Christian life Tag

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?

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.

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.

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.

3043675198_52ec03c72a In Matthew 7:13-14 Jesus tells us;

“Go in through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and many there are who go in through it. Because narrow is the gate and constricted is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

But yet so many pastors and church’s are preaching the gospel of the Wide Road, they are teaching that all one has to do is make an intellectual decision, that is agree with the fact that Jesus is Lord, and you are saved. Then live however you want, believe whatever you want about who Jesus is, who God is. Pick and choose what every scriptures you agree with, and cut out the ones you do not like. And adopt any theology you want about God, Jesus, the Bible, salvation and life.

So many pastors, churches and even study bible today teach that there are no absolute truths when it comes to God, Jesus, salvation and the word. That God is an individual experience, interpretation and understanding as to who He is and what He requires of man.

There is a great difference between what men teach today and what Jesus taught.

This must change.

The bible is not a collection of stories about people and their lives that say "And they lived happily every after". Stories about people who lived rich and happy lives. No where do you find lives that prove the life taught by people like Osteen, that it is every follower of Christ destiny to live a happy and rich life, get every material desire of you heart. Live comfortable rich and happy lives, getting everything you want if you just have faith.

Instead it is a book filled with stories of tragedy, hardship, sacrifice and suffering, even unto violent death for the people of God. People who left all comfort and position to live lives of poverty and suffering for God’s cause, for the spreading of the the Kingdom of God. Pretty much the only people who had a "lived happy every after" was after they died and left this world and entered heaven, that was the only way that was archived for the vast majority.

Just read the Fox’s Book of Martyrs and how the lives of the disciples ended up as well as other church saints, do you read any "And they lived happily every after" about their lives, and if anyone was entitled to such a thing it was them.

In fact in Rom 8:17 it tells us "And if we are children, then we are heirs; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ; so that if we suffer with Him, we may also be glorified together." Indicating that in order to be glorified with Christ we must suffer as He did. That in order to be heirs of Him we must partake in a life of suffering for Him, suffer as He did.

I think the church needs to reread the bible, take a real good look at the real call of Christ on His people, take a closer look at the lives of God’s people in history.

discipling All followers of Christ are called to make disciples, not simply believers like so many churches do, Jesus addressed that issue when He stated "Even the demons believe–and shudder!." You see believing who Jesus is has never really been the issue, Satan himself believe who Jesus is, in fact he knows for certain who Jesus is. The Issue has always been following, obeying, that is making Him Lord of you life. And that is where we come in, our call, mission given to us in Mat 28:19 "Go therefore and Make disciples of All the nations." Our job is not to make believers out of people, but rather followers of Jesus.

Every follower of Christ if they are living obedient to Christ, obeying all His commandments, as He state if you love Him then you are obeying All of His commands. The you are fulfilling the great commission as it is called Mat 28:18-20 and are making disciples. Every follower of Christ should have Timothy’s in their life. Everyone should without exception who is a follower of Jesus should have people in their life they are discipling, and doing so the way Jesus modeled for us, doing daily life with them, teaching them by how they live and with their words the life lived in Christ. Teaching them about God and Jesus, the word of God, how to know and use their spiritual gifts, and how to proclaim the gospel and make disciples themselves.

As Jesus showed us this is not an over night task, a Sunday school class you take for six weeks and graduate, it is a life time commitment, too Jesus three years full time to prepare His disciples to Go out on their own. Are you better than Jesus, more able than Him to disciple other, I thinks not. You should be giving years to disciple others, do life with them on a daily bases to teach them, disciple them into their new life in Christ. It is not your pastors job, a Sunday school teachers job, a book to be read, but a life to be lived out.

Go and Make disciples.

 

Part 8 in the series

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

Baptize someone, nearest lake, stream or pool.

The second command of the great commission to all followers of Christ is to baptize new followers of Christ, most certainly referring to someone whom the Lord revealed Christ to during your sharing the gospel with them. This is the duty of every follower of Christ to do, if you have not done so ether you have not been proclaiming the gospel as Jesus command you to and have no need to, or you have been passing the duty on to someone else, like maybe your pastor. But it is your duty, the is one of the greatest joys and experience in your walk with God you can have is to to baptize someone into the Kingdom of God, why would you not want to do this! Why would you not want to be part of this glorious event, the induction of someone into the new life in Christ?

For every follower of Christ this should be a common occurrence in your life. It is according to Jesus something that is to be a action performed by all of His followers. If you are not doing part 5, sharing Christ, the gospel with others, then get busy doing what Christ called you to do, thus creating the need to baptize others in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” Mat 28:19

Like I said in post 5, Chose this day to live, be like Philip in Act 8: 26-40. We read in Act 8:38 “And he commanded the chariot to stop, and they both went down into the water, Philip and the eunuch, and he baptized him.” Only you can chose to live like that, be like him. Go and baptize in the name of Jesus.

Part 6 in the series

Preach the Gospel, To All the World.

Jesus told His followers in Mark 16:15 “And He said to them, Go into all the world, proclaim the gospel to all the creation.” despite Satan’s influence on people in the church who introduced the doctrine in the 90’s of Not sharing the gospel with others. That people by simply by being around you through osmoses will become followers of Christ. Even thou all references to witness or witnessing in the book of Acts are public, verbal proclamation of the gospel outright. Jesus never taught or instructed His disciples to anything other than out right proclaim the gospel. There is never the concept in Scripture that witness can be private or simply lived out, but rather something to be proclaimed, shouted from the house tops.

Romans 10:14 tells us “How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without preaching?” It is the job of every follower of Christ, to proclaim the gospel of Jesus to all of the world. With words, with the actual gospel of Jesus. Do not listen to others, people who tell you not to share Christ, not to proclaim the gospel, just live a “good” life and others will get saved with out a word spoken. (Note, in order for your life to be an actual witness as they say, to reveal Jesus and the gospel, you must be living a life of obedience to Christ, and imitating His life. Which means you must be verbal sharing, proclaiming the Gospel, just as Jesus did and said to do. It’s a catch 22.)

In Luke 15:10 Jesus says ““…I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” how can anyone who is a follower of Christ not want to be part of that. Be part of an act that brings so much joy to all of heaven. This is what the Gospel is all about, why Jesus came and walked among us, what He sent His followers to do, Preach the gospel, so Go and proclaim the gospel to the world!

Chose this day to live, be like Philip in Act 8: 26-40. We read in Act 8:35 “Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning with this Scripture he told him the good news about Jesus.” Chose this day to live like him, to Go out into the world with that intent, to share on purpose. Only you can chose to live like that, be like him.

Part 5