Thought #1: I am no longer interested in what people have to say. I am only interested in what people DO. I’m not sure if this is because my best friends moved to the Philippines to be missionaries and I get to talk to them every week on Skype about what they are DOING every single day of their lives and that amounts to a whole heck of a lot more than what most people have to say any day of the week. Or if it is because I am currently reading 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess by Jen Hatmaker (you may have noticed my thoughts are greatly influenced by whatever book I am reading) and she is actually DOING what she says in the book instead of just telling me to do it. Actions speak louder than words. I’ve known this for forever but I think I am just now learning what it really means.
Thought #2: During the sermon this morning the pastor asked us to read John 18: 28-40 and then write down two things that struck us about the passage ….
Jesus’ Trial before Pilate
28 Jesus’ trial before Caiaphas ended in the early hours of the morning. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the Roman governor.[a] His accusers didn’t go inside because it would defile them, and they wouldn’t be allowed to celebrate the Passover. 29 So Pilate, the governor, went out to them and asked, “What is your charge against this man?”
30 “We wouldn’t have handed him over to you if he weren’t a criminal!” they retorted.
31 “Then take him away and judge him by your own law,” Pilate told them.
“Only the Romans are permitted to execute someone,” the Jewish leaders replied. 32 (This fulfilled Jesus’ prediction about the way he would die.[b])
33 Then Pilate went back into his headquarters and called for Jesus to be brought to him. “Are you the king of the Jews?” he asked him.
34 Jesus replied, “Is this your own question, or did others tell you about me?”
35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate retorted. “Your own people and their leading priests brought you to me for trial. Why? What have you done?”
36 Jesus answered, “My Kingdom is not an earthly kingdom. If it were, my followers would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But my Kingdom is not of this world.”
37 Pilate said, “So you are a king?”
Jesus responded, “You say I am a king. Actually, I was born and came into the world to testify to the truth. All who love the truth recognize that what I say is true.”
38 “What is truth?” Pilate asked. Then he went out again to the people and told them, “He is not guilty of any crime. 39 But you have a custom of asking me to release one prisoner each year at Passover. Would you like me to release this ‘King of the Jews’?”
40 But they shouted back, “No! Not this man. We want Barabbas!” (Barabbas was a revolutionary.)
I only came up with one thing but he only gave us like 30 seconds so it’s not really my fault … “Sometimes it is the people who ‘know’ the most that make the biggest mistakes. Pilate, who knew nothing about the Messiah, was the only one that was interested in justice and doing the right thing.
Conclusions: I first believed in Jesus when I was 14. I spent the next 20 years ‘riding the fence’. Still believing in Jesus but trying to live in the world. I did not ever want to be one of those people who let God take over their whole lives. Yes, I was an idiot. Then when I was 32 something happened. I was in a very desperate place and I needed to believe that this Jesus thing was really real once and for all. So I asked God to make Himself known to me … and He honored my plea. How He did that is not important (although at one time I thought it was very important). From that point on I no longer was able to ‘ride the fence’. I was no longer able to give God only one corner of my life – I had to give it all to Him. In the years since I have been consumed with learning as much as I could about the bible, about the Holy Spirit, about God’s will, and some less admirable topics, such as Christianspeak (this language involves an obscene number of variations of the verb ‘bless’) While this knowledge is important (except for the Christianspeak part – that’s not important at all, it just helps you fit in a bit better) it is not really as essential as I thought. People throughout the bible that had an insane amount of ‘knowledge’ made a total mess of things all the time. Over and over God shows how He doesn’t need people with a lot of knowledge to carry out His will – He actually seems to prefer the ones that don’t know all that much. So how did I get to a place where I thought I needed this knowledge to let God have all of me? What I know and what I say is not nearly as important as what I DO. It is time for my actions to speak louder than my words.
I am not interested in what I have to say anymore…. I am interested in what I do.