Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Five, Count'em, FIVE


Things I like about Jesus, that is.

Lee Saunders tagged me with this Five-meme thing, and while I don't tag other people since they're already electronically bruised from all the other tags, I'll note some things I dig about Jesus:

1) Jesus was not Pentecostal. Not that I have anything against Pentecostals, but He didn't do so much of the stuff I hear them doing. He just did His job in what seems to be a low-key sort of way. He didn't raise His voice or shout or carry on, that I can tell. When He wanted demons to leave someone, He just told them to go. And they did.

2) He seems to have gone to some funerals but they weren't funerals when He left.

3) He simply did the right thing all the time, every time. Now this one causes us some real apoplexy in a couple areas. One is that we think He got mad when He chased the merchants out of the temple, but I don't think He did. See ... we look at ourselves and could not see US doing that unless we really blew our stack at the malefactors. We're too proper to do that. Well, He wasn't hindered by that and simply did what was right. Always.

**Edit** Let me wax on a bit about that. When a useless brother-in-law asks us for money, the normal response might be "I can't". Even if we can! We know we won't get the money back so we make up some lame excuse. Or how about we say "God can't save you if you won't trust in Jesus...." or "God can't bless you if you aren't serving Him". My answer to that is always that God can do ANYTHING He wants to do. Period. Jesus is the only way to salvation because God says He is. And that means God WILL NOT save you any other way. Oh, He could instantly change every Bible ever printed, every man's recollection of scripture, and do anything He wanted to. Evidence is He won't. So in the meantime all we can do and know is what He's told us. And the Bible is it. But don't think that how God has said He works is the only way He CAN work.

He can do anything.

**Stepping off soapbox**

4) He did outrageous stuff. So bad that we try to sanitize things to make them more socially acceptable. Take for instance the wedding feast at Cana. We want to say it was grape juice He made, or so low in alcohol that no one would get drunk. Well, that's conjecture that goes outside the Bible for support, and where does it EVER say we should do that? In fact, the head of the servants came to Him after He'd whipped up that batch and said something like "Hey ... what gives? Usually they set out the good wine early, and then, when the guests have had too much to drink, they bring out the cheap stuff. You did it backwards!" That plainly indicates that the guests would be expected to be unable to tell the difference. HellOOOO.......

He also spit on a guy's TONGUE to cure his muteness. Now, when He spit on the guy's eyes, or when He made mud out of spit and put it in the guys eyes, they were blind and couldn't see what He'd done. The mute guy He healed, wasn't. He saw it coming! So we go outside the Bible and try to say they believed in mystical powers of saliva or something. That doesn't get it, for me. I prefer to think God meant what He said when He told us about what He liked to do with what man thought was foolish or base.

5) Last, I love that Jesus loves me. And it's not like a rock star on a stage yelling at the audience. It's up close and personal. It's a pity that we settle for less than a real-life experience of that.

It's axiomatic that, when you settle for less than you could have had, you'll probably get less than you settled for. I don't want any part of that, in my spiritual life.

12 Comments:

At 11:40 PM, June 26, 2007, Blogger Debbie Kaufman said...

Bob: I really like how you put #2. That is so right. Ha.

 
At 8:23 AM, June 27, 2007, Blogger Rob said...

#5 is so deep. It's writing like that, that keeps me coming back to your blog to get some more bones to gnaw on.

 
At 8:45 AM, June 27, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Debbie: Thanks. I appreciate it, as always.

Rob: Deep, maybe, but so simple it seemingly confounds theologians. Incidentally, my nephew John was extremely impressed upon his recent visit at Gateway. You're probably going to see a lot of him for about a year.

 
At 9:37 AM, June 27, 2007, Anonymous marie said...

Bob, you have such a down to earth perspective! And, you use BIG words! Gotta look up that axiomatic word. Maybe I can impress someone today!

I like your reasons for "digging" Jesus. A refreshing look at the Divine Human that never lowered Himself to our level, although we have certainly tried to make it so.

