Are you lukewarm?

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?

1.  Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly. It is what is expected of them, what they believe “good Christians do, so they go. (Isaiah 29:13) Read the rest of this entry »

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Witness to me!

June 19, 2008

I’m reading a helpful book called The Gospel and Personal Evangelism by Mark Dever.  Here is a little quote that has had an enouraging effect on me to share the Gospel even when something in me resists:

“A friend once asked me, ‘So you’re a Christian?  Then tell me the Gospel!  Witness to me, or somethin’!'”

Is there anyone in your sphere of friendships that you’ve not shared the Gospel with?  Might they think it strange that, being a Chrisitian, you haven’t? 

“Let your conversation always be full of grace…”
Colossians 4:6

 

 

Crazy, crazy, crazy.

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 »

Faithful in love

June 11, 2008

A boy from our neighborhood started coming to AWANA at our church… No one in his family was Christian, but AWANA was something to do. When he was older, he began to attend youth group. With time, he started to attend our Sunday services as well. After a few years, he moved to another area.

His walk with the Lord was greatly helped by the faithful friendships of  the Bethel Grace youth pastor at the time, and a few older men in the church. One man in particular befriended him, and they would sit together every Sunday. This older brother e-mailed this young man on New Year’s day 2008 to encourage him:

“I miss those wonderful times of our sitting together in church. I pray this coming year will be one of Joy in the Lord as you “seek Godly things” . Those were the first words that I heard you say when I introduced myself and asked you how I could pray for you. By the way I still have that note and pray for you each day. God bless you…

PS I turned 80 last month but am still going strong.”

 

His response:

“I love you old man.

When I’d wake up on Sunday mornings there was a pep in my step because I was so anxiouse to worship and learn about our God together. I really enjoyed our fellowship; it was a blessing and I miss it so much.  Same with the mens prayer Saturday mornings, choir stuff, and setting up or down for events Bethel Grace would have.
    
If a worldy man judged me on how i’m living my life… He’d say I’m doing great; a few mistakes but they’re outweighed with positive stuff, and a lot of fun. If a man of God were to view me… He’d insist that I focus on the future, and focus on my heart and spirit more. And most of all focus and better my relationship with Christ. Cause I havn’t really done that, and this e-mail made these things clear to me. Your little paragraph encouraged me in a BIG way to dwell in more Spiritual and Godly things.

I love you.

Tell the usual men of Saturday mornings I love and miss them as well. 
    
80!! Praise the Lord! God’s done marvelous things with you while you’ve aged, even with the loss of family and hardships in your walk, God’s love radiates off you and ANYONE by the sight of you could tell you were a man of God. I for one can give testimony about the first time you and i started to be aquainted.”

Beautiful, isn’t it?

We may not realize how much God will use simple acts of kindness, friendship, and love, but He so often uses small things in wonderful ways…

Let’s be faithful to love each other, and by God’s grace, impact the lives of others in indelible ways…  

~Donovan

A Call to Discernment

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 »

A friend of mine is diligently seeking to be the best father he can be. He’s wrestling with Ephesians 6:4, trying to understand what obedience to this verse looks like. The verse reads, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.” I found a blog post (adapted from John MacArthur’s Commentary on Ephesians) good food for thought on this subject and will be sending it to him. Click here to read it. 

~ Donovan

I recently posted about Tom Carson, his godliness, and the impact he had on his son, Don (D.A.) Carson. I plan on writing several more posts about Tom’s exemplary life, gleaned from the biography his son wrote.  

John Piper has also had many wonderful things to say about his father and the impact his life had on him. Piper is known for his theology of desiring and delighting in God (“God is most glorified in us when we are most satisifed in Him”). He dedicated his signature book, Desiring God, to his father:

Read the rest of this entry »