Christian life

the love revolution jm This is a great book, a must read for every Christian and really everyone. This subject is one I am most passionate about! There are over 2000 scriptures where God is speaking about the poor, needy and orphans, this is the one issue most on God’s heart. And therefore it should be the priority for His people, the poor are the ones most dear to the heart of God and should be for His people also.

The book is about getting it, understanding the heart of God, aliening our hearts with His, understanding our responsibility to the poor and needy. Moving from a selfish life, a self centered life, to one of love for others. Having our hearts break over the things that break God’s heart.
At this books core is the story of author, Joyce Meyer and how she finely got what God says about our duty to the poor and needy, how she was changed and how her ministry changed also when she got hold of Gods passion for the poor and needy. This book is about her encouraging others to get that same passion, to get Gods heart for the needy, and take action as she did. To understand our calling to take care of the poor and needy, do something, to act on what God said, to walk the talk as they say.

Ted Kennedy was asked once how he could have such an obsession with the condition of the poor being he grew up with privilege, so much wealth. Kennedy replied with a question; asking reporter if he had never read the bible?.He got it. And it dictated his life, his work, the focus of all most every bill he authored in the senate (I’m no fan of Kennedy’s political stance, but admired his passion for the poor and social justice.). This is what Joyce wants for her readers, that just as it took hold of her and her life, for it to take hold of her readers and change them.

In Matthew 25 Jesus said He will separates the sheep from the goats of those who call Him Lord, and says to the sheep, that being the ones that have fed the hungry, clothed the naked, given drink to the thirsty, and visited those in prison, visited the sick. Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: But He said woe to the goats those who did none of these things. This is an issue God does not take lightly, this book is about being found a sheep in Jesus’ story.

waited on The question was posed by a fellow Twitterer, “Why do we make church about us”, there are many factors, reason why that is. The one that I believe is the gasoline on the fire for this attitude among attendees is this, the leadership, the pastor

To many pastors today focus on man, making church about the individuals wants and expectation, but not in a good way, it’s about making them happy and comfortable in the flesh. They use surveys and marketing firms to tell them how to make church into what the people what it to be about, centered on them. Even thou Christianity is about dying to self, and living for Christ and others. About dethrowning ours selves and becoming servants at the feet of the only true King, Christ Jesus.

To many churches today make church all about the right music, i.e. entertaining the the attendees, not real God centered worship, and pleasing Him. Rather than focus on moving hearts to fear God (Rev 14:7) and worship God with passionate love. They focus more on making the people tap their feet to rock star performances by hip bands, as if the people are at a U2 concerts and not at the feet of a holy God to worship in spirit.

It’s about how long the services is, after all God does not want to inconvenience you and take up too much of your time, because you have better places to be, right? How great the sound and lighting systems is as to pleasing them, after all that why the body gathers, right? It all about the attendees, right? Make sure you served the right coffee and donuts, that’s Communion, right? That you are comfortable and happy, after all that is what God is most concerned about for you, right? But what about what please God?

Yes church is about us, me in many ways, good ways, but only second to God. Like me worshiping and serving God. Me serving others, me praying for others, me encouraging others, me bearing the burdens of others. There is an element of me to church. Yes worship is to be to my liking, as long as my liking is the desire that God was worship and pleased, that I was able to cry out and sing praises to God, to Fall on my face before God. That the Holy Spirit showed up and moved with power among us. Not was I entertained, was I comfortable. Me doing the one another’s to others. Those are some good me’s.

But when you run church like a resort, a county club, or a grand hotel. That church is all about me and everyone is their to please “me”, entertain “me”, meet “my” every whim and want, I am the “King of the World” when there, it is all about “me”, every thing about that resort is to please “me”. the people can’t help but to believe that it is all about them, because it is.

Just something to think about.

feast Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to accomplish His work.”

John 4:34

Most Christians today believe church is a passive activity today, believe getting feed is a passive act on their part, that getting feed at church requires action only on the part of others, others doing for them, like the pastor.

There is some truth to that in that the pastor is to be teaching the word of God, and not just about the word of God, not just feel good stories, but teaching the meat of the word as the apostle Paul calls it. But there is much more I think to getting fed than just good teaching alone, much more than just setting and listening.  At least it seams that way according to Jesus, because He adds another dimension to it, Doing.

To Him getting fed was an active thing on the part of the receiver. According to Jesus He got fed by doing the will of God and accomplish God’s work.

