Top of the World – Irrational Transactions 1 - Purity 562
Purity 562 10/29/2021 Purity 562 Podcast
Today’s photo of sunrise “up above the world so high” comes to us from a friend who woke up early in order to travel up the 10,000 feet to get to the summit of Haleakala Volcano Visitor’s Center in Maui, Hawaii this past Sunday in time to see the start of a new day from a new perspective. If you are wondering how early you have to get up to travel 10,000 feet to beat the rising sun and whether or not it was worthwhile, our friend’s only comment about this adventure answers both questions as they shared that their experience was “Worth the 2:30 am wake-up!”
Undoubtedly, our friend was told by others about this experience by people who had seen it for themselves, and they told them about how early they would have to get up to see it. At that point our friend had a decision to make. Would he trust what he had heard and go and see for himself or would he doubt the reports and decide that the experience wasn’t for him?
Thankfully my friend “had faith” and decided to trust the “good news” about this view and not only did they go and experience the joy of it, they felt compelled to share it with their friends and didn’t hesitate to mention that there was a condition of difficulty that was required to experience it, that this view was spectacular but there were things to consider before “going there”. Although our friend acknowledges that the “wake up call” and the travel to get there may not be attractive, the end result was worth it.
It’s Friday and as we make it through the last day of the work week, for those not working this weekend that is, we will be faced with the decision of what to do with our valuable leisure time and we will have to weigh the costs of time, energy, and money that our various options will cost and then we need to decide if doing certain activities are “worth it”. You can’t do everything so when you choose something this weekend think about the short term and long term benefits and costs behind your decision.
One option for leisure time is to watch a movie. As a child of the 70’s and 80’s, going to the movies was still a special treat because the availability of movies was somewhat limited. Movies only ran in theatres for a certain time, VCRs were a developing technology, and television was expanding the number of channels so “watching movies” wasn’t as on demand as it is today.
One of the movies that I enjoyed as a kid was the 1980 film, Flash Gordon. Besides the action and adventure and campy romance, one concept that was presented in the film that stood out to me was the idea of the “rational transaction”. In his contemplation of Ming the Merciless’ plans to destroy the earth, Dr. Hans Zarkov decided that if it were necessary and possible he would sacrifice his life to stop Ming’s attack stating that it was a “rational transaction – one life for billions”.
This “rational transaction” has been made by countless brave men and women throughout history as they have sacrificed their lives to save their fellow countrymen, friends, or family. The idea of a rational transaction is strictly mathematical. One is less than many. So it “makes sense” that someone would sacrifice their life to save others.
However, it is not as simple as that. Sure it makes sense logically, but would you give up your life away for people you don’t know? You only have one life to live and if you don’t believe in God your worldview should include the realization that any good deeds you do in life will be erased by time and prove ultimately meaningless as the universe fades to black. So if you see life as fleeting and value it, you will see the “rational transaction’ as highly irrational, and you would urge others not to “throw their lives away” in saving, or serving, others.
Also the personal fear of death, can make that “rational transaction” seem highly irrational. “I don’t want to die!” This instinct of self-preservation was comically highlighted in an episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza literally pushed women and children out of his way to escape a fire! So idea of “women and children first” and “sacrificing yourself for others” can seem pretty irrational to those who value the “here and now” of their lives.
Christians would point to Christ’s sacrifice as the ultimate example of the “rational transaction” in that He died for the sins of all mankind. But that only “makes sense” to believers who have had the truth of the gospel relieved to them by God.
The idea that one man’s death could have an effect on someone else’s spiritual standing before God doesn’t seem to be very rational at all. While unbelievers could explain the rationale behind Christian faith, they personally don’t see the “logic” behind putting their faith in Christ.
Jumping on the hand grenade, can be seen as logical because of its immediate life saving effects. Seeing Christ’s dying on a cross to reconcile sinful men to God is not apparently logical because it involves spiritual realities that are unseen. The gospel of Jesus is rational and logical if you understand the Christian concepts of atonement, covenant, and salvation but is nonsense to those who “are perishing”.
So like our friend who heard about the good view that could be seen if he only got up at 2:30 am and travelled up the side of a volcano in Hawaii and had to trust “the unseen” and “have faith” that it would be worth it, we had to trust the story “that didn’t make sense” and put our faith in Jesus Christ. We had to make the “irrational transaction” of putting our faith in Christ.
And for those who have made that “irrational transaction”, we like our friend sharing his “2:30 am wake up testimony”, are compelled to tell our friends that it is worth it. It might not be easy to believe the gospel of Jesus Christ, but we encourage you to investigate it because those of us who have placed their faith in Christ can tell you that the new eternal life that you receive through faith in Jesus is worth it.
