Learn to Ride a Camel

Our culture and Israel’s culture at Jesus’ day or earlier are very different.

We have cellphones, computers, and TV.  They had access to vellum and ink or papyrus paper. We have cars, trains, and planes.  They had horses, camels, donkeys, and feet. We live in very different times from those of the Biblical writers in both Old or New Testaments.

With all of our differences we also have some common characteristics, especially spiritual.  The sinful nature, the temptations of the world, and the attacks of Satan are as common for us as for them.

Paul wrote about his own struggle with sin.  18 For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. … 21 When I want to do good, evil is right there with me … 23 waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. (Romans 7).  For all thinking, self-observant Christians we know that the same thing is true for each of us.  We desire the good, but sin works to convince us to be prisoners of sin.

Jesus changes us.  He changes our faith (Ephesians 2:8,9; He makes us new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17); He renews our minds (Romans 12:2); he changes and renews our attitudes (Ephesians 4:23); he makes us sons and daughters of God (Galatians 3:26).  Because of Jesus and the changes he has brought about in me/us, I/we desire to do what is right and godly.  Yet, so often, my/our sinful nature(s) rise to bring about sin.  In the eyes of the world we may not commit awful and despicable sins, but we disobey God’s will (we sin), none-the-less.

Paul did not run from God’s grace when he recognized his sin.  In faith he sprinted toward the grace earned by Jesus and given to him/us.  24 What a wretched man I am!  Who will rescue me from this body of death?  25 Thanks be to God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7).

It is wise for us to observe ourselves as we live with our modern culture and our technology and honestly recognize our interactions.

  1. When am I applying my culture and technology in godly ways and when are those tools controlling and driving me against Jesus and the God’s-Will-for-Good?
  1. What changes can I apply in my life to better control my own sinful nature and better act as Jesus’ brother or sister?

Have fun with those reflections.

Enjoy modern technology.  Enjoy the culture and the freedoms that we have.  Yet do not think that any of those make us different spiritually.  Each of us has the same type of sinful nature that encourages our weaknesses and sin.  We live in a world that hates the godly and wants us to hate too.  We are tempted by Satan to sin and reject Jesus.  Still, more importantly than our crushed image is the Savior, Jesus, that the Father sent to Redeem all people and start the rebuild of His image in us (Colossians 3:10).

We do not need to learn to ride a camel.  We do not need to give up technology and our modern culture (except the sinful parts).  We do want to believe and live as God’s people.

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