Humble Remembrance

Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,  saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.  Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. — Matthew 23:1-3.

Men, Jesus again speaks to the multitude and the 12, telling them that the Pharisees do in fact sit in “the seat of Moses”, therefore, they should observe the things they say to observe. But, Jesus tells them not to do according to their works.

Moses was a leader, who pointed the people into obedience to God’s Word. The Pharisees say but do not do. Jesus is telling the 12, the multitude, and us also in our time, He wants us to be reminded of the upcoming seasons, the festivals, His statutes, precepts and Law.

The Pharisees did not walk in humility. Jesus did not want the people’s walk to look like theirs. But even so, Jesus knows how forgetful we are. By remembering the festivals, by recounting His Word, the people could be encouraged in confidence by remembering their ancestors deliverance from oppression.

How often do we go through challenges and forget how the Lord God
came through for us in the past? Israel was no different. As we remember what He has done, recount His Word that tells the story of deliverance and redemption from front to back, we gain confidence that He will come through again. He is the same from past as He is future.

The Pharisees did the job of alerting the people of upcoming seasons and festivals, but they did not follow in the way of a humble servant, or fellow burden bearer as Moses had. We each hold the responsibility of being a co-laborer, a fellow burden bearer, an encouragement and a comforter. We each should remind our brother and sister of His goodness past, now and future. We each should be students of His Word, sharing that Word with others.

Move forward men, not by presenting ourselves publicly at religious events in our best attire and behavior as the self exalting Pharisees, but by humbly coming alongside each other observing all that God our Father has ordained for us as a reminder and Testament of His sovereignty, authority, goodness, and love.

Vance Durrance

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Surrender Your Life

White Flag

 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “Assuredly, I say to you that it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.  And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” — Matthew 19:23-24

Men, after Jesus has interacted with the rich ruler, He turns to His disciples and tells them “it is hard for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of Heaven”. The rich man could not give up his things to gain the one thing his heart needed most. He had made his things and his wealth his god. Wealth too often grants a false sense of security, importance, and even bondage.

Jesus goes on and says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God. There is some argument for a small gate called the “eye of the needle”. Perhaps, but I argue for a literal interpretation. The only way for a camel to pass through a hole that small is to break it down into its smallest parts and pour it through. It cannot pass through intact. The camel must die to its original form, use, splendor, value and identity to be liquefied and poured through. Once it passes through, there is nothing of the original camel which could then be self-sustaining.

Dying to self, self-sacrifice, humility, brokenness, wholesale surrender, are themes found elsewhere. Nowhere does Scripture say to wait in line and squeeze through a small space to find everlasting peace. Jesus is the narrow gate and we are raised to new life in Him.

“Raising to new life” means leaving behind the old life. Have you, sir, died to the old life of self-sustainment? Are you still propped up on your accounts, investments, assets, and provisions? Is there anything you couldn’t walk away from if Jesus asked you to?

Move forward, men, asking the Lord to search you and I out. Is there anything in our hearts hindering the Lord God from pouring us into a new form, a new life, and a new identity in Him?

Vance Durrance

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