Monday, March 22, 2021

Jesus is not a Hero


We love our heroes.  Men and women who have had the courage of their convictions to take a stand. Often, we associate our heroes with self-sacrifice, i.e., the giving of their lives for a cause greater than themselves.  Think about 9/11 first responders, military heroes, or even a mother who covers her child just before an accident. All of these paid the ultimate price to save lives.  Even Jesus did this on the most epic scale possible, but He’s not a hero (He’s much more than that!)


1 Corinthians 15:14 - And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. 


Things to think about:

·       Who is a hero in your life?

o   Do you know someone personally that you consider a hero?

o   Is their a family member you never met whose story of courage lives on?

o   Maybe there is a figure from history you admire for their heroism

·       Yet, none of these rose from the dead!

·       Jesus did lay down His life for you and me and an entire world of sinners

o   Romans 5:8 - While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us

·       Unlike all of our other heroes, dying alone wasn’t enough

o   His resurrection was a well-documented fact

§  1 Cor 15:6 – after that He appeared to more than 500 of the brothers and sisters…

o   1 Cor. 15:14 - And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith

o   That’s a pretty strong statement, why do you think Paul says this?

o   There was a false teaching at the time that there is no resurrection of the dead, including Jesus

§  1 Cor 15: 16-17 – and if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either.  And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.

·       Jesus’ death and resurrection were for more than our life in the here and now

o   1 Cor 15:19 – if only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied

§  This puts a pretty big hole in the prosperity gospel

o   Why should we be most pitied if our hope is only for this life?

·       We too will be resurrected

o   1 Cor 15:42-44 - So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable; it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power; it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.

o   This is our eternal hope

§  1 Cor 15: 54 - When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

§   1 Cor 15:56-57 - the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

·       What should our response be?

o   1 Cor 15: 58 - Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

o   And isn’t that what we admire about our heroes? 

§  Stand firm, let nothing move you

§  Give yourselves fully to the work

§  Your labor is not in vain

·       Jesus is much more than a hero

o   He died for your sins

o   He was raised from the dead

o   He will reign for eternity

Monday, March 1, 2021


Last week, a friend of mine told me a story about an entrepreneur who was highly successful in his business.  The man had made good use of some land he owned and was blessed with significant wealth.  In light of the success of the business, he made the decision to retire early.  He could finally build his dream house and was looking forward to relaxing and enjoying the fruits of his labors.  If I’m being honest, I thought that all sounded pretty good and I was a little jealous.  He was able to realize the American Dream of working hard, accumulating some wealth, and in a position to stop working and enjoy life on his terms.


Luke 12:34 - Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.


Things to think about:

·       The friend who was telling me this story is a guy named Jesus.  The story is found in Luke 12:13-21 and is generally known as the Parable of the Rich Fool.

·       Not only did the man’s retirement plans not pan out the way he envisioned, but God said, “You fool!  You will die this very night.  Then, who will get everything you worked for?”

o   We’re not guaranteed another minute on this Earth

·       My friend then told me, “Yes, a person is a fool to store up earthly wealth but not have a rich relationship with God.”

·       What mistakes did the rich fool make?

o   Greedy - He sought to hoard rather than share

o   Ungrateful - He didn’t see God as the source of his provision and wasn’t thankful to God for the blessing

o   Hedonistic - He wanted to spend the rest of his life pleasing himself instead of serving God and others

·       Jesus goes on in verses 22-34 to say that God knows what we need, and He will provide for those needs.

o   Luke 12:29-31 - “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.”

·       Jesus went on to tell me that rather than hoarding, I should be looking to get rid of some stuff and share the proceeds with people who could really use some help.  He said that the investments I should be making are in things that last for eternity.

o   “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.”

·       What do you think about my friend’s advice?

o   How does this challenge your beliefs about wealth and retirement?