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Thursday, October 26, 2006

Jesus, what?!

I've noticed lately how much I avoid reading what Jesus said in the bible. The guy is just too deep! I often can't figure out half of what he says. I much prefer the writings of Paul which seem much more elaborate, but at least understandable. So I've been challenged lately to dig deeper into those red letters. I know that there are treasures in there if only you can figure them out!

In Matthew 5, Jesus says:

14"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. 15Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

That makes sense, we missionaries use that verse all the time. Let your light shine before others that they might see what God has done in your life!

But then, in Matthew 6 Jesus says:

1"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. 2"So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 3But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Woah. So first I am supposed to show off my 'goodness' for everyone to see and give glory to God, but then I am supposed to keep everyone from seeing my 'goodness' so that God who sees what is done in secret will reward me! I'm feeling a bit of confusion now.

How do these two messages reconcile?

Well I guess its all about the heart. That's what Jesus was trying to say the whole time, that its not so much about what you do, but about the state of your heart!

The more time you spend with God, the more you worship him with your life, the more your light will shine and others will be drawn to it! This is good... But if your motivation is no longer to honor God, but to do things 'for God' and impress others with your holiness, then you have missed the point.

In Rick Joyner's "The Final Quest", after spending time worshiping the Lord, he notices that his armor is shining radiantly, along with the armor of all the others on the mountain who were worshiping along side him. The glory from their armor was so great that it began to light up the whole mountain, and those still in captivity saw from far off and were drawn towards it.

But the problem with the shining armor was that the glare made it very difficult for the soldiers to see the attack the enemy was mounting. Pride was on the move. A friend told me about "Satan Syndrome". Lucifer became so enamored of his own glory, instead of focusing on the source of that gory, and this is what caused his fall.

So the key to all this, and what Jesus was explaining, is humility! The soldiers who were wise covered their shining armor with a drab cloak, which shielded their own eyes from their own glory! It made them invisible to the onslaught of pride. Those who didn't put on the cloak ended up back in the enemies camp.

Ok. So maybe Jesus does make sense if you spend some time thinking.