Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Matthew 26:14-15

“Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?’ And they covenanted with him and weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.


“Then one of the twelve, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me to betray (paradidomi: give over, deliver up one to custody to be judged and condemned, give up) Him to you?’ And they covenanted (histemi: stand with, set, established) with him and weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.


Then one of the twelve disciples, named Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, “What are you willing to give me to deliver Jesus to you to be judged and condemned?” And they stood with Judas and gave him thirty pieces of silver.


Today, within the American evangelical movement, people seem to be trying so hard to portray their innocence and how “good” they are. Most attend church services, defend and support their denomination, listen to Christian radio, dress well, live accomplished lives in the natural and do their best to be seen as all around excellent people. It seems to be forgotten though who we are without Christ (or perhaps even more especially who we were before regeneration). It’s in this place I’d like to discuss today’s passage. Here we see the well-known account of this man Judas, one of Jesus’ closest friends. Judas was of course hand-picked by Jesus Himself to be one of His disciples but turns out to be His betrayer for a bag of money.

Was Jesus stunned when this occurred? Of course few would argue that Jesus was taken by surprise whatsoever in this. In fact, after we’re done thinking on how evil Judas was and how horrible what he did was, we may want to take a step back and be silent. Why? Because Judas is you and me. You see, it would do us good to ponder on the depths of the reality that Jesus knew well in advance of Judas’ future actions. When He called Judas. When He sat with Judas and ate. When Judas took part in the miraculous events of Jesus’ life. When they sat together and discussed the plans of the Father. Even when Jesus knelt down in the dirt and washed Judas’ feet. All the while, Jesus knew…. yet He still called him.  

Fast forward to today. Jesus knows your deepest secrets, hurts and sin. He knew it all when He called you and He knows it all today. Yet He calls and He says, walk beside Me. Follow Me. You and I too have been betrayers of the One Who is holy and pure. May we never forget this in this ever-increasing age of Christian pride and masks of false-perfection. The King of all Kings knelt down to wash our feet as a servant of all, even unto death. Today, embrace the overwhelming love that you’ve been given for there is absolutely none greater. The King of all became a lowly servant. Even for a betrayer and liar like me.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Proverbs 23:4

“Do not weary yourself to gain wealth, cease from your consideration of it.” (NASB)


“Do not weary (yaga`: labor, faint, toil) yourself to gain wealth (`ashar: rich, enrich, richer, pretend to be rich), cease (chadal: forbear, leave, left off, let alone, forsake, rest) from your consideration (biynah: understanding, wisdom, knowledge) of it.”


Don’t labor and grow weary in order to gain riches – leave it alone and rest from even considering it.


Few strongholds have infected the Body of Christ so extensively as the endless pursuit of financial gain and hoarding of possessions. Modern-day Christianity teaches that wealth and success are somehow expected attributes of one who follows Christ. Even though Jesus was documented as saying to sell all we have and give to the poor, we’ve somehow adopted a different position on matters of earthly increase. Many people work 60-plus hour weeks, sit in cars for hours on end commuting, and strive endlessly to advance in position and rank. We must redefine what the Scripture calls “blessed” my friends. There are surely a multitude of things that money will never be able to buy but it sure can steal from. Are you missing out on eternal matters by seeking worldly riches and all that they can buy? Go without that new iPad. Give your tax return money (that you’ve set aside for that new HDTV) to the poor. Buy a model class lower vehicle and give the financial difference away instead. One who is captivated with giving (himself as well as his possessions) will never become weary from seeking to gain wealth. Today, let us cease trying to figure out how to get more “stuff” and be givers. Give as God has given to you, without limits!