The Language Spoken by the Holy Spirit


This will be on the “Back Page” of the bulletin for Fishkill UMC this Sunday (April 7, 2019, 5th Sunday in Lent – Year C). This was written by one of our associate members, Pat Powers, who is returning to Louisiana after a business assignment her in Fishkill.

I’m from south Louisiana, and contrary to popular belief, we don’t have alligator crossing signs like New York has deer crossing signs.  In fact, I’ve never seen an alligator crossing sign although we do have plenty of alligators. What we do have in Louisiana are mostly flat and mostly straight roads. In New York there is no such thing as a flat, straight road.

Louisianians and New Yorkers have other differences as well.  A friend from Ohio told my wife that only she could turn his name into a three syllable word. New Yorkers, and especially the closer to New York City they live, can turn 3 one-syllable words into a single word.  New Yorkers continue on with life almost normal after several inches of snow.  In Louisiana, we shut the cities down if we hear the words “snow flurries are expected tomorrow.”

Yes, there a lot of differences between our states and our citizens, however, one thing we have in common are earthly lives.  Our lives are not like Louisiana roads – straight and flat. No, our earthly lives are like New York roads – full of curves and ups and downs.  We never know what’s around the next curve or over the next hill.  The road of life can be extremely hard to navigate and deal with, however, we have our GPS, seat beat, brakes and air bags all wrap up in the Holy Spirit.

At Christmas time, I like to say that “without Christmas, there would never have been an Easter.” And at Easter, I say that “without the death of Jesus, there would be no Holy Spirit” who is by our side 24/7.  The Holy Spirit is always there to comfort us, guide us, chastise us, and most importantly, always love and forgive us.  That Holy Spirit that speaks to me in a South Louisiana drawl is the same Holy Spirit that speaks to you in a Hudson Valley dialect.  And that same Holy Spirit, along with the Father and the Son, is what bonds all of us together in Christianity.  God Bless.

Pat Powers

Where Is Your Focus?


A Meditation for 13 March 2016, the 5th Sunday in Lent (Year C). The meditation is based on Isaiah 43: 16 – 21, Philippians 3: 4 – 14, and John 12: 1 – 8

What did Jesus mean when He told His disciples that the poor would be with us always? Did He mean that poverty was a permanent condition that could never be fixed and that we should just accept the idea that some people will never have enough to survive, let alone live in a reasonable manner?

Or was He pointing out that the political and economic system might be corrupt and that there were those whose wealth and status came at the expense of others. Remember, in the Gospel reading Judas Iscariot wants Mary to sell the oil and give the money to the poor. We also know that John, the writer of this Gospel has a burr under his saddle when it comes to Judas so he proclaims Judas wanted to steal the money from the group’s common treasury, of which he (Judas) was the appointed treasurer.

Not withstanding Judas’ motives, that he saw the need to have money available to give to the poor suggests, at least to me, that the social support system of that time was not working. If it was, there would have been no concern about how an expensive oil might be used.

The prophet Isaiah tells the people that their God, the God who brought them out of slavery and exile, has provided for them. In a desert land where water is at a premium, Isaiah points out that God provided them with water so that they could live. And because their basic needs have been met, they, the people of Israel need not worry about that and can be more attuned to what is to come.

We live in a time that probably would have driven Paul crazy. If, as he warned the Philippians, there were religious busybodies running about then, more interested in their own appearances than they were concerned about others, how would he react today. I don’t think Paul would have cared very much for those who say that they are evangelical Christians today.

Those who proclaim themselves evangelical Christians today seem more interested in their own fortune and well-being than they do the fortune and well-being of others. Those who have taken the name of Christ have, in my opinion, taken it in vain.

You cannot say you are for Christ and then say in the same breath that you hate people or that you are willing to go to war and you feel that feeding the hungry or healing the sick or taking care of the homeless is a waste of time. But then again, many of those who say this say it is because the poor will be with us always so why do anything about it.

About six weeks ago, I wrote a piece entitled “I Am A Southern Evangelical Christian! What Are You?” in which I defined evangelism as

declaring the good news about what God is doing in the world today. Evangelism should challenge individuals to yield to Jesus, to let Jesus into their lives, and to allow the power of the Holy Spirit transform them into new creations. But it is more than that.

