I’m not necessarily going to start posting often on the blog, but we had such a good meeting last night that I was compelled to share what we talked about.  That way, the people who couldn’t be there last night will get to share with us, as well as anybody else who is curious.

April started the “formal” section of our meeting (I’ll pause so you can laugh hysterically), with an excerpt from Paul Ellis’s blog:

Several years ago I was so overwhelmed by a problem that I sat down in a funk and began to indulge in self-pity. Self-pity is huge sin. It’s far more serious than some of the sins we warn teenagers about. Self-pity is the sin of unbelief in the goodness of God. It is saying, “God, I don’t believe you can handle this situation.” Never give into self-pity because it will sink your boat faster than the Titanic.

But on that dark day I gave into it. I began to feel sorry for my pathetic self. What did Jesus do in response to my sin? Did he stand before me like Nathan pointing the accusing finger? Did he warn me like Elijah of the imminent fire of heaven? Of course not! Jesus is not like that at all.

I remember it clear as day. I was sitting there in my little funk with my head in my hands and suddenly, in my mind, I could see Jesus sitting on the chair beside me in the exact same posture as me. Like me he had his head in his hands and he looked worried. As long as I live I’ll never forget what he said:

“You’re right Paul, this is a big problem. I don’t know what I’m going to do about it.”

Then he threw back his head and laughed and laughed at the absurdity of such a thought. Instantly, I was set free.

Do you see what he did there?

He took my problem in his massive hands and laughed at it. He showed me the utter ridiculousness of the lie that I had bought into. How foolish to think that Jesus hasn’t got this! By seeing Christ I was set free from the lie that had held me captive. I began laughing so hard I nearly fell off my chair.

When Jesus brought me back on course he employed neither guilt nor condemnation, just laughter and joy (Is 12:3).

After this, April shared a video illustrating this idea that Jesus is always with you.  You may think it’s a little cheesy, and it is, but it’s also is a great illustration of the love and ubiquitous nature of Jesus.

Bonnie (that’s me) then read a couple of short parables from Matthew 13.

44 “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a treasure that a man discovered hidden in a field. In his excitement, he hid it again and sold everything he owned to get enough money to buy the field.

45 “Again, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a merchant on the lookout for choice pearls. 46 When he discovered a pearl of great value, he sold everything he owned and bought it!

I have been taught this parable many times over the years.  I’ve always been told that we are the “man” and the “merchant” in these parables.  And indeed, 75% of the commentaries I’ve looked at agree with this interpretation.  They say that we must give up everything to gain the treasure, which they say is Jesus.  Not until I was listening to a message by Bertie Brits* did I realize that we are not the “man” or the “merchant.”

We are the treasure.  We are the pearl.

Arthur W. Pink explains many reasons why this is actually the right interpretation.  Jesus is the one who seeks.  Jesus is the one who gave up everything.  We are the treasure that was hidden until we could be purchased.  The church is his pearl of great value.

Then we talked a little more about the main point Bertie’s message: the expectations we can have of Jesus.  The part of the message that spoke most to me was when Bertie started talking about math.  When we believe in Jesus and still view ourselves as unforgiven or as sinners, it’s like we’re saying:

Sinner me + Jesus and my belief in him = Sinner me

This is like saying 1+2=1.  It’s bad math.  Not to mention that logically, this would make Jesus equal zero.  Do we really believe that Jesus made no difference?  The same can be applied to healing (We are operating under the assumption that Jesus took our sins and our sicknesses upon him at the cross.  We can discuss that another time.)

Sick me + Jesus and my belief in him = Sick me

Once again, we’re making Jesus equal zero.  Just a little food for thought.

We talked about a lot more than this, but these are the highlights.  It was a great meeting!

 

*This was not actually the point of Bertie’s message.  It was something he mentioned in passing, as if it should be obvious.  But it totally blew my mind!