Worthwhile December 27, 2019
The end of the year is here. I didn't quite reach my reading goal. My weight isn't what I would prefer. I haven't scaled unconquerable mountains. But we persist. Trusting in Jesus. His purpose prevails.
A couple of reminders of that truth for your weekend reading.
First up the real abundant life. Rankin Wilbourne wrote for TGC on suffering as an experience of abundant life. It is quite the opposite of what you might here from many religious leaders, but I think he is right.
"Jesus, the perfect image of God and the perfect human being, shows us that a fully human life must include suffering, and that we can only become the man or woman God intends us to be through suffering. Jesus, who was without sin and never did anything to deserve his Father’s displeasure, was made “perfect through suffering” (Heb. 2:10). The author of Hebrews dares to say that Jesus “learned obedience through what he suffered” (Heb. 5:8), and that this is part of what makes him our compassionate high priest (Heb. 4:15), able to help us in our time of need. If Jesus, the perfect child, had to learn how to trust and obey through suffering, how much more necessary is it for you and me?"
It takes a long time to be familiar with suffering, and maybe longer to see it as part of the maturing process in Christ. May we be quick to see it in the new year.
Read the whole thing here.
And maybe a few days late but nevertheless important, let's not neglect the genealogies.
Jennie Pollock exhorts us to read and hear and be encouraged.
"Why on earth would God want to start the New Testament, the story of the new covenant, the bit that most people nowadays are likely to start with, if they’re going to read a Bible at all, with a genealogy? Who wants to read a long stream of unpronounceable names of total strangers before the story starts? Is it like the title cards at the beginning of old movies? Important information to those concerned, but just an opportunity to make yourself comfortable and arrange your snacks for the rest of us? ...When those scriptures were read out, for hundreds of years, the descendants of those individuals would have been listening eagerly for their family names, feeling an intimate connection to the story."
Oh friend you are tied to the story!
"For Christians then, the New Testament starts not with echoes of Genesis, not with the breaking of a 400 year silence, not with the fulfillment of prophecies, but with us. It sets us right in the narrative, reminding us of who we are and where we fit, rooting us in the story, and the story in us."
Read the whole thing.
Thank you for checking in one last time in 2019. In the new year I am planning some more sharing of great ideas and efforts to be a redemptive expression in our world. If you come across any, send them my way!
May you be blessed as we turn the calendar and may you see more of Jesus in 2020!