It involves proclaiming what God is doing in society right now to bring justice, liberation, and economic well-being for the oppressed. It means to call people to participate (nasty word there, don’t you think) in the revolutionary transformation of the world. Evangelism is what Jesus said it was: broadcasting the good news that the Kingdom of God is breaking loose in human history, that a new social order is being created, and that we are all invited to share in what is happening. God is changing the world into the world that should be and we are invited to live this good news by breaking down the barriers of racism, sexism, and social class.

Evangelism requires that we declare the Gospel not just by word but also by deed and we show God’s presence in this world by working to eliminate poverty, prevent unjust discrimination and stand against political tyranny. Evangelism calls us to create a community through which God’s will is done, here on earth, as it is in Heaven. (borrowed and adapted from Tony Campolo’s foreword to Clarence Jordan’s Cotton Patch Gospel: Luke and Acts; for more see “Who Are You Following?” or “What Do We Do Now?” where I consider how to apply the thoughts of Dietrich Bonhoeffer as well as those of Clarence Jordan and edited).

It is not easy to be an evangelical Christian when it requires that you work, perhaps without the glory that you think should come for doing just a smidgen of the work. It is not easy to be an evangelical Christians when such efforts run counter to the expressed nature of society where self comes before community. It is not easy to be an evangelical Christian at a time when society doesn’t seem to care about people.

What was it that Sir Thomas Moore said to Richard Rich (in “A Man For All Seasons”

Sir Thomas More: Why not be a teacher? You’d be a fine teacher; perhaps a great one.

Richard Rich: If I was, who would know it?

Sir Thomas More: You; your pupils; your friends; God. Not a bad public, that.

It isn’t a matter of what society thinks; it never was. It is a matter of knowing in your heart that you have accepted Christ, that you cast away all that you were before, and that you walked with Christ. And you have walked with Christ to the Cross and you kept walking afterwards, carrying the message of hope and promise throughout the land.

It is not easy; even Paul knew that. But he also knew that keeping his focus on Christ was what he had to do.

Where is your focus?

 

A New Way of Thinking


These are my thoughts for the 5th Sunday in Lent, 21 March 2010. The Scriptures for this Sunday are Isaiah 43: 16 – 21, Philippians 3: 4 – 14, and John 12: 1 – 8.

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First, let me reiterate something that I have said before. I am an evangelical; I was baptized an evangelical, I was confirmed as an evangelical, and I believe as an evangelical. But my belief in evangelism is different from what the common perception of evangelism is. I believe in the Gospel and while I believe that the Gospel message is one best taken individually I do not believe that the Gospel can be forced upon you.

Though I may be an evangelical, I cannot tell you how to think; I cannot tell you how to live; I cannot condemn or judge you because of your actions. What I can do is work to make this a better world by putting the words of the Gospel message into action.

The Gospel message is about bringing food to the hungry, medical care to the sick and dying, and hope and freedom to the oppressed. Now, if that is social justice, so be it. If I make this world a world in which the Gospel message is validated and effective, not merely words spoken on a Sunday morning and forgotten that afternoon, then I will have achieved the goal of an evangelical.

The Gospel message is more than just making disciples out of everyone that you encounter. It is about making sure that everyone has the opportunity to find God in whatever manner they so desire. Being an evangelical does not mean that I can change the words of the Bible or the history of this country so that people are given a worldview of exclusion, hatred, and ignorance. Jesus did not work that way; he operated in the openness of the countryside; He chided those who arrested Him in dark because they would not come after Him in the open and in the daylight.

Yet there are those who proclaim themselves to be evangelical in nature yet preach a gospel of hatred and exclusion, of moral certainty for others while they are free to be immoral. The preach a gospel of control over other’s thoughts and words and actions. And in the end, when the world around them has fallen down and they are left with nothing but their broken pride, they will hope and pray that God will not forget them as they struggle in their own personal Sheol. And they will have no understanding that God’s Grace is given to them as freely as it is to all who seek God, if they will but just acknowledge their sins. But their pride, their arrogance, their self-righteousness will keep them from doing so. And in the end, they will be the ones who receive the punishment that they have promised for others.

The problem is that too many people have a view of Christianity, evangelism, and God that is dominated by the views of these modern day Pharisees. We, as a society, have so transformed Christianity into our own religion that it bears little resemblance to the movement that spread from the Galilee two thousand years ago.

