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What the?

July 13, 2013 — Leave a comment

It’s interesting that Christians, who should know better, who only think of church from the perspective of; what’s in it for me? Especially those “Christians” who consider themselves “mature” ought to know WE ARE BLESSED TO BE A BLESSING. I am reminded of the great reality found in the book of Luke:

Luke 12:48 “When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”

I also think of the famous words, “ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country” and how if you change just a few words it applies to church; “ask not what your church can do for you, but ask what you can do for your church”.

I am not sure just where the issue comes from; is it our consumer culture that has messed us up to think church is about “getting” something, rather then “giving” something. Is it because most churches exist FOR the Christian, rather than FOR the lost person? Almost like church has become a gathering place for Christians, rather then a hospital for the hurting?

I see church being a lot like a hospital; a place where the doctors, nurses and staff are the Christians serving and helping to heal, feed, love, and serve the patients… rather then a Doctor/Nurse convention. There are far too many churches who function a lot like a Doctors Convention.

Now, don’t misunderstand me here! Church should “give” you opportunity to use your gifts to serve others, and “give” you opportunity to reach people for Christ, and “give” you challenging life-applicable biblical teaching to encourage you to live a godly life, and “equip” you for kingdom stuff.

Ephesians 4:11-12 “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.” NIV

I know you want to be a self-less person who lives their life to serve God by serving others and helping people find a meaningful life in God.

Serve at your church…

The Light.

April 10, 2013 — Leave a comment

Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12

It was during the 1800s, in Birmingham, England, a poor, little boy went to one of the newly formed Sunday schools. There he heard his teacher say Jesus was the “Light of the world”. The lad, being unfamiliar with adults and the symbolic language we sometimes use, took the teacher’s remark quite literally.

After class, the boy came up to his teacher and reflectively said, “If Jesus really is the light of the world, I wish He’d come and visit the street outside my home. It’s awful dark where I live.”

As we start 2012, it occurs to me that the entire world is, like that little boy, longing that the light would come to them. Throughout recorded history, unaided and unsaved humankind has been living in the dark. The events of this past year, in every corner of the globe, tell us that it’s pretty dark where almost everybody is living.

Indeed, it’s quite possible there are dark homes on your street or in your neighborhood.

If that is the case, it is my prayer that this new year may be filled with the light, which comes from our crucified and ever-living Lord Jesus. And, if your home already is filled with Jesus, the Light of life, won’t you shine some of it to those around you.

As the song says, “this little Gospel light of mine, I’m going to let it shine”. It may be a children’s song, but it is an opportunity for every man, woman, and child who live in the Light of the Lord to shine.

Let the love of God “Shine”!

Jesus changed my life…

November 13, 2012 — Leave a comment

I was recently thinking about how my life has changed, and how different I am because of my relationship with Christ; how my life has been so influenced by Christ. But what bothers me, or is at least disconcerting is how so many people’s lives aren’t better.

Before you get upset with me, let me explain: I see people who have done a 180 if you will … leaving a life of crime, drug use, hurting people, lies, etc. etc. and when they encounter this Jesus that I serve and follow they become better people, better in every way. Then on the other hand there are people right in the church, who claim to love this same Jesus I love, but they are unaffected by their relationship with Him. Why? I do not know all the answers why this is, but I would like to take a peek in the window and give a thought or two.

Colossians 3:16 “Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.”

The key word there I believe is the word LET … we are to LET the words of Christ DWELL in us, or one translation uses the word LIVE … let the words of Christ LIVE in you. I know this to be at least one key element … along with others.

If I am honest it really bothers me that I know way too many mean, ugly (I don’t mean physically unattractive) Christians. I know Christians who have glow in the dark personality disorders and they hurt people all the time, yet they continue to be UNCHANGED by this Jesus I love and serve. Why? How? I know Christians who cheat on their spouses, lie to their kids, lie to their friends … why? How can this be?

How has my relationship with Christ kept me from so many destructive things (I am far from perfect … but you understand what I am saying I hope)? How is it that a relationship with Christ compels so many to live a better life, a life of honor, honesty and love for mankind … and with so many others it doesn’t seem to help them?

I do feel this is a mole, or a flaw on the face of Christianity though … so many people claim to be Christians and when someone sees them doing things that are contrary to what they claim to believe in … it’s confusing.

What about you; how has your relationship with Christ changed you? Helped you? Influenced you? Encouraged you?

The Compass..

December 29, 2011

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

I remember the story of a ship that had to be abandoned because a giant storm had caused it to take in too much water. As the sailors were climbing into the lifeboats to make their escape, one of them suddenly jumped out of his rescue vessel and ran back into the sinking ship. After what seemed like forever, he reappeared holding something under his coat.

What could have been worth this man taking such a risk? Very simple, he had forgotten his compass.

You and I have just entered a new year. No doubt we will, in these next 361 days, encounter some storms. Some of those storms will seem strong enough to sink us.

Although we always need the Savior, it is precisely during the moments when the waves of difficulty are crashing down and we are unsure of our way that we will need to keep our eyes fixed on Christ, our Compass.

So, if you haven’t made any resolutions for this year, I encourage you to make this one: Trust your crucified and ever-living Savior in this new year. And, if you encounter someone who is adrift, share the power of the Lord with that person.

There is no more accurate Compass than our Lord of love who always points the right way for those who trust in Him.

New Years Resolutions

December 27, 2011

“Surely He hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed.” Isaiah 53: 4-5

New Years Resolution? I thought this was interesting.

The people of Korea have an interesting New Year’s custom.
Wishing to forget things unpleasant and make a fresh start, each person recalls all the bad habits he wishes to have removed. Then, he writes all of these evils on a kite, which he flies high into the air. When the kite is almost out of sight, the person cuts the string. The kite makes a nosedive and then disappears out of sight. The individual goes home rejoicing that all the bad things from the past year are gone forever.

Don’t you wish it were that easy?

My experience has taught me that the nasty transgressions and habits of the past have a tendency to stay with us longer than we would ever like. Even a high-flying kite can’t take them away.

No, if anyone is going to start this New Year, or even this new day fresh and forgiven, something more cleansing than a paper kite is going to be needed.

We’re going to need Jesus. Only in Jesus can our sins be sent sailing; only in Jesus can we be given peace. That’s what Isaiah wanted us to know when he wrote, “The chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with His stripes we are healed.” It is cause for thanksgiving.

Now, I don’t think we ought to throw out the entire Korean custom. The idea of listing all our sins and sorrows is a good one. It’s something repentant Christians ought to do regularly. Just as regularly we should, by the Holy Spirit’s direction, place that list into the nail-pierced hands of the Savior.

When that is done we can rejoice for those bad things from our past are gone forever.