And, what I mean by that is, He always knew it was not about Him, but about His Father, the One he took orders from. Wish us humans could take on that perspective...

You come mighty close!!! :-D

 
At 9:53 AM, June 27, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Thanks, Marie.

An axiom is an accepted truth. What goes up must come down. A stitch in time saves nine. Stuff like that.

 
At 5:12 PM, June 27, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,
Please enucleate on #1.
#5 is so true. I want to be like King David, a man "after God's own heart".
Note: "If we are not willing to wake up in the morning and die to ourselves, perhaps we should ask ourselves whether or not we are really folowing Jesus" (Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller)

 
At 5:29 PM, June 27, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

I've been in AoG churches and heard lots of strange (which I don't mind) prayer .. yelling, changing voices, that sort of thing. I think Jesus was a "no sweat" minister, myself. I think He did what He did without raising attention on Himself, except in the results themselves.

I've heard folks declare authority over illnesses and banish them from folks who died of the illness anyway. Jesus simply did what He did. Simply.

What's your take on why David was a man after God's own heart?

Rod Parseley said last week that you can't have Jesus' life, and keep your own too. I like that.

Oh .. I didn't even know I knew HOW to enucleate.

 
At 8:50 AM, June 28, 2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bob,
I not 100% clear on what you are saying. I have been in a Pentecostal church all my life. I believe people have different ways to worship. Some are LOUD and run around and others are so quiet you have to check for their pulse occasionally.(Does that make them wrong?) I Corrinthians 14:5 states speaking in tongues is a gift of the Holy Spirit. What are you saying - a "no sweat" minister? Maybe the fact he didn't have to raise his voice to get things done? Well, duhhh!!!He is "the power". He didn't have to have faith. He knew (personally) who God was and is,while the rest of us are living on faith and living a Holy life the best way we know how.

Upon first glances at David, I saw an adulterer and a murderer. But, after much study, I see him as a man who was human and desperately wanted to please God. When God told him he wouldn't be the one to build the temple he accepted it. He didn't stand around crying about it. He truly loved his maker. What was important to God was important to David, period. When we "fall in love" with God it is only then that we have the fuel to obey him.

I like what Rod Parsley said. We must crucify the flesh daily. We cannot truly claim victory over something until we have crucified it.

 
At 9:40 AM, June 28, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Hi, anonymous.

Not talking about worship here. Personally, I get in our little Thursday night and Sunday morning prayer meetings and do all sorts of stuff. I'm apt to get face down on the floor, shout, pray in tongues (not quietly, either ... it's a big prayer closet after all), sing, dance, whatever. I try to simply follow the Spirit as He moves me.

I guess you'd have to have been in the same AoG prayer meetings and have seen what I perceive as excesses to understand. Not that I mind excess; God can handle excess if there is any, and I think He prefers wildfire to no fire at all.

If you can get your hands on Joseph Garington's sermon "God's Strange Ways", he explains what I'm thinking.

Incidentally I went to Kingwood AoG prayer meetings for several years, every Tuesday nights. They stand out, with Red Hills Baptist Church, as the most liberating times of my life.

David: After Saul was gone, and the family pretty well eliminated, David asked if there was anyone left of Saul's family to whom he could show kindness. That shows his heart, and I think that fact alone is most telling as to why he was so described. Others sought God, repented, all the other things David did, but NOBODY else ever did anything like what David did for Mephibosheth, that I'm aware of.

Thanks for the dialogue.

 
At 9:42 AM, June 28, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Uuuuh .. it's Garlington, not Garington. And, anonymous, you got a name?

 
At 10:50 AM, June 28, 2007, Blogger Bones said...

Thanks for your time

 
At 12:00 PM, June 28, 2007, Blogger Bob Cleveland said...

Bones: Y'welcome, and now I'll let any casual readers scratch their heads over what THAT was about.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home