Chirstian life Tag

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

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.

go Jesus told His followers to GO, not stay, not sit, but GO! I envision God looking down sometimes and saying to His people ‘What part of Go, don’t you understand?’

Go is one of the most powerful words Jesus used, command he gave His people, most life change two letter word in the bible. God told Abraham, Moses, Noah, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Paul to Go just to name a few. That little word changed men, nations and the world.

 

 

Lets read Jesus’ words:

  • Mat 10:6  But rather Go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
  • Mat 10:7  And as you Go, proclaim, saying, The kingdom of Heaven is at hand.
  • Mat 19:21  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 28:19  Therefore Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
  • Mar 16:15  And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.
  • Luke 10:3  Go! Behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves.
  • John 8:11  And she said, No one, Lord. And Jesus said to her, Neither do I give judgment. Go, and sin no more

 

So according to Jesus we are to:

  • Go to the lost
  • Go proclaim the gospel
  • Go proclaim the Kingdom of heaven
  • Go to the poor and give to them
  • Go teach the nations His teaching
  • Go and baptize
  • Go as lambs among the wolves
  • and finally Go and sin no more

 

So are you Going? does this list describe your daily activities, your To Do list for the day? It should. I know I need to get Going more and staying less.

So how do we fix our going problem, simple, just Go like Jesus said to. Let that one little word change your life and the world around you. Go!

keith green Keith Green is one of my all time favorite Christian singer/song writers no one since him has impacted the Christian world with such encouraging songs. He’s lyrics challenged Christians in their walk with God like no other musical artist. In so many ways His concerts where like sermons being song.

A great example is his song ‘A Sleep In the Light’ probably my favorite song of his, the lyrics motivated me every time I heard the song. I can not count the number of times that the song came into my head, in opportune times to share the gospel, jump starting me to do so.

This song is so needed in the American church today, one that needs to be played in every church and on every Christian radio station, this message need to come from every pulpit, because the church has never been more a sleep as it is today. Read over the lyrics below, let it take hold of your heart, Hear it here.

My favorite lines are “How can you be so dead When you’ve been so well fed Oh, Jesus rose from the dead And you, you can’t even get out of bed

Light’: by Keith Green

Do you see, do you see
All the people sinking down
Don’t you care, don’t you care
Are you gonna let them drown
How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done
"Oh bless me Lord, bless me Lord"
You know it’s all I ever hear
No one aches, no one hurts
No one even sheds one tear
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds
And He cares for your needs
And you just lay back
And keep soaking it in,
Oh, can’t you see it’s such a sin?
Cause He brings people to you door,
And you turn them away
As you smile and say,
"God bless you, be at peace"
And all heaven just weeps
Cause Jesus came to your door
You’ve left him out on the streets
Open up open up
And give yourself away
You see the need, you hear the cries
So how can you delay
God’s calling and you’re the one
But like Jonah you run
He’s told you to speak
But you keep holding it in,
Oh can’t you see it’s such a sin?
The world is sleeping in the dark
That the church just can’t fight
Cause it’s asleep in the light
How can you be so dead
When you’ve been so well fed
Jesus rose from the grave
And you, you can’t even get out of bed
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead
Come on, get out of your bed
How can you be so numb
Not to care if they come
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done
You close your eyes
And pretend the job’s done
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t pretend the jobs done
Come away, come away, come away with Me my love,
Come away, from this mess, come away with Me, my love.

Jump-for-Joy 2 The word in the English bible Praise, actually in the Hebrew and Greek text it is not as Americans define, envision it. In the original languages of the bible, there are 52 Hebrew words in the Hebrew text (OT) and 29 Greek words in the Greek text (NT) of which the majority are translated as simply Praise. In church today it has come to mean something much less that what the bible says it is.

Here are some of the key Hebrew words used in the scriptures and their meaning:

Havah worship, kneel
Samah rejoice, be glad
Yadah to worship with extended hands – to though out the hands
Hallal to be loud, to boast, to be clamorously foolish
Barak to kneel
Shabach to shout in a loud tone
Karar to dance
Pazaz to leap
Patzah to bust forth with
Rana shouts of joy
Gil shout, to circle in joy
Rinnah shout in triumph
Tzavah to cry out

Some of the Greek words and their meanings:

Allomai to leap
Gonupeteo kneel down
Kampto to bend knee
Proskuneo to fall down and worship
Skirtao to leap with joy

That’s just a 18 of the 81 Hebrew and Greek words in the scriptures you read simply translated “Praise”, the key and most used ones. So when was the last time your church gathering worship service was the people doing any of these things listed above. How about you when was the last time you where loud and clamorously foolish (I love that one), extended your hands with a shout in a loud voice, danced or leaped with joy, or fell on you face before God. Most important to note is Not one of the 81 words is defined as sitting, being quite, or being somber, not one of the 81 words. They are all physical actions with loud voices.

This is how God defied to Praise Him, the words He used when instructing Israel in worship and praise, they are word that described how God’s people praised Him, what they did to praise Him. The words Paul used to teach the gentile believers in how to praise God, it gives us a glimpse at what the first century church worship services looked like.

I say let’s go back to the days of old when the people of God, worshiped and praised Him like this. I would love to see this as the normal worship service, real worship and praise going on, not this sit in your seats and set back and enjoy the show on stage, but instead a bunch of people being  loud and clamorously foolish.