Why does God keep asking the impossible?

4 02 2011

Have you ever noticed that God asks us to do things that are impossible?

Be born all over again
Give up everything & follow Jesus
Speak to a mountain and tell it to move

Several times in the new testament Jesus brings his followers to a place where all they were left thinking was: “It’s impossible to be saved!”

Let’s start with Nicodemus.

In John chapter 3 Jesus tells him that “no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.” Nicodemus becomes confused and asks “How can someone be born when they are old? Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!”

Then after an explanation from Jesus he asks “How can this be?” The verses that follow teach us that Jesus had to come to earth and be crucified in order for salvation to take place. Then we are led right up to a very popular scripture, John 3:16. Here is the way it is translated in The Message.

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.”

John 3:16-18 (The Message)

Jesus ends his discussion with Nicodemus by explaining that faith in Christ was the only way to enter into the kingdom of God.

The Impossible Pattern

This is the pattern that I am referring to when I talk about Jesus bringing a person to the point where they feel they cannot be saved. It seems as though Jesus brings them to the point where they ask “How on earth can I ever accomplish this?” Then he drops the truth on them. The deep truth that they cannot accomplish it. It can only be accomplished by God himself.

Give up everything and follow me!

In Matthew chapter 19 we see a young man who approaches Jesus and asks what he needs to do to get eternal life. When Jesus begins to explain about keeping the commandments the young man boldly exclaims that he has kept all of them ever since he was a little boy.

If your spiritual ears are open while reading this scripture red flags should immediately raise up. This young man is telling God that he has never sinned in his entire life. His statement is absolutely absurd since everyone has sinned at some point in their life.

This mans boldness had him believing that he was sinless and perfect before God. Pride had surely taken control of this young mans life and Jesus was about to break some pride off of him.

First off understand this. All throughout the scripture to be rich was to be blessed by God. you don’t have to look very hard to see that many of God’s servants, prophets and chosen were, in fact, VERY wealthy. It was believed that God blessed those who he was pleased with by giving them more sheep, more servants, more land and so on.

Now Jesus tells the young man that the one thing he needs to do is to give up everything he has, give to the poor, and follow him. Essentially it would seem that Jesus was saying give up all the blessings of God and come follow me.

Then Jesus makes a statement that makes everyone cringe.

…Jesus told his disciples, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for the rich to enter God’s kingdom? Let me tell you, it’s easier to gallop a camel through a needle’s eye than for the rich to enter God’s kingdom.”

Matthew 19:23-24 (The Message)

At this point, the disciples are shell shocked! But do we understand why? One must understand that what Jesus was saying seemed to contradict all that God had been doing throughout history while dealing with the Jews.

Jesus “seems” to contradict God and His laws in many cases throughout the New Testament, but of course, Jesus is not wrong – only our understanding of God and salvation are wrong.

The disciples were staggered. “Then who has any chance at all?”

Matthew 19:25 (The Message)

In the eyes of the disciples and everyone around him, this man has been blessed by God. This man was a good man. Jesus himself said that he only lacked ONE thing – Christ.

So, we should easily understand the shock going through the disciples’ minds and hearts at this time. They were likely thinking- “if this man who God has blessed and who has kept the commandments has a hard time entering into God’s kingdom, then we have NO chance! We’re just a bunch of poor (not blessed) men.”

Can you see the pattern here? Jesus brings everyone there to the point where they feel like nobody can be saved. Then he drops the faith bomb on them all.

Jesus looked hard at them and said, “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off yourself. Every chance in the world if you trust God to do it.”

Matthew 19:26 (The Message)

Conclusion

After His followers came to the conclusion that it would be impossible for them to achieve salvation He would basically then tell them that with faith in God all things are possible. In effect God wants us to understand with all our heart that salvation cannot be achieved through our abilities, or our achievements.

Are there other places that you can see this pattern playing out in scripture? How about in your own life?

The impossible challenge!

God challenges us every day. Just maybe he is challenging you to force you to the reality that you cannot make it without him. Maybe he knows that you are not really trusting him with your whole heart.

Have you totally put your trust in Jesus Christ? If everything in your life was taken away today could you still stand and say, “God I trust in you! You are my provider and my Saviour!”

– – – The End – – –

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Why does God keep asking the impossible?
By: Raymond Brady

Article Source: https://buildyourhouseontherock.wordpress.com/

 





mountains

10 09 2010

I’m in beautiful Red River NM looking at the mountains this morning. Its 48 degrees this morning.

