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Viewing entries posted in April 2011
April 27th, Oswald Chambers takes on the difficult task of explaining Matthew 7:7, "Ask and it shall be given you..." He makes the distinction between asking "for" something and "seeking after the Lord." He makes matters worse by using a complicated example, "I asked God for the Holy Spirit, but he didn't give me the rest and peace I expected." Sounds like a worthy request, but the disappointment may be a sign that we are seeking something "for" ourselves, rather than "seeking after the Lord," who may have reason to deny our request. Oswald then focuses on one of his favorite themes when he quotes Matthew 6:8, "Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask him." Then why should you ask? To get to know Him.
He is risen! He is risen indeed! As I contemplate this Easter season, I am struck most by the resurrection power of Christ. I see it displayed in the greening of the grass and the leafing out of the trees. I see it in the birth of a baby (I have a great-nephew due soon). I see it most of all in the lives and hearts of our students here at CEM. "If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins." (I Cor. 15:17) The crucifixion and the resurrection of Christ are the heart of our faith. The power that raised Christ from the dead is available to each of us, to raise us from our sins, to bring healing to our hearts. We see this over and over and over again with each new student who comes to CEM. Broken hearts are mended, lives are changed, by Christ's resurrection power. He is risen! He is risen indeed!
Traditional tax day is just a few moments away. Millions of honest and not-so-honest Americans will be paying a total of many billions of dollars to the government. Some will do so willingly, some under protest, but we have to do it. It was so in Jesus' day. It was a regular issue that came up frequently. Paul summarizes in Romans 13 what the attitude of the believer ought to be about taxes. "Pay taxes to whom taxes are due." However simple that sounds, Paul meant it as part of a bigger concept of faith, in which we (Christians), trust that God's overarching authority stretches into the government we find ourselves submitting to. He knows the leader of each body of legislature, court justice, appointed regulator, and who serves in the oval office, at each desk in the square offices, and everyone in the five-sided building, too.