Life Theology

Passion Week – Saturday

This is a re-post of the Passion series from last year.

Isaiah 55:1-3:

Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.

During Jesus’ ministry, he said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37). When people heard this, no doubt their minds saw the words of Isaiah when he quoted Yahweh, saying, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters!”

I’m thirsty for Jesus, but I want to be more thirsty. So often I take a couple sips from the divine glass of joy that Jesus offers, only to be satisfied five minutes later by my own self-righteousness, the Internet, entertainment, or something else.  I want to delight myself in true, rich food, not worthless food that will only leave me empty.

Good Friday is about reflection and repentance. On that day, Jesus bore the wrath of God for my sins. He took all my transgressions on his shoulders. Today, Saturday, is not about hiding out and passively waiting for Sunday. It’s about expectantly waiting for Sunday to arrive.  It’s about going to the tomb and waiting up all night, holding on to Jesus’ promise that he will rise. It’s doing what God, through Isaiah, told us to do: “Come to me!”

Father God, by your Spirit, make me glad in you alone. Give me the power to come to Jesus today, clinging to the Cross as my only hope for righteousness and forgiveness. And help me celebrate Resurrection Sunday this year — and every day — as my only hope for eternal life in your presence.


A Prayer from Tozer

This is the prayer at the end of chapter one of A.W. Tozer’s book, “The Pursuit of God.”  If I read nothing else from this book, this prayer would have been enough:

O God, I have tasted Thy goodness, and it has both satisfied me and made me thirsty for more.  I am painfully conscious of my need of further grace. I am ashamed of my lack of desire. O God, the Triune God, I want to want Thee; I long to be filled with longing; I thirst to be made more thirsty still. Show me Thy glory, I pray Thee, that so I may know Thee indeed. Begin in mercy a new work of love within me. Say to my soul, “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.” Then give me more grace to rise and follow Thee up from this misty lowland where I have wandered so long. In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Three Reasons I Become Lukewarm

Here are three (among thousands) of reasons I drift toward lukewarmness in my Christian life:

  1. I don’t really understand how God loves me.  Sometimes I think God loves me generally — like John 3:16 kind of love.  Instead, there is a greater love.  It’s the “great love” of Ephesians 2:4-5 which says that God saved me because of the “great love with which he loved” me. John 3:16 doesn’t save anyone. It’s just an offer. Ephesians 2 love saves individuals.
  2. I don’t really understand how God satisfies me. Revelation 3:15-18 urges me to spend my time, money, and energy on spiritual needs, not physical ones.  I often forget that my greatest need is spiritual, not physical.  I tend to think that I have everything I need because I have more than enough food, shelter, and clothes.  But Jesus wants me to invest in spiritual things so that my soul is cared for, not just my body.
  3. I don’t really understand what God has waiting for me.  In 1 John 3:2, I’m told that I’m not yet like Christ, but I will be when I see him face to face.  A good tool to fight lukewarm living is to think about death and eternity often. Sometimes I forget that I will actually leave this world and meet my Savior, whether through death or Jesus’ return. Remembering that will remind me Earth is not my home and it will motivate me to fight and kill lukewarm living and pursue holiness more readily.

Jesus Doesn’t Just Give Bread, He is Bread

Jesus had just fed over 10,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish.  After that, he walked on water to get to his disciples who had left by boat earlier in the afternoon.  Not bad for a day’s work.

But the next day when the crowds found Jesus, they asked, “When did you get here?” (John 6:25).  You see, they knew Jesus wasn’t in that boat with his disciples.  He responded, “You aren’t looking for me because you saw me do something only God can do, you are looking for me to get another free coupon to the buffet.”

Moments later, Jesus tells his listeners, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.”  Then, just to make things a bit clearer, he says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.  If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.  And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

What?  Did Jesus just say that people had to eat his flesh?  Yes.  He did.

Lots of commentary has been offered about this.  And if you look and listen enough, you’ll find some bizarre interpretations.  I don’t believe Jesus is talking literally about eating his flesh.  I don’t believe he’s trying to shock his listeners with a gross analogy.  I believe he’s telling us straight up: “I don’t just make bread or give bread.  I AM bread.”

In other words, he is saying that everything we think can satisfy our deepest desires will never do.  We eat bread at 8am.  By noon we are hungry again.  We watch our football team win on Saturday.  By Tuesday we can’t remember the score.  We finally buy that outfit we’ve been waiting to go on sale.  After one season it’s “out of style.”

Jesus said it to his audience then, and he says to you now, “Stop coming to me for the benefits!  Come to me for life!  Come to me so that all your desires and longings can be fulfilled in me, not in something created — something that’s going to rot and rust and fade and die.  You want to be satisfied?  Food, football, TV, sex, and money won’t do it.  But I will, if you would just come.”

To be continued.


Don’t Waste Your Life Music Video

Desiring God and Lecrae have teamed up to produce the “Don’t Waste Your Life” music video.  The song is featured on Lecrae’s album Rebel.  Unfortunately, the video does not contain Dwayne Tryumf’s (British hip-hop artist) verse that is on the album.  Still, it’s a solid video.