Practical Proverbial, from Mark, 11 June 2015

If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his Father’s glory with the holy angels. Mark 8, verse 38.

I like old things; antiques, old pictures, old houses and log cabins, traditions; do you like these too? Now, I live in a traditional part of North Texas.   Out here in the Paris boondocks, tradition still rules.   The old ways still work; the old things still matter. Yet I’ve spent most of my time in Texas living north of Dallas, where ‘new’ is the thing and consumption is fashionable.   I loved my life and friends in Collin County, but also couldn’t wait to leave, couldn’t wait to live in a place where we could get back to the basics. Now in a new old farmhouse, my office is upstairs, where I work on an old-fashioned roll-top desk in a room filled with 100 year old maple bedroom furniture, which belonged to my great-grandparents.   When my mom died last year, I inherited many of her antiques, and I’m thrilled to own them now.   I’ll enjoy them for a span of years before handing them off to someone else.   The more I look at some of these old possessions, the prouder I am to possess them if only for awhile.   I’m not ashamed of the old ways for, indeed, the ‘new and modern’ ways of today are simply a fresh veneer on the antique ways of old.

Jesus is old fashioned. It’s the tragedy of the ages how many of us turn our backs on Jesus, ashamed that we think He is outdated, uncool, or that He’s judgmental, that He wants too much from us.   Isn’t it the other way around, that we want too much from Him?   We want Him to condone our sins and approve of our broken attitudes; we want unholy compromise.   Instead, He circles around us and offers us a way out from the path of destruction we choose.   Yet He makes this promise: if you’re ashamed of me all your life, I’ll be ashamed of you when it’s all over. That, too, is an antique truth but it’s one we had better heed if we want to live.

I’ll say it again: Jesus is old fashioned. And yet He isn’t either.   He is new every day, with new mercies and fresh blessings every minute of each day. The more we know Him, the more we find that He’s always a breath of fresh air, and yet He is older than anything else we know.   The teaching, the love, the justice, the perfection He gives are older than Eden, and they have been offered to mankind since Adam first opened his eyes.   The eternal salvation and terrestrial peace of heart that Jesus gives are also as old as Eden for they were promised from the very minute Jesus confronted Adam and Eve concerning their sins. Yet it is this ancient truth – that Jesus is our only hope and path to heaven – that is freshly offered to new people every day.   It’s antique but brand new.

Come see me in the country some time.   We can sit on the front porch with a glass of tea (or a glass of wine) and talk about the antiques in our lives…and the old-time faith that is new and inviting every day.

Lord, thank You for Your old fashioned ways.   I’m not ashamed of You or to be Yours.

Read Mark 9, verses 1-13.

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