So the next time you hear someone say they are “not getting fed”. You should ask them, are you exercising your spiritual gifts for the good of the body? Who are you serving with God? What risks are you taking for God? What adventure of compassion did just returned from with the smell of God on my clothes? Are you seek and doing God’s will? And the next time we feel like we are not getting fed at church, we should ask ourselves the very same questions.

If we ask these questions maybe we will discover why we are not getting fed. Because there is no food in our lives, that food being Us doing the will of God for us to feast on. That is easy to fix, just take the list of one-another’s, talk about a feast to be had at church (there are 53 of them), they are the will of God for us to do, doing them  is helping to accomplish God’s work in His people. And that would also be loving one another, also the will of God for us, and the mark of being one of His disciples. That is a good place to start, a good beginning.

If we do that, I wonder if we could ever truly say we are not getting fed at church.

accountability Ed Stetzer did a post on he blog on Christian accountability group questions to ask, it is a very good list of sets of question posed by people like John Wesley, Chuck Swindoll, Neil Cole. Worth the read to see their list.

I have long be a opponent of Christians asking the same worldly get to know you questions when they meet strangers and even people they know, like at church. Here are some alternative questions to ask of others when you meet with them.

 

 

  1. What are your spiritual gifts?
  2. What is you primary calling from the Lord? (your ministry)
  3. In what way are you exercising your spiritual gifts daily?
  4. How did you fulfill Matthew 25:31-46 today by doing these things to Jesus, others, feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, taking in a stranger, clothing the naked, visiting the sick and imprisoned?
    (Jesus said those who do not do these shall go away into everlasting punishment, So I would say they are important things to be doing.) 
  5. How did you seek justice, rescue the oppressed this week? Isa 1:17
  6. How did you defend the orphan, plead for the children? Isa 58:7
  7. Where you a father to the fatherless? How?
  8. In what ways did you share Christ and the Gospel with others today?
  9. Did you seek to love others? Love the body of Christ?
  10. How did you exercise your gifts for the good of the body when it gathered this week?
  11. Where you in community with the body this week (not just attend church)?  
  12. What did you learn in the Word today?
  13. Did you teach someone else what you learned in the word today/this week?
  14. Are are you discipling others? Pouring you life into others? 
  15. Did you seek to walk in the Spirit today?
  16. Did you seek and pursue the will of God for your life today? His plan for you? 
  17. How did you walk with Christ today, in all your ways?
  18. How did you encourage others in Christ today?
  19. Did you get a word from the Lord, for yourself, for the body, someone this week?
  20. How are you investing the Lords talents He has giving you? What are they and how?
  21. Are you staying untangled from the affairs of this world?
  22. Are you laying aside every weight and the sin which can easily distract you from the race? Heb 12:1 Tell me how?
  23. Are you running the race that is set before you for the Kingdom of God? Heb 12:1 Tell me how?
  24. Are you seeking first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness over all else? In what way?
  25. Did you seek to bring healing to someone today?
  26. For whom and what do you have a prayer burden?
  27. Did you seek to display the fruit of the Spirit today?
  28. Did you live as to seek the things that are above, where Christ is seated in all you did today? How?
  29. Did you seek to take every thought captive in Christ today?
  30. Did you Set your mind on things that are above, not on things that are on earth? In what way?
  31. Did you seek to put to death everything that is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry? How?
  32. Where your prayers ‘Me’ centered or ‘others’ centered? 
  33. Did you seek to fulfill Colossians 3:1-17 today?
  34. (Ones in red I’m most passionate about)

There are more, this is just my basic list that came to mind while typing this. If we asked these of each other, keep each other accountable. Our lives would be keep on track, we would live for Christ, and seek of be imitators of Him. Stop with the worldly centered idol talk, the meaningless chatter that is not Kingdome centered, lets start let us be a cloud of witnesses, surround ourselves with a cloud of witnesses’ to cheer us on to the finish line for Christ, To live for Him and Him alone.

So I am committing to asking these questions of others from now on.

Read Ed’s listing of questions here.

moc2

What I am thinking…..

Our mind is so Key to our transformation, because what we think controls what we choose to do, Pr 23:7. So who and what ever controls our minds, is going to control our lives. 1 Cor 2:16

What we think effects how we feel, how we feel influences what we choose to do and believe, and our choices’ and beliefs produce our lives.

