Pour Yourself Out

This week, we wrapped up our series, Generations, by talking to the Boomer and Builder Generations. These folks have had many years to learn and grown and have their cups filled to the brim. They are ready to be poured out. This fact powerfully shapes what they most need to hear in order to get their journeys with Jesus right in their current season of life. Read on to find out what it is.

P.S. I’m traveling with my family this week, so this will be the only post for the week. We’ll get back to Hebrews starting next week. Enjoy your summer plans!

Pour Yourself Out

Water is amazing stuff. It’s a simple molecule, really. One oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms bonded together in a nice triangular form, with the angles of the molecules set so that one side has a slightly positive charge, and the other a slightly negative charge. For something so apparently simple, though, it does quite a lot of unique and important things. Water is sometimes called the universal solvent. It can dissolve more substances than anything else on earth. Most substances contract, or become smaller when they freeze. Water expands, causing its solid state density to be somewhat lower than when it’s a liquid. Practically speaking, this means that ice floats which is why life can continue in lakes and the ocean in cold environments. One more amazing property is water’s surface cohesion. That means it sticks to itself. In fact, it sticks to itself better than most other substances do. 

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Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 4:23

“Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

One of my favorite illustrations of something Jesus said involves a tube of toothpaste. I look at the congregation and tell them people are like a tube of toothpaste. Then I ask them a question: What comes out when you squeeze a tube of toothpaste? After laughing nervously for a minute because they figure it’s a trick question (it’s not), I tell them: toothpaste. The next question is why? At this point, they’re really worried I’m going to pull something on them. Toothpaste comes out of a tube of toothpaste because that’s what’s in it. Now, sure, I’ve occasionally seen a magician make something like ketchup come out of a tube of toothpaste, but we all know that’s just a trick. If you were to go to the store and open all the tubes of toothpaste right out of their boxes, you would find nothing but toothpaste in them over and over and over again. Then, just to illustrate the point, I squeeze a tube of toothpaste all over a plate in front of them. The illustration is fun, but it helps make a point that Solomon makes right here in Proverbs. Let’s talk about it.

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Morning Musing: 1 Corinthians 4:15

“For you may have countless instructors in Christ, but you don’t have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

When was the last time you got advice from someone else? I suspect it was fairly recently. Oh, it may have not come directly from a person – we tend to be far too isolated from one another these days for that to happen – but if you engage with any form of media (especially social media) you’ve probably received some advice. We live in a world in which there is no shortage of people waiting to tell us how we should live our lives (including, I suppose, this very blog). Some of the advice is general, some of it is very specific, but it is all looking for an opportunity to be given to us. And for all this advice, how are we doing as a people? Are we healthier, wealthier, and wiser? Maybe what we need is not more advice. Maybe Paul is onto something here in what otherwise seems like a stray observation. Let’s explore this a bit together this morning.

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Digging in Deeper: Proverbs 11:4-6

“Wealth is not profitable on a day of wrath, but righteousness rescues from death. The righteousness of the blameless clears his path, but the wicked person will fall because of his wickedness. The righteousness of the upright rescues them, but the treacherous are trapped by their own desires.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

What benefit is there in being right with God? If you’re a follower of Jesus, before you jump all over yourself offering a litany of answers to that question, pause for just a minute and think on it. What benefit is there in being right with God? Let me ask that another way. What benefit is there in righteousness? It’s amazing how changing just a couple of words there puts a whole different spin on that question. Righteousness is a theological word. Being right with God and being righteous are generally two different concepts in our minds. Let me add one more element to this: What benefit is there in being right with people? Now, that’s a totally different question. Except it isn’t. I have been journeying through the book of Proverbs with my deacons for the past few weeks. This morning I want to reflect with you for just a minute on something that caught my attention in our passage for this week. Let’s talk about the benefits godly living.

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Digging in Deeper: Mark 15:2-5

***This is an update of an earlier post from Thursday. Sometimes things come out right on the first try. Other times they need to go back to the drawing board for a bit of reconsideration. Thanks for growing with me.

“So Pilate asked him, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ He answered him, ‘You say so.’ And the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate questioned him again, ‘Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many things they are accusing you of!’ But Jesus still did not answer, and so Pilate was amazed.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Have you ever been in one of those situations where you didn’t know if you should speak or not? Sometimes a well-spoken word can lift a hard situation up out of a pit and make it better than it was before. On the other hand, there are times when even a single word, no matter how well-intentioned it may be, will only add to the weight already pressing down on another person. Sometimes an eloquently arranged argument can diffuse a moment of great tension or change a mind and heart forever. Other times, whatever comes out of our mouths (or off of our fingers) will only be used as more fuel for the fire. When we are in these kinds of moments of decision where we have to decide whether to speak or hold our peace, we should know that we aren’t alone. Jesus has been there too. Here’s a story of one such time.

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