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There was a man named Ian Durkin who was working one day when his tooth fell out of his mouth. After a few days of badgering him, his partner convinced him to see a dentist. The dentist promptly warned him to visit a doctor since he perceived the issue to be much more serious. Ian Durkin refused because, to quote his partner, “he was stubborn like that.” Eventually, he developed serious issues to the point where he was even screaming out in pain. He died in his sleep only a few days later.
There is a sense in all of us that wants to avoid confrontation. Especially when it has to do with us being confronted. We tend to neglect our physical health, and want to always assume the best of ourselves; we tend to give ourselves a pass and think that our problems are less severe than they truly are. This is sometimes true for our body, but it is exponentially more so when it comes to our spiritual life. We always assume we are doing better than we are, and we have a tendency to minimize our sin while maximizing others’. The fact of the matter is that we need continual checkups on our spiritual health.
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I don’t know about you, but personally, I love parties!
It’s just fun getting together with friends. And hopefully there’s food, some hard drinks like LaCroix, and maybe a fire pit for s’mores … or just burning stuff.
Fun fact: One night we had our small group over to our house for a fire, and when we ran out of wood I ended up burning one of my kids’ dressers. #bestdadever
But for me, when it comes to parties and going to a party, the most important question I want to ask is: Who is going to be at the party? Like who’s coming? It’s kind of shallow, but it’s so important. Is family coming? Okay, how about our strange uncle? If it’s a group of friends, which friends? Is Sarah coming? And what about her awkward boyfriend?
The “who” at a party matters.
Even in Jesus’ day, it was important to note who came to a party.
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Not too long ago a book was published with the title: What was God doing on the Cross? It appears that there are two questions being asked, not one. First, “What was God doing on the cross?” Why was the God-man impaled on a Roman gibbet? It seems shocking that God should be crucified? Second, “What was God doing on the cross?” Once we've agreed that the God-man was on the cross, we wonder, “what was he doing there?” What was he accomplishing? To what end and for what purpose was Jesus, the God-man, suffering?
The problem is that there are growing numbers of Christians who are having an increasingly difficult time answering that question. The reason for this is three-fold: (1) a diminishing sense of God's holiness; (2) a diminishing sense of mankind's sinfulness; and (3) an inordinately increasing sense of self-worth. Whereas I affirm the need for a proper self-image, I fear that many are fast becoming so impressed with themselves that they can't help but wonder why Jesus had to die for them at all! But when we look at the Scripture, we realize that the God-man, Jesus, was on the cross suffering the eternal penalty we deserved because of the infinity of God's holiness and the depths of our depravity.
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One of the ways that children sometimes try to deepen their relationship with their parents is to travel back to where their father or mother grew up. They might visit historical societies, read archives, and gather newspaper stories and artifacts from old friends. Doing so, they build a bigger and better picture of their father or mother and experience a deeper sense of connection with them and love for them.
In a similar way, Christians go back to the Old Testament to build a bigger and better picture of Jesus Christ. By connecting with His past, we connect better with Him and deepen our love for Him.
The Old Testament connects us with Jesus’ past in the following ways:
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