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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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:

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

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

 

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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





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





End of Another Round

24 01 2007

Recently I faced some challenges at work that has caused me to see some things at home in a different light and I am going to blog these things today.

Conflict upon our jobs creates stress in our lives every day and how we deal with that stress determines several things in our life. The stress in our workplace can and does come home with us everyday. When this stress comes to our home it interferes with our personal lives and can cause tensions in our marriages and in our relationships with our children or other family members.

After praying about my situation my thoughts were directed to this analogy that put several things into perspective for me and has caused me to take a different approach at home.

After this one particular day at work I felt like I had been beat up. As I left work my mind was captured by the events of the day and I could not get my mind off of the situation. Mentally I had taken a beating and it was causing spiritual and physical pain within me. All I wanted to do was get over the day and let it all go but I could not seem to do that.

After the 20 minute drive home in which I replayed every punch and every blow I had taken earlier in the day I finally arrived at home. As I walked into the house I was greeted by my children which helped to take my mind off of the situation temporarily. For a moment I felt as if I had been in a boxing match and had just returned to my corner after the bell rang. The kids were my cheering section and I needed the encouragement.

This didn’t last long as they finally went on about there busy evening of homework and playing. My mind slowly slipped back to the memories of every punch and every blow I had taken before the bell had rung and the round of the day was over. Then I met my wife.

As I met her she began to pour over me her frustrations and things I needed to do. This made me feel as if I was getting beat up in my own corner. The cheers of the children were far gone and now I was receiving more of a dose of reality. This did not help my mental and emotional state and I felt as though the next round had already begun and I had not recovered from the previous beating I had just taken.

Now with every good Rocky movie that comes out it seems that the boxing king gets beat to a pulp and just as it would seem it is all over he goes to the corner and begins to receive his pep talk from his trainer. When the next round starts it is as if Rocky was back in the first round and he starts pounding the other guy into the ground and he comes out on top as the champion. But then the movie ends and we all have to go back to reality.

This day was reality for me. Taking a beating all day at work, feeling as if I was trying to defend myself from every puch and every blow. I was not able to be on the offense because I was just trying to survive another round. I felt as if I were Rocky yet the next round would be the same as before and there would be no glorious victory in sight.

Then I realised something I had not really thought of before. Rocky’s trainer was not in the fight physically and his only job was to coach, train, and encourage. When I came home to “My Corner” after the round of the day I wasn’t coming home to the strength of a coach or trainer that would be there to back me up but rather I was meeting my wife where both of our corners met. The day had just ended for her as well and she had just ended another round in her fight. She was coming home to “Her Corner” looking for encouragement, looking for strength because she knew the next round was approaching as well as mine.

We met that day where the boxing rings of our lives all me and adjoined each other, in our home. The home is the place of encouragement that each of us need to be refreshed and encouraged from the battle of our daily lives. When we meet each other in this place we are all bringing the aweful memories and feelings that we remember from that day with us. The home is the place where we should receive encouragement from one another in order to prepare ourselves for the next round we face. The strength and encouragement we get from one another is what will drive us to victory in the upcoming rounds. We cannot simply forget our problems and memories of that day and take them off like our shoes at the door. They haunght us sometimes and torment us all along with the purpose to weaken us and cause us to loose in the upcoming round. Let us cherish the time we have in the corner of the boxing ring of life, which is the home. Let us encourage one another that the whole family can be victorious in the end. And most of all let us look to the one who can give us all renewed strength in the battle, the one who can encourage us and lead us to success in all we do. That is Jesus Christ our saviour and redeemer from who all our strength comes.