Sloth Doesn’t Just Mean Sleep

When I think of a sluggard or a slothful person I typically picture a scraggly-bearded dude passed out on the couch in his mustard stained sleeveless with remote in hand. I’m not alone in this either. Do an image search for sluggard and you are going to find a similar image. Even good ol’ Ben Franklin had the sluggard sleeping as well when he said, “Up, sluggard, and waste not life; in the grave will be sleeping enough.”

But the truth is that a sluggard doesn’t have to be a sleeper. While the Bible has sleep as the favorite past-time of the sluggard it also paints a broader picture. The sluggard is really the one who is doing something other than what ought to be done in that moment to the glory of God.

When we think of the sluggard in our day and age we often think of the young man who is nearing his thirties, without a job, without prospect of marriage, but firmly implanted on the Call of Duty leader board. But he’s not a sluggard because he is playing video games. He’s a sluggard because he is playing video games when he should be doing something else at that moment.

Continue: http://www.mikeleake.net/2017/07/sloth-doesnt-just-mean-sleep.html

One Reason Your Bible Reading Might Feel Boring

“Phwwuuuttt!!!” I spit out the most nasty Coke I’ve ever tasted from McDonald’s.

I assume they are low on the sweet sugary goodness which drips through the behind-the-scenes tubes and into my luscious drink. As I’m about to inform the manager that they need to change out those magic boxes of syrupy cola, I realize that it isn’t a fault with the Coke it’s a fault with my eyes. I didn’t drink Coke, I drank sweet tea.

But that’s weird because I normally love McDonald’s sweet tea. I’ve heard complaints that it’s too sweet. But because I like my sweet tea with enough sugar to choke a horse, I enjoy a sweet tea…almost always. I don’t enjoy sweet tea when I think it’s Coke.

I wonder if we sometimes have a similar experience with Scripture. Psalm 119:103 says, “How sweet are your words to my taste! yes, sweeter than honey to my mouth”. Yet, there are times when God’s Word tastes bland to me. Is it because I’m expecting the wrong thing? Am I not savoring God’s Word because I’m treating it like something it is not?

The Bible isn’t meant to merely give information. The Bible is meant to transform me. If I come to the Bible expecting a few pithy saying to help me get along through my day, then I might be surprised when it rebukes me. I’ll be shocked when I’m looking for a way to use the Bible verse of the day, and the Spirit decides to use the Sword to lance a calloused place in my heart.

If your Bible reading is bland and the Word of God isn’t sweet to you ,perhaps it’s because you are looking it to be something that it is not. It’s a mirror. It’s living. It’s fixed in it’s truth but it isn’t static in it’s nature. Come to the Word this way and you’ll be far more apt to enjoy it’s sweetness (even if it breaks you).

Comment at: http://www.mikeleake.net/2017/05/one-reason-your-bible-reading-might-feel-boring.html

You Don’t Even Have A Bucket, Jesus

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“You ain’t got a bucket”. –The Samaritan woman in John 4

We can’t blame her for not understanding Jesus. After all, she doesn’t know him from any other Jew that’s rejected her. And everything he is saying and doing on this encounter was probably screaming “crazy person I should slowly inch away from” and not “prophet of God”.

Her comment on Jesus’ lack of a bucket comes on the heels of him saying, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” That’s Jesus’ way of saying, “I have everything you need”.

A perfect set-up for her response. “Man, you don’t even have a bucket!”

 

Continue at: http://www.mikeleake.net/2017/05/you-dont-even-have-a-bucket-jesus.html

Is The Flesh Crucified Or Not?

Mike Leake

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. –Galatians 5:2

If that verse is true, then why do I still struggle with sin? If the flesh has been crucified why does it seem to be alive and kicking? Why is there still a battle against the flesh?

I’ve had more than a few people ask me those questions. They are legit questions because it seems that at times the Scriptures speak of the flesh being dead, crucified, gone, done away with, etc. but then at other times we are called to put to death the deeds of the body, to crucify the flesh, to not sow to the flesh, etc. So which is it? Is the flesh dead in the life of the believer or not?

Continue: http://www.mikeleake.net/2017/04/is-the-flesh-crucified-or-not.html

The Aseity Of God And The Power To Change

I read an absolutely heartbreaking article this week. In his article, When Familiar Beats Good, Ed Welch shares a quote that will rip your heart out:

I’ve never been well or happy for a long period of time. So when I do feel like I am doing well, I’m afraid because it’s not a feeling I’m familiar with and it scares me. When I do become clean, I’ve got to become a new person because I’ve been this other person for so long.

That quote is from a woman who lives under a bridge with other junkies. She’s a grandmother of six, addicted to heroin. That quote really gets to me because as a pastor I’ve seen something similar play out before my eyes. I’ve watched as people make decisions from a position of enslavement. It’s heartbreaking. And if I’m being honest, it breaks my heart because I sometimes see this very thing in my own life.

If you know me at all—and you might even pick it up in my writing—I have a tendency to see the dark side of things. Charles Bridges has said, “occasions always present themselves for the display of an unhappy temper.” Bridges is talking about the person who is always fighting and quarreling and being angry. That’s not so much my struggle. My struggle is with depression and negativity. I don’t look at things with hopeful eyes, I call it realism but it’s probably better labeled cynicism.

Continue: http://www.mikeleake.net/2017/03/the-aseity-of-god-and-the-power-to-change.html

A popular hymn i’m not crazy about

http://www.mikeleake.net/2017/02/why-i-dont-care-for-blessed-assurance.html

Read the comment, too.

You’re Doing It Wrong

Is your prayer life sometimes boring? Hard to pay attention? Often get distracted? Feel just like you are going through the motions? I know that I’ve had seasons just like that. I’ve already confessed that if I’m not careful I’ll drift into rote and meaningless prayers before meal time.

I’m convinced that our theology and worldview is on full display in the way that we pray (or don’t pray). I agree with J.I. Packer who said, “I believe that prayer is the measure of the man, spiritually, in a way that nothing else is, so that how we pray is as important a question as we can ever face”. My prayer life lays bare not only the things which are important to me but also how important and self-sufficient I think I am. Prayerlessness reveals a self-sufficient heart.

Continue: http://www.mikeleake.net/2016/10/youre-doing-it-wrong.html