July 10 - 15
Monday, July 10 – “Therefore once more I will astound these people with wonder upon wonder; the wisdom of the wise will perish, the intelligence of the intelligent will vanish.” (Isaiah 29:14) Do you know what it’s like to be a big fish in a little pond? Conversely, do you know what it’s like to be a little fish in a big pond? My guess is that you know about both of these realities. Both have upsides as well as downsides. Being a big fish in a little pond builds confidence and affords status. But it also tends to inflate the ego. While being a little fish in a big pond removes any personal pressure to be all and know all. But it also tends to knock you down a peg or two. Regardless of what size pond you find yourself living in, just be you. For all ponds will vanish. But who God has created you to be will never vanish.
Tuesday, July 11 – “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.” (1 Corinthians 1:27) The upside-down way of God. It’s in the claiming of your weakness, that you are made strong. And it’s in the claiming of your foolishness, that you are made wise. You never look for something until you realize you need it. Thus, you never find something, until you realize you need it. The realizing is the true wisdom and strength. For only when you realize that you are without, will you ever seek. The goal in this life isn’t the possession of wisdom and strength. The goal in this life is the seeking of wisdom and strength.
Wednesday, July 12 – “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.’” (Matthew 28:18) Many have asked, “Why Jesus?” This verse is the answer. Do you want access to “All authority in heaven and on earth”? Jesus is the only way. Many before Jesus and many after Jesus have come, in the name of God. But only Jesus came with “All authority in heaven and on earth”. If you want to go to a concert, you have to buy a ticket. Yes, you can belly-ache about the price of the ticket. But, in the end, the price is the price and if you want to go you have to pay. It’s the same with Jesus. You can belly-ache that it’s not fair that Jesus is the way. But, in the end, the price is the price and if you want to go you have to pay.
Thursday, July 13 – “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” (Matthew 23:4) We humans tend to build walls as opposed to bridges. We humans tend to create hierarchy to delineate the haves and the have-nots. Deep down we long for a membership has its privileges reality. We desire to create separation. We desire to build in benefits for ourselves. We want to be on the inside, looking out. As opposed to on the outside, looking in. This is nothing new. Adam and Eve dealt with it. Jesus dealt with it. And now you must deal with it. You know how Adam and Eve dealt with it. And you know how Jesus dealt with it. Now the choice is yours. How will you deal with it?
Friday, July 14 – “Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?” (Acts 15:10) Isn’t that just like us humans? We put expectations on others that we have never been able to attain ourselves. We then call these expectations requirements for membership. You are saved by grace through faith in Jesus. Why? Because it’s impossible for any human to be saved by good works or merit. None of us are good enough. If you accept this truth in your own life; why then do you turn around and expect others to be good enough?
Saturday, July 15 – “Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” (Mathew 11:6) Jesus shared these words in response to John the Baptist, who asked if Jesus was the one to come. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, not because of what he has done, but because of who he is. You can get so caught up in the historical Jesus, that you lose sight of the spiritual Jesus. You can get so caught up in the son of a teenage virgin, that you miss the son of God. John baptized Jesus. John was Jesus’ cousin. Yet, John doubted. Not because he didn’t have enough faith. John doubted because he got caught up in the historical Jesus. The flesh and blood Jesus. A prophet is never honored in their hometown. Because the people stumble on account of their doubt.