“Give and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38 NASB
This verse is a one of the favorite go-to verses when the subject is financial giving. In fact, I’ve never heard it used in any other context. I have two problems with that application of this verse.
D-Day. June 6, 1944. Allied military forces invaded Normandy, France. The goal was to drive the Germans from France and ultimately destroy Hitler’s Nazi regime.
I read over some of my recent posts from Just Pilgrims and True Discipleship, and I confess they weren’t very encouraging. In fact, most were critical of us as individual Christians and critical of organized Christianity, the church. I expressed several times my realization that I have a long way to go before I’m living as Jesus expects me to live.
Let me be clear. Although this world is not our home and we are just pilgrims, being a true disciple of Jesus is not meant to be drudgery or an overwhelming burden. It’s not meant to be an energy sapping exhausting life. Not at all.
For no man can lay a foundation other than the one which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if any man builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each man’s work will become evident; for the day will show it because it is to be revealed with fire, and the fire itself will test the quality of each man’s work. – 1 Corinthians 3:11-13
What defines you?
When your friends, neighbors, co-workers, fellow students, or family members think of you, what the first thing that comes to their minds?
We’ve looked briefly at King Solomon’s observations of the earthly life we all are living, and it’s not been very encouraging. He looked at relationships, possessions, and pleasure. Vanity, futility, chasing after the wind. That’s the result of all we’re doing here.
Finally he offers a suggestion, and after reading the entire book of Ecclesiastes it seems to be the only logical alternative to this pointless life we’re living.
The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person. – Ecclesiastes 12:13 NASB
Relationship – noun – the way in which two or more concepts, objects, or people are connected, or the state of being connected. Merriam-Webster
That’s a good church word. Relationship. We’re encouraged to have a relationship with Jesus. We’re told it’s the most important relationship we’ll ever have.
The problem is the definition isn’t always clear. What does it mean to have a relationship with Jesus? Are all relationships with Jesus good ones? Can we have a bad relationship with Him? Is a relationship with Him instantaneous? Or does it have to grow?
Before I go any farther with this series I call “Just Pilgrims” I need to explain something. I mentioned in several posts in my series on “True Discipleship” that I have been greatly impacted by Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s book The Cost of Discipleship. The title alone caused me to ask what my discipleship is costing me. Bonhoeffer’s discipleship cost him his life. It was during the Second World War as a resident of Nazi Germany that he chose to defend and live out his faith instead of cowering down to the Nazis. He ended up spending his last days in a prison camp before he was executed.
In this post and the next two, maybe three, we’re going to look at the book of Ecclesiastes. King Solomon, the author, gives us some impacting reasons to live like we’re just pilgrims.
By the way, a shout out to www.blueletterbible.org. I use this website almost daily for Bible references.
Here we go.
Go into almost any living room and you’ll probably see at least one picture on a wall and at least one lamp on an end table.
Which are you?
For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ – Philippians 3:20
As Christians we know we will spend eternity in heaven. If we compare our time here on planet earth to our time in eternity, we have to conclude we’re here only temporarily.
In fact once we accept Jesus as Savior and Lord, our official address changes to heaven. And from that point forward we’re just passing through this earthly life.
Just passing through. Really?
I sure don’t act like it.
It’s now in vogue to have a bucket list, a list of things you want to do before you die. Bucketlist.org has some common items on bucket lists. Visit a volcano. Travel to Italy. See the Great Wall of China. Learn to surf. I know people who want to visit all fifty of the U.S. states. For someone it might be write a book or start a business or find their birth mother.
What should be on a Christian’s bucket list? A better question might be should a Christian even have a bucket list.