world.

This can only be subverted by missional habits cultivated daily to guide me on how to think, feel or act.

This week let me start with Bless.

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