RSS Feed

Category Archives: Christians

5 Words

I’m frustrated. At first I was tired, overworked and overwhelmed by all the wrong things. But I’ve been challenged lately by some amazing pastors. God has been changing things in and all around me. I’ve seen some people accept those changes with grace and they go with the flow. I’ve seen other people rebuke those changes and they fall away. I want to embrace those changes and run with them!

Here’s what I know: I was born a spirit in a human body with a human nature. Bad. God knew that I would never be worthy in and of myself, so He made a way to make me worthy. Jesus. Jesus Christ – the Word of God made flesh – took my human nature and replaced it with His. What is His nature? Love. (Isn’t it amazing how churchy people always want to give a long answer to everything when all you really need is one word?) What do I have to do to access that new nature? Believe. And all I God asks of me? Go.  So here’s the life of a Christian in 5 words: Bad. Jesus. Love. Believe. Go.

Bad: putting up a fight when God tells me to do something, ignoring Him, disobeying Him.

Jesus: walking right beside me, carrying me when I just can’t do it on my own, faithful.

Love: amazing, never-ending, grace, good.

Believe: no questions asked, always – not just when I feel like it.

Go: run ahead with the call of God, no standing still, no easy pace – this is a race and I intend to win it.

I’ve come to learn that I don’t ask for enough. If Joshua could pray for the sun to stand still and God answered his prayer, I’m pretty sure I’ve been thinking too small. But in the asking, also comes obedience. I cannot expect God to answer a sun-stand-still prayer if I’m not standing in the right place. Maybe we, as the Church, don’t see our prayers answered because we are praying the wrong prayer while standing in the wrong place.

Here’s the new prayer – God, show me the right place to be at the right time. Send people across my path who need to know You. Give me faith and boldness to show them who Jesus truly is. Grow my faith. Grow my church. Grow my vision so that I can see beyond my own life because my life without You is of no value. I want to be an asset, not a liability.

Advertisements

Wake up. Get up. Go out.

The song recorded above came to me one day. I love it when God writes songs for me. It makes the writing experience so much easier!

Since then this has been the anthem of pretty much everything in my life. My pastor has been preaching on getting the church activated in ministry. I’ve spoken with many other Christians about the same thing. People in churches all over the world are aching to see the church arise, get up and take her place. Too many Christians are too content to sit in church on Sundays and that’s it. They never help. They never get involved. They never let people know about that God they claim to believe in.

We’ve all been faced with serious questions when it comes to our faith. Faith in and of itself is not something to be taken lightly. To add to it, Christianity has come (and will come) under attack over and over again and those attacks seem to be coming on stronger as time goes by. This is where the church cannot afford to sit back and watch.

In many typical business models, it is said that 10% of the people do 90% of the work. This has been proven true in church circles as well. No matter how big or small a church is, it’s always that faithful core doing all the work. My question is: what about everyone else?

Over the years I’ve heard any number of excuses, some of them valid, some just crazy, but none of them good enough to excuse lazy Christianity. If this life is about getting us through to the next, our own ambitions are useless. What I want to do here on earth will be of no value to me in the end. I want to live my life to give God glory. I don’t need it. I don’t want it. I want to get to the end zone and hear “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

To serve is the key here. No one in ministry from the pastor down to the janitor is exempt from service. To give of oneself for the benefit of others is the greatest gift of all.

So church, what are you going to do? Sit down and watch or stand up and take your place?

When God Comes A-Callin`

Believe it or not, God calls everyone. Yes, everyone. God has a call out there for preachers and teachers and rapists and mass murderers. We are all the same in that respect. But what`s happened to the world then? If God has called everyone, why aren’t we all happy in church? The biggest problem – there are a scarce few who answer the call. Too many Christians are afraid that if they answer the call of God, they will have to give up their jobs and move to a third world country. Not so. I’ve known of preachers who give up their church to join the work force. God needs Christ-like business men as much as he needs preachers in the church and missionaries on the field.

I’m back in Peru and God has been teaching me many things. I’ve learned more about His will for my life and how to walk it out. Truth be told, I’ve been holding back, afraid of what it will mean when I give it all up to live for the cause of Christ. For me, I know it will overtake me. It’s a scary thing, the thought of giving up everything and letting God have his way.

