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Showing posts from March, 2017

The Christ who is not Safe -- Matthew 8:23-34

There has always been a tendency among religious people, including Christians, to emphasize technique in order to achieve a certain spiritual end.It might involve technique in order to achieve a better prayer life, better meditation, more peace and serenity, a more productive quiet time or Bible study, or any number of things.Each of these things are worthy goals and technique is not necessarily bad.But they are not ultimate goals.A better prayer life is meaningless unless it brings you before God.It doesn’t really matter how much or how long or how eloquent your prayer life is – or even how personally satisfying – if it doesn’t bring you personally before the living God.There are plenty of people who have developed techniques to achieve a more peaceful spirit, but they may know little about the true God.You see, the danger is to take a technique and replace God with the technique.You can have a very robust spiritual life without God, and the danger is to miss that because the techniq…

The Cost of Discipleship: Matthew 8:18-22

Last time, we noted that people have often used Matthew 8:17 as a justification for expecting God to make our life in the here and now comfortable.  And we tried to show that Matthew’s reference to Isaiah 53 was not meant to imply that every Christian can expect immediate physical healing as long as they have enough faith.  It is true that our Lord’s coming into the world gave us a preview of his second coming when he will do away with all sickness and pain and crying.  But as we live in the time between the first and second comings of our Lord, we can expect to endure sickness, pain, and suffering.  Our Lord himself said to his disciples just before he was crucified: “In the world ye shall have tribulation” (Jn. 16:33).
I also almost included this text in last Sunday’s message because our Lord’s words about discipleship in these verses provide a stark contrast with the health-wealth-prosperity gospel that many in our day preach.  How could someone promise in Christ’s name better healt…