I’m here for a mens retreat with our church. Last night I attended our first worship service. What an awesome time I had worshiping with men from all walks of life.

Its amazing to me how God works in our lives. I’m on the mountain this morning. Both physically and spiritually.

Thank you Lord for being very present in my life right now.





Fishing, Headaches, & Life

4 08 2010

My son and I went fishing a while back at a nearby lake. We didn’t smell too good after messing with stinky bait, stepping in the mud, and sweating like a dog all day.

We spent almost nine hours in the hot sun and only caught a 2 inch perch. How’s that for a fishing story?

I believe catching fish can be one of the most challenging activities a person can engage in. You can have a full day of hard work and never bring home one fish.

Well, if you are living and breathing you will have trouble. It’s a promise of God. What? That doesn’t sound like a promise to me. Promises are supposed to be white, fluffy, and sweet. Kinda like Christmas.

The fact is that we cannot experience blessings without some sacrifice. The two go hand-in-hand.

You can’t get a pay check unless your willing to work.
You can’t have an angel break you out of prison unless you are first locked up.
You can’t have divine intervention unless you first have conflict.
You can’t overcome unless you first have a challenge.
You can’t walk on water unless you step out of the boat.
You can’t experience healing unless you get sick.
You can’t experience deliverance unless you are first bound.
You can’t find life unless you first lose life.
You can’t rise from the dead unless you first die.

Trouble in your life is not a sign that God is mad at you or is against you. I think it’s actually a sign that He is trying to bless you. So, be glad when you have trouble in this life. Face the trouble head on knowing that on the other side of trouble waits something good.

…In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world. – Jesus (John 16:33)

whoever loses his life for me will find it. – Jesus (Matt 16:25)

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Apostle Paul (Romans 8:35-39)

– – – The End – – –

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If you would like to use this article on your website, blog, or in another form you may do so as long as you include the text and link below:

Fishing, Headaches, & Life
By: Raymond Brady

Article Source: www.BuildYourHouseOnTheRock.org





How’s your self esteem?

1 06 2010
Self Esteem

What is your self image?

“Our esteem is linked to how we believe the most important person in our life views us.”

I heard this while recently listening to a speaker talk about the power of the tongue. In Proverbs 18:21 we learn that the tongue has the power of life and death. Depending on how we use our tongue determines whether we are giving or taking life.

The power of the spoken blessing goes back to the beginning of creation when God spoke everything into existence. We can see children in the bible fighting over the spoken blessing of their father. God’s spoken Word became flesh in the new testament in the form of Jesus Christ. Luke 3:22 shows us the power of The Fathers spoken blessing over His Son.

Each day of our lives we see the power of the spoken word all around us. So what does this have to do with self esteem? Should Christians have self esteem? Is the concept of self esteem even taught in the bible? Let’s start with a few scriptures.

Romans 12:3
Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think.

This scripture leaves us with the understanding that there must be a balance applied to how we think of ourselves. Not too high, yet not to low. You might be asking: Then exactly how high should we think of ourselves? These next verses will help understand when you are to high on yourself.

Romans 11:20 & 12:16
Do not be conceited, proud, or arrogant.

If we reach the point where we become conceited, proud, or arrogant then we have gone too far. Just because you know something doesn’t give you the right to slap someone else in the face with it.

It amazes me the number of people I run into that struggle with this. If you have been on vacation to a certain city they have been there ten times and know the town mayor personally. Somehow we feel that we don’t measure up unless we have accomplished twice as much as everyone else. This is because we seek the approval of others and think we can get it by impressing them.

Matthew 22:39
Love your neighbor as yourself.

However, another problem people face today is an unhealthy view of themselves in the opposite direction. Jesus said to love your neighbor as yourself. How can you love your neighbor if you don’t even love yourself?

There are people all over this world who do not love themselves at all. For some they have been told how worthless they are since the day they were born. Others are abused and all they know is a life of hate and abuse.

Then there are those people who may not have been verbally or physically abused but they are emotionally neglected. They don’t have someone in their life telling them that they love them each day. This lack of love translates into a lack of love for themselves.

So we get this incredible understanding of love from Jesus’ words. Love is bi-directional and we get love from God first of all, then from each other. But how can we receive it from each other unless first someone is willing to give it. The giving of love has to start with you and me.

“Our esteem is linked to how we believe the most important person in our life views us.”

