Archive for March 8, 2009


Watch Edited Steve Jobs Commencement Address
Last fall we went through a series of Sermons and small group studies that focused on How would you change your life if you only had 30 days to live. God really got a hold of my life during that study, as I prayed and prepared for sermons, as I thought about what He wanted to do with my life.

I had a dream, almost a vision a month or so after that, in fact it has happened a couple of times. In my dream or vision I was before God and I was literally shaking with fear. I saw how little I had done compared with what I could have done. I was ashamed; I could offer no explanation for my slothfulness, my selfishness, my laziness that led me to do so little of what His will had been.

God got me alone with Him at the beginning of this year. He relived with me the last 35 years of my life, and a lot of what He had done made sense. I made a lot of mistakes, but He showed me how His grace had brought me to this place in His time for His purpose, not mine.

Then He has been restoring to my life a much needed quality, honor. He said before you can go any further I want to see if you will be willing to live a life of honor. Honor for those He has placed as authorities, those he has placed as associates, those he has placed for my watch care. God has been working on me in a powerful way.

He has opened His Word to me as never before. He has given me a renewed Love for His ways, for His presence, for His Power.

The words of Steve Jobs rallied my heart this week. It was as if God was using the experiences of a very successful non-believer to bring some perspective to what He is wanting for my life and ministry, and what I hope you want for your lives and our church.foolish-honor

We are Looking at “Foolish Honor”

1 Cor 4:10 says we are fool’s for Christ’s sake. In order to understand what “Foolish Honor” is, we need to get our hearts around the story in Mark 14:3-11

And being in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, as He sat at the table, a woman came having an alabaster flask of very costly oil of spikenard. Then she broke the flask and poured it on His head. But there were some who were indignant among themselves, and said, “Why was this fragrant oil wasted? For it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they criticized her sharply. But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” Then Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went to the chief priests to betray Him to them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. So he sought how he might conveniently betray Him. Mark 14:3-11 (NKJV)

In this section of Scriptures we see one of the greatest moments in Christ’s ministry, and one of the lowest moments in His ministry.

Godly Fool versus Ghastly Fool

mary-versus-judasHere, Judas thought this woman was being the fool. He thought he was the wise one, profiting from the betrayal of an even greater fool, the Messiah pretender Jesus of Nazareth. I think you and I know who the greatest fool was. It was the man who let his greed and lust for power blind his eye’s to the truth that Jesus is the Savior, the redeemer of mankind. Judas killed himself and even today is burning in hell for his sins. He is truly the fool. And so are you if you don’t come to Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. I’m not talking about fool’s that refuse the Son of God from being their personal Savor. I’m talking about Believers who are Foolish in their Honor of Christ.

I also believe that any Christian who let’s the world tell him how to live his Christian life is a fool. There are Godly Fools and there are Ghastly Fools. If a Christian is walking in the world and in the flesh he is a Ghastly Fool. God looks at your life and says, don’t you realize all that you have? Don’t you know who is living in you? Don’t be afraid to be a fool for me. Don’t be afraid of the world making fun of you, even Ghastly Christians making fun of you. Go ahead, let go, give up and be a Godly Fool!

To understand what was going on in Simon’s house, we have to get an overall picture of the place of Honor in the societies of the world.

honor-killingYou may have heard about the recent murder which happened when a prominent Muslim, Muzzammil Hassan, 44, beheaded his wife Aasiya. What you are not hearing is that this is an honor killing, sanctioned by the Koran. This type of thing goes on in Muslim countries, as well as Hindu countries. Most of these countries, because of their religion are what is called a shame-based culture. You do not do anything that brings shame to your parents, your family. Honor is something you gain by might or by birth. In a shame based culture it is ok to steal or do whatever as long as you do not bring shame upon the family. Shame based cultures are ruthless in their business practices. They will steal from you, they will lie to get an advantage, because that builds their honor up. When they get the upper hand it gives them honor. To appear weak or intimidated is to bring shame upon yourself and your family.

This man killed his wife because she was bringing shame upon him, and if he did not do this he would appear weak and the shame would be increased. This is why it is foolish to try to negotiate with radical Muslims, because they see that as weakness. They will use the negotiations to appear strong. They will lie to gain the upper hand.

