Summary: Sometimes the lack of words concerning a believer’s life is a reminder of the Spiritual Paradox that "Less of us is More of Him."
The 12 Apostles
Week 9 – James "the less"
Dr. Rik B. Wadge, Ph.D.
"When Less is More"
Joel Olsteen’s declaration
“This is my bible...
I am what it says I am...
I have what it says I have...
I can do what it says I can do...
Today I will be taught the Word of God...
I boldly confess...
My mind is alert...
My heart is receptive...
I will never be the same...
I am about to receive the incorruptible...
Word of God...
I will never be the same...
Never, never, never...
I’ll never be the same...
In Jesus’ name, amen...
A father and son were asked to participate in a little experiment. The two were placed across a 100ft stage from one another (the father at one end, the son at the other). The son was given a blindfold and the stage between the two was filled with 50 large 48lb, 4 foot long bear traps. Each trap was capable of inflicting no less than 500 pounds of pressure. The father’s role would be to guide his son by using verbal commands through the 100 foot maze of these bone crushing minaces.
The test begins with the father yelling out directions, cautions, assurances and encouragements. "Trust me son, and it’ll be OK." "Ok, now slowly to the right, a little more." "Ok, now to the left." "slow down a bit." "just listen to my voice son and you’ll get through this alright." "I love you son."
Imagine being on the other side of the blindfold at this point. On the other side of the traps. Having to completely trust someone else with your safety, and should you fall, with your life.
Have you ever played that game in school or summer camp where you have to lead or be led by someone else? One of you is blindfolded and typically your partner walks you into all kinds of trees and over rocks and up stairs....you just prayed that you ended up with a nice partner.
If you have, you know how vulnerable you feel when you’re not in control.
But, this illustration of the father and son is a truly an element of the spirit-filled life.
We have physical sight, yet we learn that we’re spiritually blind without the guidance from God.
We have a mind that can calculate and fathom amazing things, yet it’s essentually useless in spiritual things unless reborn by the spirit of God.
We have ears to hear the physical world, but unless spiritually revived, we can never hear the voice of God.
Jesus repeatedly calls us "lost sheep" in need of a shepherd to guide us through life.
The Christian life is one of paradox.
We have eyes, but we cannot see.
Ears, but we cannot hear.
Minds, but we cannot spiritually reason.
And hearts, but we cannot truly love... without God!
These are paradoxes. For some of you who don’t know what a paradox is: "a pair oxen side-by-side." No actually, a paradox is: "a statement or idea that appears to be contradictory."
Today, I would like us to consider some biblical paradoxes. For example:
Consider this: there are volumes of literature on Kings and kingdoms, the glamourous and the powerful, the beautiful and the talented. People that have made names for themselves in this world, but usually not in the world to come.
Here’s the paradox that became so painfully obvious as I began this study on the 12 Apostles... Here are 12 of the most influencial men in history and yet almost all of what we know of their lives could fit on the front and back of one postcard!
Now that’s a paradox!!!!
And this is just an illustration of one of the many paradoxes we must come to understand and embrace in the Christian life. This illustrates the paradox that we’ll talk about today.
But, let me just mention in brief the other Christian paradoxes:
Here are the 7 paradoxes in summary:
1.We find by losing. Matthew 10:39
39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
2.We Recieve by Giving. Luke 6:38
38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together
and running over, will be poured into your lap.
For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
3.We are Exalted by Being Humble. Matthew 23:12
12 For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be
4. Our Weakness is our Strength. 2 Corinthians 12:10
10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in
persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
5. We Rule by Serving. Mark 10:44