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Hypocrisy

cross

“Oh, sometimes it causes me to tremble, tremble, tremble…”

And the multitudes surrounded Him, and shouted words of praise
As He rode a strong young donkey through the holy city’s gates.
Everything they did exalted Him; they praised Him as their King,
But He never smiled in victory – He never said a thing.
And they all surrounded Him again in just a few short days,
But their cries had lost their ecstasy, their words had lost their praise.
Everyone through sticks and stones at Him, they mocked and cursed His name,
And the man they worshiped as their King hung on a cross in shame.

They all said, “Crucify! I’ll live the way that I want to live.”
They said, “Crucify! The Man asks for more than I can give.
Yes I love Him, but He simply doesn’t fit my plans,
And the only way to do what I want is to crucify this Man.”

[click to continue…]

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Pretender

by Andy Wood on April 4, 2012

in Gamblers,Life Currency,Love,LV Alter-egos

One of you will betray Me.

No way.

Yes, way.

Not one of us.

Yes, one of you.

But we heard you teach in the synagogues and on the hillsides.

Yes, and one of you will choose to live otherwise.

But we saw you perform miracles, like feeding the five-thousand!

Yes, and one of you who carried a basket of leftovers will himself be carried away.

But we healed the sick together with Your power!

Yes, one of you, who healed the sick with My power, will betray me.

But we cast out demons in Your name! [click to continue…]

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In your Christian practice, do you find yourself drawn more toward law-based living or more to grace-based living?

Students in a class I teach deal with that discussion question.  I always look forward to their answers.  Nearly all of these students are pretty seasoned in their faith, so the overwhelmingly most popular answer is grace-based living.  After all, that’s the “correct” one, right?

Nobody ever gets misty-eyed in church singing, “Amazing Law, how sweet the sound…

There are, of course, some brave souls who cop to law-based living.  Some do it as an aw-shucks-pray-for-me kind of confession.  Some try to reframe the question.  “I prefer to think of it as obedience,” one student said recently.  I like that.

Others crawfish a little more and ask questions like, “Now what do you mean by that?”

See, nobody wants to admit they’re a legalist.  [click to continue…]

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(The Squeeze, Part 2)

In the previous post I introduced the idea of the squeeze – that when life comes calling or the world comes knocking and we get squeezed, whatever is on the inside comes flying out.  Specifically, when life or the world squeezes, two things quickly become evident – what’s in your character (your decisions) and what’s in your heart (your desires).

That why Peter addresses this encouragement to a group of Christ followers who were living life in The Squeeze:

Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good (1 Peter 2:1-3, NIV).

When Our Flesh Demands Relief

People who are hurting instinctively crave relief.

NOW!

Like Job, the tendency is to move from “Lord I’m trusting you for deliverance” to “Lord stop it now or explain yourself!

When we stubbornly hold onto the demand for God to change things, five kinds of behavior emerge. [click to continue…]

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A Fungus Among Us

by Andy Wood on February 16, 2009

in Insight,Life Currency,Words

critic-4I’m about to share some relevant, important information to you – especially if you are interested in starting a business or avoiding germs.  I’m also going to show you something that’s so painful, it’s funny (or vice-versa).  Why?  Because I can!  And because The National Enquirer was right about inquiring minds.

But first, a story with a point.

I miss my old friend Randall.  During our younger years, we spent many hours together praying, talking, and clowning around.

Randall once told about a funny, yet convicting experience.  For a long time he’d been watching another highly-respected Christian.  One day he announced to his brother Leigh, “I think I’ve finally found something wrong with Greg.”

Leigh, known for his dry humor and sometimes biting sarcasm, replied, “Congratulations!  You found the mote!”

The “mote” to which Leigh referred was the old King James word for “speck” in Matthew 7:3-5.

“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye?  Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me remove the speck out of your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye?  Hypocrite!  First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

Next time you’re in a crowd of people, Christians in particular, look around.  You will find your share of people whose “eyes” are filled with “motes.”  And you’ll be tempted to look past the pole in your own eye to notice, criticize, or try to correct the specks in someone else’s. [click to continue…]

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