America was a radical creation. It was an honor based culture, based upon Biblical morality. The emphasis was on honor for individual rights. Shame was a part of our culture, but only with regards to families. You did not get into trouble because it would bring shame upon the family name. Somewhere along the line fairness entered our culture, and we became a guilt based culture. Now the family structure had broken down, shifting the focus to “don’t get caught” When you get caught it brings guilt. Well, now we have decided we don’t like guilt, so America is changing the rules so that there is no guilt. Single parenthood is ok, living together is ok, bending the rules to be fair to this one or that one is ok. Gay marriage is ok, abortion is ok, teenage sex is ok, America is no longer an Honor based culture and we are barely a guilt based culture.

godly-foolThis woman lived in a shame based culture. What she did was so foolish, so shameful, because she wasted the dowry that her father had probably given her, she brought dishonor to her family, she brought dishonor to her name, and what she did could never never be forgiven in a shame based culture. She would have been shunned the rest of her life. The honor she bestowed upon Jesus brought shame to her and her family. She might as well have been dead. The honor she foolishly gave to Jesus was shocking to the Jews. But that is the Honor that Jesus wants us to give Him.

In fact, so amazing was what she did that Jesus said wherever the Gospel is preached; they will tell the story of what this woman did. And what that means is her story will be told for all eternity, because the Gospel will be preached for all eternity.

In this story we find Jesus being honored at a meal held at Simon the Leper’s home. Simon had probably been healed by Jesus, but they still called him Simon the Leper. Kind of like the guy called Tiny who is 6’6 and 300 pounds. Names just kind of stick with you.

A woman comes in, she is called Mary in John’s account, and she breaks an alabaster jar. She broke it, there was no fixing it. Once it was done there was no going back. Then she poured the contents on his head and on his feet. This was very fragrant oil called spikenard. The oil was worth a year’s wages. It was like taking a designer dress that cost 20 or 30 thousand dollars and using it to wash Jesus feet with. The people there called it a waste. Judas said she was foolish, for she should have sold it and given the money to the poor.

Jesus said “Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me. For you have the poor with you always, and whenever you wish you may do them good; but Me you do not have always. She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.” To Judas, this was the last straw. He went out and betrayed Jesus.ghastly-fool

What are the Lessons of this Story? They are many, but I want to combine the points that Steve Jobs has learned in his life, with what this woman by her simple act of Foolish Honor demonstrated.

The Gospel is meant to produce this kind of reaction! Jesus had to go to the extreme to satisfy His Father. He had to give his own life, and become sin, so that His righteousness would forever satisfy the demands of His Holy Father. Christ, in tirn, will never be satisfied unless we waste our lives for Him. He poured out everything for us, and likewise He expects us to pour ourselves out for Him.

Real usefulness for God is measured in terms of waste…Our work for Christ springs from our ministering to Him.

How to Give Foolish Honor to Jesus Christ…

1. Do A Great Work For Christ!do-a-great-work-for-christ

  • The only way to be truly satisfied in work is to do what you believe is great work. (Work as unto the Lord)
  • The only way to do great work is to love what you do. (with all your heart soul mind & strength)
  • Don’t Settle (Reach for the prize of the high calling)

“As slaves of Christ, do the will of God with all your heart. Work with enthusiasm, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will reward each one of us for the good we do, whether we are slaves or free.” Ephesians 6:6-8 (NLT)

Christ said: “She has done a good work for Me”

  • Christ never accepts mediocrity.
  • Christ wants His children to work with all their heart,
  • God is an all or nothing kind of God.
  • Foolish Honor means giving Honor to Christ with all your heart and all your soul and all you possessions.
  • It means Never accepting second best,  never settling for mediocrity
  • Be aware that there is a prize and you must reach for it, you must desire it. Those who come to God must believe He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Have You Done a Good Work For Jesus?

