New Year's Eve Meditations
From The Speed Of Sound To The Speed Of Smell
The God Breathed Book
How has God spoken to you specifically through His written word? Sometimes it’s reading something that you may have read before, but because of the circumstances of your life, suddenly the words jump off the page and into your heart. You know these words are for you and you alone this moment! You have just experienced a veritable encounter with the Maker of the Sunrise and Sunset- your Creator, who knows you, your thoughts, your concerns, and your needs. You know that He has just reached out and touched you!
Although there are many explanations why the Bible is special, this is the most significant reason- an encounter with the Living God.
When Problems Arise, So Do We!
A Lifestyle of Making Disciples
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matt 28:18-20 NAS
This is a passage of Scripture that is often called the “Great Commission”. It is where missionaries have traditionally gotten their “marching orders” to go to other countries and evangelize unreached people.
I first heard this message at a concert on Maui by a famous Christian singer, who’s latest album was titled “Jesus Commands Us To Go!”. I was so excited afterward that I told my cousin Kean that I was ready to go to any place and tell the people about Jesus.
He looked at me, and with a smile asked me: “How would you like to go to an island in the Pacific where less than five percent of the people attend church on Sunday?”
I responded excitedly: “Let’s go!”.
He calmly said: “You are standing on it!”
No Cheeseburgers At The Jerusalem McDonalds?
The first time we took our family there, I noticed the absence of a cheeseburger on the main menu. I was really disappointed! No Big Mac either! So I ordered a quarter pounder, along with other sandwiches for our family.
Later my son Lukas went to a register on the far end of the counter where he ordered a McFlurry- a thick milkshake. When he got it, he was taken by an armed guard through a glass door to a separate seating area. He was just seven at the time, and really didn’t want to go there, but the security guard insisted that he stay in that area as long as he had his milkshake. We observed all this at a distance. Finally, I went over to retrieve him, and the guard said that he must drink that milkshake in that separate room. Eventually Lukas finished the drink and we left McDonalds.
A few days later I asked Dr. Smith why Lukas had to sit in the separate room to drink his milkshake. He told me it was all about kosher dietary laws. Religious Jews don’t mix meat and dairy. It was because of the way the rabbis interpreted Exodus 23:19 (and Exodus 34:6)
“You shall not boil a young goat in its mother’s milk.”
The rabbis understood that prohibition against boiling a calf in its mother’s milk as God’s commandment to not mix meat and dairy products. Religious Jews never serve meat and dairy products at the same meal. We discovered this at our meals in various hotels. Religious Jews even have two refrigerators and two sets of dishes: one for meats, and the other for dairy.
The Perfect Footwear
ANOTHER VIEW OF THE BEATITUDES
Understanding these characteristics of disciples in the context of the original language gives us a more realistic view of our own experience with God, as He opens our eyes to our own process of having God’s character become our character.
Let’s face it: This does describe the man and woman who has taken a realistic look at themselves and seen Jesus for who He is.