The Innkeeper's Mistake

Monday, December 24, 2007 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

Jesus was born in a manger because there was no room for Joseph and his pregnant wife, Mary, at the inn. A manger was a stone or wooden container for feeding animals. I suggest that if the innkeeper wanted to accommodate a VIP, he could have found room in his inn. As it was, he was too crowded for Christ and too busy for a blessing.

The innkeeper symbolizes the condition of the hearts of people. Too often, we fail to recognize the importance of God's purposes. When Christ should be treated as a VIP and welcomed at the inn of our hearts, He is relegated to the "manger" of our lesser priorities.

The innkeeper was a busy man, probably enjoying the best business he had seen in years because of the census ordered by Caesar Augustus. People had to return to their home towns to be counted. It was like getting a hotel room during the NCAA Final Four or the Indy 500 when rates are higher and VIPs get preferential treatment.

If being too busy dulls our sensitivity to God, we might miss the significance of God's purposes and make the same mistake as the innkeeper. For this Christmas season and at all times, make room at the inn of your heart for Christ.

Merry Christmas from the Hudson household!



Solitude: "Breaking out of the Madness"

Tuesday, December 18, 2007 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

PSA 62:5, My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.
ISA 30:15, For thus says the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: "In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and confidence shall be your strength." But you would not, 16] and you said, "No, for we will flee on horses"--therefore you shall flee! And, "We will ride on swift horses"--therefore those who pursue you shall be swift!

A. Confusion, nervousness, instability, and distraction are common maladies among people today – including Christians. We have become a non-stop society, where we place high value on those operations and businesses which are able to perform 24 hours per day, every day of the year.

Another word for all this is “madness”

1. There was a time, that when night came, all operations ceased until morning.
2. We demand convenience – and have attained it at the price of our own mental/emotional well being
3. Solitude, or time alone is a lost art – activities like fishing, walking for pleasure have given way to high tech entertainment
4. We were not created to be perpetual motion machines. We were designed to function in cycles of rest, reflection, interaction, service and rest again.

B. We pay a high price for neglecting solitude in the presence of God.

1. Our lives become ordered by the pace and practice of this world and not by God
a. David got distracted and feigned madness 1 Sam. 21:13
b. David wound up in the cave of Adullam 1 Sam. 22:1

2. We experience bewilderment, disorientation and random thoughts – like a machine that is operated outside of its tolerances.
3. We are prone to misunderstanding people and purposes because of a lack of personal, inward focus (e.g. rose colored glasses)
4. We begin to feed on noise and clamor – becoming addicted to confusion and preferring it over quiet.

C. Jesus gave us the perfect example of human existence according to divine order. His entire ministry was birthed and sustained out of the crucible of solitude and silence – He could know His Father’s direction no other way. His preparedness to minister and the level of anointing upon Him was in direct proportion to His solitary time with the Father and with His own thoughts.

1. Jesus lived a life of devotion to God interspersed with periods of ministering to others – not the reverse.
2. Jesus began His ministry in the wilderness, in solitude, gaining strength for what lie ahead. When Satan came to tempt Him, he was at His strongest point, not His weakest point.

a. “Jesus constantly sought solitude from the time of his baptism up the Garden of Gethsemane, when He even went apart from those he took there to watch with him. It is solitude alone that opens the possibility of a radical relationship to God that can withstand all external events up to and beyond death.” (Willard, p. 101)
b. “Retirement is the laboratory of the spirit; interior solitude and silence are its two wings. All great works are prepared in the desert, including the redemption of the world. The precursers, the followers, the master Himself, all obeyed or have to obey one and the same law. Prophets, apostles, preachers, martyrs, pioneers of knowledge, inspired artists in every art, ordinary men men and the Man-God, all pay tribute to loneliness, to the life of silence, to the night.” (James S. Steward, “A man in Christ”)

3. Jesus expended a lot of energy just to be alone. He sent people away. Walked long distances to find solitary places and places no one knew about. He arose early and stayed up late to spend time with God.
4. He was not driven by the needs of people, but by the purpose of God – which met the needs of people in dramatic, miraculous fashion. Had he labored with people more than spent time with God, he would have managed to get some people healed, but He would have been exhausted doing so. Because He spent time with God, His times of public ministry were dramatic and miraculous. He got more done in a shorter period of time. Eccl. 10:10


Some Reflections on Spiritual Maturity

Thursday, December 06, 2007 Bryan Hudson 0 Comments

1 Corinthians 2:9 But as it is written: “ Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man [sense ruled] does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the LORD that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

Scripture describes three classifications of man in I Corinthians 2 and 3.
There is the natural man who is positionally related to Adam. This man may be good, but whathe produces in his life can at the most be human goodness. This human goodness is totally unacceptable to God.
Romans 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (NLT, That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God.)

There is the spiritual man who is positionally related to Christ through justification and controlled by the Holy Spirit. The spiritual person bears the “fruit of the Spirit” which is pleasing to God and is what we are made for, Galatians 5:22-23. Spirituality is an absolute. Only those who have experienced new birth can be spiritual. One who is justified is either spiritual or carnal.

There is the carnal man, or “man of the flesh” who is positionally related to Christ but is controlled by himself. This person produces nothing that is pleasing to God, and lives like the natural man lives. This, as spirituality, is an absolute. A believer lives in the dynamic from carnal to spiritual. Both the spiritual man and “men of the flesh” are related to Christ. The man of the flesh controls his own life. (From William Barclay's New Testament Commentary)

Spiritual maturity is a process:
“It is part of the misguided and whimsical condition of humankind that we so devoutly believe in the power of effort-at-the-moment-of-action alone to accomplish what we want and completely ignore the need for character change in our lives as a whole. The general human failing is to want what is right and important, but at the same time not to commit to the kind of life that will produce the action we know to be right and the condition we want to enjoy. This is the feature of human character that explains why the road to hell is paved with good intentions. We intend what is right, be we avoid the life that would make it reality.” (Dallas Willard, The Spirit of the Disciplines, p. 6)