Christian life

2-5-10364 Days and Acts of Mission, that is for 365 days I will do at lest one act of Mission. Be Missional.

As I mentioned Wednesday when I blogged about my new commitment to doing 365 Days & Acts of Love, that it had brought to mind other things I wanted to do for the next year.

Project two is 364 Days and Acts of Mission, that is for 365 days I will do at lest one act of Mission. That is the mission of Jesus that was passed on to His people, to His church. Living missional as we say, but now with deliberate actions and intent daily just as I am also pursuing deliberate acts of love each day. (read here)

This will be doing things like sharing the gospel with strangers, make disciples, baptizing others, bringing healing to others, planting a church, acts that bring and build the kingdom of God to earth. That spread the gospel to the world.

I am not seeking to add another thing to my schedule, but rather making my existing schedule, life style missional. Everything from eating meals, going to the gym,  work, grocery shopping, trip to the library, getting a haircut and playing basketball, will all be done with a missional intent. It is simply looking at what Jesus did and do what He did, looking for what Jesus is doing each day and  join Him in it.

Simply put, mission and the gospel will be part of every activity I do, but I will do at least one distinct, intentional, bold act of mission a day, and I will try to blog about one of the acts each day to share with you.

The gospel component can be added in a natural but intentional way as I converse throughout the activities of my day. The mission is simply me living as Jesus did, everything He did and said was to further the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom message of reconciliation and healing to the world. (He said we will do everything He did and “even greater things” John 14:12 I am simply holding Him to His promise)

To sum it up ~ I will do 365 acts of Mission for 365 days of the next year.

The purpose ~ To not just talk about the mission of Christ, but be about doing the mission of Christ.

The goal ~ To live a life on mission that will spread the Kingdom of God and the gospel, the work of Christ on earth and inspire others to live the same.

I found myself today, all day continual thinking about my 365 days of love commitment. I found myself in the hunt mode, looking for opportunities to do acts of love when I was out today. Day one and amazed at how it has effected my thinking an attitude towards others and life. Unfortunately I was not out much so opportunities where not in abundance.

Then the opportunity presented its self, I was able to help my neighbors 10 year old daughter with her homework, she was struggling with her math and in need of help so I decided I’d help her when she asked me to. After working with her for about an hour she was able to do the work, understood how to do it, and was very happy. She went from down on herself, thinking she was not very smart, to confident and believing she could do the work.

Her parent are not the teaching type, seem to have little time of patience to her to help her with her home work. So I feel that I had shown her love, had done an act of love in helping her with her work. And by helping build her belief in herself and abilities by taking the time to reassure her that she was smart and capable of learning.

1-3-10After reading of a fellow pastor and his project for the year, I was inspired to join Jaeson Ma in his venture for the year. Although Jaeson has a 32 day head start on me, I have committed to the next year to not only do the same as he. But this has also inspired me to do similar acts that came to mind that I am also starting, more on that this week.

I, like Jaeson will attempt to do at lest one random act of kindness to someone each day of the year. That is, 365 acts of love for 365 days of the next year.

To be the good Samaritan, to live a life of acts of love for others as Jesus did.

It can be anything from helping someone out in need, to listening to someone’s problems, to giving encouragement, or to do some crazy act of love for a stranger. I don’t know, I will have to trust that each day will bring before me an opportunity to love. So I will try to blog about one of the acts each day.

To sum it up: I will do 365 acts of love for 365 days of the next YEAR

The purpose ~ To not just talk about the love of Christ, but be about love

The goal ~ To live a life of love that will hopefully inspire others to love the same.

1-2-10I recently found out about 3 people from my past, people I have not seen or talked to in over 10 years. Unfortunately I discovered that none of them are still walking with the Lord, in fact two even actively promote false teaching and condemn the bible and church for their teaching. And I can tell you all three lived what all consider a committed Christina life back when I knew them.

A friend of mine has also had three friends of his abandon the faith, two turned gay, two denounce Christ and the bible. Two of them lead what all would consider a stiller Christina life prior.

That that leads me to the questions, Who really is a Christian? How can you tell who really is Christian?

The general belief among Christian and the church in American, the answer that is given is.

1. Do they confess Jesus is Lord, said the sinners prayer.
But my problem with that is this. Jesus said if you do, well done, but even Satan and all his demons do, so what. So according to God hell will be full of people who know and admitted that He is God and Jesus is Lord. Remember the story in Matthew 8 about the two demon-possessed men who met Jesus, and He confronted the demons and they cried out, “What have you to do with us, O Son of God? They knew who Jesus was, they confessed who He was, where they saved after that, no, no at all. So we really can not use that as a test. All of the people I’m talking about did that.