Our minds are to be in sync with, networked with the Spirit of God, our minds should be under His control.

The real battle in the Christian life is in the battle for our minds Rom 7:25. Satan wants to keep us double minded, so Jesus’ light in us will be quenched. He know whoever controls our thinking, controls our lives, Pr 23:7,Mat 6:23, 1 Jn 1:5-7. He knows double mindedness will stop our transformation, Luke 11:34b, Ps 11:3.

For the Christina a normal mind is one set on things above, an abnormal mind is set on things of the world and the flesh.

Be mindful of things above, not on things on the earth. Col 3:2

Finally, my brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are right, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there is any virtue and if there is any praise, think on these things. Php 4:8

I know mine are not, been so carnal lately, so worldly, so sinful and  born of the flesh. I need the Holy Spirit to renew my mind, to sync my thoughts to His. To get the normal mind according to Jesus, not this world.

Image by Liyin

One of my fellow Twitters ask the question “Is there such thing as too much bible study? If so, what are the signs?” My short answer: No

My full response (more than 140 Character) would be this:

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Rom 10:17

Our faith comes from hearing the word of God, and studying is the same thing as hearing, it is the main thing that builds up our faith. Instructs us in God, who He is, His will, His mind, His plans, His promises to us, and so much more. The more one studies and knows the word of God, the deeper they know God, and even know their self. I have always seen a direct correlation between how much time someone spends in the word of God, to the level of faith they have.

Great amounts of study, resulting in great knowledge of Gods word, always equaled great faith, lives of great faith.

The greatest men of God in history, where always lovers of God’s word, and diligently studied and lived by His word. Men like D Moody, George Muller, Wesley, Knox, Tyndale, Wigglesworth, Ravenhill & Spurgeon and many, many more.

To say one can have too much bible study, is to say one can have too much faith according to the verse above, they are linked together. And is that possible, to have too much faith? I think not.

And because as someone once said “we are leaky vessels” the word must be constantly replenished in us. Other wise it will slowly leak out of us, and it will be replaced with the philosophies, beliefs and ways of the world. The spirit of the antichrist is constantly after us with so many bad theologies, filling our ears daily. And as the word leaks out, they rush in to fill the void. Not to mention we are at war with our own flesh and thoughts, and they are ether being influenced with a constant flow of the word of God, or the beliefs of the world. We will lose faith, become week. This too I have seen, witnessed in the lives of others and myself. We must maintain a constant replenishing of the word of God in us.

Also consider this verse:

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path.” Ps 119:105

So can we have too much light of God on our paths then? I say no.

As for me I love the word of God and can not get to much of it, love to study it night and day.

Lunch time doodling:

Jesus the vine

What i am thinking..

That I must seek hour by hour to stay connected to the true vine, Jesus the one that gives me life. Other wise I not only do not bear God fruit, but wither and die spiritual. That all true life come from Christ alone and to have that life in me I must be in Him. And that if I have Jesus’ life in me, if I am in Him then I will bear fruit to the Fathers glory and proving myself to be a true disciple of Jesus.

Image by Liyin

I post on twitter the statement:

“Why do so many want 2 be like prophets of old, & like Tozer, Wesley & Spurgeon but no one wants 2 pay the price they paid?”

So someone asked me “What price did they pay” of course that can not be answered in the 140 characters limit on Twitter, it can not even be effectively answered in this post. But I will put a Cliff Note version on here.

The prophets of old as well as many of the great pastor and other great servants of God, those who spoke for God. The Tozer, Wesley Knox, Tyndale, Moody, Wigglesworth, Ravenhill & Spurgeon and many more.

  • To them ministry was not a paid 8 to 5 Monday – Friday job, a Sunday only job, it was a 24/7/365 job.
  • They labored hours a day in prayer, not unusual for them to spend a whole day or days on their face before God, for His people, the lost and the needy, for the Kingdom to be spread.
  • They labored night and day for the Kingdom of God preaching the word of God to the people anywhere they found man, street corners, bar rooms, anywhere, everywhere they went and they went everywhere.
  • They lived lives of great faith, displaying great faith in God to accomplish His work through them, they said no souls reachable for God, no task undoable.
  • Endured any hardship, made any sacrifice for the sake of the gospel, for Christ.
  • Spend hours a day in study of the word, the diligently committed themselves to the knowledge of the word.
  • They where obedient to the word of God, they lived according to the word of God at any cost.
  • They lived lives of complete dedication to the call of God, for Kingdom purpose, they forsake all things for the cause of Christ, for the gospel.
  • They put proclaiming the word of God, spreading the gospel, the Kingdom of God over possessing wealth, or anything of this world.
  • They left loved ones, wives, children for months even years at a time to do the work of the Lord

I will leave you with the words of John Knox: “Give Me Scotland, or I die!” that was the price they where willing to pay, and many did.

fight-club-book I learned of a new booklet, men’s ministry called Fight Club this week. It is based on a Free Booklet by Jonathan Dodson, pastor of Austin City Life, called “Fight Club: Gospel-Centered Discipleship” which will be e-published for free first The Resurgence, with a print on demand option.  Dodson also mentioned that they are working on a website that will expand the booklet through interaction, blogs, and articles. and ultimately have it published as a hard copy.

He held a one-day conference this Sat Aug 1st to introduce men to it and I got to set in on via Twitter, good things where being said. I highly recommend that men download the pdf book and read it. Then start a Fight Club in their own church, of with some close friends. I really excited about it and am seeking to start one myself.

The Purpose of Fight Club 09 is to challenge men to fight for the radical transformation of the gospel of Jesus Christ in their personal lives. This would include how Jesus expects men to take responsibility and lead in their homes, their families, their churches, and culture; to be responsible and honor Christ in their use of time and their finances, to be wise in career and life decisions

Chapter One lays out a biblical case for fighting the fight of faith, which I hope stirs you up to fight the fight of faith. Once the fighting begins, it is easy to slide into fighting people instead of sin. We start beating one another up with judgment, fighting the wrong things with the wrong motives. We fight against the church instead of with her.

Chapter Two explores where we go wrong in our fighting by uncovering legalistic and licentious patterns in discipleship.

Chapter Three calls us away from these extremes into a gospel-centered discipleship. With the gospel at the center of discipleship, we can live as Jesus intended—fighting the good fight of faith which leads to true change. However, if weren’t not careful we’ll start to fight on our own. Failure to grasp the community focus of the gospel can cut us off from the grace God gives through his people, the church.

Chapter Four reminds us that discipleship is a community project because the gospel is community focused. Jesus created and redeemed us as people in relationship, people who need one another in the fight of faith. Instead of fighting against the church, we can fight with her, to live a life that is motivated by all that God is for us in the Spirit and the Son.

Chapter Five offers a practical way to apply the gospel to everyday life. It is a call for Fight Clubs—small, simple, biblical, reproducible groups of people who meet together regularly help one another keep the gospel at the center of their discipleship.

Download the pdf book here.

man praying redChinese Christians spend two to four hours a day in prayer. While the average American Christian spends on average ten minutes a day in prayer.

WHY PRAY?

1. We pray because you love God. We spend time with God in prayer and communion because we love him. Just as a man and woman in love desire to be together and communicate, so we, if we love God, will desire to be with Him and to fellowship with Him in proportion to our love for Him. And being Jesus said “Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me” (Mat 10:37) so shouldn’t we be spending more time with Him?

2. We should walk in the spirit of prayer, to pray without ceasing. Prayer is to be a way of life, when Paul said pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17), he meant just that. A lot of what it means is as it says about Enoch “he walk with God” that is he was in constant communication with God, talking with God all day. If you have seen the Movie or play Fiddler on the Roof, you have seen a truth about Jews portrayed in the Jewish characters, they where constantly talking with God about everything they did all day. They had dialog with God both asking Him what to do, seeking His wisdom, and thanking Him for all things, as well as complaining, Oy Vey. The main character Tevye is always talking with God, about everything, even asking God to bless a new sowing machine.

3. If we are truly walking with Christ, seeking God’s will in everything. Then we should be talking with God about every aspect of our life, hour by hour. Seeking God will for every decision as we encounter then. Should I buy this? Do this? What is your will for me in this God? Our work decisions, personal decision. It’s not just starting our day with a quick prayer what is your will for me today? God can not give His will for you that day, every aspect of your day in a short prayer. It’s a play by play coaching, a as you go guidance. But in every action asking before we do it minute by minute. Praying instantly for others as we see their needs, with others at the moment of need.

That’s how we are to walk, live with God. In constant dialog, prayer. That is not done in ten min a day.