The Part That Matters

 "'I grew up in the church,' he explained.  'I wanted to go into the ministry.  I took all the courses, the theology, the languages, the exegesis.  But I quit.  Something just didn't click.'

'It's in there somewhere,' he spoke with earnestness.  'At least I think it is.'" pg xi

"...Stop and empathize for a second.  Can you hear his question?  Can you taste his frustration?  'Don't give me religion,' he was saying.  'Give me what matters.'" pg xii

Max Lucado says that he would now share with the man above 1 Corinthians 15: 3-5, 
"3 For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve."

Christ died and was resurrected.  

And before he died, he was beaten and tortured.

Speaking on how did Jesus not retaliate from the cross as the people are hurling insults, 
"Have you ever wondered how Jesus kept from retaliating?  Have you ever asked how he kept his control?  Here's the answer.  It's the second part of his statement: 'for they do not know what they are doing.'  Look carefully. It's as if Jesus considered this bloodthirsty, death-hungry crowd not as murderers, but as victims.  It's as if he saw in their faces not hatred but confusion.  It's as if he regarded them not as a militant mob but, as he put it, as 'sheep without a shepherd.'" pg 11

I was at a pastor's conference once when the speaker said, "We are shepherds and sheep bite."  He was talking about the trials of working with people, but above we can see that we are as sheep without a shepherd because sheep not only bite, they kill.  

I am trying to be sober, but now I have images of Thankskilling with a sheep instead of a turkey.  

Jesus says to St. Faustina, "My Heart is sorrowful because even chosen souls do not understand the greatness of My mercy.  Their relationship [with Me] is, in certain ways, imbued with mistrust.  Oh, how much that wounds My Heart!  Remember My Passion, and if you do not believe My words, at least believe My wounds."

Even when we do believe... we are grieving the heart of the Lord.  

As we enter Advent, are you seeking first your Christmas gifts?  Are you seeking first your holiday parties?  Are you seeking first the best sales?

"But strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well." Matthew 6:33

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