Thursday, December 16, 2010
Monday, August 30, 2010
Our Identity is found in Christ
What makes up our identity? Is it the jobs we work? The cars we drive? The clothes we wear?
If we acknowledge that there is something greater in the world than us, then we have the hope that we can each be something greater than ourselves. We don’t have to live our lives pursuing simple pleasures. There is something greater ahead that we can daily look forward to!
Without a loving Creator, what meaning does your life have besides seeking simple pleasures? What a sad, purposeless life it would be to live without a relationship with God. And nobody has to live that way! Jesus wants to have a relationship with you. Every human being is equally guilty of sin, so do not tell yourself that you are alone undeserving of God’s grace. We are all undeserving of God’s grace. That’s what makes it so gracious! But those willing to admit their guilt and ask forgiveness will have God’s blessings poured out on them. If you are done with pursuing simple pleasures, always looking for the next high, never feeling fulfilled, and you want to start living your life with a higher purpose, then begin your relationship with Jesus today. Pray to him. Admit your guilt. Ask for forgiveness. Receive forgiveness. No longer be a slave to sin!
Who would others say that you are? Who would you say you are? Who do you want to be? Is there any discrepancy between the answers to these three questions? Leave your comment!
Monday, August 16, 2010
A look at daily Evangelism
If you knew Jesus were returning in 24 hours, what would you do? I recently read an interview with artist Jimmy Needham that asked a similar question. His reply made me think hard about the way that I live my daily life.
If we knew Christ were to return tomorrow, many of us would excitedly share the gospel with everyone we could. The reality is, nobody knows when Christ is coming (1 Thessalonians 5:2). So the question is, why are we not living that way now? We hold in our possession the greatest news the world has ever known! We should be passionate about sharing it with everyone we can.
Before his ascension, Jesus Christ instructed us to “make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). This requires us as Christians to live among those blinded by the world system in a way that is holy; holiness that God has given us through his grace. We must be “in the world, but not of the world” (1 John 2:15-17). We must walk this fine line, being “all things to all men” in order to save some (1 Corinthians 9:22).
What do you think?
If you knew Christ were returning tomorrow, what would you do? What things should Christians do in their daily lives to evangelize? Leave your comment!
Song of the day
Grace Amazing - Jimmy Needham ft. Trip Lee
America’s fractured religious identity
Depending on the study you look at, 70-80% of Americans consider themselves to be Christians. Undoubtedly, Christianity has shaped and guided much of America’s social and cultural structure. Yet, despite its Christian majority, America has a fractured religious identity.
Christianity Today published a survey that identifies 5 different types of Christians in America:
Active Christians 19%
Professing Christians 20%
- Believe salvation comes through Jesus Christ
- Committed churchgoers
- Bible readers
- Accept leadership positions
- Invest in personal faith development through the church
- Feel obligated to share faith; 79% do so.
Liturgical Christians 16%
- Believe salvation comes through Jesus Christ
- Focus on personal relationship with God and Jesus
- Similar beliefs to Active Christians, different actions
- Less involved in church, both attending and serving
- Less commitment to Bible reading or sharing faith
Private Christians 24%
- Predominantly Catholic and Lutheran
- Regular churchgoers
- High level of spiritual activity, mostly expressed by serving in church and/or community
- Recognize authority of the church
Cultural Christians 21%
- Largest and youngest segment
- Believe in God and doing good things
- Own a Bible, but don't read it
- Spiritual interest, but not within church context
- Only about a third attend church at all
- Almost none are church leaders
- Little outward religious behavior or attitudes
- God aware, but little personal involvement with God
- Do not view Jesus as essential to salvation
- Affirm many ways to God
- Favor universality theology
What do you think?
Is America a Christian nation? What exactly is a “Christian nation”? How does this affect America’s political climate? Leave a comment!
Song of the day
Lecrae - Identity Ft. Da T.R.U.T.H and J.R
Sunday, June 13, 2010
The Widow’s Offering (Mark 12:41-3)
41Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. 42But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins,j worth only a fraction of a penny.k
43Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Generosity is not measured by the amount that we give. It is measured by the selflessness within our hearts. Father, your generosity is above all else and I thank you for the greatest gift ever given: your Son, Jesus Christ. Forgive me for the times that I have been selfish and given less than I knew that I should have. Give me a new disposition to have the will to give all that I have. For if anyone would come after you, he must take up his cross and daily follow you! Amen.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
7Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. 8Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 9This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Sonb into the world that we might live through him. 10This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice forc our sins. 11Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
13We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 15If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
19We love because he first loved us. 20If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. 21And he has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother. (1 John 4)
Love is also described in 1 Corinthians:
Love is patient and kind;
Love does not envy or boast;
It is not arrogant or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
It is not irritable or resentful;
It does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Blogger Fred Sanders makes an interesting suggestion for reading this passage. Since Love=God, replace the word love with Jesus and you really begin to see the truth in these statements:
Jesus is patient and kind;
Jesus does not envy or boast;
He is not arrogant or rude.
He does not insist on his own way;
He is not irritable or resentful;
He does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
Jesus bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Our equation now looks like this: Love=Good=Desire=Being=God
This right here is the meaning of life. Once you understand the Love that was given to us by God in the form of Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross (John 3:16), you will have a desire to show the same love to every person. Imagine, God is in us when we love each other! Whoever loves knows God and God is in him.
Do not let your emotions rule you. Love is not a feeling. Love is God. Do all things in Love and you will have a very fulfilling life! (1 Corinthians 16:4)
1If I speak in the tonguesa of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,b but have not love, I gain nothing. (1 Corinthians 13)
13And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13)