Friday, January 29, 2010

do you know? do they know?

I've heard this question asked over and over again in the past few months:

"Do you KNOW who He is?"

The first few times I heard this question, I completely dismissed the question. "Do you KNOW who He is?" In my head, this question seemed rather childish, rhetorical, and insignificant. Thus, I didn't really put much thought into it. Personally, I KNOW who He is. And for me, that was enough. I know that I'm saved. I know that one day I'll go to heaven.

As we often do, we tend to focus on our personal lives. But these past three weeks have really showed me that this question wasn't for me. Sure, it's always a good thing to re-evaluate your relationship with God. It's always a good thing to ask yourself whether or not you truly KNOW who He is. Two weeks ago at a soup kitchen downtown, I had a conversation with this one fellow. It was through this conversation that I realized that the aforementioned question was for Him.

The conversation was lengthy, but in short I simply asked him whether or not he went to church. He said yes. I asked him if he was a Christian. Affirmative. I asked him if he believed in Jesus. Once again his reply was yes. And then I asked him, "why?" And his answer was "because it's what I was thought." This response struck me and it's stuck with me to this date. Upon further conversing, I realized that this man claimed to be a follower simply because of his upbringing. He even confessed, "who knows what's true? we could all be wrong, but this is what I was taught, so this is what I believe." I'm sure he knows who Jesus is. The stories, the miracles, the teaching. He even claims to know. But does he really?

This episode reminded me of the parable of the ten virgins in Matthew 25:1-13. Ten virgins wait outside the groom's door. But the groom replies that he doesn't KNOW five of them. Thus the five aren't welcomed in. This story suggests that there are people, perhaps in our churches, in our schools, in our lives, that claim they know. But the truth is, knowledge isn't enough. James 2:19 states that even the devil believes in God. Truly KNOWING Jesus involves more than just head knowledge. When you truly KNOW God, you come into the light and you separate yourself from darkness.

This whole situation really caused me to think about the Christian community. It makes me wonder how many are out there that believe simply based on "what they were taught." These people also need to be reached.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

too old to drive?

Yesterday, a 28 year-old mother was struck and killed at the intersection of Eglinton Ave. and Martin Grove Rd. while pushing her child in a stroller. The driver, an 83 year-old woman allegedly ran a red light, begging us to ask the question: at what point does someone become too old to drive?

Once a driver reaches the age of 80, they are required to renew their license by completing a vision and knowledge test. However, one can argue that these methods are not sufficient in diagnosing the driving ability of an individual. Reaction time, judgment, and coordination are all necessary components required to operate a motor vehicle. These components, however, cannot be tested simply using pen and paper.

So should the elderly be removed from the roads? One can argue that restricting the elderly from driving is considered age discrimination. In response to that, there's a good reason why individuals under the age of 16 are prohibited from obtaining a driver's license. Is that considered age discrimination as well? Obviously not, right? The rules and regulations are put in place in order to protect the safety of other drivers and pedestrians. So when the presence of the elderly on the roads puts the safety of others at risk, shouldn't their licenses be revoked?

I believe so. I don't think it should take a couple more incidents to occur before concrete changes to driving regulations are changed. Sure we want to allow the elderly the be independent, but to what lengths are we willing to go in order to fulfill their desire of independence?


To view the story above, click here.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

urbana pt. iii - the incarnation

Pronunciation: \ˌin-(ˌ)kär-ˈnā-shən\
(1) : the embodiment of a deity or spirit in some earthly form
(2) : the union of divinity with humanity in Jesus Christ

So of all the things i could possibly talk about, why the incarnation? I mean, isn't this something that we're all familiar with already? The idea of Jesus coming down to earth in the form of a man, born to a virgin nonetheless, is something that is practically universally understood by believers and unbelievers alike. Though the message seems rather simple, there is a lot that we can learn from this.
John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth
First and foremost, this is a story of redemption. The incarnation did not occur for amusement or for some form of twisted pleasure - the incarnation occurred because we, his creation, were fallen. This is a story about a world that was designed for good, but damaged by evil; a planet ravaged by sin and on a one-way path towards eternal destruction. Yet this is a story of undeserved grace. This is a story about a Father willing to send his son to rescue a world that despised, denied, and disobeyed him. But it was the only way. It was the only way to restore the world for better. And now we live in victory. We have been reconciled back to God through the blood of Jesus.

Christ chose to dwell among us. He left his throne in heaven, he set aside all the glory and honor that was attributed to him. He left an area of comfort and instead made himself small, humble, and vulnerable. In the same way, we ought to get off these thrones of comfort that we've built for ourselves. We cannot continue to live as Christians expecting everything to come to us. The great commission doesn't say "wait for the nations to come to you and then..." In the same way that God came to us, we must go to others. God also sent his son knowing the response that the world was going to have. Jesus did not come to be admired, respected, loved by the world. There were obviously those who followed and loved him, but seriously...the man was crucified. But he came regardless. In the same way, we must go regardless of the response we receive. We seek not to please others, but we seek only to please God.

Christ was a reflection of God. Through him, the glory of God was revealed to humanity. In John 3, it speaks about light coming into the world. Light came down to earth to conquer a world of darkness. His light, however, is not accepted by everyone. There are those who choose to remain in darkness. But when we choose to step into the light, salvation comes. We give Christ the irresistible right to rule over our lives. As children of light, we are a reflection of the true, original source of light. And as we are made aware through the sermon on the mount, a light is useless when it is hidden underneath a bowl. Light, however, was made to be mounted high so that it's purpose can be maximized. Light stands out from darkness. Light is separated from darkness. In the same way, we are separated from the world.

We are bearers of good news. When good things happen to us, we share it! When we've seen a good movie or when we hear of a good sale, we share it! Why don't we keep it to ourselves? The answer is clear - whenever something good happens, we are even more joyful when we share it! It's as if we were programmed to share good news.

Therefore we must go! We must follow this example that has been given to us. As Jesus was sent to us, we must be sent out to others.

My challenge to you is simple. Are you living a life that is too comfortable? If so, are you willing to step out into the world and make yourself vulnerable? Are you practicing a life of evangelism that is too focused on results? Do you often find yourself worrying about the response you will receive from others? If so, are you willing to deny your pride and your ego, and instead focus on the mission that was assigned to you from above?

Friday, January 1, 2010

urbana pt. ii

I offer my most sincerest apologies to those who were actually checking for updates. it wasn't till i got to my hotel that i realized that internet there was crawling speed (similar to the speed that you get in waterloo rez once you go over the bandwidth limit repeatedly within the same week).

so i have just returned back to Toronto and the comfort of a high-speed internet connection. my urbana wrap-up post will be coming!