For Lent, I am walking us through a book called Apprenticeship With Jesus. You can follow along by reading my highlights and reflections. Extensive previews of the book, including excerpts, can be found through Google Books and Amazon, as well as eBook purchasing options.
Day 11: The Ugly: Accepting My Personal Altar
– Romans 12:1 – 1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.
– The only way to keep Jesus’ commandments is to place oneself on an altar as a living sacrifice, crying out to God in humility and helplessness
– Three mountain peak moments of scripture – Abraham’s faith with his son Isaac (Genesis 22), Mary’s faith (Luke 1), Jesus in the garden (Matthew 26, Luke 22)
– Choice of willingness over wilfulness
– Mariana Trench of Scripture – Garden of Eden and most of the rest of scripture and our own lives
Another passage that could be included as a Mountain Peak passage is the story of Peter walking on water (Matthew 14: 22-33). When he was focused on Jesus he was walking on top of the water but when he lost his focus he couldn’t do it. When the waves became too big and the wind too strong, Peter became distracted and began to sink and he cries out to Jesus to save him. Of course Jesus reaches out his hand and saves Peter. Working through us, Jesus can perform miracles, on our own we are as good as drowned.
Apprentice Activity: Living Sacrifices
– Quiet yourself and then slowly read through the Mountain Peak Passages – Gen. 22:1-14/ Luke 1:26-38/ Matt. 26: 36-42/ Romans 12:1
– Ask God to share with you whatever he wants regarding the meaning of these passages
What is harder, reading through these passages or quieting yourself to slowly read them? If our mind and heart are not ready to receive the scripture then it does no good to read through it. How do you know when you are ready to receive scripture? I think it is when you can read slowly. Much of our daily technology driven reading is quick and involves skimming. When we take that approach to scripture we will get nothing out of it. I am speaking to myself on this.
What is Jesus teaching me? What does it mean to be human? I have heard similar thoughts as the one above about the truest sense of being human and it has always surprised me. I guess I hear so often about the sinfulness of our humanity that I forget that when God created humans he had something else in mind than what Adam and Eve chose for themselves. And so for us to match God’s intent for humanity is to love him, commune with him, and live in trust of him. I want to be human in the truest sense today.
Do you have trouble loving God and obeying him? Have you chosen your own version of humanity?