Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chapter One???

Chapter One – Christians Ask Hard Questions

“What would you do if you were given a million dollars?”

Every time I hear this question, I get excited! It carries with it a connotation that it IS POSSIBLE to win or inherit that type of money. I also get excited because this question allows me to dream. What WOULD I do with that kind of money? Pay off bills? Give it away? Buy something nice for myself and my family?

This is one of those questions that you really have to think about! It makes you take stock of your life and your belongings. It opens you up to future possibilities. It could also suck your soul into a pit of greed. It makes you want things you will probably never have. It is a window for others to see where your heart REALLY lies.

Let’s try another question…

“What is the WORST thing you have ever done in life?”

Now, if a complete stranger approached you and asked you this question, how would you feel? You might tell them to go away. Maybe you would get angry. Or perhaps you would get embarrassed and run away.

Both of these questions have something in common: They are very similar to questions that Jesus asked. And that is the first point in our experiment: JESUS ASKED HARD QUESTIONS!

Let’s look at a few examples that prove this point.

In Mark 10: 35-45, we see James and John approach Jesus. They say to Him, “We want you to do for us whatever we ask” to which Jesus replies, “What do you want me to do for you?”

Sound familiar? Have you ever heard this question before?

Let’s keep in mind that James and John had already seen Jesus do several miracles. He had walked on water, He fed 5,000 people with next to nothing, and He had healed countless numbers of people.

And now this ALL-POWERFUL person turns to them and says, “What do you want me to do for you?”

I don’t know about you, but this question sounds a lot like the one we asked earlier, “What would you do if you were given a million dollars?”

By asking this question, Jesus found out VERY quickly where their hearts were. They wanted power! They wanted prestige!

Does that make you want to change your answer now? Lord, if I get a million dollars, let it be to help someone!

Another example…have you ever been caught doing something wrong? When I was a senior in high school, I decided that I was old enough to stay out all night. At about 5 A.M. I crept in through the front door. Oddly, there was a light on in the living room. I only had to cross about three feet of open space before entering the hallway that led to my room. As I crossed that great expanse, I glanced into the living room and met the eyes of my mother! She was reading her Bible, of course, which just made things worse! She didn’t even have to say anything…I grounded myself for a week!

Jesus caught His disciples being disobedient once. In Mark 9:33-37, we see that the disciples had been arguing along the road about which one of them was the greatest.

Jesus brought their selfish attitude into plain view by asking a simple question, “What were you arguing about on the road?” They couldn’t answer Him because they knew they were wrong!

What about you? Would YOU have a similar reaction if Jesus suddenly appeared and asked, “What have you been doing?”

Here are some more Jesus-type questions…

  • Who or what is the master of your life?
  • Do you love me?
  • If I were to follow you for two weeks, what would I say were your top 5 priorities? (Matt. 6:25)
  • What worries you? Why? (Matt. 6)
  • Have you been overly critical of anyone lately? (Matt. 7:3)
  • What are you afraid of and why? (Matt. 8:26)
  • Do you believe in Jesus? (Matt. 9:28)
  • What’s more important to you…your routine or God’s will for your life? (Matt. 15:3)
  • Who was Jesus? (Matt. 16:15)
  • Who is the last person you fought with? Why did you fight? Did you “turn the other cheek?” Did you show them God’s love? (Mark 9:16)
  • Tell me the story of the Bible. How do you read it? (Luke 10:26)
  • What do you hear others saying about God? What do YOU believe about God?
  • When is the last time you gave away something of great value?
  • Is there a person in your life that let you down? Someone that makes you mad just thinking about them? Why haven’t you forgiven that person yet?
  • What fruit have you produced for God’s kingdom lately?
  • What is the hardest commandment for you to follow? (If you choose, you can be specific here: What is the hardest commandment for you to follow from Matt. 6? Colossians 6?)
  • What do you think makes people do bad things? What makes them do good things?
  • How do your friends know you love them? Using those answers, could Jesus say you love Him, too?

*Please take your time with these questions and don’t just scan over them like I do when I read these kinds of books!


Judy said...

There are at least a couple of your questions that I know I have problems with. Especially what's more important your routine or God's will. Sometimes it's hard for me when I've planned my day and someone ask me to do something. Also, I struggle with getting mad when I think of someone. As you said I think it's a problem with forgiveness. Sometimes I need to think about the hard questions and ask God's help to overcome.

Klay Hall said...

Franklin keep up the good work. I love the challenge that you lay out before us. I look forward to reading more.