50 Reasons: To Learn Obedience and Be Perfected

The other day I mentioned that I would be reading Piper’s book “50 Reasons why Jesus Came to Die” between Easter and Pentecost. You can get the scoop here.

To Learn Obedience and Be Perfected

Have you ever really thought about the obedience of Christ before?  I think about learning obedience and the first thought that comes to mind is “quit being disobedient.”  Piper does a great job in drawing out that Jesus didn’t have any “disobedience” to get rid of.  He was perfect.  So how do you learn to be obedient if you are perfect?  Answer: You continue to do what you are asked to do, even when it is difficult.  Every step to the cross was a step of obedience to God’s plan to save sinners.  Christ was perfect, not only because he didn’t sin, but also because he always did the right thing.

Father,  I was reminded today that Christ is doubly righteous.  Not only was he without sin, but he was also completely obedient.  Your plan to use the cross to reconcile us to Yourself is becoming more and more clear.  Thank you for your amazing love and great plan to save all who would call out to you.

50 Reasons: To Please His Heavenly Father

The other day I mentioned that I would be reading Piper’s book “50 Reasons why Jesus Came to Die” between Easter and Pentecost. You can get the scoop here.

To Please His Heavenly Father

Today I am reminded that it was God’s plan to crucify Jesus for my sins. I guess too often I struggle with believing God would want to save me. I know all too well just how much of a sinner I am. I am aquointed with guilt. I have a hard time imagining that God would plan out my salvation or that Jesus would willingly embrace suffering on my behalf.

But there it is in Isaiah 53 that it was the will of God. God desires to rescue me from my sins!!! It is His plan! Where I have fallen short, Jesus was perfectly righteous. He has stood in my place, embracing suffering even from the hand of God.

I wonder if It Is Gods will that many of us might suffer for the sake of spreading the gospel. I am reminded of Dr. Piper’s message entitled “Doing Missions When Dying is Gain.” Take time to listen if you haven’t already.

Father, thank you for loving me. Thank you that Jesus would be obedient, even obedient to the point of death. I feel so unworthy most days.  Thank you that where I was disobedient, Jesus was obedient.

50 Reasons: To Absorb the Wrath of God

The other day I mentioned that I would be reading Piper’s book “50 Reasons why Jesus Came to Die” between Easter and Pentecost. You can get the scoop here.

Today is Easter and day one of the journey. If you haven’t done so already, you will want to read the introduction.

To Absorb The Wrath of God

I was reminded today that my sin is not trivial. The bible tells us that we have all sinned against God and that sin has a consequence. Because of our sin we are defective. We were made to glorify God, but instead seek our own Glory. Though we are made in the image of God we are broken. We are not only broken, we are offensive. We spend our whole existence not only failing to Glorify God, but also with an audacity to love other things more.

Why we hunt Easter Eggs, but don’t do Santa

Just the other day I put out an update on Twitter inviting people to an Easter Egg hunt. Apparently this took a few followers off guard and I immediately got a response to the gist of “you don’t do Santa, but do Eggs. I’m confused.” Over the course of a few days others have amplified their concern that we might be living a contradiction. So let me clarify.

First. Santa is not bad. We watch Santa movies at Chistmas with everyone else. We just don’t teach our children that he is real. So we aren’t Santa haters, we just aren’t Santa believers. I don’t think my kids will miss Jesus in the midst of this because we are believers in Jesus and He is a big deal in our house year round. In fact we are always looking for ways to share with others about him.

Easter is a bit different. I don’t know many children whose parents teach them the Easter bunny is real in the same sense that they teach about Santa. I don’t think any one is trying to teach our kids about fertility by hosting an egg hunt. It is just fun to hide something and go look for it. I don’t think the real resurrection message is threatened by hunting for Easter Eggs.

Again we teach about Jesus every day in my house. I read a bible to my daughter because she can’t quite read herself. We discuss the things she sees (on a 4-year-old level) through the filter of God’s love for people. She goes to bed every night singing praise songs. I model prayer for her at least once a day sometimes more. She prays 4-year-old prayers on her own.

I’m not worried that she will miss Jesus for the bunny. I’m more worried that she will miss the real message of the Resurrection because we are at home with family instead of out there with our community telling others about Him! I’m more worried that my kids might perceive me to be more passionate about talking with others about SEC football or the latest movie than I am about Jesus. My real concern isn’t eclipsing Jesus with other holiday fanfare, it’s the other days of the year that concern me the MOST!

So we decided we could hunt Eggs and tell others about Jesus at the same time. An Egg hunt Is a great way to meet parents and children, to develop relationships and share the good news of the Resurrection. So we’ve been praying for weeks for an egg hunt, we passed out invitations to our neighbors, and while she hunts eggs and makes new friends I’m intentionally set up to share the gospel.

In short. We found a way to tell others about the resurection through an Egg hunt.

Jesus Story Book Bible

I finally found an Easter gift for my children.  The video below is from the Jesus Storybook Bible.  I ordered the Jesus Storybook Bible Deluxe Edition from Amazon.com ($16.49) and it should be in our home by the time this is posted.  After we have had a chance to read it through and evaluate it, I’ll post a review.  In the mean time check out the video below concerning the resurrection of Jesus and take time to show it to your kids and talk about the meaning of the resurrection of Jesus.

I was turned on to this resource from reading the blog of an old college friend Tim Brister, you can view his blog at http://www.timmybrister.com

Easter Book Club (50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die)

I want to invite you to read a book with me and take a deeper look at why Jesus came to die.  Over the course of 50 days I will be reading a 127 page book (not exactly an overwhelming task).  In the process I will be blogging my response to what I have read each day and posting it here.  You are invited to participate.  Read along in the book, read my comments and share some of your own.

We will be starting on Easter Sunday.  Below is the scoop on the book, why I chose Easter, where you can get a copy of the book, and the schedule so we can read along together.

A few years ago John Piper wrote a book entitled, Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die.  Each chapter is approximately 2 pages in length and covers one of the fifty reasons.  I must warn you that though the chapters are brief, they are not always easy to process.  I have found in the past that reading one brief two-page chapter a day helps me to process the content of each chapter before moving to the next.

Easter is the time where we celebrate the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus and Pentecost is the time we celebrate when the Holy Spirit came and empowered the followers of Jesus to bear witness to his death, burial and resurrection.  Coincidentally (or not so coincidentally) there are 50 days between Easter and Pentecost.  This provides a great time to read Fifty Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die and meditate on the reasons Christ’s death (and resurrection) were necessary.

I will read a chapter a day according to the schedule and posting my response here on this blog.  I want to invite you along on the journey and share your thoughts here as well.  You will need to obtain your own copy of the book.  If you live in the Pensacola area I have several extra copies (for free) that are available on a first come, first serve basis.  You will need to e-mail me at 311517@gmail.com to reserve a book.  If you live outside of the Pensacola area you can purchase the book in several places including Amazon.com ($9.99) and DesiringGod.org ($6.49).  Desiring God also has a PDF copy available online for free.

If you plan to follow along, please let me know either via e-mail or a comment on this post so I will be able to pray for you as we read along.

The following is a PDF of my schedule for reading: 50 Reasons Why Jesus Came to Die – Reading Guide.