Treasure and Ponder

“This is how the birth of Jesus the Messiah came about: His mother Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph,” Matthew 1:18

Some versions say espoused or betrothed. We would say engaged.

That means a wedding is on the way!!!

Mary was engaged to Joseph. They were committed. There may have not been a ring like we would typically use today but nonetheless, a wedding was coming soon.

Sometimes the engagement would last up to a year. This was a time to prepare for marriage. The couple would be able to ask God’s blessing on their relationship as husband and wife. Household affairs would have been taken care of at this time. Even the building of a house could be happening. Although not physically together, unfaithfulness at this point would have been considered adultery.

I have performed almost 300 weddings. It is a privilege to sit with couples during their engagement and speak with them. There are some great stories of how he proposed. It really is a special time for young couples. I know life happens but I always encourage each couple to enjoy this time because it goes fast and can be exciting. Hopefully, it is the only time they are ever engaged!

In the case of Mary and Joseph, I think they had similar feelings. Knowing that the time is relatively short before the wedding probably induced (no pun intended here) emotions and feelings of love, honor, respect etc.

And then the bomb dropped.

Pretend you are a fly on the wall when Mary and Joseph are having that conversation. You know, the one where Mary is pleading with him that she has remained pure. The child is from God, not man!

How do you explain that one!?!?

Right from the get-go, God is using the low things of our world to usher in Jesus. This continues with the inn with no rooms, the stable, and the animals. Even a feeding trough for the baby.

Really God, shepherds as a herald for the King of kings?

And Mary is in the middle of all this stuff. She, being a teenager, most likely just passed her adolescence years, is having to carry this ordeal. Again, no pun intended.

But Luke tells us that she treasured and pondered these things.

Parents, how do we deal with the stuff of life?

When we are at a low point, do we treasure and/or ponder?

What is our knee-jerk reaction?

Let’s take a cue from Mary.

Whether we are a parent, soon-to-be-parent, or future candidates for parenting, we can certainly learn from this young but mature woman.

Follow God. Treasure things. Ponder the possibilities.

Who knows what God will bring into the world through us. (Pun intended there)

Questions. What do you want to ask? part 3

HE HAS RISEN!!! May this truth be more real than ever to you today.

I hope you have enjoyed the questions we looked at in this blog more closely.

Sidenote…I found it quite interesting that my pastor, today, based his sermon in John 18 and 19. In those two chapters, he looked at three questions that Pilate asked in the presence of Jesus.

If you feel like browsing, here is the link to our church’s youtube channel. As of this writing, I don’t think the Easter message is posted yet but it should be within a day or so.

And this link is to the church website. Central Church

And now on to my last question in this series.

The bible is overflowing with questions. This series could go on for months if we addressed all the questions we read. My pastor’s sermon only had three questions in it.

But I do have a favorite question. Of all of them, one sticks out to me. It resonates with me. I would even say I get equal parts challenge and encouragement from this single question. It has the ability to motivate and drive my life.

All human endeavors are summed up in a single sentence. Why we do what we do is contained in these words.

Are you ready? Sorry, not the question to which I am referring!

Here are the first 8 verses from Luke 24:

1On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. 5In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? 6He is not here; he has risen! Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: 7‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ” 8Then they remembered his words. Luke 24:1-8 NIV

“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”

I will share a few quick thoughts.

  1. Trust – Jesus said he was going to die and then be raised again. Maybe the ladies didn’t really believe it because he has been in the grave for three days.
  2. Timing – They were planning on anointing the body of Jesus but did not go the day after the crucifixion. It was the Sabbath so they had to wait an extra day. Jesus said three days.
  3. Temporal – This is the part that gets me. The angel said, “among the dead”. How many times do we look for life (happiness, joy, peace, life etc.) among things that are temporal (dead)? Drugs, Alcohol, Sex, Gambling, Job, Relationship, Games, Art, Sleep…or anything else?
  4. Toga – Okay, maybe it wasn’t actually a toga but it started with the correct letter. Jesus was gone and the shroud (toga) left behind symbolizes (at least in my opinion) that Jesus did not need the material things we seek after.
  5. Tomb – Tombs are full of dead things. Our living Savior is not there anymore.

These are the reasons why this question is my favorite. It encompasses all of life. Jesus is life and we can end our search with him.

So there is no reason to go to the tomb.

You can find life in our risen Lord. Jesus is waiting for you to look for him.

Questions. What do you want to ask? part 2

A few days ago, I posted the first post in this series. The question that was asked is, “Why are you untying the colt?” The story comes from Luke 19. Click here to read the post.

Questions. We all have them. There are too many in the bible to count. I am going to focus on two of them today. The last post in the series will come on Easter (or perhaps the day after).

When we read about Jesus, there seem to be many questions floating around. Often, people are wondering who this guy is and how can he perform miracles and such. The religious leaders are always in a state of anger because Jesus doesn’t ever give them a straight answer. Let’s read a few verses from Luke.

