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How Intimate?

Book: Under Cover

Author: John Bevere

Where to buy: I’m not sure if this is sold in leading bookstores, but I do see this book in Christian bookstores, try OMF.

Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ – Matthew 7:23

I’m still with the book Under Cover, and my attention got caught in the footnote containing the Greek word of knew which is ginosko. Ginosko represents intimacy. Reading that verse from Jesus in Matthew 7:23, I believe, Jesus was actually saying, “I am never intimate with you.”  

We may not hear Him talk directly, but He speaks and He listens. How familiar you are with the voice of God? How intimate you are with Him?

Knowing God by just pure knowledge is far different from having an intimate relationship with Him. For whoever have knowledge do not yet know as they ought to know, but whoever loves truly knows.

The Sistine Ceiling.

 Connect with God. 

for whoever loves God is known by God– 1 Corinthians 8: 3

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The Samaritan and Martha

Chapter 10 (Part II)

Chapter 10 is just a short chapter but I cut it into 2 because there are two messages that reached me.

In the Part I, it reminded me that we are being called, chosen, and blessed.

In this part, Jesus is telling how we should respond to these things. Here are two stories, I will never forget.

The Good Samaritan

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denariiand gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

This parable, for me, is simply a story that I know by memory. Honestly, I was so used with this story that somehow its meaning never affects me anymore, yet as I read this again, I see something that I never see before – the last words in the parable.

If in the previous verse Jesus said that I must Go like a lamb among the wolves, Jesus here said another Go and be like the Samaritan. All my life, I thought that this parable is just an example, a story of a man as a model to follow, but as I understand it now, it is a commandment from Jesus saying GO! Thinking about this, who am I to stop? I must live a life like the Samaritan not just in times of need but in every day of my life in obedience to Christ, as Peter said it, “because You (Jesus) say so”.

Martha

38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”

41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I remember this story as part of one of our series in Church, “Double Calls”, Jesus called Martha twice. Martha was so busy  at that time that she choose to do things thinking that she could please Jesus by the things that she does, but Jesus called her saying that what her sister was doing is far better than her. Allow me to share what our pastor said when we talked about this story, the sisters have two different approach to Jesus, there was an open heart vs. an open house, and a devoted vs. a distracted. 1

My question is, what kind of opening do I have for Jesus in my life?  Am I devoted to Him or distracted?

Our pastor gives the word BUSY a meaning – Being Under Satan’s Yoke. 1

 I ask myself. Busy? Am I busy focusing more on the things that I do to please God and other people? Am I focus on the “Many Things vs. The One Thing“?. 1

I remember what another pastor said in one of the youth service, “When you are so busy with your ministry, you are squeezing God out of your life.”2 I will never ever forget these lines not just because it was the preaching on the first time that I attended the youth service in church, but because it was what happened to me in the past. I choose to served His people more than being with Him.

Our pastor said, “priority determines capacity”1. Where am I focus? What are my priorities? Am I focused on God or with my ministry?

This time, I know what is right, I need to fix my eyes on Jesus and choose Him above else. I believe a heart full of Him is more pleasing to His sight than a hand full of work.

Jesus called Martha twice, I was called to be in the youth ministry twice. On the first call, I failed Him, but on this second one, I know how to do it right.

Allow me to quote our pastor’s main point in sharing this story,

“God is calling us to dwell in Him.”1

1 Preaching of Pastor Janssen Morados on Double Calls, August 2008

2 Preaching of Pastor John del Rosario on SCANDAL: Role Models Gone Bad, Grounded Service, May 19, 2012