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Showing posts from August, 2015

“Yet Jesus continued to pursue the masses.”

A thought by Larry Osborne, (2009-04-04) from his book, Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith (Kindle Location 841). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book)
He knew why God had sent him to the earth.
Larry says, “He didn’t write them off, even though he knew their hearts and the inevitable endgame. He continued to give them undeserved chance after undeserved chance. Certainly, he thinned the herd a time or two, once to the point that so few were left that he asked the twelve disciples if they were going to leave too. But that was not his normal pattern. It was a onetime sermon.”
He goes on, “While Jesus wasn’t afraid to say hard things and draw lines in the sand, he didn’t hide out in the wilderness. He went toward the people. He made it easy for them to hear him. He did things designed to draw huge crowds. He even healed people before they made a commitment to follow him. His entire life …

“Jesus didn’t come to thin the herd.”

A thought by Larry Osborne, (2009-04-04) from his book, Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith (Kindle Location 807). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book)
I know we just looked at this but I still think there is more to say.  It seems that we need to really be reminded of this fact.
Larry goes on to say, “His goal was to expand the kingdom, to bring salvation to people who previously were excluded. He came to seek and find the lost, including a large group of folks no one else wanted to invite to the party.Everything about Jesus’ ministry was designed to make salvation and the knowledge of God more accessible.”He came to make it more accessible not more exclusive.
He says, “Even at the point of Jesus’ death, the heavenly Father sent a message of accessibility. The moment Jesus died, the temple curtain that had isolated the Holy of Holies from everyone but the high priest (and even he cou…

“But there is something worse than settling for mediocrity. It’s exclusivity.”

A thought by Larry Osborne, (2009-04-04) from his book, Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith (Kindle Location 745). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book)
Back when I was young, a hundred years ago it seems, I set as a goal to not accept two things in myself personally.One was being negative and the other was accepting mediocrity. Worthy personal goals for me. I didn’t want to settle for mediocrity.But in the church “there is something worse than settling for mediocrity. It’s exclusivity.”
Larry says, “Everywhere I turn, I find well-meaning speakers, authors, and other highly committed Christians raising the bar (and taking pride in keeping it high) by redefining what it means to be a genuine Christian. Their teaching seems to suggest that a real Christian is someone who always chooses the harder path and then piles on a bunch of extra burdens for good measure. They call for greater sac…

“But God’s commands are not burdensome.”

A thought by Larry Osborne, (2009-04-04) from his book, Accidental Pharisees: Avoiding Pride, Exclusivity, and the Other Dangers of Overzealous Faith (Kindle Location 673). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book)
But we think it should be.I mean, I want to receive some credit for my obedience.
Right before this thought Larry asks a question, “So why is it that so many of us find pride in superior obedience?”And we do don’t we? He then answers it, “I think it’s because we misunderstand God’s commands. We think of them as difficult and burdensome. We hear sermons and read passages about counting the cost, dying to self, and leaving all behind, and we assume that God’s commands are designed to separate those of us who have what it takes to become a true disciple from those who don’t.”
And then he says, “But God’s commands are not burdensome. They’re beneficial. With the power of the Holy Spirit, they’re not that hard to keep. God gives us both th…