In Bible school I had an instructor who told a story about a man. This story takes place just after the turn of the 20th century. He prayed and he prayed. He wanted revival so badly, it overtook him. God overtook him. There were days when he would be on his way to work and he’d be praying as he walked and he’d have to stop because the weight of God’s presence was too much for him and he’d stand there in prayer hardly uttering a word. People would pass by him wondering what was wrong with him. By the end of the day when people were returning from work, there he’d be still standing right where he stopped still praying out God’s will. He was diagnosed with religious fanaticism. But you know what happened? Revival came and it overtook his entire country for nearly a year. He changed the world by being obedient to God.

When people begin to crave God more than they crave anything else, things are bound to change. But why is it that my story took place 100 years ago? Why don’t I have a story like that taking place last week? Humanity has forgotten what God’s voice sounds like. In a world of free will and feel good what happened to God’s will and God’s good?

For those who are ready and willing God is preparing them for the greatest outbreak of revival in world history. Those believers who really (and I mean REALLY) believe will band together and begin to pray and they will pray with an urgency like nothing before. Lives will begin to change one at a time and then a few more and soon masses will by crying out to God for change. Crying out to God to save their families, churches, cities, countries Those who once opposed God will come running to Him and no one will be able to stop it. The day is coming and it’s coming soon. The church will rise up to stand and take her place.

The biggest question is who will be left behind? I won’t be the one to stand back and watch the world change without having a hand in it. Shame on anyone who calls them self a Christian and does nothing but sit in the corner watching as sons and daughters fall to their knees in prayer crying out for God to change the world.

It is our turn. This is our time. I challenge any and every believer to be a part of what God is prepared to do in every life. Don’t stand back and let it pass you by waiting for another wave. THIS is the wave you need to catch. THIS is the wave that will change the world. If you wait, it will be too late.

A New Revelation of Love

I came to a new revelation several weeks ago and I’ve been mulling it over ever since. It’s caused a major shift in my thinking and I’ve even had to take a good look at some of the other things I’ve believed without question.

There are several major questions that non-Christian people will ask of Christians: Is it wrong to drink alcohol? What about sex before marriage? How do you feel about homosexuality?

My first reaction is sadness. If that is what non-believers first see in Christianity, us Christians are doing pretty sorry work in spreading the Gospel. How often do you hear people say, “Oh, you’re a Christian? Man, you guys are the greatest bunch of people around!”? I’m willing to bet on… oh… never. More often than not, I get, “You’re a Christian? I guess that means you’re not allowed to drink of swear or have sex. That sucks.”

I heard a preacher say once that Christians get in trouble when we shout what God whispers and whisper what He shouts. Jesus never shouted about homosexuals or alcohol or liars. Jesus’ life on earth screamed LOVE!

Here’s my revelation: I have gone for so long disregarding all those who say that gay people are born that way. Hold on right there, I’m still not saying they are, but I’ve had a shift in thinking about this one. According to God’s Word, we, as in all of humanity, are born with a sin nature. We are pre-disposed to sin. That means all sin. No sin is greater than another whether it be lying, stealing, cheating, adultery or murder.

What makes a person lead a life of sin is a lack of control. A Christians, we are told that we need to renew our minds. That means, replacing our sinful thoughts with God’s thoughts. We cannot expect non-believers to grasp this idea and we cannot fault them for it. Sinners are supposed to sin. That’s their job and most of them are pretty good at it. So why do we Christians frown at them for it?

When was the last time you heard God say, “Hey you over there, go judge your neighbour. And you, yeah, you in the white shirt, you haven’t pointed out enough sin today.” That’s not what God is all about.  All through the Bible, God’s message to sinners was a message of love. Love. Love. Love. It is not our job to point out sin, nor is it our job to judge. Leave that up to God. He deals with it better anyway.

It’s time for Christians to change their thinking. Am I still appalled by blatant displays of homosexuality? You bet I am. But I should feel the exact same way about adultery, lying, murder and everything else that does not include living a life of love. You can’t go tell a person all their doing wrong and then jump right into, “So, do you want Jesus in your life?” If all a person knows of Jesus is that he doesn’t like their sin, where’s the attraction in that?

I want to live a life that attracts people to the Jesus in me. I want sinners to find me attractive because I have something they don’t. My actions should be shouting out the love of God while my voice cries of His love and glory.