Continued from Part I.
Man and Woman were walking by a range of hills. Suddenly, a gleam of light caught Woman’s eye. She glanced up, and saw a beautiful blue sparkle high up on the side of a cliff. “Oh my,” she said, “how lovely! I wonder what that is?”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Man ran over and started climbing. Woman held her breath as his fingers and toes sought out tiny ledges to hold onto, and gasped once when he almost fell. But before she knew it, he had retrieved his prize and was kneeling before her, holding up a nearly transparent rock that glittered with all the colors of the sun.
That night by the fire, while she was admiring her gift, she leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. “You were so brave, today. I bet you aren’t scared to do anything!”
Man stiffened. Without a word, he got up and walked away into the darkness.
The serpent was clever, more clever than any wild animal GOD had made.
He spoke to the Woman: “Do I understand that God told you not to eat from any tree in the garden?”
The Woman smiled and said to the serpent, “Not at all. Actually, God did not tell me anything.”
The serpent was puzzled. “Wait, you mean you think you can eat from any tree in the garden?”
“Yes, that’s right,” she said, humming to herself as she sniffed a flower.
“This is too easy,” murmured the serpent. “Well then, have your tried the fruit from this tree here in the center? It is the best in the garden. In fact, it will make you smarter than your husband, as smart as God! You really need to experience it for yourself.”
The Woman saw that the tree was beautiful, that its fruit was good to eat, and that it would make her wise.
She half-reached an arm towards it…
Worship: He’s Worth It
The whole point of becoming a Christian is to know and love God, ourselves, and others the way Jesus did. But what exactly is love?
We use the word “love” whenever we strongly desire or value something. But there are three very different kinds of love:
- Happiness: because it what we want and makes us feel good
- Glory: because it helps us become or be known as our best
- Relationship: because we feel or want to be connected to it
Holiness: Open to God
Lots of people admire Jesus. Even those who aren’t Christians often consider him a model for how human beings should treat each other.
Last time we talked about skills that help us become more like Jesus. So why doesn’t everyone practice those skills? Why do we ourselves often do the opposite of what Jesus wants us to do?
Because we have a wound in our spirit.
You are Good. Really. I mean it.
I am not.
A kind friend pointed out that the seminary focuses I dissed in my last post:
- Theological knowledge
- Pastoral skills
- Relational experiences
may not be sufficient for spiritual maturity, but are necessary.
In fact, what I should have said is that the latter require the former: