June 26, 2008
I just picked up a book by Francis Chan entitled, Crazy Love. We’ve spoken about Francis Chan before on this blog. He is a man that is passionate for God, His Word and for believer’s lives to reflect the God we profess to believe and follow.
In Chapter four of his book, he challenges believers to examine themselves as 2 Cor. 13:5 states, “examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you – unless, of course you fail the test?
A great way to examine yourself is by comparing your life with the parable of the soils. What kind of soil are you? Most want to say the good soil if you are a “Christian.” Chan challenges each of us to think that we might just be the soil in the thorns – being choked out by all kinds of vices. Thorny soil depicts the halfhearted, lukewarm, and partially committed. The church of Laodicea was thorny soil – happy to claim to be “Christian” but lukewarm in every respect. And what was God’s indictment concerning the church in Laodicea? To spit them out like vomit – God was completely disgusted by them.
Are you a lukewarm Christian like the church at Laodicea. Francis Chan gives 18 examples of what a lukewarm person looks like and then compares that person to what Scripture calls a genuine believer to look like. Do they characterize you? Are you in thorny soil?
June 11, 2008
I pretty much live my life at Starbucks. I think I fulfill every life activity there that is essential for human existence, including eating, drinking, sleeping, talking and studying God’s word. Today something else happened. A man named Mohsen decided to ask me about my laptop computer today. Mohsen is another customer at Starbucks. I’ve never talked to him before, and quite honestly don’t remember him being in the store before. But, today he saw me with a Bible and laptop computer open. We had a short little discussion about how I like my Mac – and how I value the ease of use that comes with it vs. a PC. That conversation was short lived because he notice my Bible and asked about it.
I ended up asking him if he has read the Bible and he said no – not really, but he has read verses from it. This was really cool. You see Mohsen is an immigrant form Iran. He has been in our country for at least 30 years and was happy to tell me that anybody who reads and believes the Koran is a good person because they don’t commit crime. He added, that he supposed that if you read the Bible and did what it says you also wouldn’t commit crime. Read the rest of this entry »
June 6, 2008
I’ve just finished reading Mark 11-13 and I’m pumped up. In Mark 13, Mark records what seems to be part of Jesus’ last sermon to his boys – telling them what to look for before the Great Judgment – the End of the Age. What is interesting is how many times Jesus is telling them to pay attention so that they will not be deceived.
Jesus warns his closest group – His “homeboys” – the apostles that many people will announce that they have found the Christ – but not to believe it – “So be on your guard” (vs. 23) and “Watch!” (37). Jesus has a clear teaching in this text that believers will not be deceived. In order to not be deceived, they need to hear what Jesus says “ahead of time” (23).
What I find particularly interesting is that Jesus finishes off the teaching time by saying that with Him leaving to go into Heaven, it is like a master putting his “servants in charge, each with his assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.” As Jesus was making preparations to leave planet earth and return to home base – he was giving the proper depiction anybody could understand. The Boss is taking off – but keep working, He’ll be back! Read the rest of this entry »
April 10, 2008
Recently in the college & young adults group, The Refinery, I’ve been hammering home the idea that as Christians we need to be telling others the Gospel. This idea hit home with me when studying 1 Peter 1:23-25. Peter says that we have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. When I preached on this passage we hammered the fact that unbelievers do not get born again by anything but the Word. They don’t get born by being nice, they don’t get born again by watching Christian’s love each other, they aren’t born again by cool music, emergent church atmosphere, or by coffee and doughnuts. Neither are they born again by coming to church with us, they aren’t born again by seeing our really cool and “pure” lives, nor are they born again by our polished lifestyles. Read the rest of this entry »
February 8, 2008
I found myself admiring this ministry. I’m not advocating for it, nor am I in a place where I think this is the way for every Christian to function. But there is something admirable about Christians dedicated to prayer. The idea of having prayer offered up 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, is appealing. It is a realistic literal way of seeing 1 Thessalonians 5:17 in action. I like the idea of seeing Christians characterized by prayer. It is obedience in action, but more importantly it is dependence on a Holy God to act. That is beautiful. While it may not be a physical possibility to have Bethel Grace having its doors open 24 hours a day for ever believer to have a shift, I do hope that those that are members are characterized by prayer. So as the new guy on staff at Bethel Grace I hope that we are characterized by prayer and all the more as we see the Day of the Lord approaching.