October, 2010

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Devotional: “I am, disciplined!”

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010

Below are thoughts about what it means to live godly discipline. It’s written in the first person so you can make it a devotion/meditation. Enjoy!

“I live with accountability to the will of God and the chief priorities identified in the Word of God. Like Paul who wrote, “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (The Greek word for “disqualified” was used to describe metals not worth coinage – throwaways.) I recognize that in order to live godly discipline, “Time” must be managed correctly in my life. There are two GRK words translated “Time:” “Chronos” and “Kairous”. “Chronos” is time that is measured by the clock. It carries the idea of an obligation, or something that needs to be completed in a particular time frame. “Kairos” is time that is measured by events or special moments, and carries the idea of opportunity. I will be unable to manage “Chronos” responsibly without identifying “Kairos”  — the most important “opportunities” and “priorities” in life. For example, a basketball game is 60 minutes (i.e. Chronos). In order to win the game, however, specific opportunities will need to be seized (i.e. Kairios). Today the speed of the “game of life” has increased immeasurably. Unless I am disciplined with the chief priorities that are to define my life — a Christian witness will get left in the dust and time will be wasted and the clock will run out. Priorities? Life-Partner. Parent. Preacher. Prayer. Provider. Purity. Progress. Perseverance.”

Devotional: “I am a, Laborer!”

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

Below are thoughts about what it means to be a, “Laborer”. It’s written in the first person so you can make it a devotion/meditation. Enjoy!

“God gave me life. What I do with my life is a demonstration of worship and love for Him. It could be said that at birth God gave me a bag inside of which are gifts, opportunities and potential. What I do with such gifts is a demonstration of worship. In order to maximize what has been given to me, a whole hearted effort will be necessary. Giving my best effort is the basis of excellence.  Success on the other hand is more often measured by culture and weighed by name recognition, materialism and influence. Excellence, however, is the scoreboard that God see’s and rewards whether successful or not.  Wherever I am, I need to be “fully there” glorifying my Heavenly Father by giving my best effort. I am not saved by works, but I have been saved for works. I have been saved to be a “Laborer” in this generation. I have been saved to help my generation and fellow man physically, emotionally and spiritually to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Kingdom.”

Devotional: “I am a, son!”

Sunday, October 24th, 2010

Below are thoughts about what it means to be a son(daughter) of our heavenly Father. It’s written in the first person so you can make it a devotion/meditation. Enjoy!

“I love my Heavenly Father for who He is. My love for Him is not based upon what I “get” from Him. And based upon this relationship with the Heavenly Father, my very identity and the core of who I am is defined. I no longer live the illusion that a God-alternative will deliver the deepest hunger in my life for significance, wholeness, security and meaning. I realize now that created things were never intended to be “ultimate things”. I have been rescued by the Father who sent His Son to redeem my life in relationship with Him. My Father has rescued me from the disillusionment of working for “Rachel” but waking up with “Leah”. Now, my life is no longer defined by my work and productivity but who I am in my Father’s eyes in Christ. I am a Son, and a worshipper, first. I work, second.”

“Going Public Concerts!”

Friday, October 22nd, 2010

As many of you know we’ve started a new outreach at the church purposed to get out in the public and plant seeds of the Gospel and invite people to church and just be available to the people in our community. We’re calling them “Going Public Concerts!” Some of the songs that Sarah, Pete and Lily are singing at these concerts can be viewed below. Enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QV3tpliNNl8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNAEfT62UZk&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FOT4B1w7yNA&feature=related

God As A Means To An End?

Monday, October 18th, 2010

Stephanie and I have had an ongoing conversation for nearly ten years now. After September 11, 2001 we wondered if the adversity of terrorism would have a purifying impact upon Christians rebooting their priorities and values and to help bring a renewal to the reality that the “Gospel is the power of God to salvation!” We wondered if the church, the hands and feet of Jesus in this generation, would emerge stronger than ever, knowing Christ and making Him known in this generation. A major reason for thinking in this way is that adversity, trial and persecution have proved pro-growth catalysts for Christian’s in history. Paul experienced this saying, “God’s strength is perfected in weakness”. Our conversation really picked up as economic challenges worsened over the last few years.

What I am beginning to wonder is, if such challenges are revealing “Older Brothers”– who saw Christianity as a means to an end. I’m beginning to wonder that a purifying has in fact taken place, but “the crowd is gathering on the outside!?”

Here’s what I mean …

Luke 15:11-32 records the story commonly known as the “Prodigal Son” but the story is not just about one son, it’s about two sons and a father. While the focus is more often on the lil brother who wasted his resources on materialism and sensualness, never finding what he was looking for. In truth, both sons were lost, the core of which was an absence of relationship with their Dad a type of the Heavenly Father. They saw their Dad as merely a means to an end. When the younger brother returned home from his long journey his father ran out to meet him calling for a feast, while “Older Brother” refused to enter the party, remaining on the outside, despite his father’s persistent plea’s.

The “Older brother” was bitter! His expectations were not being met. The “Older Brother” believed that a moral performance(or religious) would result in more favorable realities aligning for him. After all, in his mind, he deserved them! When the lil brother repented and returned home and his father gave him what he did not deserve, to the “Older brother” it was just not fair.

A friend of mine told me of a business partner who was attending church and naming the name of Christ but when the business went sour he remarked, “Why would God do this?” and walked away from his faith. But did he really walk away from genuine Christianity? Christianity is not a means to an end. Jesus didn’t say, “I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to “Money” or “Materialism” or “Convenience” or “the American Dream” but by me!” No, He said, “…no one comes to the FATHER but by me!”

Has this decade revealed “big brothers?” Has it revealed that many merely saw Christianity or the evangelical church as a “means to an end” (i.e. namely material and circumstantial) and because their expectations have not been met, their on the outside looking in? Has it revealed that they never really had a relationship with the Father?

The “feast” is a metaphor for relationship with the Father through the Son. That’s what Christianity is. Christianity is stepping into the feast of God’s love and grace in Christ. C.S. Lewis put it this way: “Now God designed the human machine to run on Himself. He Himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from Himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.”

The Heavenly Father is pleading for an intimate and beautiful relationship with you! :)