Monday, April 30, 2007


There was a Roman centurion, who had a sick servant. He sent to ask Jesus to heal the servant. Jesus was about to go to do this, when another messenger came. Jesus did not need to come. The centurion understood authority. He had authority. He was under authority of others. Authority seems to be the ability to give commands and to reasonably expect that they will be obeyed. The centurion could give commands, and soldiers under him would obey not because of his tremendous power, but because he represented the power of the Roman Empire. It was the Roman army that backed him up with its power.

The centurion recognized that Jesus had similar authority. Because Jesus could command demons and disease to leave people, he concluded that God must be backing Jesus up with His power. So, Jesus could command the disease in the servant to leave. So, Jesus did not lay hands on the servant as he usually did. As far as we can tell, Jesus did not verbally command the disease.

Has Jesus given us authority? Is he backing us up?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Following religion hinders relationship. The rules, the rituals and the standards (set up for usually good reasons) become shackles that hinder us from walking with Jesus.

Jesus did not set us free from following the Law to establish a new set of rules. Rather the only rules that should govern us are (1) love God with all your heart, (2) love you neighbor as yourself. These fulfill the whole law, and are the basis for relationship.

We create religion because it is easier to get ones brain around it. It is easier to judge progress. It is less messy. Paul writes to different churches so they will not settle for religion. He wants them to pursue relationship.

Friday, April 13, 2007

I am reading "House2House" magazine. They quote George Barna as saying, "People who change the world are very inefficient." The family of God should be world changers. So, they should be inefficient.

This not to say that efficiency or organization are bad. But efficiency means that someone has worked through the process enough times to remove all the bottle-necks. So, they are walking over the same ground time after time.

If the people of God are working together like a smooth running engine, they are functioning on their own initiative, their own strength. They are not pressing onto new ground. God is not leading them, because God will lead to his people out of the box into places where faith is important. We will need to trust him, because we will not see where our feet land or the trail leads. But we will make progress where it counts.

It's almost like the opposite of efficiency is faith. (But let's not go quite that far.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Religion seems to be a response of man to the Infinite. The question always seems to be — “How can I appease the Infinite?” “How can I persuade the Infinite?” It seeks to provide a predictable set of outcomes. So, it creates a law, a pattern of desired behaviors. Maintain the pattern and a person can maintain peace with God.

Abraham and God entered into a relationship 400 years before God gave Moses the Law. This relationship was established not on the basis of rules that Abraham obeyed, and he pleased God on the basis of that obedience. (Remember there were no rules. No temple. No system of sacrifices.) The relationship was established based on promises God gave to Abraham. And Abraham believed God.

What seems to please God are people living in a relationship with him, that is based on faith in what God says. Living out of that relationship, acting on God’s words. Yes, God speaks commands, but Abraham did not live out of the commands. He lived out of the promises.