In the Christian walk, sometimes it can feel like a constant fight between the old man and the new. The battle of Romans 7 is familiar to us all to one degree or another. This constant struggle to become more like Christ has been at the forefront of my mind of late.
As I was reading my Bible the other night, I read a familiar verse, but it hit me in a completely new way. The verse is from Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer: John 17:17. Continue reading “Sanctification and the Bible”
The Tower of Babel.
The account in Genesis 11:1-9, at first glance seems to be about humans trying to stick it to God. They’re prideful and seek to build a name for themselves and to build a tower that will reach to the heavens. Their audacity and the Lord’s subsequent humbling of them seems to be at the crux of this account.
However, this might be more about identity. Our Hebrew reflection said to think about identity as we meditated on this passage. And I see it. The people were trying to establish a NAME for themselves. Their NAME, their renown (see Gen. 6:4), is what they would be known for, their identity. Why are they building a tower? So that they would be known. They needed to do it before they were scattered. So they gathered to build. In direct opposition to God’s explicit command to spread over the earth and fill it (Gen 9:7), the people gathered. To make a name for themselves, rather than identify with God’s plan for them. So God helped them along, confusing their languages and scattering them about the earth.
Where do I get my identity? Is it from what I do? Am I foremost a student? A youth minister? A personal assistant? Am I foremost a Christian? A boyfriend? A brother? A son? A friend? These things, by themselves aren’t necessarily bad things. But if I place them before God’s calling on my life, then I’ve lost my true identity.
What is my identity? I am a loved, adopted son of God (Romans 8:15).
Today, as I was reading my Bible, I noticed something new.
“I came to cast fire on the earth, and would that it were already kindled!”
Jesus knew he is the judge of the world, but he also knew it was the wrong timing. Thank God he was patient and gracious during his time on Earth.
In Luke 17:11-19, we see an account of Jesus healing ten lepers. (Leprosy in the Bible is kind of a catch-all for contagious skin diseases). This Sunday School favorite often focuses on the gratitude of the one healed leper, telling us that we should be grateful to God for what he’s done in your life.
On Sunday, this story came to mind, but with a different focus. When I was younger, I always wondered if Jesus thought about “unhealing” the nine men who didn’t come back to thank him. I’m not sure why that came back to mind, but I found myself thinking about that again and suddenly truth hit me in the face: Jesus never even thought about unhealing those other men because that is not who our God is. Our God gives blessings, not to receive the thanks, but because he can.
It is so cool to worship the God of blessings.