This saying is so powerful. Let me leave you with two questions that sum this all up. Think on these questions for a while.

1. Who is the most important person in your life?

2. What do you think their opinion is of you?

Like This!

– – – The End – – –

If you would like to use this article on your website, blog, or in another form you may do so as long as you include the text and link below:

How’s Your Self Esteem?
By: Raymond Brady

Article Source: www.BuildYourHouseOnTheRock.org





Endurance & Patience

16 10 2009

EnduranceI read something today that got me to thinking about endurance and patience. The definition of patience is:

The state or quality of being patient; the power of suffering with fortitude; uncomplaining endurance of evils or wrongs, as toil, pain, poverty, insult, oppression, calamity, etc. [1913 Webster]

“Uncomplaining endurance of evils or wrongs” – These are strong words and hard to swallow.

When my children have to take medicine it can be hard to get them to take it. Some medicine isn’t easy to stomach and sometimes enduring wrongs or evils against you is tough to do.  But you become a stronger person over time, much like medicine makes your body recover from sickness.

Hebrews 12:1
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.

– – – The End – – –

If you would like to use this article on your website, blog, or in another form you may do so as long as you include the text below:

Endurance & Patience
By: Raymond Brady

Article Source: www.BuildYourHouseOnTheRock.org





What Are Your Default Settings?

6 05 2009

Default SettingsEvery electronic device that is made has default settings that are stored into it’s memory. Theses are usually set from the factory and can be changed by the user. If you use Microsoft Windows your system has default settings that were set by Microsoft when Windows was originally installed. There are tons of settings so I will not try and name them all here.

One of them is your desktop background. This is usually set to an image when you first turn on your new machine. Most of us change it to something that is more personal like a picture of our family, dog, or pet bird. You can change the default sounds, colors, and a host of other settings as well.

You were also created with some default settings. Our very first default settings were love, peace, happiness, and a close relationship with our creator. These default settings were changed in the Garden of Eden by Adam and Eve. These new settings have been passed down and installed into each person at birth ever since.

These new settings took effect immediately and God calls these new settings sin. Why didn’t He call them stink, fluff, or some other word? I do not know. We are told that these new default settings are bad for us and will harm us.

Gone is the beautiful desktop image of our creator that was in our heart from the beginning. It has now been replaced with condemnation and our new image of God is a tyrannical taskmaster who is hunting us down to destroy us. The default sounds of peace that once sounded in our ears have been reset with sounds of anger, violence, and hatred. Our hearts and minds have been re-formatted with these ‘sin settings’ which keep us away from enjoying the beautiful default settings of God.

Each day that you live these images, thoughts, and sounds control your life. Like most people you struggle with changing these settings to something better. It seems that you cannot get away from them.

However, God did make a way for you and I to have our default settings put back into place. It’s not with the click of a mouse button or by reading a hard-to-understand book of instructions. These default settings can be restored by simply allowing our creator to re-install the original set of instructions himself. We can’t do it because we lost the original set of instructions in the garden. We now look to the Cross of Christ for this new set of instructions.

The Author of Life Himself will re-write the master set of instructions into your heart and by doing this He can make you a new creation. Will you ever be perfect? Not in this life, but if you trust in our creator you will one day become perfect just as He is perfect. Just like when a computer has been restored to it’s original state, so will you operate with these new default settings.

Operating in this life with the Word of Life inside of you is a wonderful, beautiful place.





God is our General Contractor

21 04 2009

We all have a dream house in our mind. One that we would love to build for our family. Our plan is unique to us and fits our needs perfectly. However getting to the place in life where finances line up is what limits most of us from accomplishing this dream.

The purpose of Build Your House On The Rock is to encourage you to trust in God. He is our Master Builder, if He builds our spiritual house then it will stand forever. In fact without trusting in Him to do the building all we will be able to build is a shack of a life. It may look fancy but the first big storm that blows through will wipe it out and leave us with nothing.

Our life is like a house under construction. Consider on what foundation your house will be built. What foundation is your life built on today? Are you facing disaster in your life? Has your house fallen to pieces? If you can relate to any of these questions then God wants to help you rebuild your life.

God is our general contractor on this building project of life. He knows how the house needs to be built and we should allow Him to direct the entire project.

Psalm 127:1-2

If God doesn’t build the house, the builders only build shacks. If God doesn’t guard the city, the night watchman might as well nap. It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves? (MSG)