One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. “Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,” they said. “Who gave you this authority?” He replied, “I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John’s baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin?” They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin,’ all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet.” So they answered, “We don’t know where it was from.” Jesus said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.” Luke 20:1-8 NIV

Notice how the question was asked of Jesus, “Who gave you this authority?” A fairly legitimate question. I laugh at how Jesus confused his inquisitors. They didn’t know how to answer him.

It is this author’s opinion that the heart attitude of the people was not in a good place. They wanted to catch Jesus doing something wrong. They did not trust him. He was the enemy.

If our hearts follow that pattern, Jesus will be our enemy as well.

I ask you, in this Easter season, to check your heart. Jesus loves you and me so much it is incomprehensible. Don’t make him your enemy.

The second question comes two chapters later.

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. “Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Luke 22:39-46 NIV

Has that question ever been asked of you, “Why are you sleeping?”. Has Jesus ever asked you that one?

As followers of Christ, we have work to do. And yes, sometimes we get tired. There is even a day of rest built into our week. Jesus will empower us to do the job he has called us to do.

As much as I ask you, I am also asking myself. Am I sleeping right now – spiritually speaking?

If you or I answer yes, then get up! Jesus needs us. His end was near when he was praying in the Garden.

The end is near (end times, apocalypse, Revelation etc.). Now is not the time to slumber.

We can go out and fight this war. Our Captain will direct and lead us into the battle.

And we will win.

Sleepers can’t swing swords.

Questions. What do you want to ask?

Happy Palm Sunday! Welcome to Two Minutes With Tim! Whether by accident or purpose, here you are. Please enjoy the two minutes (roughly speaking) that it will take to read this blog.

This will be the first post in an Easter series entitled, “Questions. What do you want to ask?”

Have you ever read your bible and come across a question in the text? Every book of the bible has inquiries. People asking people. People asking God. God asking people. Even the devil fires off some investigations. This series will focus on a few of the questions asked during the last week of Jesus. The Triumphal entry starts the week. The final post will feature the resurrection.

And with that, on to the first question. We get our question from Luke 19:28-34 NIV

“28 After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29 As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30 “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ” 32 Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33 As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?” 34 They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

Jesus is about to enter Jerusalem. The people will be seeing their king but they don’t know it yet. I love the details here. A certain place with a specific animal and even an exact description! Not any city or village but the “village ahead of you”.

Not any animal but “a colt tied there”. There would have been all types of animals but Jesus was specific.

But even further, he explains that this beast has never been ridden. I think this is a foreshadowing of Jesus. He was the “Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” John 1:29 Only a sinless, blameless, spotless, and perfect lamb could do this action.

We still have not yet hit the question. Jesus prepared the men by telling them that they would be questioned about the donkey. They were to answer ‘The Lord needs it.’

The Lord needs it.

No doubt that the owner of the donkey was more than curious about these two men who were looking for a donkey. Perhaps he wanted them arrested for stealing. We don’t know for sure. We can only speculate.

Another aspect that we are not clear on is what was happening in the minds of the two disciples. What were they thinking?

Did they think Jesus was a little bit crazy?

There goes Jesus again, doing something completely abnormal.”

Isn’t that how we think sometimes?

“Jesus, are you really asking me to do this? Why is following you weird sometimes?

But Jesus knew exactly what was going on in the minds of both parties. He also was fully aware of what he needed.

Jesus gave instructions.

The disciples followed them. Exactly.

The outcome was precisely what God had in mind.

If we look at the big picture, we can’t understand it. It is too big for our eyes (physically and spiritually speaking). All we have is our little corner of existence.

All we can do is follow the directions that God gives us.

Go to the village. Find the donkey that has never borne a rider. And your answer to the question is “The Lord needs it.”

 What is God asking of you and me today?

It may be a small task. Actually, I think describes most of His commands. The bible says that his commands are not burdensome. See I John 5. Jesus said himself that his yoke is easy. We can give him our burdens. Matthew 11

So when Jesus says something to us, we can follow through. We can fully trust. We can obey.

How do I know this?

Because the Lord needs it.

The Bell and the Cross

Happy Sunday night! At least that is when I am writing this post.

It has been a while since I posted so I want to bring you up to speed.

Actually, if you read these posts, that will be sufficient.

Read them in this order:

  1. Advance Token to Boardwalk
  2. Go To Jail. Do Not Pass Go. Do Not Collect $200
  3. Free Parking

If reading this post plus the first three turns into 8 Minutes with Tim, I trust it will be worth it.

I ended the last post with the idea that we have true freedom. At least, in Christ we do.

In short, we can summarize that freedom in one idea. One word. One symbol.

The Cross.

Just as the Liberty Bell symbolizes our freedom in this country, the cross symbolizes the freedom we have in Jesus.

So when you see a cross, let it remind you of what God has given you. And then take time to thank Him. Holy Land Market Resin Cross - Olive Wood Tone - Very Smooth  Wall Cross (7.6 Inches) : Home & Kitchen

Thank you for reading. See you next time!