I’ve never been that big on New Year’s resolutions….I always figured that I needed to find it in myself to change something….not depend on a “new year.” But as I was thinking about my hopes and dreams for myself and for our family on new years eve, I decided that I want to read the Bible every day. There are parts that I have read a gazillion times, but also parts that I have not read at all. And I do already read the Bible…but not every day. So I resolved to read one chapter a day and see where that takes me. I plan to read the whole new testament…but not in order.
Anyway, my chapter for today was Matthew 4. Jesus gets tempted by the devil, then begins His ministry. What I found particularly interesting was Jesus’ actions directly after he comes out of the desert and resists temptation: first he enlists help(recruits disciples), then he helps people.
I guess what was more novel to me was what Jesus did not do. He did not set up a structured church. He did not really minister to believers. He didn’t set up small groups or large services. He didn’t start a carpentry club for Christians. There was no singles group. He went and found the poor. And he helped them.
What does that mean for us?
The American church (I mean church as a whole…any denomination that claims to follow Christ) is largely concerned with itself. I’m not saying that Christians don’t need help too sometimes…and I’m not saying that we don’t deserve special programs and beautiful churches.
But where should our priorities lie? Funding for a new coat of paint in our halls? Or a well for a town in Africa? Money for a youth group? Or food for famine victims? Candles and food and other important items? Or clothing for a freezing child in Armenia?
I’m not saying we should send all of our money overseas…but how about a much larger chunk? Jesus made it pretty clear what was important to him. I’m trying to make that what is important to me as well.
These are just things I am thinking about right now…..thanks for reading.