Archive for the ‘safety’ Category

It’s true in relationships with people and with God, but every time we consider asking a question other than the “hows it going?” or “why did this happen?” questions, we stay firmly in the same place and don’t change the relationship or grow in any significant way. Why are we reluctant to ask people or God the real questions we have? Fear is one of the dominant reasons. The relationship might end or God might remain silent or not come through-then what?

This never seemed to be a problem with the prophets. Take Habakkuk 1:2-4 for example. These were no first grade questions or accusations and Habakkuk had no hesitation expressing his questions with emotion. He wanted answers now! God comes back with a jolting answer in verses 5 & 6. “You’ll be blown away by the incredible plot line I’m working on.” Word on the Street Habakkuk dares to ask another question.

People want to know we are real, authentic, and understand their issues and questions. God wants us to know we are seriously interested in him more than an answer to our questions.He will give us an answer when he knows we can handle it or that it will drive us deeper in our relationship with him.

What are your questions about not hearing God answer your prayers, why your kid won’t see that you really do care about them, why evil seems to win more than good, why people have to experience such injustices personally, why Christians let the culture control them, why a bad habit in our life never goes away, why we can’t seem to get back to doing church as it seems to have been practiced in the early days of Christianity, why we want to always avoid a disagreeable person…?

Don’;t be afraid of asking God your questions. He wants us to know, love, trust and obey him and he will teach us through our challenging questions. Don’t be afraid of asking another person a challenging question, but make sure your motivation is right.

Danger Ahead

Danger Ahead (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Who wouldn’t want to go to Disneyland? think of the fun taking in all of the exhibits, rides and neat experiences not found in the everyday working world. We should be entitled to a break from the daily grind so we take out all of the travel guides and what do we choose? Disneyland type experiences rate near the top.

There are some others that are only found in one brochure. Not too many would buy ads for this travel guide. In  fact some travel agencies refuse to carry this one and if they have to, they rarely mention it or disguise what is in it. The travel agency is often the church that pulls out all the brochures about the trips that we can take that are filled with stuff that feeds our self-interests like: fun, cool, or relaxing.

If the tour guide is Jesus, the information contained in his brochure is quite different. The trip will be exciting for sure but it will include things like: danger, life threatening opportunities, huge risk, opportunities to face your fear and the most meaningful trip you will ever take.

A quote from Jesus might stir your interest or cause you to throw this brochure in the trash. Look at Matthew 5:10 and 11. Words like persecution, being put down by others, people speaking lies about you to discredit Jesus should be included only in the fine print and not headlined-right? Consider the source of these words. But there is someone else who has taken this trip  who is also quoted in this brochure, his name is Paul. His description of the trip might make us swallow hard. We can’t just casually pass off his travel tip as only for a few. Check out 2 Corinthians 11:23-27. This description of the trip is tough to swallow but waiting for the person who does not check with their insurance agency before signing up.

Are you thrilled with the opportunity or paralyzed by the lack of security and comfort that following Jesus might eliminate for you? Jesus challenges us to come and see!

Contrasting Realities

Contrasting Realities (Photo credit: Aaron Dieppa)

Most people in America prefer a life that is safe, comfortable and free from danger. Is there anything wrong with this? That depends on what God has to say on the topic. For instance, as you look at how Jesus did life, it is painfully obvious that he seemed to challenge the status quo and accepted cultural norms every day. Of course those participating in the various “self-centered” clubs of that day not only discouraged others from checking into Jesus but threatened them and Jesus in various ways. They might kick them out of their self-imposed “religious zones” they had created (the only places where God could be worshiped). Or worse they might have them removed from the planet.

To associate with Jesus was to be ready for whatever and it usually was not the picnic in the park by a lake watching swans. But on the other hand, since he had all the authority over life, it was the safest place to be. A want ad in the Nazareth Times might read “wanted: men and women willing to take a journey of a lifetime. Everything provided for an adventure filled with beautiful sights and consistently life-threatening events. Look for Jesus and follow him.”

Philippians 3:10 gives a glimpse of one who answered that ad. Paul said “…I’m up for showing solidarity with him (Jesus) by going through tough times, getting inside his head by facing death…I want the whole lot. I want to know him. Deep. The Word on the Street. And there is 2 Timothy 3:12 which stops many as it clearly points out that to really follow Jesus means you’re in for a lot of trouble. The encouraging word from Jesus himself in Matthew 28:18-20 is that he is with us 24/7.

Danger and safety-ready to respond to the want ad?