I got a text from my friend Scott yesterday. He said that CNN was asking viewers on the show if Jesus would occupy Wall Street.
You can see the ‘news’ story here-http://dailycaller.com/2011/10/26/cnn-asks-would-jesus-occupy-wall-street/
It is an interesting question, and possibly one that needs to be addressed, but here is where I am coming at this thing this morning- when did the Jesus stamp of approval become the litmus test of whether or not something has value? I know, it was back in the WWJD days. Back when someone made a rubber bracelet and shoved it on any kid that even stood next to a youth group door. It was supposed to be a way to gauge our moral compass I guess. A way to simply understand any question that an individual may have in regards to their life situation.
Just ask, What Would Jesus Do?
There seems to be some holes in the WWJD camp. For example- Jesus hung out with a bunch of Fishermen, but he never fished. One of his disciples was a physician, but he did not practice medicine. Paul of Tarsus who brought the Gospel to the gentiles made tents, but Jesus was the son of a carpenter. The Bible never says that Jesus made anything out of wood, but many have assumed that since his father was a carpenter, then Jesus was also.
So can one assume from the Bible that asking would Jesus occupy Wall Street that he wouldn’t because he would be too busy at his job? Is that the answer? Are they asking about the post-Cana Jesus who spent most of his time walking around preaching and healing? Or are the asking about the Pre-Cana Jesus who was making benches?
Here’s my take- even when Jesus arrived, people wanted him to be to them what they wanted Him to be not who he was. At that time they were asking Jesus “Deliver us from Rome, be our King!”. When they found out he wasn’t going to do that for them, they crucified Him.
Jesus never was or will he ever be on any side of a political movement. He never held an office. He never organized a march. He never told people to protest. The call of Jesus was call to personal repentance from Sin and a charge to go and make disciples. It was to draw us closer to the Father, not to encourage us to rally and vote. Sure, there were things that Jesus talked about that influence our moral decision making, but using WWJD as a catch all to make life an easier decision is simplistic and illogical.
Jesus never rode a rollercoaster. Jesus never drove a car. Jesus didn’t have any products from Apple. Jesus never ate hot wings.
Would Jesus occupy Wall Street is not the question. The question is, will you let Jesus occupy your heart? That is what he is more concerned with. Not who has what and who is doing what. He is most concerned with you and where you are at, and if you are letting him occupy your heart. Do not ask if Jesus would occupy Wall Street. Ask if Jesus is occupying your heart.
Occupy My Heart Jesus!!
A Life Lesson From Stacking Wood
The gravy train has been shut down at our house lately. The wife and I have decided over the last few months to stop buying our kids anything that they don’t wear or ingest. Basically, now that our kids are getting older, their wants are getting more expensive, and its also a good time for them to start learning some life lessons.
Its not an easy transition, because our kids are used to eventually wearing us down to the point where we give in to their requests. Its not huge stuff. Its 20 dollars here, 20 dollars there, but it all adds up. They have been doing chores for money for the past year or so, but there has been this ‘slush fund’ mentality that they have built that they someone how work me over to get something extra in the cart whenever we go out shopping
Its done. Those little trouts are going to learn some life lessons no matter how much it hurts them (or me).
There is a video game my son wants to purchase that comes out in November. He started asking about it a few months ago and I told him I wouldn’t buy it for him, but maybe (big maybe) he would get it for Christmas. You would have been amazed to see his little mind making the change over a matter of minutes- he finally realized that if there was something superfluous that he was desiring, he was going to have to make some money on his own to make it happen.
Immediately he asked if I knew any ways for him to make some money.
So yesterday he went to stack some wood at a friend of mines house. I had to drive him, and sit there for 2 hours while he did it, but that guy worked for 2 hours stacking wood. I was really proud of him. He didn’t complain. He dug in and did some good hard work. He is learning a lot of different life lessons from this experience, but this is the one that I am most excited about- if my son wants something to change in his life, he is going to have to do something about it.
Did you catch that? If you want your life to change you are going to have to do something about it.
I know, I’m sure some of you are already thinking, aren’t you a pastor? Aren’t you supposed to speak words of faith and trust in God? Yes, of course I am. That is what I do- but even the act of Faith is an ACTION. Its requires that we have to get involved in the equation. Even when we begin to trust God it is an action. Its a process that we are involved in that requires some involvement on our part. No, its not entirely up to us, but there is this sense of cosmic interdependence between us and God that exists, but we must move. We must act. We must take part. We cannot sit on the sidelines and merely wait for everything in our life to somehow unfold.
You have to get out of bed in the morning.
You have to get dressed.
You have to stack some wood.
All that from stacking wood? Yes. Like I said, I sat there for 2 hours watching that kid stack.
Is there an action that you need to be taking? A process that you need to get involved in that you have been sitting around waiting to happen? Get involved in the process. Yes, pray and believe and ask of God, but realize that no matter what, at some point, you are going to have to get involved at some level in the process.
Sitting around doing nothing never produced anything. Unless you think nothing is something, then in that case you got something, even though I think its nothing.