The other day I chanced to hear a discussion by an author about the nature of Buddhism in this country and why he became a Buddhist. I didn’t get to hear the whole conversation but, in essence, he became a Buddhist because he studied the topic and what he studied resonated in his soul. The author pointed out that, for most people in this country today, their knowledge of Buddhism is a conglomeration of facts and thoughts and that they actually know very little about the subject.

The same, I believe, can be said about Christianity today. The perception and view of Christianity today, even among Christians, is very much different from what it really is. And that is the problem for society today. When you do not understand the topic and you willingly let someone else tell you what to believe about that topic, you run the risk of getting a distorted view of the topic.

And I am fully aware that I run the risk of doing exactly that with what I write. But I encourage you and challenge you to study for yourself what I have studied; I encourage you and challenge you to find in your heart and mind the answers to the questions that touch your soul. Do not expect me to answer the questions for you because I, through study and reading, am having enough trouble finding know the answers to my questions. The whole essence of Christianity is found individually; I can show you the way but I can’t make you follow. If faith were found in a strict adherence to the law, then I could command you to find God. But faith is found in the heart and only you have the power to open up your heart.

Paul writes to the Philippians about his past and his present. He writes about growing up in the right family and being taught the law and understanding the law and living the law and enforcing the law. And he points out that everything he did as Saul was legal and acceptable.

But, you see, as Paul points out, when you come to Christ and you accept Christ, your view changes. Righteousness does not come from an adherence to the law; righteousness comes from what is in your heart.

When we read the passage from the Gospel today, we get an insight into not only the thoughts of Judas but John as well. We will come to know later that John is the Beloved Disciple, the one challenged to write down all he saw and all that was done by Christ. So we know that his anger or displeasure with Judas comes after the fact. In fact, John probably thought that Judas was correct in saying that the woman in the story (and this is, contrary to popular belief, not Mary Magdalene) should have sold the oil and given the money to poor. We know that John was as interested in the power that would come in Jesus’ new kingdom; it almost destroyed him as a disciple before he had the chance.

We know from later study that the poor were one of the most oppressed classes of society and that they remain so today. Anything that could be done to help them needed to be done and that is the same today as well. Jesus constantly told His disciples not to take from the people because that would only increase the burden on them.

Judas would, of course, use this instance as the rationale for betraying Jesus because Jesus was not going to enact the kingdom on earth that he, Judas, wanted to see. But Jesus looks beyond the moment and knows that there is a deeper symbolism in this woman’s actions; they are the actions of a woman preparing a loved one for burial.

To see the actions in that light, I believe, requires a new way of thinking. It is the thinking that Isaiah is proclaiming in the Old Testament reading for today. The whole purpose of Lent is not simply a symbolic sacrifice of something for forty days, knowing full well that you are going to take it back the moment that Lent is over. Lent is a time of transformation, of giving up the old ways and beginning a new life.

Repentance is more than just saying that you aren’t going to not do something; it is a statement that your life is going to change

If you hold on to the old ways, if you think in the same ways, then Lent is meaningless. If you are not willing to cast aside the old and see the world in a different light, then your journey through Lent is meaningless, without form or void.

So in these last days of Lent, as the time before Palm Sunday runs down and the opportunity is lost, recall the reason for Lent and take the opportunity to begin a new way of thinking.

The Value We Give


This is the message that I presented at Tompkins Corners United Methodist Church for the 5th Sunday in Lent, 28 March 2004.  The Scriptures for this Sunday were Isaiah 43: 16 – 21, Philippians 3: 4b – 14, and John 12: 1 – 8.

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I have probably mentioned this before but I enjoy watching "Antiques Roadshow". It is not nearly as interesting as one when it first came on the air but that is because most of the "hidden" treasures have been discovered. Still, there are the occasional finds that amaze the owner who never really understood the value of what they owned.

But even with the undiscovered treasures that have been shown and undoubtedly still to be found, I find it amazing that people bring things in that are not as valuable as they think they are. In one particularly memorable spot, this couple brought in an undiscovered Van Gogh painting. This couple was absolutely convinced that they had an uncatalogued, undiscovered masterpiece. But the appraiser pointed out that it was not in Van Gogh’s style, it was not in any sequence of colors he would have used, it was nothing he would have painted, and the signature on the painting was not even his. Still, this couple left convinced that the appraiser was a fool and they were in possession of a priceless masterpiece.

