I’ve been wanting to write on this for a few weeks now- but the opportunity never arose.
Yesterday me and my wife were driving to church- and I noticed they put up a new sign on the front.
We attend the only ‘mega church’ in the area- and they do all the things that mega churches do.
So- this sign is like the big marquis things you see while driving down the highway- I mean its big.
As we were right by the sign- ready to turn into the parking lot- I said ‘hey look- Bethany’s face is on the sign’.
Bethany is my oldest daughter- she’s a school teacher- and she helps out a lot at the church.
So- my wife looked- and was shocked- she thought I meant that Bethany girl [Soul Surfer] who lost her leg in a surfing accident.
That Bethany was at the church a few weeks ago- telling her story.
But no- the one on the sign was our daughter.
What’s it to ya?
Many years ago when I first started writing little books and stuff- I told one of my kids that I put a story about the cat in a book.
Wow- OUR cats are gonna be famous!
The other day when I got my new camera phone- I started asking all the street guys to pose for pics- so I could put them on the web site.
Hey- were gonna be famous!
Yeah- it’s in our nature- I mean we want it- deep down inside- to be the top dog.
A few posts back I posted about this thing popping up in the minds of the disciples [post was called GREAT].
Jesus quickly rebuked the idea.
I was going thru the book of Acts the other day- and in chapter 9 we read the ‘famous’ account of the conversion of the apostle Paul.
Paul is on the original Damascus road and he’s blinded ‘by the light’ and after 3 days God sends a disciple named Ananias to restore his sight and baptize him.
Jesus tells Ananias ‘I will show Paul the things HE MUST SUFFER for my names sake’.
If we use the criteria of the modern preaching of our day- we might say to Jesus [or Ananias].
‘Don’t listen to negative confessions- Jesus talking this way will bring you down’.
‘If you hang out too much with people who talk like this- you know- suffering stuff- then it will affect you’.
Yet- Jesus was simply telling the truth- that in order to be a true disciple- you must bear your cross.
This wasn’t a ‘negative confession’ or some type of thing that was denying our ‘covenant rights’.
It was simply teaching- from JESUS- about the cost of discipleship- nothing more- or less.
I have spent many years reading/learning from many different camps.
And verses like this- or the one in chapter 7 where Stephen is martyred for the faith.
These verses didn’t seem to fit in with the modern message of success.
I mean we view success as not suffering- or not being killed for the faith!
Yet- success in the kingdom is different than the world.
If we want to find our lives- we must lose them.
If we want to be first [fame] we must be last- the servant of all.
These are the things that Jesus taught.
I even remember how some of the teachers would do their best to say that the suffering Jesus spoke about was not ‘real’ suffering.
Some said it was the affliction you go thru when you become rich- and then when the other Christians [like me] teach different- then you ‘suffer’ because you are rich- and people talk about you.
What about Stephen?
It doesn’t seem like that would fit his case- I mean the guy was killed for Christ.
Some taught that Stephen DID NOT HAVE TO DIE.
If he chose to believe- and have faith- he would have been delivered- but it was his choice- or lack of faith that brought him to martyrdom
I could go on- but why?
Yeah- I was glad to see my daughters face on the big screen- and it’s okay that she was on it.
But the faith is not about fame.
When Jesus said ‘let your light shine before men’.
He was not talking about talents- singing- preaching- etc.
If you finish the verse he said ‘so they may see your GOOD WORKS and glorify your Father in heaven’.
Once again- the good works of charity- giving to the poor- laying your rights down for the benefit of others.
That’s ‘the light’.
Note- Do me a favor, those who read/like the posts- re-post them on other sites as well as the site you read them on. Thanks- John. Don’t forget to scroll down on the timeline [Facebook] - I have posted lots.