2. Learn to Give Foolish Honorlearn-to-gove-foolish-honor

  • If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? (I die daily)
  • Remembering you are going to Die is the best way to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. (We are living sacrifices)
  • Death is Life’s change agent. (To live is Christ, to die is gain)

Sometimes we get stuck in a rut. Our Christian walk becomes routine, boring. There is no excitement, no challenge. Sometimes we try to get by doing as little as we can. We only read the Bible 5 minutes a day. We pray for 5 minutes, we go to church once a week, maybe twice. We give the bare minimum of tithe, if we tithe at all. We just do enough to keep in God’s good graces, to keep the thunderbolts away. We don’t want to be too radical in our Christian walk. We don’t want to create a scene, we don’t want to cause any problems.

“Why was this fragrant oil wasted? it might have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.”

Following Christ means dying to ourselves and what we want. It means letting go of our money our possessions, our reputation. It means pressing toward the mark, Living live wired for 220 voltage, not 120.

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

If you want to be a agent of change in this world, you must die to yourself. You must be willing to be a fool for Christ’s sake.

wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her

3. Follow Jesus with Foolish Passionfollow-jesus-with-foolish-passion1

Simon the Leper had been healed, Judas had been with Jesus for 3 years, but only one person in that room had a personal intimate relationship with Jesus.

She had gone out on a limb, she had refused to be mediocre, she had decided to give Him everything, even if it meant giving up her reputation and becoming a fool. Her foolish honor for Jesus meant the reward of intimacy with her Savior that those men never knew.

Are you just going to church because you think you should? Do you live your life by the opinions of others. Is your Christian walk stagnating, with no real intimacy with Jesus. You need to lay everything aside and follow Him with everything you have.

The one thing you would never do for Jesus is the thing you must be willing to do. You cannot hold on to anything that would keep you from following after Jesus.

  • Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. (Walk in the Spirit)
  • Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. (think Holy Spirit)
  • Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition (Follow after Christ)
  • “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.” (Hunger & thirst to the point of foolishly giving everything to Jesus Christ)

Some of you rarely hear the Holy Spirit speaking to you. You live your life by what others say, or by what you think you are supposed to do. You don’t have an ongoing intimate walk with the Holy Spirit. You let things and dogma get in the way of fresh new revelation from the Holy Spirit.

And they criticized her sharply, but Jesus said Stop, Leave her alone. Only she had the courage toi listen to what her heart told her. She gave her all, and reaped eternal reward. She was honored by Jesus himself.

stay-hungry-stay-foolishAre You Hungry for the presence of God in your life? Are you Hungry for the Power of Christ to be reality in your life? Then you must be willing to be foolish. Foolish in your devotion to Christ, foolish in your giving to Christ. Willing to be shamed by others because you love Him so. Don’t allow the spirit of Judas to enter your life. Don’t allow your lust for pride, lust for money, lust for personal ambition, lust for what you want to prevent you from giving foolish honor to Jesus Christ.

Foolish honor is the key to renewed personal intimacy with Jesus.

Spurgeon preached:

“if we had this love it would be but natural to us to give to him, to live for him, and perhaps if we had ought at last to let him have it, – that so even dying we might give our friend in our dying testament a proof that we remembered him, even as he remembered us in his last testament and will. Oh brothers and sisters – what we want more of in the Church is, more extravagant love to Christ. I want each of you to show your love to Jesus, sometimes by doing something the like of which you have never done before. I remember saying one Sabbath morning that the Church ought to be the place of invention as much as the world. We do not know what machine is to be discovered yet by the world, but every man’s wit is at work to find out something new. So ought the wits of the Church to be at work to find out some new plan of serving Christ. Is there no man that can invent some new deed for Christ? Is there no brother that can do something more for him than has been done to-day, or yesterday, or during the last month? Is there no man that will dare to be strange and singular and wild, and in the world’s eye to be fanatical – for that is no love which is not fanatical in the eye of man. Depend upon it, that is no love that only confines itself to propriety. I would the Lord would put into thy heart some thought of giving an unwonted thank-offering to him, or of doing an unusual service, that so Christ might be honored with the best of thy lambs, and that the fat of thy bullocks might be exceeding glorified by your proof of love to him.

  • It is time for us to show Jesus Extravagant, foolish Love and Honor.
  • Someday you will stand before Him. Will you be trembling with fright as He shows you what might have been if you had shown Him foolish Honor.
  • Will You hear the words: “Well done thou good and faithful servant.”