Yes, fellow Christian, just sit back and relax. God is in control.
You want to end a conversation about the chaos in the world today? Utter these soothing words, “God is in control.”
Case closed. Go on to the next subject. Crab grass. Vacation. Car shopping. Whatever.
Then sit back and do absolutely nothing.
It takes from 8 to 10 hours to travel the 50 mile passage that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Was it worth the price?
It was first thought of in the 1500s by King Charles I of Spain. Actual construction did not begin until 1880 by France. Faced with mudslides, malaria, and yellow fever, it was abandoned in 1888. American president Theodore Roosevelt purchased the French assets in 1902. Construction by the Americans began in 1904.
Ever been mooned? I was once. It wasn’t a particularly pleasant experience. Have you ever mooned anyone? No? If you’re a Christian you really need to learn how to moon. Actually the Bible requires it.
“Seriously, Stan,” you may ask, “the Bible requires a Christian to moon people?”
“Scripture, please,” you demand.
“For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.”
That familiar verse is Jeremiah 29:11 from the New American Standard Bible.
Many times you and I have quoted and claimed the promises from that verse. It speaks to our needs. We don’t want calamity. We do want a hopeful future. It affirms our faith in a personal God who does, in fact, have a purpose for each of us.
Some claim that verse has been lifted out of context. I disagree. Other verses and passages confirm God’s desire to give us a life of purpose and a hopeful future.
In fairness to those in the lifted-out-of-context crowd let’s take a look at that verse within the context of Jeremiah 29.
Jeremy walked into the kitchen, stopped, and stood speechless.
“What’s wrong?” Karen inquired.
“It’s official. War has been declared. The Commander-in-Chief has order the mobilization of the military.” Jeremy responded.
Karen returned a blank stare.
“We both have been called up” announced Jeremy.
“But we’re in the reserves” pleaded Karen.
Jack wearily ambled into his house and received that familiar greeting.
“Hi, dear. How was your day?”
He plopped himself onto the couch, loosened his tie, and composed an answer.
“It was just another regular day of listening to Dennis rant and rave. Once again he changed the priorities on the projects I’m working on. That sorry son…”
“That jerk is the poorest excuse for a manager. My priorities change daily. I can’t get anything done. Then as I was leaving he asked me to give him an update Monday morning. Seriously, I just want to beat the snot out of him.”
Been there? You have someone in your life right now that you’d like to beat the snot out of? Yes? Good. Read on.
I’m a fraud. I’ve been conning my readers. I’ve been deceiving myself.
I’m a fake. But I didn’t intend to be.
I wrote a blog series called True Discipleship. I emphasized the need for Christians to be true followers of Jesus. I criticized the church for making discipleship optional.
Surely after writing all those posts one might think I took to heart my own words. One might think I began to change the way I lived my life. One might think I actually was on the way to becoming a True Disciple.
The one who might think those thoughts would be wrong.
There is one key ingredient in the recipe for true discipleship. There are no substitutions. Without it there is no recipe. You can’t make an omelet without eggs. You can’t make bean soup without beans.
What is that one item that makes or breaks the discipleship recipe?