Chirstian life Tag

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

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.

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?

And if it seems evil to you to serve Jehovah, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served Beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you live. But as for me and my house, we will serve Jehovah.  Joshua 24:15

I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the Lord your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the Lord is your life .  (Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a)

Two times God ask His people to choose, and He is still asking this today of all whom would come to Him. And we must make and prove our choice every day, whom we will serve, whom or what we will live for.

God gives us a simple choice. Choose Him and get life. Don’t and get death. It’s that simple.

I am striving to choose to serve Him with all of my self, my life everyday, to choose life, to Love God, live for Him, to listen to Him and be guided by the Holy Spirit in all I do, Every moment. Every day.

 

dirty water 4 Dig a Well, Go to Guatemala, El Salvador, Mexico, Honduras, East Africa

Over one billion people lack access to safe drinking water worldwide. Polluted water isn’t just dirty—it’s deadly. Some 1.8 million people die every year of diarrheal diseases like cholera. Tens of millions of others are seriously sickened by a host of water-related ailments—many of which are easily preventable.

More than 1.5m children under five die each year because they lack access to safe water and proper sanitation. Every day water-related diseases claim the lives of 5000 children under the age of five. That’s roughly one every 15 seconds. Households in rural Africa spend an average of 26% of their time fetching water, and it is generally women who are burdened with the task.

If one million Christ followers where to go for 7 day each over the next year they would dig enough wells to end the water crises.

 

Part 7 in the series

girls cheering on

I attended some of my nieces softball games the past two weekend, loved watching those girls play (10 to 12 years olds) , they are so amazing, the sills and abilities they posses at such a young age.

One of the things that caught my attention was that when they make an errors, mess up, strike out, drop a ball their teammates still say good job, you’ll get it next time and high five them, the coaches yell out good try, way to try, sake it off. As well as all of us in the stands, cheered for them just as if they hit a home run even when it was a pop fly out, shout out good hit! Not one of those girls is allowed to feel like they failed, no matter how badly they messed up.

That made me think of the verse Heb 12:1  "Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us," And how we have our own cheering section in heaven, but we should have one here to. When we mess up, make mistake, the body of Christ should be like my nieces teammates there to high five us, say good try, you’ll get it next time when we strikeout. But I do not see that happening very much at all in the church today, and that saddens me.

We the church, the body of Christ must, need to learn from girls softball, learn to be a team that supports each other no matter what, how bad we mess up. I saw how much it effected those girls, their spirits, them emotionally, made them what to do better next time. It keep them in the game with high spirits no matter the score, because they new they were winners no matter what the scoreboard said, glad to be on the team and in the game with them, and so should every member of the body of Christ.

Feed the Hungry, Go to Cambodia.

Or Go to any of the other 50 nations that the worlds poorest people live in.

These are the face of hunger, look at these faces , there are 153 million children who go to bed hungry, 16,000 children will die from hunger today, how can you say you do not have the time to save them.

Look at how this child finds dinner, if at all. Imaging your child having to do this. Well too many parents watch their children do this to eat.

There are 162 million people who live in ‘ultra poverty’ on less than 50 cents a day, One billion people live on less than $1 a day. Every day, one child every five second dies from hunger-related causes..

Jesus said this is Him, this is His face you are looking at, hungry, naked, thirsty.

Until you have seen this, looked into their hungry eyes, seen them live in cardboard box, you can not understand this. Until you hold a starving child in you arms you do not know how real this tragedy is.

Go spend 3 or 4 weeks here , or the rest of you life here, Go save the lives of children, Go do what Jesus told His church, followers to do in Matt 25. This experience will change you, the way you understand the gospel, change how you see the world. Change what you think is important in life, how you live, spend money, even eat and dress. It is by seeing and touching this reality, seeing the magnitude of it that makes it real to you, this is what will change what you do with your money, how much you give. You can not understand this suffering tell you touch it, see into the eyes of a hungry child, this is why all Christians must go, and do.

There are more than 300 verse in the bible in which God talks about the poor, that they are nearest to His heart and it’s the responsibility of His people to take care of them. Do you really believe the gospel is that Jesus died so you can be rich, comfortable and fat, while children starve to death? Jesus is calling out to His people to come to Him. Who will answer His call, will You? Go! You will never be the same again.

Part 4

I am Looking in 2009 for a Unstoppable church to be part of, the church seen in the book of Acts. I am looking for a church filled with passionate people, a people who are passionate about God. Passionately in love with Jesus, who’s love can not be contained.

A people, a church that says and lives like you can reticule me, imprison me, stone me, torture me, kill me, nail me to a cross, do what ever you want, I will hot stop. Even in the mist of doing these things to me I will praise and worship the Lord, I will still proclaim His word to you, announcing the Kingdom of God, we will not be stopped. Because we found a love greater than life its self and we will not be stopped, for us to live is to live for Christ alone.

I want to be part of a people who are striving side by side to proclaim the gospel. Nothing can cause them to shut up, keep them from talking about Jesus, they do not care if they get beat up, thrown in prison, fired, or killed. Like Paul they are unstoppable, like the first church they are a unstoppable force. A people who are striving together for the gospel, for the kingdom of God, for Jesus. A people that says I would rather be tortured and put to death for the cause of Christ, spreading the gospel than retire at an old age with a fat 401K.

A people who says I must be like, live like Jesus. I must be in a church like the one in the book of Acts, have church like they did, live like they did, turn the world upside down like they did.

A people who believe Jesus when He said unless you are willing to pick up a cross and be crucified together, if you can do that then you can follow me. If you are not willing to do that you are not worthy to be my disciples.( Mat 10:38, Mat 16:24, Luke 14:27 )

I burn to be part of a unstoppable church like the first century church, the underground china church today. I want to be part of something like that, a people like that.

A church that knows what Paul said is true that it has been granted, given to us that we are to suffer just as Jesus did, live with the same conflict Paul did. (Php 1:29-30)

Frances Chan has the same passion for this kind of church, life, he explains it very well, listen to his message, download it here .

I so desire to find such a church this year, be part of a people like that.