Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What do you know?

Atheists, agnostics most knowledgeable about religion, survey says - latimes.com
After reading the above story, what do you think? How accurate do you think this is? If it is, what does this say about the teaching that the "C"hurch is providing? Should we aim to have congregations full of baby Christians who don't even know what they believe and/or why they believe what they think they believe?

After reading this, I am left with questions and challenges.

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness,
so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. - 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Preparation

I am really impatient. I had a talk with a friend yesterday and expressed for probably the thousandth time that I really desire to pour myself completely into ministry. We came to the same conclusion that we always do whenever we have this discussion, "It's not God's timing yet." I know this in my head, but I don't know that I really live it. This goes beyond my desires to be fully in ministry, it pours into every aspect of my life. I know God works in His time. I know that He uses things to prepare us for what is next. I know that things cannot always happen just because I want them to. Yet, I go against the things I "know" and continue to be impatient. I want things to happen now. Meanwhile, it is not as though nothing at all is happening in my life. Things are busy and my time is full of many good things. So why am I so discontent? 

God takes his time and prepares us for what He has planned for us. I feel like a piece of metal being hammered out over an anvil. I am being stretched, reshaped and smoothed out in rough places. I fight against this process of preparation though, but God continues to do His work. In times like yesterday's talk with my friend, I realize that God is moving, He is preparing things and moving things into place. He does it so masterfully, yet I am often blinded by my own selfishness, pride and impatience. 

When I was younger and living at home I would help my stepdad with projects out in the garage. One thing that he did a lot was weld; he was always building something. If you know anything about welding you know that it is good to have a fairly clean surface before you weld and that sometimes entails grinding down the two surfaces that will be welded together. I would hold the piece of metal while he ground the metal, looking away as the sparks flew and burnt my arm occasionally. Then, I would hold the two pieces together while he welded them. I had to be very steady, while still looking away from where he was welding. Again, sparks flew and sometimes burnt my arm or went in my ear! By the end, the two pieces were molded together. I say all that because there is great preparation needed for the things God has planned for our lives; cleaning and if needed some grinding. At the end of each season of preparation though, God molds us with the end that He has purposed for us. He is truly a master builder.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Our life is now hidden with Christ in God...

Preached out of Colossians 3:1-4 today and I was overcome by the great comfort in the truth that our lives our hidden with Christ. They are locked up, secure, safe and not going anywhere. We wait for our lives to be made fully manifested upon the return of Jesus. We live, or we should be living, setting our hearts and minds on the glorious return of our Savior! Presently, we are succumbed to the world around us, worries, stress, illness, death, decay and the like, but we are to fix our eyes on heaven. That is our home, we don't belong here. This isn't it! Do you know this to be true?

What would our witness look like if this was really how we lived?

Monday, September 13, 2010

Make Christ Look Great!

The Cross

It’s Monday, I have an insanely bad headache and my shoes are squeaking when I walk around the office. That’s how I am doing right now, in case you wondered. Despite that, I am actually doing some worthwhile thinking. I will share, “The Cross is a sweeping declaration of man’s inability to save himself from his predicament…” (The Reformers and Their Stepchildren, Leonard Verduin). Yeah, I know, pretty awesome. You have seen the necklaces, the tattoos, the trendy shirts and the bumper stickers with Crosses on them. We could talk all day about the cultural uses of the Cross as more of a trendy icon that really does not equate to a bloody death of the Son of God 2,000 years ago on a hill outside Jerusalem. The real point here is this, the dread of Mondays, the fact that work is hard, headaches, stress, worries, sins, illnesses, disasters, evil, discontentment, strife, murder (shall I go on?), it’s all here because of a grand disease. The disease is sin, it has infected us all. You can argue against it, you can call it an antiquated, mythological idea, you can say it’s only our DNA’s way of surviving, you can say it’s science or whatever…


As it is written:
"There is no one righteous, not even one;
there is no one who understands,
no one who seeks God.
All have turned away,
they have together become worthless;
there is no one who does good,
not even one."
"Their throats are open graves;
their tongues practice deceit."
"The poison of vipers is on their lips."
"Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness."
"Their feet are swift to shed blood;
ruin and misery mark their ways,
and the way of peace they do not know."
"There is no fear of God before their eyes."


But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. – Romans 3:10-18, 21-26

Thank the Lord on days like today there is hope, a hope in something better than this. Thank the Lord that he carries us through days like today. Thank the Lord that as we persevere through what life has to offer, we bring glory to God. May the thought of bringing glory to God in our lives carry us through not only today, but the days to come until our faith becomes sight!