The Look

It amazes me that people are able to communicate with each other just by having a certain look on their face. A mother can give her child a certain look and the child knows they are in trouble. A young man, trying to win the heart of a young lady, can tell by the look on hrt face whether his efforts are welcomed. 

When Jesus Christ walked this earth, He conveyed a range of emotions by the way He looked at people. 

  • Matthew 9:36 “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them…”
  • Mark 8:33 “Jesus turned around. He looked at His followers and spoke sharp words to Peter…”
  • Mark 10:21  “Jesus looked at him with love…”

But the most notable look that Jesus gave anyone was when He looked at Peter after Peter betrayed Him. Luke 22:61  “Just then, the Master turned and looked at Peter. Peter remembered what the Master had said to him: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” He went out and cried and cried and cried.”

But Luke fails to describe what that look conveyed. Anger? Sadness? Disappointment? Compassion? Though no one can say for sure, I am inclined to believe it was a look of compassion. 

The Power of “But”

The Bible is an amazing book; it contains adventure, romance, poetry, wisdom and a host of other topics. Often the Bible describes a situation that people were facing and you just know how it is going to turn out. All the facts considered there is no other option how this will end.

Unless you consider the Power of the “but.” In Acts 12, Peter has been arrested, placed in prison and guarded by four squads of soldiers; no bail, no escape plan, no lawyer. Peter will be placed on trial but Herod has already decided Peter will die. Acts 12:-34

I love how God intervened, verse 5 “So Peter was kept in prison, BUT the church was earnestly praying to God for him.” [emphasis added] FACT: Peter was kept in prison. No one, including the praying church and Peter, thought he would be ‘rescued.’ Everyone forgot that God is not constrained by the facts. That is why it is called a miracle!

All through the Bible we see the power of the “but.”

  • Everyone expected Goliath to kill David…but God
  • Jericho expected their walls to protect them…but God
  • Paul was bitten by a poisonous snake, everyone expected him to die…but God 
  • Pilate, the Jews, the disciples didn’t expect Jesus to be resurrected…but God

No matter how bleak or impossible your situation do not forget the “Power of the But.” 

Gender Neutral?

transgender-bathrooms

There is no question that we live in a mixed-up, confused world. When people share their views and values that are not “politically correct”; they are labeleld as bring intolerate or racist or out of touch with today’s world.

This may sound over simplistic but if you look back on our culture, when America turned her back on Judeo-Christian morality; our society began to unravel. God made it simple; He created us male and female. There was no confusion on which gender you were. But when God is removed from almost facet of our society, there is no place to anchor our morality. Everyone sets their own standard of of right and wrong. 

The Prophet Isaiah said, “It is bad for those who call what is sinful good, and good sinful, who say dark is light and light is dark, who make bitter sweet and sweet bitter.” Isaiah 5:20

When people reject their gender; they are actually rejecting the God that created them. God did not make a mistake when He created you. You are exactly who you are supposed to be!

“Holy” Matrimony

“The sons of Amram: Aaron and Moses. Aaron was set apart, he and his descendants forever, to consecrate the most holy things, to offer sacrifices before the Lord, to minister before him and to pronounce blessings in his name forever.” 1 Chronicles 23:13

It is Saturday and you’re going to paint the bedroom. You choose your oldest pair of shorts, most faded T-shirt, and rattiest sneakers and dedicate them to painting; you set them apart forever. They will never be nice clothes again. In biblical terms, you have made those clothes holy.

That’s what the biblical word “holy” means; to set  something apart for a special purpose. The items in the tabernacle and temple to serve the Lord would never again be used for common tasks. And the same is true for “holy matrimony.” When we commit ourselves to our spouse, we set ourselves apart for that person. We don’t live with one foot in marriage and one foot out. We are set aside as holy unto God and our spouse.

Amazing

I have never doubted that God knows everything. I have said many times in my sermons, “God is never surprised. He is never caught “off-guard.” In Matthew 12:25 and Luke 11:17 I read that Jesus “knew their thoughts” which I have no problem accepting.

But then I read Matthew 8:10 “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed...” Now that started me thinking; if Jesus is God (And He is) and if He knows what people are going to say before they say it (And He does Psalm 139:4), surely He should not have been “amazed” at this Gentile’s faith! Nothing should “amaze” God, right? 

As I looked at several commentaries, just as I expected, they explained it that it was Jesus’ humanity that caused Him to be amazed. I can understand their interpretation, for you can fully explain the incarnation; the God/Man? That is difficult to get our minds around!

I guess we will have to file this (and some others) passage under the Deut. 29:29 clause ““There are some things that the Lord our God has kept secret. Only he knows these things…”