Tuesday, July 15, 2008

It’s simple: Follow Jesus

Good morning. This is a devotional for single adults from Parenting Solo, but the message also applies to single adults without children who may one day marry a single parent and be a step-parent. Feel Free to forward it to a friend.

Scripture: Matthew 13:1-3 (The Message) At about that same time, Jesus left the house and sat on the beach. In no time at all, a crowd gathered along the shoreline, forcing him to get into a boat. Using the boat as a pulpit, he addressed his congregation, telling stories.

The simplicity of it all. Jesus is standing on a beach, hanging out with his disciples. Suddenly, swarms of people gather around him to listen to him teach. Whatever he had said previously had impacted them greatly because they wanted to hear more. To gather himself, he hopped into a nearby boat and pushed off from shore. From there, he taught the people by telling stories. A beach, a boat, stories. That was all Jesus needed.

Imagine if a Benny Hinn or a Jimmy Swaggert tried that today with no television audience and no hope of an offering to subsidize their mega-ministries. (Side note: Did Jesus ever ask for money when he preached? The answer is no.) Today, we want to be entertained. We want to laugh on Sunday mornings. We want multi-media presentations to give us pizzazz. We want to be dazzled. Yet Jesus’ messages were always simple stories. He told parables that made them think about its meaning. He told about the love of God. He told of truth and grace. He told about the kingdom to come. That’s it. No flash.

It wasn’t just the message they were attracted to, it was the messenger. He was so different than anything they had heard from the Jewish leaders. The people on the outside looking in were no longer outcasts; they were included in Jesus’ plans. Jesus’ message was all-inclusive; no one was left out. Anyone who believes in Jesus and the Father can spend eternity in heaven with them. Jesus’ message was and is so simple. It isn’t about the act of doing; it was about being.

Being a Christian, or a follower of Jesus, is simply trying to be like him. We can never be perfect enough to get into heaven. No matter how hard we try, we can never make it on our own merits. The people were tired of trying to live up to the standards of Moses’ Law, which had changed over the centuries to include too many of man’s law. Suddenly, untying your donkey on the Sabbath was considered a sin. The people were frustrated at the difficulty of knowing God. It was all so complex. Jesus’ message simplified their lives greatly. Know Jesus, know the father. Simple. Try it.

How does this apply to my life?

Today’s prayer: Lord, help me to understand the simplicity of your message. Help me to love the Son as well as the Father. Help me to be like the Son. Amen

Doug Mead

Parenting Solo

Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

Vol. 3, No. 87

This week’s reading plan can be found at http:/www.oneyearbibleonline.com/july.asp?version=51

No comments: