Christian life

what side I have found that when it comes to Christians, what they believe, stand for depends on what side of the fence they are on, there current place in life. Like recently a friend posted on FB their support for a new bill that will pour billions into steam cell research. A year and a half ago like the majority of Christians they where against it, but do to current situation in their family they are now on the other side of the fence on that issue.

Just as Christians are against abortion, tell their 13 year old daughter get pregnant, or a single Christian girl gets pregnant, then they switch sides on the issue, they take the side that benefits them at the hour of their situation.

It’s no wonder the world no longer take Christians serious, we do not stand on what we say is truth in our own lives.

This is why the church needs to get back to teaching the word of God, teaching that obeying is not an option, that it is God Word, truth, the truth that all other things are measured by. That the word of God is to change our beliefs, not ours rewrite the bible. Christianity is not a set of beliefs you pick and chose from when they meet your current needs or life situation, but yet that is what it has been come in the US.

12-01-03 Why is it the people who preach/write about being content no matter what you life situation is, are married with a house full of children, have successful careers and or ministries?

I got a news letter today from a pastor whom I like and it was on contentment, just a couple of page with a card to send off to the a CD of his message the letter was take from. He states “It’s not a question of poverty or prosperity, or any external circumstance, true contentment endures in spite of our circumstances, it does not rise and fall with every turn of providence.”

I have yet to ever hear someone who was poor and needy, single past their 20’s who wanted to get married, someone out of work for a extended length of time, or in a bad dead end job get up in front of a church and preach on being content where they where. Never heard someone from the ghetto write a book on the joy and contentment they have in their life situation.

I’ve never heard a mother in the ghetto say I’m content my children are starving, have no heat. Never heard someone who desires to love and be loved, have a family say I’m content loveless and a lone and wish to stay this way. But I hear married successful people get in the pulpit and tell them they should be content in their situation all the time.

Those who preach on contentment in any circumstance of life, I have found where never content when if they ever even lacked the very things at all they tell others to live without (some have never lacked anything in life). It was only after they gained everything they wanted, needed in life that they make such statements to others. It’s as if they have forgotten what it was like for them, life before they got all they wanted, maybe it just a case of amnesia, the have forgotten where they came from. It’s funny that they give advice that they would not have accepted when they where, if ever in need. Been unwilling themselves to be content in the very same circumstances they tell others to be content in.

2328879637_c0d2e376ff What if we live our lives from now to the moment we leave this earth, in such a way that our lives, and live message was so impacting on the culture.  That it actual changes the culture of you neighborhood, your city. That you lived a life that was so unique, so compelling, that it actual changed the culture. Not is a worldly way, not for worldly agendas’ like the Republican or Democratic party, or a church domination, your own agenda, but for the sake of the gospel, for the Kingdom of God agenda.

And what if it even went beyond that, impacted the nation, and even expanded across the world to every nation. Even still effected people long after you had died. God did that though the people of the first century church, with people far less equipped and educated than you. With out the internet, cell phones, twitter or even the US Mail. With cars and jets to get across the globe hours.

Just think what He could do though you, if Him and His kingdom where you priority in life. If you chose to live a God centered, Jesus soaked life of mission.

Just something to think about.

110309 An estimated 1.5 million evangelical Christians joined Brazil’s annual "March for Jesus" on Monday in Sao Paulp, Brazil, an event sponsored by a church whose leaders recently returned after being imprisoned in the U.S. for money smuggling.

Now in its 17th year, the march unites faithful from hundreds of evangelical churches and attracts dozens of Christian bands, preachers and local celebrities.

It is organized by the powerful Reborn in Christ Church, whose leaders said they had hoped to draw 5 million people to gather around a central Sao Paulo plaza where the main stage was located.

74 percent of Brazilians identify as Catholics, down from 84 percent in 1990. Fifteen percent classified themselves as evangelical Protestants, up from 9 percent in 1990.

"It’s one giant party for Jesus," one participant said, standing among a noisy throng of revelers.explo72

Associated Press writer Bradley Brooks in Rio de Janeiro. read full story here.

I remember the good old days here in America when this type of activity was a regular event, being a child of the 70’s. I remember the Jesus movement well, when thousands of followers of Christ held marches on school campuses, streets, rallies in parks an schools campuses, and filled stadiums. I miss those days when love and passion for Jesus was so white hot, when every follower of Jesus was passionate about sharing Jesus, proclaiming the gospel, and the result was we baptized hundreds at a time. Church where growing so fast we where taking over closed stores and warehouses, sadly today churches are closing, dying off, and I do believe there is a connection. We need to get that fiery hot passion back, for Jesus for the lost.

 

Photo from Expo 72 in Dallas, TX

sinai-desert I have always heard the time the Hebrews spent wondering in the Sinai desert (wilderness) after they left Egypt referred to as the "Wilderness Experience", and always in a Negative way. Christians always use the phrase "Your having a Wilderness Experience" when ever someone is going through a ruff time in their life. Having a bad season in life. But if you read the story and truthfully look at it, are they really right to teach it in a negative way, really use it as a comparison to a hard time in ones life.

 

This is what we read about the Hebrews experience in the Sinai desert.
1. They did not have to work for their daily meals, toil, plant, harvest or hunt for food. Their daily meals where delivered to their doorstep.
2. The women did not even have to prepare or cook a meal. Breakfast, lunch and dinner was catered for them.
3. They did not have to make or buy one single peace of clothing, repair or replace their tent (house) for 40 years.
4. They did not have to start their day wonder what they where to do, or God’s will. His physical, visible present lead them day and night. God walked among them, with them, visibly with them daily.
5. God was verbally teaching them about Him and life. As life was happing, God was telling them how to handle it, live.
6. When they gathered for worship, God was there, visibly and verbally His presents was there.
7. Their days where consumed with being married, having and raising children, living in community and listening to and following God.

OK, how may of us would not trade our life in the rat race for that life. How may of us would love to wake up every morning with God’s pillar of fire showing us where we should go today. Trade in the daily grind at the office for spending the day with our family, not having to worry about making ends meet, putting bread on the table, paying the rent. Having God take care of, provide everything for you. Go to church and have God there, just a few feet away from you. Have God with you visibly every day, guiding you, not in feeling like He is with you, you look with your eyes and see His hand showing the way.

I think we need to new understanding of what the Hebrews had in the Sinai. And new phrase to use for those going through bad times, hard times. Maybe we should start referring to the good life as the "Wilderness experience".

flashforward-logo The new TV show Flash Forward (ABC Thursdays at 8:00 pm ET) debut last night, with an interesting show plot. If you did not see the first show, the plot is that everyone in the world blacks out at the same time and has a flash forward to their future. And while blacked out they see for two minutes and seventeen seconds, his or her life six months in the future on the same day. What they where doing on that day, what their life was like. And a FBI task force sets out to find out what or who cause it and why it happened.

One of the character points out that everyone was changing how they lived and how they have a different outlook on their lives based on what they saw about their future. People where beginning to change the way the lived, their outlook about life. Those who saw a bad future on that day where now seeking to change that outcome, create a different future for themselves, avoid the for seen event.

And I thought about that, how the author of the book that the show is based on, understood if we could see the future, even a single day, it would effect our life choices now, how we live now. How true that should be fore every follower of Christ, for we have seen the future, not just ours but the future of the all mankind, all of creation. How the story will end as they say.

We followers of Christ have had our own Flash Forward, only we have seen more than two min of the future. We do not know the exact date of events like in the show, they had a time line, we do not, it could be tomorrow, next month or ten years from now.

So my question is has it really changed the way we live compared to those who have not had a Flash Forward, seen the future. Has knowing the future really changed what we live for, what is important in life, what our life priorities are? Do we really live in light of our Flash Forward?

Two things I ask of you, O LORD;
do not refuse me before I die:
8 Remove falsehood and lies far from me;
      Give me neither poverty nor riches—
      Feed me with the food allotted to me;
9 Lest I be full and deny You,
      And say, “Who is the LORD?”
      Or lest I be poor and steal,
      And profane the name of my God.
Proverbs 30:7-9

A prayer that we all need to take to heart. He is basically asking God to let him live pay check to paycheck, that is so anti American. Goes against the grain of what so many churches preach today. I think even churches need to pray this payer regarding income lest they fall away in the same way, for get the Lord become the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2 leaving their first love, God.

I seek to take this verse to heart and pray it. How about you, will you?

Listen to Francis Chan 2 min video on the verse here>>

repent In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea,  "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." Mat 3:1-2

That was the message of John the Baptizer, he spent his life going around call on the nation of Israel to repent and be baptized.

In Luke 7:28 Jesus says of John:  “I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he."

That was quite a statement for God to say of someone, I know I certainly would love to be such a person that God would say that of me. And John had lived his life doing only two things, declaring repent and be baptized.

 

 

Twenty five times Jesus says the same thing in verses like:

From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."  Mat 4:17

No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3 

Jesus makes is very clear that repentance is a requirement for salvation, this is why I believe John was crowed the greatest, because he was doing the most important step need for salvation, repentance.

And in verses like John 8:11 we read what Jesus said to an adulteress woman, “Neither do I condemn you; go, and from now on sin no more." To go and sin no more is to repent, we could insert repent, “go and repent” that what repent means, to turn from sin, leave your life of sin.

But yet strangely enough I do not ever here repentance proclaimed in the post modern church today. Never hear a pastor tell people the must repent. Never hear Christian share that necessary step with others.

I believe we need another John the Baptizer, that it is time for God to send another to go about proclaiming His message “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand”. Someone who will shout repent not only to the world but to the church.

fearless How can you grow your faith to go beyond the fear? Is the question that Max’s book is all about. "Lets be numbered among those who hear a different voice, God’s. Enough of these shouts of despair, wails of doom." Max writes. In this world we live in today with a failing economic system, high unemployment, AIDS, swine flu. foreclosures, a failing government, wars and terrorism to name a few things. Fear is king. One only has to just watch or go to one of the town hall meetings on health care, and see how fear is driving people to a state of anger. The timing of the release of this book is impeccable, our world is facing a multitude of critical situations like is has never faced before at one time.

 

 

He writes:
"We expect to find Jesus in morning devotionals, church suppers, and meditation. We never expect to see him in a bear market, pink slip, lawsuit, foreclosure or war. We never expect to see Him in a storm. But it is in storms that he does His finest work, for it is in storms the He has our keenest attention."

"And Jesus wants them to know (speaking of the disciples): they will never face the future without His help, Nor do you. you have a travel companion."

So many today live a life dominated  by fear, and it does not have to be the set in the corner and cower at the world kind. But a fear that cause you to live a life not centered on and dependent on God. To seek and find security in the things of this world like riches to be your security. The type of fear that will cause you to make decision for yourself based on fear rather than faith, God.
Max has done it again. He has taken a subject that is on everyone’s mind these days, fear, and with his writing ability and gifted insight has addressed it from the viewpoint of faith.

If you are looking to build you life on a firm foundation, some words of wisdom, and to put to rest any of the fears you may be experiencing, I strongly recommend you read this book.

This is an encouraging book that I would recommend to anyone who struggles with fear and even if you do not, because like the Eagles song: ‘In a New York Minute’, everything can change in a moment.

Buy it here.

It was said of the early Christians, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also.” Acts 17:6. And “…These men do exceedingly trouble our city..” Act’s 16:20. Nearly everywhere they went riots broke out! The status quo was over turned, the norm was challenged.

Paul was called a “Riot Starter,”  “for having found this man a pestilence, and moving a dissension to all the Jews through the world — a ringleader also of the sect of the Nazarenes.” Acts 24:5

Paul was constantly starting riots and he was constantly being persecuted, run out of town, stoned, jailed and beaten. And what did he have to say about all the persecution, the hardship and suffering he endured for live such a life. Being a “man of pestilence” according to the world, “ For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in him but also suffer for his sake,” Php 1:29.

What was his response to being a riot starter, for tuning the world upside down, disrupting the acceptable peace as wellbeing of all around him. Caused by perching the gospel, “I consider my life worth nothing to me if only I may finish the job and complete the race…of testifying to the Gospel.” Acts 20:24. He had a job to do…nothing else mattered!

I ask you do you cause riots where ever you go like the first church did, that is turn the world upside down with the gospel, for Christ? Do the other Christians you know cause riots wherever they go like Paul? Why isn’t this the norm today? Could it be because Act 20:24 is not at the heart of our existence as it was Paul’s. That our identity is is not grounded in the Great Commission?

Maybe it is time for Christians to resolve to be riot starters everywhere we go, to be found a people who are tuning the world upside down with the gospel.