follow me The common belief among many church goers is that simple confession of belief in Jesus is all that one must do to be “saved” be a Christian. But that is not what Jesus said. Two word paints a different picture:

 

Follow Me

He doesn’t want us just to acknowledge Him, simply confess who He is, but as Jesus said, even the demons know & believe who I am.  He wants the most intimate relationship possible. He wants us to be like Him, imitate His life, live and do as He did, continue His mission on earth, follow Him even unto abandoning ourselves and our lives.

 

Here’s what Jesus said:

  • And He said to them, Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men. Mat 4:19 
    But Jesus said to him, Follow Me, and let the dead bury their dead. Mat 8:22
    And he who does not take up his cross and Follow Me is not worthy of Me. Mat 10:38
    Then Jesus said to His disciples, If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and Follow Me. Mat 16:24 
    Jesus said to him, If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in Heaven. And come, Follow Me. Mat 19:21 
    And calling near the crowd with His disciples, He said to them, Whoever will come after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and Follow Me. Mar 8:34 
    And it happened as they were going in the way, one said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. Luke 9:57 
    The day after, Jesus desired to go forth into Galilee. And He found Philip and said to him, Follow Me. John 1:43 
    My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they Follow Me. John 10:27 
    If anyone serves Me, let him Follow Me; and where I am, there also My servant shall be. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him. John 12:26

 
And the response of the disciples, those who heard Jesus say those two words?

  • And it happened as they were going in the way, one said to Him, Lord, I will follow You wherever You go. Luke 9:57
  • And they immediately left their nets and Followed Him. Mat 4:20

and they did, even unto death, how about you…

are you a Follower?

charity_water baby bottle I read for the first time yesterday about Scott Harrison founder of Charity Water, I was both elated and jealous (in a good Godly way) of his life and ministry. Scott after doing a 2 year tour with Mercy Ships (when I was in YWAM I got to go on their ship Anastasis it was part of YWAM then) he was the ship photojournalist, photo documenting their work during his time with the ministry. The things he saw changed his perspective on life, what was important, so he traded the life he once had in NY. Life in the fast lane, hanging out with the rich and famous, drinking $16 cocktails, driving a BMW to doing something about the water crisis, so he started raising money from those he knew in NY and founded Mercy Water.

As he put it "I fell in love with Liberia – a country with no public electricity, running water or sewage – Spending time in a leper colony and many remote villages, I put a face to the world’s 1.2 billion living in poverty." So when he left Mercy Ships he set out to spend his life for more then living for himself and his selfish pleasures, he could not get out of his mind people, children walking for miles everyday to get a few gallons of dirty water, that any American would not let their dog drink. People living in extreme poverty, so he decided to do something more with his life. Spend it for God and those closest to God’s heart, the poor.

So he founded Mercy Water, and in 3 years his group has raised $10 million (most of that last year alone) and has helped bring water to thousands of people.

I want his life as they say, my life to be spent for such a cause, purpose, I too would rather live poor serving God and help end the suffering and plight of the poor that clime the corporate latter, drive a Lexus and live in a 5000 sq ft home in Malibu on the beach. Would love for God to have that kind of calling and gifting on me.

Read about Scott and see Charity Waters website

Watch his video presentation at The Idea Camp

My website on world poverty Isaiah Challenge

child behind bars "The horror is that our children are victimized twice — first by the prostitution and then by the broken system that treats them like criminals while the buyers are given a slap on the wrist, if anything at all. What kind of message is this sending?" asked Founder and President of Shared Hope International, Linda Smith.

This is something I have complained about for years, when I first saw this in action while in YWAM working with teen’s living on the street caught up in the sex trade, law enforcement had no interest in helping the girls, only arresting them. I make this point on my website Not For Sale on my The Victims page.

Shared Hope International will release a groundbreaking report on child sex trafficking in the United States at the Congressional Human Trafficking Briefing on Capitol Hill hosted by the Human Trafficking Caucus and Victims’ Rights Caucus led by Congressman Poe (TX) and Congressman Smith (NJ),  will open a panel discussion on the findings of more than four years of research in America. It highlights the harsh reality that hundreds of thousands of American children are victimized through sex trafficking in the US driven by the demand for the commercial sex acts they perform. A child sex trafficking victim who is purchased for sex by 5 different men per night, 5 nights per week for an average of 5 years would have been raped by 6,000 buyers during her victimization through prostitution. Many of these child rapists are never charged or prosecuted while the young victims’ lives are destroyed.

"From our investigative research gathered from 11 cities across the nation, we’ve found so many victims of domestic minor sex trafficking that are misidentified, and labeled as prostitutes. They are sold every day, every night in every city in America," said Smith. Watch human rights surveillance video instantly here: http://www.sharedhope.org/what/dmst.asp.

Visit Shared Hope International’s website

Visit Not For Sale my website on human trafficking

 

Source PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —

water wars First their came the oil wars being fought through out the world with both guns and politics. Now we have war’s over water. Wells are running dry and in the teeming city of Bhopal, India water supply is now a deadly issue. India’s vast farming economy is on the verge of crisis.

The UN has warned for many years that water shortages will become one of the most pressing problems on the planet over the coming decades, with one report estimating that 4 billion people will be affected in the coming years.

India has dammed up rivers cutting off water to major portions of Pakistan, China is planning to divert the flow of the River Brahmaputra cutting off water to the northeastern parts of India. War is in the near future over the commodity water. Unlike oil, water is a life giving necessity for all of life, no one can live with out it, oil we can.

Right now, 1.1 billion people on the planet don’t have access to clean and safe drinking water. That’s one in six of us. We need to take action now, we can advert the shortage by doing something today.

Give or volunteer today to give a drink to the thirsty.

Living Water International

Charity Water

child bride Still today in countries like Afghanistan, as in many Asian and African cultures, men pay the family of their wives-to-be. And with 6,000 kids in Africa becoming orphans through HIV/AIDS every day, there is a steady supply of young girls to be had, bought. Factor in many parents in poor nation sell there daughters to repay debts, or just for money to live on.

About 57 per cent of girls are married before the legal age of 16, according to statistics from the women’s ministry and women’s groups. Between 60 and 80 per cent of all marriages are believed to be ‘forced’

Take the story of:

Shabana, A pretty Afghan teenager was 12 years old when she was forced to marry a man 38 years her senior to settle her father’s 600-dollar gambling debt. Two years later, she is unhappy and angry. She doesn’t like her husband, 52-year-old farmer Mohammad Asef.

Sabina who was rescued when she was nine.

Christine was rescued at age 11.

Kids Alive International is rescuing girls for the appalling situation through their Children’s Homes, Care Centers and Schools, they provide the love and care that every child deserves and have the unique privilege of introducing them to Jesus.

Visit their site, join in their fight Kids Alive International

orphan-poster In response to the new movie coming out Orphans, A coalition of more than 50 orphan advocate and adoption organizations have launched a grassroots campaign to educate, dispel adoption myths and prompt response to the needs of orphans. And allows individuals to sign a letter to Warner Bros urging that a portion of the profit from the movie be used to help orphans.

“The movie ‘Orphan’ does no favors for the boys and girls who share its name,” said Jedd Medefind, president of the Christian Alliance for Orphans

Warner Bros.’s “Orphan” revolves around a couple who adopts a nine-year-old girl after the tragic loss of their unborn child. Strange and horrifying events begin to occur after the couple adopts Esther, who on the outside seems like an angelic little girl. The mother Kate tries to warn her husband John about Esther, but he does not believe her until it’s possibly too late.

Movie reviews have describe “Orphan” as the “anti-adoption horror film of the year” that will be sure to “scare prospective parents from ever adopting.”

“Defend the cause of the fatherless,” urges the prophet Isaiah, one of the greatest needs today is the rescue of orphans.  The U.N. estimate of the number of orphans in the world today is 145 million,  and this movie will fan the fears and concerns many parents have regarding the long-term impact of adoption. Could turn a lot of potential parents away from adoption.

Help counter the effects of this move, go to Orphans Deserve Better sign the petition and join them in their efforts to do something about this.

isabelle redford Last Friday ABC’s world news’ person of the week was Isabelle Redford a 7 year old girl here in Kansas City who stated to draw cards to raise money for orphans at an orphanage she visited with her parents.

Kevin and Kelly Redford participated in mission work in Haiti. After their trip, her parents encouraged Isabelle to do what she can to help them.

Isabelle started to make handmade gift cards, which she sold at $40 per box. She then began working with C3 Missions and the Global Orphans’ Project to speed up the process. She earned more than $10,000 — half of that was enough to build an orphanage in Haiti, where she visited last month

ABC news updated their report (7-13-09) saying she had now earned over $250,000 since they aired her story last Friday (that’s more than a 100x more than the average church gave last year to help orphans).

A seven year old girl was able to do this, just think what you could do if you chose to do something about poverty, hunger, and orphans, to be obedient to Mat 25:34-46

Perhaps Jesus was thinking of Isabelle when He said:

Therefore whoever shall humble himself like this little child, this one is the greater in the kingdom of Heaven. Mat 18:4

…..and said, Truly I say to you, Unless you are converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of Heaven. Mat 18:3

I think this on fits nicely too,

Pro 20:11  Even a child is known by his own doings, whether his work is pure and whether it is right.

You can Read Isabelle’s blog here. as well as buy some of her cards.

throne of god I will paraphrase the late great Keith Green and pose a question to all:

If your heart takes more pleasure in video games, watching TV, or going to the movies, or hanging out with friends, rather than just sitting alone with God and embracing Him, sharing His cares and His burdens, weeping and rejoicing with Him, then how are you going to handle eternity in His presence?

You’d be bored to tears in heaven, if you’re not ecstatic about God now!

time 

Take this quick quiz . . .

How much time did you spend this past week:

  • Watching  TV shows and movies?
  • Playing video games?
  • Watching sports on TV or at a game?
  • Surfing the Internet, or hanging out on Facebook?
  • Have conversations about meaningless worldly things?

Add all those hours up______:

Now how much time did you spend:

  • Reading, studying and meditating on the word of God?
  • Praying?
  • Worshiping God?
  • In community and fellowship with other believers? (and I do not mean just setting in same pew)
  • Going into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Mat 16:15
  • Going and making disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit teaching them to observe all that Jesus has commanded you. Mat 28:19-20
  • Fulfilling Matthew 25:31-46………
  • Feeding the hungry?
  • Giving drink to the thirsty?
  • Taking in a stranger?
  • Clothing the naked?
  • Visiting the sick?
  • Visiting those in prison?
  • Visiting orphans and widows in their affliction? James 1:27
  • Delivering the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to help him? Job 29:12 

Add all those hours up______:

If our total hours is larger on the first than the second, then our lives are out of sync with Jesus, with His calling for every follower of Him, and things must change. All the things on the second list are the things Jesus said if you love Him you will be found doing, daily. All those things are what the life of a true follower of Christ should looks like, what it means to truly imitate the life of Christ. The difference between confessing who Christ is and truly being a follower of Christ.

It is time to reevaluate our lives and what we spend our time doing. Is it following Christ, obeying His commands, living for Christ or our selves and our own pleasures, just like the rest of the world? Is our life being spent to reach the lost, spread the gospel, make disciples, heal the sick, take care of the needy, orphans & widows, or it to obtain and maintain the American dream, be rich, happy and comfortable?

The key to the only tool you need to plant a church, the Holy Spirit as I explained in yesterday post is found in Act 11:24  For he was a good man and full of the Holy Spirit and faith. And many people were added to the Lord. It says full of the Holy Spirit and faith, and many where added.

Faith is the key to the Holy Spirit, what is the faith spoken of here? It is Faith that Jesus will give you the Spirit as He promised He would. That the Spirit will empower, equip and lead us, will enable us to be an witness to the world. Give us the words to day, the gifting to do the job, that Jesus will build His church as He said He will.

I believe that is why we have so many conferences and books on church planting, because we have to many people who ether do not have the faith to trust and reality on the Holy Spirit or to many who are not filled with and walking in the spirit. And are doing works of the flesh trying to reproduce the work of the Spirit and plant, start church on their own fleshly power. So they need a fleshly plan, way to make it happen.

I propose that the only real "how to church planting" conferences that should be going on, is prayer meetings, on your face worship, seeking God and wait to hear His voice meetings. Not let me tell you about our man conceived plans and ways to make it happen conferences.

When I was in YWAM, everyone had to do a DTS (Discipleship Training School) a 5 month boot camp if you will, that is focused mainly on finding your unique individual gifts and calling in God. To learn to hear God’s voice and follow His will for your life, a time that you inquire of God as to which of the 800 bases in more than 100 countries in the world are you to go to, His will for you, not your own. And which of the over 3500 ministry opportunities are you to do. They do not tell you where, what and how, but rather lead you into the presents of God, and help you learn to listen to for Gods voice, to hear Him and seek His face. They leave the where, what and how up to God, the Holy Spirit to answer. And that’s the way it should be for every follower of Christ, missionaries, pastors and even for “church planters”.

Part 2 in the series