Can God Make a Rock He Can’t Move?

You’ve probably heard the classic question, “Can God make a rock so big He can’t move it?” Yeah, I know it’s a silly notion, but I’ve been pondering it lately in a different way. Regarding His power, “What would God’s wrath look like totally unleashed?” The answer may surprise you, because it has been. No, I’m not meaning the Flood, the fire on Sodom, or other times God made adjustments. It was when His wrath poured out in full measure…on Jesus. At this point you may say, “Oh yeah, I knew that.” If so, stop and really think about it.

For 3 excruciating hours (in total darkness during the middle of the day), Jesus was separated from the Father, to endure God’s wrath on sin…our sin. Isaiah 53 says He was crushed, bruised, scorned and despised in our stead. When we talk about being redeemed, it was a painful transaction, because sin costs…a lot. Over the past few weeks (in preparation for teaching), there are several subjects I’ve had to revisit; things like God’s character, human suffering, and why there is a place called hell. And to be honest, I’ve had to repent for taking Jesus’ sacrifice for granted, and for not being more broken for those who don’t know Him.

So, regarding the question, “Yes, there’s an immovable rock and His name is Jesus.” May we never take sin lightly, and may we never forget His grace.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -John 3:16 NKJV

The Professor’s Dead and I’m Bummed about It

The ProfessorRussell Johnson aka “The Professor” from Gilligan’s Island is dead…and I’m a little bummed about it. Not because I’m a huge fan, but because of what his passing represents. When I was growing up, Gilligan was a daily presence on “after-school” TV and more than once I got sidetracked (from homework) watching the Professor build cool contraptions from elements “indigenous to the island” as he would say.

Reading his story reminded me of something you may not know. Before he was ‘The Professor”, Mr. Johnson was a World War II bomber crewman, decorated Lieutenant, and was shot down over the Pacific. In his day, it was not uncommon for actors to be veterans…not exactly the case now. Some of my favorite actors over the years were WWII veterans like Jimmy Stewart, and they reminded me of the older men I loved to hear tell stories when I was a kid. Their legacy is one of courage, commitment, hard work, decency, and patriotism.

Dawn Wells aka “Mary Anne” (and yes, better looking than Ginger, in case anyone is still debating it) tweeted that he was “a true gentleman, a good father and a great friend”. The “Greatest Generation” is quickly passing and I hope we do them justice by carrying on the best parts of their legacy. Thanks Professor for your service and the can-do spirit your on-screen persona gave to every boy trying to build “cool stuff” out of junk…you’ll be missed!

Lasting Influence

It’s been said that, “Leadership is Influence”. John Maxwell is most often credited with the quote, but it’s an old truth; one history reveals in powerful stories of success and failure. As I thought and prayed through the end/beginning of the year, there’s a scripture passage still on my mind. It’s where Paul explains his approach to influencing the people God entrusted to him. Take a look:

“When I came to you, brothers, announcing the testimony of God to you, I did not come with brilliance of speech or wisdom. For I didn’t think it was a good idea to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. I came to you in weakness, in fear, and in much trembling. My speech and my proclamation were not with persuasive words of wisdom, but with a powerful demonstration by the Spirit, so that your faith might not be based on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.” – I Corinthians 2:1-5 HCSB

Think about it. Here was a man very capable and experienced in leadership, but:

  • He didn’t rely on excellence of speech
  • He was determined to focus only on Christ and Him crucified
  • He went in weakness, fear and trembling
  • He wasn’t dependent on persuasive words of wisdom
  • He wanted their faith to be specifically in God’s power.

In other words, Paul didn’t want them to have great faith in him, but in God. We should always do things with excellence (Col. 3:23) but here’s what I’m asking myself,

“What is the lasting effect of my leadership, and

what is the true nature of my influence?”

My prayer is to somehow “get over myself” and effectively point people to the power of Christ in their life. In reality, it may mean speaking less, or speaking more (depending on circumstances). It may involve less reliance on strategy and more on God, and for me, I’m quite certain it means more prayer. How about you?

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