Thursday, May 27, 2010


So I don't know about you guys, but I've been dealing with a lot of thorns in the flesh this summer. No I don't just mean metaphorically...I mean real sharp thorns that stick in your skin and scratch you up so bad that people think you got attacked by a rabid squirrel.

Let me explain. I've got a job working for the Biology department this summer and my job description is "running around in the woods chasing birds". I'm pretty sure these particular birds scheme ahead of time to lead me through all the blackberry patches and thorn bushes in the county. I've heard that thorns are designed to protect the plants on which they are growing. I'm pretty sure that's not true. These things don't just protect the plant. They latch onto you and dig into your flesh. They cut you and stab you and a few particularly nasty types look like they could impale you. Heaven forbid that you get one in your shoe. Yeah, I'm pretty sure thorns are pure evil.

Actually, looking at scripture, this isn't too far from the truth. After Adam and Eve sinned, God said that the ground was cursed because of what Adam had done and that it would bring forth thorns and thistles. This is just one of the many examples of bad things brought into the world by the curse of our sin: pain, sorrow, death. All these things exist because man sinned. When we see-or possibly walk through-a thorny thicket, it should remind us of the seriousness of sin. When we experience sorrow or pain, we should realize that these terrible things are the fruit of our own sin and disobedience.

But there is good news. When Christ came to die for our sins, Scripture says that he became a curse for us. Isaiah describes him as "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief" (Isaiah 53:3).

What was the crown that the Roman soldiers made for Jesus made of?


To the soldiers, it was just a cruel, torturous form of mockery but it also represented something greater. Jesus was taking on himself the curse of our sins. He took our curse upon himself so that, one day, we could live with him without the curse of sin. No more sorrow. No more pain. No more death. No more thorns.

When we see evidence of the curse, it should remind us of our sin, but it should also remind us of the Savior who became a curse for us.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Have an Active the Word!

So summer vacation is finally here! After the craziness of papers and finals, it's great having tons of free time to goof off and relax. It's also a major temptation to fall into laziness.

Let's get this straight. Rest is a good thing. God gave us the ability to rest. He himself rested for a day after creating the universe in a week. So it's not a sin for you to sit around doing nothing but reading a good book or watching TV or even sleeping till 2 in the afternoon. Laziness is a sin, and it happens when we make rest our idol.

An idol is anything that we make a priority before loving God an obeying his commandments. It's not wrong to relax but it is wrong when we neglect to read our bible or serve others simply because we don't feel like it. Just take a look through the book of Proverbs and you'll see the bad fruit that laziness produces.

This past semester, I believe the Holy Spirit has caused incredible growth in all of us in Resolved. God has done great things. However, there is a danger that, as a result of laziness and not being surrounded by Christian friends 24/7, we might slip back into old habits of sin and backtrack from the progress God has worked in us. The Christian life is not meant to be a passive life. We are called to be active.

Romans 13:11-14 says, "11 Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires." How do we fight our fleshly desire for laziness? We put on Jesus Christ. We walk in the light as He is in the light. We read and meditate on His Word. We serve others, even when we don't feel like serving.

Remember that we cannot live an active life in our own strength. The Holy Spirit will work in us, but that does not give us the excuse to sit back and wait for him to work. Philippians 2:12-13 says, "12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure."

Pursue God with all your heart and He will cause you to grow. Go have an active summer!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

God and Finals Crunch

Well it's finally here: Finals Week (aka slow and painful death). I'm sure I'm not the only one who's feeling kinda overwhelmed. I think that at times like this, we can be tempted to sin in two different ways.

1. We can try to do all our work in our own strength. we put our trust in our brilliant intellect and our incredible ability to go a week without sleep.

2. Probably the more popular option, we decide to throw up our hands and give up. We've got more work than is humanly possible to finish in one week so what's the point of trying?

Instead of falling into one of these groups, our response, as Christians in the midst of trials...I mean finals, is to turn to God. Here's a shocker: we can't get all our work done on our own. In fact, we can't do anything apart from God. We are dependent creatures and we need God to give us the strength and motivation to do what he has called us to do. At this point in your life, God has called you to be a student. Therefore, he is not going to abandon you during finals week and leave you to slug it through on your own.

1 Peter 5:6-7 says "6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, 7 casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you." Our first job is to humble ourselves. We do this by acknowledging our complete dependence on God. Secondly, we cast our cares on him. We realize that God has led us to this place and he will help us through it in HIS strength because he cares for us.

How do we know he cares about us? He sent his only Son to die for us.