Category Archives: Other

The Empty Tomb and the Urgent Mission

 

He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said.
-Matthew 28:6 NASB

Today is the day we celebrate the fact that these words could be truly spoken some two thousand years ago. The tomb was and is empty and the Son of God is risen just as He said. This is reason to celebrate!

But in all the celebration, I fear that we sometimes forget the responsibility that comes with our belief in a resurrected Saviour. I don’t think it’s any coincidence that only a few lines later Matthew writes, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, some of the most widely known verses in all the New Testament:

And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
-Matthew 28:18-20 ESV

Our confidence in the resurrection of Christ should bring about a response of utter devotion to the mission of Christ. If he is risen “just as He said” then He will build His Church just as He said (Matthew 16:18). The question we must ask ourselves is, “Are we in?” If this story is true, how can we neglect our commission in order to bask in our comforts? In light of the truth that the vast majority of the world is headed to an eternity apart from the joy of the presence of the resurrected Christ, how can we separate the Easter celebration from a passion for the nations?

I’m in the process of reading Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret. Hudson Taylor was a missionary to China in the latter half of the 19th century. In this interaction, Taylor is speaking with a Chinese man who had recently been converted to Christ under his ministry:

He (the convert) it was who, talking with his missionary friend (Taylor), unexpectedly raised the question: “How long have you had the Glad Tidings (Good News) in your country?”

 “Some hundreds of years,” was the reluctant reply.

 “What! Hundreds of years? My father sought the Truth,” he continued sadly, “and died without finding it. Oh, why did you not come sooner?” (71)

“Oh, why did you not come sooner?” What heartbreaking words. I pray that as we read them we would feel that familiar lump in our throat and that burning in our eyes that reminds us of the urgency of the mission that has been graciously given to us.

This Easter, may the truth of the empty tomb drive us toward the urgent mission of proclaiming to all that He is risen and let us do it for the sake of His name among all the nations.

 

Where This Blog Is Headed

I thought about shutting this whole thing down.

I never write anything for here. I write elsewhere but never here. The truth is, I hardly write anything unless it’s assigned to me. I can’t tell you how much that saddens me. There was a time (I’ve mentioned this before) that I loved to write. I believe I still do but it certainly doesn’t feel that way at the moment. Nevertheless, there is a lot of writing in my future even if it only involves the writing I do for the Seminary. Although it may not feel as though I like to write at the moment, I do know that I like to do well in my classes. If I’m going to do well, I need to be a better writer. The best way to be a better writer? Write.

So I will.

I’m not exactly sure how that will play out here. I do know that I plan to go back and read my past blogs and delete at least a few. After that, we’ll see.

Here we go!

Some Good Friday Thoughts

 

Just a few thoughts I had throughout the day.


There’s a reason it’s called Good Friday.

The good King laid down the only good life that had ever been lived so that those who could never be good on their own could be found good in Him.

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. – 2 Corinthians 5:21


God isn’t good because Good Friday happened.

Good Friday happened because God is good!

Good God = Good Friday.


If the darkness of this night only puts an exclamation point on the end of what feels like another hopeless day for you, I pray that you would remember that so many years ago at this time of day all hope seemed lost. The Son of God lay dead in a tomb. There he would remain for some time but that couldn’t be how the story ends because this story never ends. Life was coming. Sunday was on the way. I can tell you in full confidence that if you trust in the same Jesus Who died on Friday and lived on Sunday that though today may be your Friday, your Sunday is on the way!

 

The Road

Sometimes life leads you to a choice. The poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost comes to mind. Those famous few lines everyone seems to remember:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I–

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

I stood there at the proverbial fork in the road for a long time. Toying with which path to take. Counting the cost of each. And then, after all my contemplation and with seemingly little more assuredness than the day I first came to the fork, I chose.

I wondered, “Did I make the right choice?”

I had left so much behind at that fork in the road and it seemed the farther I walked down this new road the more I cast all things familiar to the side. Often I missed these things.

Again, “Did I make the right choice?”

I looked back and saw friends who were still there trying to decide or had taken a the other road. People I loved. Holding on to the things I once loved but had now let go.

“Did I make the right choice?”

The farther down the road I walked, the more I realized how solid it was. It is a good road. Farther still and I realized the things I had missed were more than replaced by things I would never have to give up. Wonderful things. Eternal things.

“Yes.”

With each step my love for the road and the things it offered grew as my love for things of the past dwindled. Yet, my love for the people at the fork and on the other road did not dwindle. It grew. There was an aching desire for them to also take this road.

“It’s the right choice.”

I realize now that I didn’t really choose the road. The Road chose me.

He chose to give us birth through the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created. – James 1:18

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. – Matthew 7:13-14



Two Different Days

There is absolutely no feeling like the one at the end of a day like today.

There are so many of my days where it seems I look back and feel like I messed up so many things. Those days I don’t like to think much about what I’d say to God when I handed the day He gave me back to Him. The words “I’m sorry” seem to be all I can muster some days. Those days I’m thankful for His mercy and grace because it means I don’t have to be good enough to please Him.

Then there are days like today. Today was a good day. At the end of today I was happy to hand my day back to God. It’s similar to how it feels when you’ve found that perfect gift for someone and you just can’t wait to give it to them. I feel like when I hand those days to God I can say, “I did everything I knew to do for You with this.” Those days I’m thankful for His mercy and grace because I know I’m not good enough to have a day like that without Him.

His grace is enough. For our good days and our bad days.


Sometimes…


Sometimes I feel overwhelmed.

Sometime I feel discouraged.

Sometimes I feel tired.

Sometimes I feel unappreciated.

Sometimes I feel like giving up.

Then I remember…

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.” -Hebrews 4:15

He’s worth it.


Mutterers Welcome

I started the Life Journal Reading Plan through YouVersion on my iPod Touch this year. It’s one of those “read the Bible in a year” type of things. What I like about it is that you get a mixture of Old and New Testaments every day.

While reading through Luke the other day I noticed something in Luke 15:1-2.

Now the tax collectors and “sinners” were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Jesus was being muttered about because of the company that He kept. They weren’t the “right” kind of people. They were “sinners”. All I can say to that is thank God that Jesus keeps the company of sinners. I definitely fit into that category. We can all be thankful that what the religious leaders said was true. That Jesus “welcomes sinners and eats with them.”

Here’s the thing though. Ephesians 5:1-2 reads,

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

I’m supposed to imitate God’s love through Jesus. That implies that I should also welcome sinners and eat with them. Plainly put, I should have friends who don’t believe in Jesus. That makes me (and I’m guessing most Christians) uncomfortable. We like to get in our “holy huddle” with other Christians and stay there. We would rather risk someone going to hell than risk someone muttering about us.

Two questions came to mind when I read Luke 15:1-2:

Are people muttering about me?

Am I keeping the company I should be keeping if they aren’t?

What do you think?