A millennial entrepreneur comes to you, bank details ready, asking “What good thing could I do so I could have eternal life?” How do you respond?
You’re probably looking for a seeker-friendly way to respond, “Goodness! It doesn’t work like that. You can’t earn God’s favour by doing something good.” You probably don’t say, “Live like God says; he’s good.”
Apart from the obvious problem of suggesting anyone could earn eternal life by obeying commands, a vague answer like “Do what God says” is unsatisfying for a project manager used to SMART goals. Their next question will be, “Like what?”
They will be really frustrated, insulted even, if you go on to explain the basics of being a good person: “Don’t kill anyone. Don’t sleep with someone else’s spouse. Don’t defraud your business. Don’t commit perjury in court. Take care of your parents, and your neighbours.”
Okay, this story probably isn’t working for you. You can’t even imagine having this conversation. You would not give the answers Jesus did:
Continue reading “When ‘good’ leads you to ‘great’ (Matthew 19:16-22)”
What would it be worth to have God reigning over us?
Open Matthew 13:45-46.
Did you hear the one about the art lover who found an original by someone she and her husband admired? She texted the details to get his opinion. Between meetings, he rushed back a reply, “No. Price too high.” But his fumbling fingers missed the full stop. The text she received read, “No price too high.”
Did you hear the one Jesus told about the pearl merchant? He found the one he’d been waiting for, the elusive pearl with flawless shape, glistening tone, and perfect lustre. He traded everything away to have the thing he’d been waiting his whole life to find.
For Jesus, God’s reign over the world is that one thing worth trading everything for. Like the pearl merchant you might recognize it as the thing you’ve been searching for. Or you may not have been searching; perhaps you just stumbled on it, like treasure buried in a field. Either way, when you see it for what it is — the possibility of everything on earth functioning as beautifully as it was designed to do — what value do you place on it? Continue reading “What’s the value of God’s reign? (Matthew 13:45-46)”
What’s your dream? And what will you do to get there?
Open Matthew 13:44.
What’s your dream? And what would you do to get it? Your honest answers to those questions reveal more about you than you realize.
Someone caught up in the first euphoria of love dreams of a beautiful life with that special someone, whatever it costs. The entrepreneur dreams of owning the Monopoly board, driven by a plan that just might give it to him.
But our best dreams are bigger than ourselves. Dreams like clean drinking water for Africa, empowering locals to transform Cambodia, or A21’s audacious vision to end modern slavery. Syrians dream of living in a country where they need not fear being shot, and some young Americans do too. Martin Luther King Jr still speaks, “I have a dream …”
The trouble with dreams is that the how is more difficult than the what. Continue reading “Discovering what counts (Matthew 13:44)”