2. They claim that they are a Christian.
The Gallup and other poles show that 82 to 87% of Americans claim to be Christian, so welcome to the club, it’s all most who does not claim to be one. That proves nothing. All of the people I’m talking about did that.

2. They attend church, they are active at church.
As Keith Green once said, “Going to church no more make you a Christian than going into a McDonald’s make you a hamburger.” Anyone can go to church, anyone can even be a worker, anyone can learn the lingo and talk like a Christian, even Satan can. All of the people I’m talking about did that, where very active in church, one even on staff for years.

So that leaves with the real questions, Who really is a Christian? How can you tell who really is Christian? How can we distinguish who is, this is very important for may reasons. One example, Picking a mate, if you really want to be marred to a real Christian, Christ follower it matters. Just think if you would have married one the six people I am talking about above a few years back.

I will post my answer to these questions this week. I you have answers send them to me, would like to hear from others.

1-26-2010What if Christians where as excited about the coming of Jesus as the world is about the coming Apple Tablet, the church was as passionate about Jesus’ coming as Apple is about their new Tablet.

Maybe so would the rest of the world, maybe it would dominate the news like Apple is, blogs would be on fire with the news about the coming phenomenon. Steve Jobs boast the Apple tablet will change the world, the way we live, revolutionize everything we know and do. All that hype for a peace of electronic equipment that really is unnecessary for anyone to have, and it will not really transform anyone life in ways that really matter, like eternity.

I think the church and Christians need to take a good look that, consider we have all the info about the upcoming release of something that really will change everything, the entire earth will literally be made new. Man will be made new, everything, life its self will be change in the blink of an eye. And every ones eternity will be set for good of bad.

Now that is news worthy of proclaiming, telling the world about, getting excited about.  Maranatha!

12410Greg Laurie gave an excellent rule to live by today in his sermon, to think before you speak. And he gave a brake down of the letters in the word think to use as the guide.

I for one am seeking to implement this in my life starting today.

  • T = True, if you do not know it is true, do not say it.
  • H = Helpful, if it is not helpful to others, do not say it.
  • I = Inspiring, if it’s not up lifting, contributing to the good of others, don’t say it
  • N = Necessary, if it is not necessary, useful in someone to others, don’t say it.
  • K = Kind, if it is not kind word about others, to others, do not say it

Therefore our conversations should:

Be spreading only truth, everything we say should be truth, not lies, or un proven rumors about others. Our words should be like Jesus’, truth and turth only.

Helpful, everything we say should be said with to goal of helping others, their situation, our intent should be to make things better, not worse.

Inspiring, our words should inspire people to be better people, inspire their relationship with God and others. We should be like Jesus, wanting the best for others and inspiring them to be and do their best.

Necessary, we should only be sharing with others words that matter, profitable to others to hear, that is have some value to them, not just words to hear our own voice.

Kind, our words should be up lifting to others, for their good. How sweet are Your Words to my taste! More than honey to my mouth! Psalms 119:103 That is how others should feel about our words.

We should live and speak by:

James 1:26 If anyone thinks to be religious among you, yet does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this one’s religion is vain.

1Th 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build one another up, just as you are doing.

Eph 5:19 addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart,

A long time pastor and mentor of mine Greg Laurie brought up a good question. “What If We Treated Our Bible Like We Do Our Cell Phones?”

One can not help but noticed how much cell phones are a part of our lives today? Everyone has them, even the children, in fact studies show children now spend more time taking and texting on a cell phone than time with their parents.

Just think if people never left home with their bible, carried everywhere they went, to lunch, meeting, school, work, everywhere. What if we opened it as much as they used our cell phone.

How different our lives would be, the world around us would be do to the impact such a life would have.

So I sent out a few twitters on the subject, to hopeful get people thinking, here they are below.

The bible has more apps than iPhone & Android combined, & they are all free. What ever is going on in your life, there’s one for that.

God offers a unlimited voice & text messaging plan with 3G (God the Father..God the Son & God the Spirit) coverage with no dropped calls

What if we treated the bible like we couldn’t live without it next to us like we do our cell phones? What if we used it in case of emergency

What if we used our bible to receive messages from the text, as much as much as we text messages from our cell phones?

Ever wonder what would happen if we treated our Bible like we treat our cell phone? Never left home with out, used it just as much

rescueWe have all heard the saying about firemen, especial on 9/11, “that they rush into buildings everyone else is rushing out of”. The type of people that are firemen, hero’s are the ones that go when other will not, rush into action on a moments notice. Run head on into danger to save others, to meet an enemy head on, a situation of need, crisis will always prove character, separate the men from the boys as it says. It also can prove motive, revile the devote when it come to service to God.

