Archives For Jesus

I have a good friend who is from the local community in South Africa near my home. He organizes a number of after school programs to create hope in the young people.

He regularly tells me stores of how he receives cookie donations from older (insert the race which is economically better off) for his young, poor (insert economically worse off race) kids.

“These folks feel so good about helping these poor kids!”

This friend is an honest voice in my life to point out the sometimes misguided attempts to help people. I’m so grateful for this refreshingly honest voice.

He can tell when people really love those they are serving or if they are merely looking for photo ops or feel good moments.

I Believe, Help My Unbelief

December 30, 2015

In work, ministry, and life we all experience frequent seasons when things don’t work out quite the way we had hoped.

In missions, our internal dialogues consist of “Am I making a difference?” or “Will these things ever change?”

When we are trusting for provision, for a breakthrough in our health, or seeing a life changed; there is very fine line between losing hope or accepting the limitations of the change that will happen; all the while still believing in a God who could do the unexpected.

We’ve all heard the stories where people are told to “just have faith”. I personally have seen a friend who was told her father died because of a lack of faith.

Is that the answer? More faith?

This year has brought several of these challenges to our family. Ministry disappointment, divorce of those close to us, and various health related issues.

I had read and enjoyed Jefferson Bethke’s book Jesus > Religion: Why He Is So Much Better Than Trying Harder, Doing More, and Being Good Enough.

When I was given a chance to review his new book, It’s Not What You Think: Why Christianity Is About So Much More Than Going to Heaven When You Die, I jumped at the chance.

I was not disappointed.

Bethke takes on many aspects of Christianity in which we have some misunderstandings. Included in this are:

  • Christianity is more than going to heaven
  • The Temple is not a building
  • The Sabbath is not an outdated set of rules
  • The kingdom is not in the sky
    and much, much more.

Bethke hit on so many things I’ve been pondering in my own life. This book became a conversation for me with a fellow traveler.

Gospel Versus Religion

October 6, 2015

I’m teaching Galatians this week in Cape Town. In my preparation, I came across a comparison floating around the internet of the gospel versus religion by Tim Keller.

I thought it was worth sharing with you all here at NoSuperHeroes.com.

It is worth chewing on, searching our hearts for the subtle differences which can creep into our lives.

Enjoy!

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Below is a very insightful comparison between “religion” and “the gospel” drawn from the sermons of Tim Keller (Senior Pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan). Tim does a remarkable job of probing hearts and revealing how easily we slip into self-dependence mode. As I’ve been saying each Sunday, real slavery according to the Bible is self-reliance. So, read the comparison list below with humility and care. It will do your soul good. 

RELIGION: I obey-therefore I’m accepted.

THE GOSPEL: I’m accepted-therefore I obey.

Improving on Perfection

August 11, 2015

When you merge something with impurities into something pure, it brings corruption.

In mathematics, we know a negative and a positive equals a negative.

As broken and flawed humans, we cannot improve the work of Christ by something we do, say, feel, or think.

Many times we are told the way to be a good Christian is “Jesus + (insert something we do or don’t do, an attitude, or a Christian discipline.)”

Consider some of the Christian activities we insert into this equation…

  • Prayer
  • Church attendance
  • Missions
  • Tithing
  • Spiritual gifts
  • Bible reading
  • Obedience

The list could go on and on. Notice the things listed above are all good things. We could easily attach a Scripture reference to each one.

The enemy would never think of convincing us that we need “Jesus + fornication or drugs” in order to be pleasing to God.