At times we are like this couple, attaching a value far exceeding its true worth to something we own, in hopes that in doing so we will solve many of our problems. We think that if we find the right object or some how win the right contest, all of our problems will be solved or go away and we can have a new life. However, as Archbishop Oscar Romero once said,

"The absolute desire of ‘having more’ encourages the selfishness that destroys communal bonds among the children of God. It does so because the idolatry of riches prevents the majority from sharing the goods that the Creator has made for all, and in the all-possessing minority it produces an exaggerated pleasure in these goods." ("The Church’s Mission Amid the National Crisis", August 6, 1979 – Quote of the Week – Sojourners – 24 March 2004)

Reverend Romero was the Archbishop of the Catholic Church in El Salvador and a leading reformer in the country. He was assassinated on March 24, 1980 as he celebrated mass in San Salvador. If memory serves me well, the assassins were part of the government and they were not too happy about his role in bringing equality to the people of his country.

We are a people who give value to things that is way out of proportion to what it brings us. And we reduce in value those things that we should value most highly. Judas saw what Mary was doing as a waste of money, feeling that the perfume could have been sold and the profit used for the poor. There would have been nothing wrong with doing that.

In 1964 Pope Paul VI gave Mother Teresa a brand new Cadillac. She had it raffled off and made $100,000 which was used to fund her group’s mission work in Venezuela. In 1979, she asked the Nobel Peace Prize committee to use the money that would have provided for the customary victor’s banquet to use the money instead for the poor and homeless of Oslo, enduring an inordinately harsh winter that year. (From Servants, Misfits, and Martyrs, page 38.)

But there are also examples of the opposite. Dorothy Day, who can truly be categorized as one of the great servants of the Lord, once was given a diamond ring as a donation. Instead of selling the ring, she gave the ring to an elderly woman who took her meals at the shelter Ms. Day was operating. As important as it was for the elderly woman to have money to pay her rent, it was also important that she have her dignity as well. If the woman had wanted to sell the diamond ring, then it was her prerogative to do so. But it was also her choice to wear the ring. "Were diamonds just for the rich to wear?" Dorothy would ask her co-workers.

The value that we place on something must reflect what it is truly worth. Jesus scolded Judas because he knew what lie ahead; Judas saw only the moment.

In one sense that is what Paul is saying today as well. He has everything required for success in the society of his times. He was born into the proper tribe; he had the proper training; and he met the criteria of righteousness as defined by law. Yet, as he says to the Philippians, everything that he has is worth nothing unless he has Christ. And to have Christ in his life, Paul says, that he was forced to give up everything he had gained.

That is the challenge we face. How can we gain all if we must lose all? There is an impression among some that John Wesley, in his earlier days, emphasized giving away everything one had to the poor. The result of this has a negative impact on stewardship in the church, simply because people do not want to give all that they can.

But that was only part of what Wesley said, thought, and did. True, once he discovered what he could live on without too much hardship, everything over that was given away. But his precepts of Christian stewardship were to first earn all that you could, then save all that you could, and then finally give all you could.

And I think that is what we must think about. For in earning all that we can we must also be aware that the manner in which we do so must not harm others or ourselves. We should use our talents and our abilities in the most efficient manner, being careful not to engage in any activities that would be contrary to the laws of God or country. We should not make our living in such a way that it hurts our neighbors or endangers their lives.

Wesley wrote that idea at a time when there was a gap between the rich and the poor, the haves and the have-nots. He sought a new way of thinking, a new way of acting. Today, we might call his concept "socially-responsible." But he understood that earning money could not be done in such a way that you gave up your soul. He understood that you could not treat your neighbor in such a way that your gain was their loss. The same is true today.

As long as we see things as they were or as we wish they would be, we will never truly move forward. We are here today at the end of forty days of preparation. In one week Jesus will enter Jerusalem amid the cheering and shouts of the crowds. At the end of next week, Jesus will be hanging from cross, in pain that we can only imagine, suffering so that we will not have to, dying so that we may live.

In Isaiah, the Lord speaks and says that he is about to do something new. We are asked to look for and see the new thing. Paul speaks of the changes that he underwent upon encountering Christ. At the beginning of Lent, I put forth the proposition that Lent was a time to give up the old ways and begin anew, refreshed in Christ. I contrasted this with the common view that one should give up something one liked for the forty days in penance and denial. But penance does nothing if the old ways return.