A life free from the fear of death is worth it. A life of peace is worth it. A life of joy is worth it. So keep walking and talking with God. Go to the places and do the things that are “worth it” this weekend and when you do thank the Lord for making it all possible.
Today’s Bible verses are drawn from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.
This morning’s meditation verses are:
Ezekiel 11:19-20 (NLT2)
19 And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their stony, stubborn heart and give them a tender, responsive heart,
20 so they will obey my decrees and regulations. Then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.
Today’s verse is the promise of the new spiritual reality every believer experiences when they put their faith in Jesus.
These verses in Ezekiel talk of a future time where people will be reconciled to God and transformed in the process. The transformation comes through a saving relationship with God that is established when you put your faith in Jesus Christ.
When you place your faith in Christ, The Holy Spirit indwells you and your spirit is quickened. Our condition goes from spiritually dead to spiritually alive.
Our salvation gives us spiritual life that we can grow and mature in. In my experience, my “cold” heart that was bitter, sarcastic, and angry began to change to be more compassionate as I experienced the freedom that comes from realizing you have been forgiven of all your sins and you have been given a new spiritual life. The love of God was something I knew experientially and the new spiritual life I had in Christ caused me to want to know God more and to obey what His word taught me about being faithful to Him.
In my maturation process, I have learned that God changed me at salvation and the process of sanctification is just something I have to walk out day to day. No inner change is needed because I have the Spirit of God in me, and my spirit is alive. The thing that needs to change is my thoughts about how I think about myself. The word says to not be conformed by the world but to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.
That process means that I have to believe what the word of God says about me as a new creation in Christ and it means I have to abandon my old worldly ways and attitudes for the wisdom of God’s ways. By believing the truth that God has already given us a new life, we have the power to walk in His statutes and keep His judgements. We can obey not because we can try harder. We can obey because our obedience is just a natural expression of who we are now: His people, God’s children.
So agree with the word of God and let the transformation process happen in your heart, your mind, and in your life. When we believe that the Lord has made us His people, we can live as His people. When we let Him change our hearts of stone to hearts of flesh, we will love the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and we will love to become the people that God always wanted us to be.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue sharing from June Hunt’s Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase June Hunt’s books for your own private study and to support her work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $5.00:
B. Key Passage to Read
Dates came and then they went. Soon their names and faces faded from Frank's memory—what they did together, what they learned, what they enjoyed, what they said have long since disappeared into the land of forgetfulness. Frank wonders what was gained, but even more he wonders what was lost with each encounter, each evening that started in a nice, familiar restaurant and ended in a strange, unknown bedroom.
Who were they...really? What were their stories? What did they value and hold dear? What had they looked for or hoped to find in him? Was it a relationship or merely and evening of companionship? And what about him? What was he looking to find that always seemed to elude him?...
"Each of you should know that finding a husband or wife for yourself is to be done in a holy and honorable way, not in the passionate, lustful way of people who don't know God. No one should take advantage of or exploit other believers that way." (1 Thessalonians 4:4-6 GW)
• God calls you to control your sexual desires
• God calls you to be holy and honorable
• God calls you to not be lustful
• God holds you accountable for your treatment of others
• God calls you to live a holy life
As Christians, we are called to live in a way that is holy, honorable, and pleasing to God. And there is no more important aspect of life where this standard of behavior holds true than in dating and courting. Powerful forces in culture today do whatever they will to convince us that sexual attraction is the basis, or glue, of romantic relationships and otherwise. Don't buy into it! Great relating in dating begins and ends with agape—love that seeks to do what is in the best interest of and for the highest good of the other person.
Honoring Sexual Boundaries
Question: "I've set good sexual boundaries, yet the men I've dated—some in my church—continually push, hoping I'll give in. How can I know who is safe to date?"
Answer: Those who try to push you beyond your boundaries do not respect you. Realize, disrespectful relationships are not just about behavior—they're about character. Just because a man goes to church or claims to be a Christian doesn't mean he has allowed Christ to change his life. A man who is safe and worthy of your trust will...
- Hear and value your opinions
- Validate your feelings even when he disagrees
- Show high regard for your needs and desires
- Be unselfish and thoughtful
- Not manipulate or play on your emotions
- Not pull away or emotionally "punish" you when he doesn't get his way
- Admit when he is wrong or has offended you and will ask for forgiveness
Before you date, find out more about this man—especially his relationship with the Lord. Otherwise, you could get caught in a dating situation where the man you date exploits your vulnerabilities, leaving you in a world of hurt....
"Instead, test everything. Hold on to what is good." (1 Thessalonians 5:21 GW)
Biblical Counseling Keys: Dating: Secrets to Great Relating When Dating.
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