Do you know the link between dreams and reality?
Can I ask you a question? When is the last time you let yourself dream? I mean really dream – about what you want your life to look like.
“The Scriptures are like a chest in which the treasures of wisdom lie hidden in darkness impenetrable to our eyes, unless someone should unlock it and train upon it a sacred light” Jacques Lefevre d'Etaples, 1508
Walking with one foot in the dark ages and the other in heaven, Jacques Lefevre d'Etaples dragged civilisation by the scruff of its neck through the mud and into modern times. The discipleship of his students and his teachings on the love of Christ helped supernaturally translate the church back onto the path of righteousness and marching once more in the direction of Christ. Known to his students and friends for his warmth and affectionate demeanour, but to his opponents for his steadfast resolve and unshakeable convictions, Lefevre stands out in the history of God's kingdom as one of the greatest teachers and mentors of our age.
And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, imploring Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, fearfully tormented.” Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.” But the centurion said, “Lord, I am not worthy for You to come under my roof, but just say the word, and my servant will be healed. “For I also am a man under authority, with soldiers under me; and I say to this one, ‘Go!’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come!’ and he comes, and to my slave, ‘Do this!’ and he does it.”
Now when Jesus heard this, He marveled and said to those who were following, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith with anyone in Israel. “I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven; but the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into the outer darkness; in that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” And Jesus said to the centurion, “Go; it shall be done for you as you have believed.” And the servant was healed that very moment.
When a police woman stands in the road and lifts her hand up to a huge articulated truck, it does not stop because she has the physical power to stop it. The driver brings his vehicle to a halt because of her authority. Her uniform, her badge of authority which says ‘Police Department’ and her Identification Card all demonstrate that she represents the law. She embodies the whole power of the law and carries its authority. When she says ‘stop’, the law says ‘stop’.
I've been on an exciting exploration of Romans chapters 5 to 8, which is still ongoing. (At least it's been exciting to me!) I first wrote the article that follows in June 2015. After eight months, I finally typed it up ready to post on Thursday. Then to my great surprise, the very next day, I was at a conference where a remarkably similar conclusion was reached, so maybe this is a good time to share.
I hope you enjoy my musings …
In Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus did not come to lower the standard, but to raise the bar.