Paul saw that what he gained from Christ was far beyond the riches and the value he had when he was Saul, the spoiled young lawyer. But in seeing the new riches, he knew he could not accept the present; he had to move forward.

So it is for us. We are almost at the end of Lent; we are almost at the end of preparation. Have we changed? How do we see ourselves now versus forty days ago? Do we place more value on what Christ means or do we place more value on the things we have? It is the value we give to Christ and the value we give to things in general that will tell us what Lent this year has meant.


Can You Pay The Price?


This is the message that I presented at Walker Valley United Methodist Church for the 5th Sunday in Lent, 1 April 2001.  The Scriptures for this Sunday were Isaiah 43: 16 – 21, Philippians 3: 4b – 14, and John 12: 1 – 8.

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I find it interesting that the both the Old Testament and Epistle readings for today are scheduled for the final weekend of the NCAA Division I Men’s basketball tournament. Of course, since the readings were established a long time before the tournament was scheduled, it would be more appropriate to say that the tournament finals were held the same weekend as these two readings.

When I read Paul’s words to the Philippians and the commentary concerning Isaiah’s words, the immediate thought was that Paul was bragging about himself and Isaiah was bragging about the power and abilities of God. And if it seems like Paul is bragging, perhaps it is because he is.

But, as is often said, it isn’t bragging if you can do it. As long as you are able to back up your words with your actions, no one is going to complain. The problem in society today is that, more often than not, we speak loudly and hope that our bragging covers our faults.

Paul was prompted into this uncharacteristic outburst because others had come to Philippi claiming to be superior to Paul and offering a different version of salvation, one based on good works and not faith. We get a good insight into the character of Paul with this passage.

He was not the type easily intimidated by other’s claims. He was able to respond to the claims of others by identifying his own, rather impressive, credentials. He pointed out that, if there was anyone who had reason to believe in his or her own abilities, it was he. As a faithful child of God, Paul was a true Jew with impeccable credentials.

But just as quickly as he listed his credentials and accomplishments, he quickly listed his deficits. Paul quickly pointed out that all that made him what he was worked against him and that what counted the most was what he was trying to do. Paul reminds us that when we put our true and complete faith in what we do, we are very likely to lose sight of our goal.

Paul pointed out that the rightful goal for any follower of Jesus Christ was to be like Christ. Paul said (in verses 12 – 14),

"Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Jesus Christ has made me his own . . . forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press onward toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Jesus Christ." (Philippians 3: 12 – 14)

When we put our faith in what we have, we quickly lose our relationship with God. It is important that we realize that while salvation is free, that doesn’t mean our relationship with God comes easily. There will always be a struggle.

But it is a struggle that we need not face alone. If we listen, we can hear God calling to us, offering words of hope, encouragement and ultimate salvation. When Isaiah proclaimed the message that God is doing a new thing, "I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert" (Isaiah 43: 19), he gave hope to all who life closing in on them in some way.

When we struggle to find our way, to find our purpose in things that can never provide the answer, we only need to know that God never will abandon us. Although we cannot know what the future brings, we do know that God will be there with us. When Isaiah wrote that God would provide the water in the wilderness and the rivers in the desert to give drink for His people, he wasn’t bragging about God; he was telling us that we can know that God will be there when we need him.

Lent is a time of personal journey, of renewing one’s relationship with God. It is definitely not an easy journey. A Christian life doesn’t just pop into existence overnight. It is constructed over time, piece by piece, moment by moment.

With each moment, with each piece that is added to this new life comes change and the difficulty arises when we fear the changes that occur in our life. It is those moments of change when we realize that we cannot stand up to the demands of life; we can neither tame nor conquer life. We find that our growth in Christ comes sometimes in conflict with the demands placed on us by society. It is that moment when we come to realize more fully that Christ needs to be a part of our life.

That is what happened to Mary. The Mary of today’s Gospel reading was the Mary Magdalene whom Jesus had earlier rescued from seven devils. Mary’s actions in the Gospel reading came because she was filled with a great gratitude for her own salvation and because she felt a greater need to express her love for Jesus.

