Thursday, November 1, 2012

A Grandstand Affair

Luke 15:29

29But he answered his father, 'Look! All these years I've been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.

I love how God does not waiver when He says there's a message. The brother was jealous of the wonderful treatment his younger brother received. Understand that anger may be the first emotion but there was something else there. Jesus gave the parable of the Lost Son or Prodigal Son. Jesus was also talking about the older brother's anger as a metaphor to the anger the Pharisees had. They "obeyed" the laws of Moses but were not receiving the same welcome Jesus was receiving or at least no longer receiving it. God does not like "grandstanding." A couple of weeks ago God had me watch an episode of the Justice League cartoon. The episode was called  Chaos at Earth's Core. One superhero was jealous of Supergirl's popularity and gifts while they were in Japan fighting an enemy. So instead of working together, the superhero decided to "show off" what she had. Yes, the enemy was defeated but the Justice League members were not working together as a team. She later commented to Green Lantern, much like the older son, why Supergirl had all the fans, people wanting her autograph, etc. Instead of looking at what gifts she was given, she focused in on Supergirl's status and why she didn't receive the same favor.

God gives what He decides to give and when He decides to give it. He is sovereign. He can do what He wants to do. To focus in on why you are not where someone else is gives exactly the same level of contempt the Pharisees had for Jesus and what the superhero had for Supergirl. The Pharisees' jealousy turned to plotting what they thought was Jesus' demise. The superhero taking delight in watching Supergirl suffer. Same spirit. The spirit is jealousy. It's the same spirit the older brother had toward the prodigal son. There is no place for a grandstand affair in the kingdom of God and neither is it of God. Just like Green Lantern pointed out to the other superhero, it actually takes energy away from fighting the real enemy.

P.S. Remember to checkout J. Black for Black Friday every Friday on Church Beat Radio on!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Luke 6:10

10He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did so and his hand was completely restored.

It was the Sabbath and the Pharisees wanted to know if Jesus would heal anyone. The Sabbath is a day of rest and to recognize the rest the Lord took even in His own work to create the world and everything in it. The Jews were to adhere to the commandment to keep the Sabbath holy and to do no work. We as followers of Christ are to do the same but often do not. The Pharisees were looking for an excuse to accuse Jesus of not following the law. Jesus already knew and therefore decided to heal a man anyway.  What is important to note is that Jesus gave the man specific instructions. He told him to "stretch." Why is stretching important? The man had to do something in order to receive his healing. The man had to make a conscious effort to take action in order to receive the result Jesus wanted to give him. Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines 2stretch as 1) an act of extending or drawing out beyond ordinary or normal limits 2) a continuous extent in length, area or time 3) the extent to which something may be stretched 4) either of the straight sides of a racecourse.  Drawing out beyond ordinary limits is what Jesus used to push the man to what he desired which is healing. If you want to be healed, you still have to do something. What is it that you want? More importantly, what is it that Jesus wants to give you? The only way you can receive it is if you stretch toward Jesus.

P.S. Thank you for patience over the last few weeks as I was working on rewrites for my second book, Shh...Don't Tell: Journey of Survivors. Remember to check out my girl Stubbs on the Leap of Faith Show Monday-Friday 6am-9am ET on the Leap of Faith Network at and listen for the Get Your JOY In The Morning segment!