Archive for February, 2013

Posted: February 26, 2013 in Uncategorized

Jon Goodwin's Blog

Every year when the months of February, March and April come around the discussion of Lent comes up.  Without fail I will enter into a conversation with somebody about the topic of what they gave up for lent.  Sometimes I will hear junk food, steak or even tv.  Yet chocolate seems to be one of the number one things that I hear in this giving up discussion.

I have often asked people why they have given things up only to be told, “It is Lent.”  Sorry that is not a good enough answer.  If I am going to give something up I need my reason to be more than “just because” or it’s a tradition.  Perhaps in my simple mind I just don’t get it.  Maybe giving up chocolate or American Idol truly does make one more like Christ.  Then again maybe not.   I for one am pretty sure that Christ never watched American Idol…

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In John 13.34-35 Jesus says, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.  By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

After reading this passage of Scripture I asked myself, if I am to love others as Christ loved, what does that look like?  My mind immediately went to the cross and thought of the great sacrifice Christ made for each of us.  Yet then I thought; when His disciples were given this command, Christ had not died on the cross yet.  They would not have made that connection.  This caused me read all of John prior to the this verse and here is what I came up with.

If we are to love Christ as He loved then we must know what Christ did and how He ministered.  Here is what we can learn from the first thirteen chapters of John on how on what Christ did to show His love.

Chapter 1: Christ calls the unlikely. -If I had to recruit twelve men to start a movement that would transform the world, I would not have picked the same guys Jesus did.

Chapter 2: Christ has brutal honesty. -Jesus purged the temple.  He clearly was not as concerned as being liked by others as I am some days.  Rather, He was concerned about the purity of His Father’s house.

Chapter 3: Christ shares a message of hope. -Jesus explains salvation to a Pharisee named Nicodemus.  Pharisees and Jesus were not exactly best of friends.  Yet Jesus offers hope to all!

Chapter 4: Christ steps beyond the barriers. -Jesus offers salvation to a lady who is a Samaritan.  A woman that was immoral and had nothing to offer.  She had a past that would make most of us cringe.  Jesus did not care she was a woman in a man’s word. Jesus did not care she was relationally challenged.  He did not care that she was a Samaritan and therefore was hated by the Jews for political reasons, religious reasons and cultural issues.

Chapter 5: Christ broke the rules to serve the needy. -Jesus healed on the Sabbath even though it was unacceptable in the world He lived in.  Serving others in the name of God was more important that pleasing man.

Chapter 6: Christ Fed the hungry. -Jesus saw the need of the people and met the need.  Not because He had to, but rather because He wanted to.

Chapter 7: Christ taught the truth even when it was unpopular. -Jesus taught truth.  At times truth will divide rather than unify.  Yet, personal accolades were not the reason Jesus taught.  Truth was always presented.

Chapter 8: Christ offers a fresh start. -Jesus extends grace rather than condemnation to a woman who is caught in sin.

Chapter 9: Christ gives sight to the blind. -Jesus healed a man who was blind.  The man never even asked for healing.  Yet, Jesus saw a need and met it.

Chapter 10: Christ promises to provide and protect those who follow Him. -Jesus promises to provide and protect in a world that is hostile.

Chapter 11: Christ weeps for the loss of a friend. -Jesus experienced moments of heartache.  He is not one that cannot be identified with.  He gets our pain and has experienced it as well.

Chapter 12: Christ defends an easy target. -Jesus sticks up for a lady that anoints His.  He challenges those that would attack to check their priorities and motives.

Chapter 13: Christ humbly serves others. -Jesus serves His disciples by washing their feet.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of how Christ loved others.  Yet, it is a starting point for each of us.  Let’s commit to love like Christ loves.  People need to see the love of Christ.  Let’s show them what it looks like!

The Legend of the Monk and the Merchant by Terry Felber is subtitled: Twelve Keys to Succesful Living.
It is written in story form where a grandfather seeks to instill these twelve valuable lessons into the life of his grandson. At one point in the book we find this statement; “Julio, one of the most important lessons Alessio taught me was the necessity of giving to others the lessons that you have learned yourself.” I believe this statement gives us a window into the soul of the author who wrote this book.
There is a definate financial stewardship focus in this book. In fact, every single one of the twelve lessons has to do with finances.
While I believe it to be inadvertant, the author appears to state that success in living is directly related to financial success. While this might be the way our world would define success it does not line up with many Scriptural principles.
Overall I would say it was an interesting and easy read. Very few profound statements that would make me want to read the book again but entertaining nonetheless. If you are looking for a fun read and looking to incorporate some basic truths about Biblical stewardship I would recommend picking up a copy of this book.