Have you ever done something that you wish you hadn’t done? I am sure that this guy in this article wishes that he wouldn’t have taken the bet against his friends on whether or not he could fit into a child’s playground swing. He got in there, got stuck, and then his ‘friends’ left him there for 9 hours to hang in the air! I guess he got back all that time as a kid when he asked his parents if he could stay on the swing for ‘one more minute’. He got 9 more hours in fact!
You can read the article here- http://www.timesheraldonline.com/ci_19176380
We have all done stuff that we wish that we had not. I think the difference is that usually what we did does not show up on a news story!
I was reflecting on that article this morning, and I was thinking- what would compel a grown man to try to shove himself into an apparatus that was obviously only meant for a child? The article does not say how large the man was, but I don’t think that I could have fit in there, that is for sure. But even if I could, what would be the point?
I’m guessing it was to get a laugh.
Ha ha buddy. Ha ha. Its not that funny for him 9 hours later I’m sure. Maybe he shouldn’t have tried to be a kid again. Perhaps he has grown up to the point where doing childish things aren’t as fun as they used to be.
But here’s what I was thinking this morning as I was reading this article- often times we do childish things when it comes to our own lives. It may not be soaping up and getting into a swing, but maybe its something different. The way we talk to someone, the way we respond to someone, the attitude we have in a situation. Something childish that comes through in our daily life.
These two verses came to my mind- Matt 18:3 “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. and 1 Corinthians 13:11 “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man I put the ways of my childhood behind me”.
Two different views. How do we reconcile them? I think we should always have child like faith when it comes to the things of God, but I think in our actions and our demeanor we should move past our childish ways. The things we did as children we need to move past, but the faith we had as children should not change.
What is the message today? Have child like faith, but don’t act like a child when you are an adult. I am sure that you won’t be getting into any playground swing sets anytime soon but I think you can get the point this morning- there is a point when you have to grow up, and if you don’t you may find yourself in a situation that you may not like, simply because you made a childish decision.
Stay a child, but grow up.
Have you been watching or reading the news? There are some protests that are going on in the United States right now. I’m not exactly sure what they protests are about, but from what I can tell, it has something to do with money. There are large groups of people that are protesting against other people that have money, and asking them to give their money away.
They are saying that 1% controls all the money and the other 99% don’t have it, so they want it. At least that’s what I seem to get out of that whole thing. I’m not exactly sure what they are expecting. Should the billionaires walk out into the street and give cash away, then the people will go home? Then what?
I am sure that some people that will read this blog today will challenge my commentary and declare on moral grounds, that the protesters are right, and that for me to stand up for the rich, I am a conservative right wing whacko.
Save it. I’m not standing up for either of them.
Take either side of this ‘argument’ and you can declare that there is stream of greed. One side has it, the other wants it. Wikipedia defines greed as “an excessive desire to possess wealth, goods, or abstract things of value with the intention to keep it for one’s self.”
That sounds to me like the definition fits for the nameless people who are sitting there counting their billions, and the people who are standing outside holding a sign. The intention is to keep it for themselves = greed.
In the book of Proverbs, I found this verse- Proverbs 28:25 A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper.
That is my take on this whole thing. I can appreciate that are times that protesting can influence cultural change, and that it has produced results in the past, but when it comes to money, you can say whatever you want- it always comes down to greed.
We are not to trust anyone else but God for our provision. Sure, have a job, get a job, work, but realize that the only way to prosper in this world is to continually trust in God.
Are you a person who is greedy? Do you complain about what you do not have? Learn to trust God with your provision. Do not waste your time worrying about what someone else has or someone trying to take what you have.
Spend more time trusting God and praying for His provision. You will have less dissension and more prosperity.
My first computer I ever bought was a Mac Plus. I got it in 1993 to take to college with me. I loved that computer. It was so simple to use, I had a whopping 4 megabytes (not gigabytes) of RAM and 125 megabyte external hard drive- which people balked at and asked me- “what are you going to do with all that space”?
The Mac Plus is gone. As of yesterday- so is its inventor.
People in my generation grew up on Apple computers. We had them at our schools as kids and played “Oregon Trail” and carried around 5 and half inch floppy disks in our folders. I learned my first things about computers on an apple. I do not own an apple product at this time- but I have a respect for what Apple did, and what they produced. That company did some amazing things.
What I think was the most amazing thing about Apple is that they created a culture around a product. People who love Apple love Apple and are relentless in its defense. Who would have thought that just by making earphones white instead of the standard black, that you could influence people to buy a product that is 3 times more expensive than the non-apple product.
Apple did. They created a cult following, and its pretty amazing. All from Steve Jobs garage. Wow.
Makes me think- we all have an ability to make an impact on the world. Sure, more than likely not a world-renown company that changes the culture of the face of the earth- but we all have some ability to make an impact.
I was thinking about that yesterday when I was at a funeral- everyone dies and everyone leaves some sort of legacy- the question is- what kind?
Every single day you have an opportunity to impact the world around you. You have the chance to love on people and encourage them. You can make a difference in peoples lives simply by being a friend to them. You don’t have to invent a million dollar product to leave a mark. Make a difference in one persons life and you leave a mark.
Be encouraged with that today. Make a decision to leave a mark on this world through relationships. Love people relentlessly and you’ll leave an impact that really matters to the world. Just because everyone in the world doesn’t know you doesn’t mean you don’t matter.
You matter. Love people and leave a legacy.