Can we pay the price? That is an interesting question to consider this week. Like Mary and Paul and countless others before us, we need to realize that it isn’t what we do but what has been done for us. We don’t have to pay the price for Christ’s death and resurrection paid the price. Those who expect that what they do will bring them rewards will quickly find that the rewards are not there. But those who understand that our appreciation for the price that was paid by Christ will always show that appreciation in what they do and say "Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were a present far too small; love so amazing, so divine, demands — yes, shall have — my soul, my life, my all." (verse 4, UMC #284)

A Matter of Personalities


Here are my thoughts for the 5th Sunday in Lent.
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Right off the bat let me say that I have not read the “Gospel of Judas” but only followed the discussion that has transpired. Like so much of the other stuff that has been published, discovered, or discussed recently, I tend to gloss over such items. It is not that I think they are frivolous or meaningless but rather that they are complicated attempts to explain the simplest of life’s explanation; that is to say, Christ died for us while we were sinners and because of his death we have gained the right to eternal life.

But it would be nice to know how Judas felt about John and the other disciples. For it is quite clear that John did not like Judas, as he points out in today’s Gospel reading (1) that Judas was stealing from the group’s funds. I think John’s comment comes from the outcome of Judas’ betrayal.

From what I understand, Judas was among those who sought to establish God’s kingdom here on earth. He was committed to a violent overthrow of the Roman government controlling Israel and he was probably just as opposed to the religious authorities who controlled the lives of the people and collaborated with the Roman authorities. As such, each day that Jesus spoke of the kingdom that was to come, Judas became more and more disenchanted with the ministry of which he was so much a part.

In today’s Gospel reading, Judas’ disenchantment is vocalized when he criticizes the use of the perfume used by Mary to wash Jesus’ feet. It is interesting that Judas argued that the money should be spent for the poor and the needy. His comments remind me of many radical groups today (both Eastern and Western) who gather support for their causes by developing programs that give food and assistance to the poor and the needy. If there was ever proof of the radical nature of Judas’ cause, this statement offers it.

The problem for us today is not that John and the other disciples mistrusted Judas. Each of the disciples had problems understanding the same ministry; it would not be until the culmination of what we call Holy Week that they would understand the true nature of the ministry of which they had also been a part.

I think the problem is that we are more like Judas than we realize. We may not be as committed to the revolution as Judas sought but we do not understand the revolution that Jesus sought. We would argue that money spent on the perfume should be spent on ourselves more than it should be spent on the poor and the needy.

We have a culture that is centered on our own needs, not the needs of others. We are not prepared for the coming kingdom that Jesus offers to us. We are like Paul when he was still Saul. As Saul, he was committed to the status quo and the protection of the present system. As he noted in his letter to the Philippians (2), he even sought to persecute the beginning of the Christian church.

But he noted in the same letter that whatever he might have gained as Saul was actually a loss. And, as Paul, through Christ, he gained everything. But he also noted that was much more that needed to be done.

No longer does Paul seek things for himself, as he would have done when he was Saul. Remember that as Saul, he went to the authorities in Jerusalem seeking permission to go to Damascus to find and persecute the Christians living there. We know of course that on that road, he encountered Christ and life changed in more ways than one.

Isaiah speaks of a new thing, a world in which the world changes. (3) The world of old, where power and might rule is to be replaced. What we have to do today is decide whether we want to live in that world or not. Are we going to be like Judas, seeking the rearrangement of the power structure in the present day? Or are we going to be like Paul, recognizing the new order found in Christ?

I will not be an apologist for Judas. Like the other disciples, he saw in Jesus an opportunity to change the world. But he allowed his personality to dominate his life; he allowed his personality to prevent him from seeing the outcome that was so much of what Jesus said and did.

As Saul, Paul was much like Judas, committed to a path which was limited in scope and outcome. But as Paul, with the new personality he found in Christ, the boundaries of his new mission became even greater than he could imagine and the outcome far beyond the limits of human imagination.

We all have a personality. It is a question of whether we will our personality to dominate our lives or shall we give up our personality and find a new one in Christ? Shall we focus on the present and the status quo? Or will we see beyond the present and seek what is to come?
Lent is almost over. But the call to repent, first begun in the wilderness by John the Baptist, has not ended. Shall we keep the personality that ties us to the present age and find discomfort in the nature of God’s kingdom? Or shall we give up this world and allow Christ to redefine our lives? It is simply of what personality we wish to have in the coming days.
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(1) John 12: 1 – 8
(2) Philippians 3: 4 – 14
(3) Isaiah 43: 16 – 21