29/10/11 Job 20; Mark 3, 4
S: Mark 4:34-35 Then he looked at those around him and said, “Look, these are my mother and brothers.
Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”
O: Some people are bothered by this passage as it appears as if Jesus is being rude to his mother and siblings. But I don't think so. Jesus was merely taking the opportunity of his relatives coming to visit him to teach about the family of God. Everyone who does God's will is in the family of God.
He probably then went to greet his relatives after making this spiritual point. If I remember right, the Jesus Film portrays it this way -- he got up to go see them right after saying this.
A: I have been having a discussion online with a bunch of people who emphasise grace lately. They were making the point that we spend too much time obsessing over sin, instead of focussing on Jesus. There is some truth to that. But we also cannot go too far -- in this passage and many others in the Bible, God has made it clear that obeying Him is a very important part of the believer's life.
While we recognise that our salvation is by grace through faith and not of works, it is also indisputable that works is evidence that someone is in the family of God. A life characterised by sin is evidence of not being truly saved by grace through faith.
The part that I haven't quite figure out is, what about habitual sin that I continue to struggle with? Some of those Christians in the discussion online that I referenced above said, essentially, that my struggle to stop that sin proves that I don't believe in grace and am trying to get out of sin by the flesh. "Let go and let God" is one way I've heard it put. But what does that mean in real practical day to day living? Some of the discussion has verged close to basically saying to go ahead and sin and just trust that Jesus will eventually solve it. But scripture is clear in instructing us not to sin. So this is still an unsolved issue for me.
P: Father, I am committed to follow You. I know I can confess my sins and receive your forgiveness, and I do so when I do sin. Bring me into Your perfection, even as I am muddling along here on earth. In Jesus' name, amen.
Note: this is using the SOAP method. For more information, see this page (not written by me.)