I’ll Give Up Anything…But My Pigs

Today’s reading is Matthew 8.

Can you imagine someone actually, literally, and really telling Jesus, “We don’t want you here”? He had just saved a man from demon possession. He had just demonstrated an amazing power. He had just performed a phenomenal miracle. It was witnessed. They all knew He did it. Wouldn’t everyone want the demon possessed healed? Wouldn’t everyone want such a Man to come among them and work His wonders and His miracles in their lives? Under most circumstances, we would think so. However, these folks understood. Letting this Man work miracles among us means giving up our pigs. They didn’t want any more of that kind of miracle. And isn’t that my problem. Yes, I want Jesus’s miracles in my life. But I often want them on my terms. If they cost me, let them not cost me too much. Let them not cost me my favorite things. Let me not have to give up my pigs. I can give up anything but that. So, here’s the question. What is too high of a cost for you to accept the miracles of Jesus? About what would you say, “Ask anything but that”? Perhaps we should start our service to the Lord right there.

Tomorrow’s reading is Matthew 9.

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“Jesus is Lord!”

Today’s reading is 1 Corinthians 12.

Okay, wait a minute. Paul says, “No one speaking in the Spirit of God ever says, ‘Jesus is accursed!'” And yet, Paul, speaking in the Spirit of God, just said those very words. What’s up with that? His point is not that someone in God’s Spirit can’t even utter those words in any context. His point is people who abide in God and His Spirit know Jesus is Lord. Anyone who truly denies Jesus’s lordship is separate from God. No matter how spiritual they seem, no matter how nice they are, no matter what good works they do, they are not in God and God’s Spirit is not within them. In like manner, his point about those who say, “Jesus is Lord” is not that people separate from God are physically unable to say those words in any situational context or that they are unable to fake it. Neither is he saying that anyone who makes this claim is automatically right with God just by saying these words. His point is everyone who sincerely and truly confesses and surrenders to the lordship of Jesus has the same Holy Spirit we do. They may not have the same gifts, abilities, opportunities, and resources as we do. They may be at a different level of spiritual maturity. They may have a completely different ethnic background, skin color, gender, national history, language, socio-economic class, but they are filled by the same Spirit. Since we have the same Spirit, let us work together in the same Body, remembering we are not only members of that same Body but members of one another.

Monday’s reading is 1 Corinthians 13.

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