Jeff, Jeremiah, and Jeffrey have been exploring Ireland to bring to our viewers vital insights from Celtic Christianity that will help us understand the historic struggles that Christians have faced in the past, the challenges we are facing now, and the choices we will need to make in the future. Check here for the latest news on this series.
We have all met people who insist that their group is the only group God is using, or that you need to know the special name that God wants people to use, or that you are not pleasing God unless you follow them and the calendar they have calculated. But what does God say about these ideas? Jeff Patton explains Paul’s commentary on these types of “religious devotions” and the sectarian dangers inherent in them. How would you answer people who in their sincere desire to please God are caught up in this form of presumptuousness?
12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
Presumptuous sins are willful sins, sins of taking to ourselves authority that is not our own, sins that take advantage of our pride. Historically, groups and individuals have taken liberties and “over-stepped their bounds” in establishing forms of worship not set out in scripture. Are we guilty of this kind of arrogance, relying on our own intellectual reasoning, instead of carefully following God’s instructions. Are the observance of Sunday and Easter presumptuous sins?
As we approach Passover, we have the biblical admonition to examine ourselves, looking into that mirror of God’s instructions and reflecting on our lives over the past year. King David understood this essential aspect of spiritual growth and he asked God to cleanse him of presumptuous sins. Jeff Patton takes a closer look at the nature of presumptuous sins and how we can recognize them and eliminate them from our lives. There is a great reward for following God’s instructions in this matter.
What is the long term view that we should take in investing our lives? And are we “investing” long or short? How real is the coming of the Kingdom of God in our consciousness and do we act daily based on this reality? Is our treasure where our heart is? And are we acting in whole-hearted faith, investing our time and resources in fulfilling God’s directives or do we have the attitude of those in Laodicea. Jeremiah’s story provides a lesson in far-sighted investing based on God’s promises.
How do we reconcile the current belief in “personal autonomy” and the need to build good relationships? The scriptures provide a sound basis for good relationships that will last. Relationships built on loving-kindness and covenant loyalty.
Canada’s Supreme Court has just given the green light to “doctor assisted suicide” in spite of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that supposedly guarantees a “right to life.” So who really has the right to decide whether you should live or die? Does God have something to say about this contentious issue of life and death?