One thing that caught my attend with the Haiti crisis was the multitude of Americans who where there when the earthquake hit that where trying to get out. But what I was surprised about was the number of people who where there on “mission” trips who where trying to high tail it out of there. Whole church groups who said they where their on a mission to relive the suffering of the Haiti people. So at the same time literally hundreds of thousands of Christians are trying get in to help, others who where already there. Claim they where there to help, where tying to flee the very opportunity to do what the rest of us pray for the opportunity to do, Make a difference in the hour of life and death need. To make a difference for God, to save lives, to help the helpless.

As the saying goes “Adversity doesn’t build character – it’s reveals character”. and I think this very much did so. Just like as the army of Israel stood back from he challenge of Goliath, only one man rushed in to meet the challenge that was before all.

So many live for the opportunity to be in a place to live beyond the norm, be stretched beyond themselves, to be is such a place in history to do great things for God and others, while other run from it.

Lord may I be found ready and willing to meet every opportunity before me, may I be one who runs in not away.

maranathaI have determined to focus everyday this year on the return of Jesus Christ, it is what Jesus talk about daily, it was what the early church was expecting, anticipating to happen at any time, and so they lived according to that promise, expectation of Christ return. Paul stated that is what distinguished true followers of Christ from the rest of the world. Paul even stated that all the rest of the world that all they think about is things here on the earth, their minds are focused on day in and day living, the temporal things of the earthly life, while followers of Christ focused on His return.

We are to eagerly await and seek the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus to return and take His place as King. Jesus gave us the story of the 10 Virgins in Matthew 25:1-1. The story is about 10 virgins whom where awaiting their coming bridegroom, 5 prepared and where ready at his come, 5 where not. Only the five who where ready, looking for and awaiting His come, did He take into His Kingdom. Jesus summed  it up by saying ” Therefore watch, for you do not know either the day or the hour in which the Son of Man comes.”

In Mark 13:33-37 Jesus says; Take heed, watch and pray, for you do not know when the time is. As a man going away, leaving his house, and giving authority to his servants, and each man’s work to him, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Then you watch, for you do not know when the lord of the house is coming, at evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or early; lest he come suddenly and find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all. Watch.

As for me I chose to be a watchmen, looking for and living prepared for the return of Jesus. And one who is living in that promise as if it will be fulfilled today and proclaim Maranatha, the Lord is coming to all.

There is a book call Barnabas Factors: Eight Essential Practices of Church Planting Team Members, by author and professor J. D. Payne, that describes how Barnabas should be considered as a model for contemporary church planting team members. Each chapter of this work addresses a particular “Barnabas Factor, ” a healthy aspect of Barnabas’ life that assisted in Kingdom expansion.

While I was looking over the eight practices that his book contains that some listed on their blog it got me thinking that really these should be part of every Christians life. So I have taken Payne’s list and add a definition to each practices we all should be doing.

The eight practices include:

1. Walks with the Lord:

  • Text: Gen 6:9  These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.
             Col 2:6  Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him,

We should be walking in complete intimacy with God daily, in continual pray, communication with God, seeking His face hour by hour. Under the full control of God, the Holy Spirit.

2. Maintains an Outstanding Character:

  • Text: Eph 4:24  and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
            Eph 4:22  “to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires,”

This really boils down to are you walking in Christ, have you put on Christ and put off the old nature, are you walking the walk, living out who you clime to be in Christ.

3. Serves the Local Church:

  • 1Co 12:7  To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.
                     All of 1 Cor 12

No one should be just attending church, every person present should be exercising their Spiritual gifts every take the church gathers. Should be fulfilling their call if they have one within the church.

4. Remains Faithful to the Call

  • 1Ti 4:14  Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you.
  • Luke 9:62 But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

5. Shares the Gospel Regularly

  • Acts 1:7 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth

This should be the way of life for every Christian, sharing the gospel should be their way of life, in words and deeds.

6. Raises Up Leaders

Every Christian should have a Timothy in their lives, some they are disciplining, they should be encouraging everyone to “stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands.” 2 Tim 1:6 We should be equipping other for service to the Lord and the body of Christ.
 
7. Encourages with Speech and Actions

  • Heb 10:24-25  and let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works, not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching.

Every one of our conversations with others in the body should be encouraging them in their walk with Christ, fulfilling their calling and encouraging them in their daily life struggles.

8. Responds Appropriately to Conflict.

  • Matthew 18:35 “So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”
  • Matt 18:23-35 The Parable of. The Unforgiving Servant
  • Heb 10:34 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,

How we handle conflict really shows where we are in our Christian maturity, show if we really understand the forgiveness in Christ, if we are forgiving then we should have the same attitude towards others as Jesus points out in Matt 18:23-35