8-22-14 You Don't Realize Who I Am

I was always small for my age during my growing up years.  By the time I reached high school, some of the students had grown into their bodies early.  Large adult-sized teenagers displayed their immaturity frequently in a predatory manner toward guys of smaller stature – of which I was one.

I couldn’t always avoid contact with these hyenas of the campus. When confronted and threatened, I would often reply, “I can see that you don’t realize who I am. So, I will cut you some slack this time, but be careful in the future.” Many times the bully or bullies would look down at my 100 pound frame, laugh and leave me alone.

Jesus had just told the Pharisees, who were challenging Him in order to have Him arrested, that they would die in their sins - pretty offensive statement to these religious leaders. They responded by asking Him essentially, “Who do you think you are?”

Jesus responded with, “You already know that,” which He intended as a thought provoking statement.  He wanted them to conclude on their own who He was, just as He requires of people today. 

I had heard all about Jesus as I grew up, but never truly realized who He was.  After hearing and understanding who He really is and what He did for me I trusted Him as Savior.

“Then said they unto him, Who art thou? And Jesus saith unto them, Even the same that I said unto you from the beginning.” John 8:25.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

8-21-14 Stuckified

As a kid growing up on a lake, I would catch turtles, frogs, and whatever else was not wise enough to hide before I got to them.  These creatures thrived the warm shallow water in a muddy bottomed area of the lake.  As the summer progressed, the lake water evaporated leaving a wide expanse of exposed mud.  As I tried to stay near the water’s edge, where my potential captives lived, I sunk into the mud up to my knees. 

Every step challenged my balance.  The suction of the mud pulled my shoes off.  I fell once and my arm went into the mud past my elbow.  The stale smell of the slimy mud filled my nose. I struggled and struggled to pull my arm out and regain my upright position.  I figured if I tried to use my other had to push myself up, I would be permanently stuck in the mud.  I imagined someone finding my fossilized remains someday, like the animals at the LaBrea Tar Pits. Eventually, I regained my balance and managed to get myself to firmer footing.

Jesus warned the Pharisees that they needed to believe in Him or they would be stuck in their sins. They didn’t realize it yet, but they needed rescue.  They would die a tragic and senseless death in their sins.  The consequences would last for all eternity.

Before I trusted Christ as my Savior, I was stuck in my sins, doomed to die and spend eternity in hell.  After I believed in Jesus and what He did for me on the cross, I was no longer stuck in my sins.  Praise God!

“Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.” John 8:21 -24.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

8-20-14 A Family Resemblance

I was adopted as an infant and was raised by my adoptive parents and thus carry their name.  I met my birth parents as an adult. I learned that my sense of humor, and my nose came from my birth mother.  I discovered that other features came from my birth father.  The thing that amazed me when I met him was that we stood like each other – arms crossed or hands in our front pockets. We had never met before and so I couldn’t have picked up the behavior from him. 

There are other aspects I could delve into, but the point is that others could recognize the family resemblance through physical attributes, personality and behaviors. Once I trusted Christ as my Savior, God became my spiritual Father. People should be able to recognize Christian attributes in my life. 

The key to recognizing whether someone is a family member is by knowing the parents.  People that do not know my birth father’s family, or my birth mother’s, do not recognize the resemblance.  Jesus brought this to the attention of the Pharisee’s.  He told them that if they had known the Father, they would have recognized the family resemblance.  Jesus insulted them by doing so, but they needed a blunt eye-opener. 

I know I fail often, but I just hope that people can recognize the “family resemblance” of Jesus in me today. 

“Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” John 8:19. 

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff

8-19-14 Tooting Your Own Horn

“Toot-toot-TOOOOOOT-toot.” My kids had gotten noisemakers in Junior Church service and were having a “blast” on the way home.  They especially enjoyed the type that unfurled in each other’s faces. To retain our sanity we had to confiscate the noisemakers.  It seems the one making the noise had a great time, but the recipients of said din didn’t share in said annoyance.

As adults, we can find people that talk only about themselves and their accomplishments just as annoying. Certainly we can share in the joy others have when something exciting happens in their lives. Sometimes we are like little kids showing off something new.  But the truly annoying horn tooting comes from those that do so repeatedly.  They try to bolster their self-esteem by doing so.

I worked as an auto body repairman and that world is full of egos.  Blatant self-promotional horn-tooting ran amuck.  Nobody put much credibility into it. However, on the rare occasion that a bodyman complimented another bodyman, it really meant something.

In this passage, the Pharisees were accusing Jesus of tooting His own horn, which destroyed His credibility in their minds. Jesus went on to show them that He did, in fact, have the credibility they required. He did not simply toot His own horn for self-promotion.  He had God the Father on His side. He was teaching truths about Himself and God.

The thought God is pressing on my mind today is to be careful to give God His proper place in my life.

“The Pharisees therefore said unto him, Thou bearest record of thyself; thy record is not true.” John 8:13.

© copyright Kevin T Boekhoff