The flame of our love for God and our fellow men must be fed by fuel provided by the mind. Our love for and worship of God must not be merely intuitive. We must put intelligence into it. Paul says, “I shall pray with the spirit and I shall pray with the mind also” (1 Corinthians 14:15).
J. Oswald Sanders, Enjoying Intimacy with God (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Books, 2000), 90.
“Thus, Paul recommends that instead of clinging to human wisdom, we are to become fools. Paul is not simply singing the praise of folly or calling us to sacrifice our intellects. Rather, he is urging us to perceive that the “foolishness of God” is displayed in the cross. When Paul asks that we become fools, he means we become a fool from this world’s perspective by identifying with the cross of Christ.
Mother Teresa is a good example of such a fool. She and her Missionaries of Charity walk the streets of Calcutta and bring back those who are dying. Their “house” is not a hospital but more of a hospice – a place to die with dignity. IT is true that some recipients of their care improve and are even cured. But the main work is care for the terminally ill patients. Many think this is a foolish. Surely it would be wiser to devote the same energy and devotion instead to those who have a chance to be cured. Why waste time on those already slated to die when there are more deserving patients? It is here that Mother Teresa follows the way of the cross, stubbornly insisting that even the poorest of the poor who are dying are God’s children and thus possess infinite value and are especially deserving of love and care.”
Klyne A. Snodgrass, Between TWO Truths: Living with Biblical Tensions (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1990), 58-59).
“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10
Once I was lost for 3 hours in Kathmandu which is the capital city of Nepal. It isn’t even as crazily busiest as most other capital cities around the world. Since this incident, I rather shut my mouth from blurting before people that I was once lost when they talk about their first visit in the city. I reckon that to be pretty embarrassing to admit. Subsequently it can also raise a question at my basic knowledge of the city thus may jeopardize my whole identity as a knowledgeable or well-informed person. For this reason, I always discover different ways to get by in order to hide the story of being lost. I may feel what I am supposedly feeling inside but people may continually respect and accept me. This is my very propensity, and I am pretty convinced that I am not alone doing this!
When a person says, “I have never been lost,” it must either mean that (s)he must have already been under Him and expected to constantly grow in the grace or totally deceived by his own lies and desperately in need of His grace.
The Bible plainly affirms that the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Yes, Jesus came to seek and save the lost, but as a matter of fact, “I have never been lost. Why then should I need him?”, says my deceitful heart. And maybe so does yours. The real problem is not to comprehend Jesus’ coming, but rather admitting that I am the lost. When a person says, “I have never been lost,” it must either mean that (s)he must have already been under Him and expected to constantly grow in the grace or totally deceived by his own lies and desperately in need of His grace. Honestly, being in the state of deception is not equated with being in the state of found.
Well, It is not bad at all to feel found because God has created us with the feeling of found, not with the lost. The feeling of found, however, can be experienced in its intended way and at fullness only in Him. Sin has separated us from God in such a way that we will never take the initiation to search Him to be found. Moreover, Paul says in Romans 10:3 that people have established their own ways to make them feel found without God. But their hearts know that he has, by any means or performance, not been found but the false sense of being found is merely an ostentation. His pretension of being found is an idle endeavor to convince self that he was never lost in the first place to be found later. Sadly, this erroneous thought reflected my own thinking too.
Conversely, the Son of Man – the title Luke borrowed from Daniel 7:13-14 for Jesus in his Gospel- helps us to understand who Christ indeed is. Despite his grandeur majesty, he chose to stoop down to us in order to help us see that we are not what we claim to be but a guilt-ridden creatures who have utterly fallen through. He also invited us to trust in him, because he is only our hope who alone can fix our broken fellowship with God. His agonizing outburst with excruciating pain: “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46), was on our behalf so that we may be eternally found in Him!
All of us need the Son of Man whether we claim to be lost or found. Here is question for you and me: Do I want to knowingly believe in my false claim in order to feel found or do I want to believe in Christ so that I might be found in Him not only for this life but also for the life yet to come? If you are already found by his grace, are you seeking to grow even more in his grace or again discovering Christian ways of feeling found?
The author is a M.Div student in Calvin Theological Seminary. You may follow him in his Facebook page.
“No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.” Joshua 1:5
Be strengthened by the Word of God. He has said that he will not abandon us and give us strength for His name’s sake. We are of little faith struggle to believe his Words and put our undivided trust onto him all time. But God shows his faithfulness to us in the time of despair and our weakness to reassure us that He cares for us and loves us.
Moses represents a promise of the past. “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you,” said God. We may be in a different pit of darkness at present, but do you remember the past pits of your life when you felt despondent yet God brought you out of that. God never leaves us or forsakes us. I truly believe that God does not give us anything for which we are not ready. Trials and tribulations are necessary to better our character. God knows this. Though we may feel that goodness has totally departed from the face of the earth, we still should know that God is at work.