Having a strong intellect is a good thing, yet there is an inherent danger in touting our mental powers or relying on human intelligence. A person may have a high IQ and be missing the essential ingredient for the soil of becoming spiritually mature – to grow in the faith and in the likeness of Jesus. The measure of one’s intelligence does not indicate the measure of one’s spiritual maturity or usefulness in God’s mission. . . .
Shame. The ultimate mark of shame in royal families is being removed from “the table” – from the position of honor and relationship… to the place of loss and separation. No longer can the rebel or the guilty taste the delectable dishes and enjoy the camaraderie and conversation. They are disinherited – cut off from the family.
From the moment Adam and Eve scurried around the Garden of Eden to cover themselves up with leaves and hide in the bushes, all men and woman have hung their shoulders in shame. . . .
When we’re jogging along in a healthy trajectory of spiritual growth, we can find ourselves gaining an inordinate confidence in ourselves. We gaze back at our past accomplishments with a token note of thanks to God, yet also an encroaching desire for a good ole’ pat-on-the-back. We might ease up on the throttle, subtly believing we’ve crossed a threshold in obvious maturity. . . .
A few days ago I uncovered an old spiral-bound notebook from my high school days. “Aha! This should be humorous!” I thought. “What sort of peculiar ideas was I scribbling down at that age?”
As I thumbed through various notes from my landscape business, exam preparation material on American government and economics, backpacking food recipes, and other random jots, my interest perked up when I happened upon a sermon I wrote concerning prayer and the status of our country. Interestingly, all the dates in this notebook are from 1999, which indicates I penned this sermon-essay a little over 16 years ago, when I was 16 years old…
Satan wants to get in your head and convince you that his lies are true. But don’t expect his schemes to be obvious. He is cunning and smart like a snake. He bites into us when we’re exposed to pain, hurt, and abuse. He splits hairs to craft wrong to look almost right. Our enemy camouflages destructive ideas with the appearance of life and light (2 Cor. 11:14b).
Christ’s Love displayed through Christ-followers is the way Christ’s mission goes forward…in the face of mass defection and satanic opposition.