Only one adequate plan has ever appeared in the world, and that is the Christian dispensation.
John Jay - First US Supreme Court Chief Justice
Wednesday's Word: April 2013

Wednesday's Word

Welcome friends, feel free to look around, make comments and whatnot. I'll try and keep this thing updated with interesting pics, stories and other odds & ends. Feel free to criticize, but please share the 'truth in love'. No reason to be purposefully offensive. Enjoy!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Leave Me Out of It

I don’t listen to “all things religious” – there are some pastors out there that I actually think are doing more harm than good as they present an unbiblical Gospel. And on the other hand, I do have my favorites – I’ve spoken of them before and I continue to be edified by their insight into Scripture. One of my absolute favorites is Francis Chan (they’re all my absolute “favorites” – Tozer, Wiersbe, Spurgeon, MacArthur, etc) But recently Francis hit me with something that has never really left my mind. I’m not even going to begin to try and butcher out a quote from him, but what he basically said was that regarding the state of the Church, when you compare it to Acts 2, you have to admit 3 things;

One – What we’re doing today is not the picture of what we see in Acts 2.

Two – What they’re doing in Acts 2 is doable.

Three – We really don’t want church that way.

I’m not saying that things should look exactly like Acts 2 (I don’t want that to sound like a cop out) but I think it should look more like it than it does. Two questions continue to nag me when I ponder those things and the first one is not as important except as a notion of how to keep the zeal going if I ever break free: How did we get here? and How do we get out?

This really has burdened me with a passion to ‘do church differently’ and I have started allowing my prayers and my heart to move me out of what I’m used to in order to start seeing what this will really look like. I suppose that time after time I’ll write about the resistance I come up against as an encouragement for us to “shake it loose” when we settle in to “mere Christianity” as opposed to MISSION: Christianity.

The one thing I’ve noticed that keeps us from stretching out and really having God involved our progress is our privacy. We like showing up on Sunday for fellowship, giving our offerings, and the usual small talk before we go back to our lives. In Acts 2, the mission was their lives. Now I’m not saying go tell all of your business, that would be skipping to the end. We do need to become the kind of people mindful of what it means to be sensitively involved with the struggles we all go through. And that’s where I begin. The best thing I can do is to assume a higher standard of holiness for my life so I can be able to help those in need. I pray that God continue to grow me in that area and to teach others that grace.

Here’s The Word;

Matthew 7:3-5 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Acts 2:40-47 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

All I’m saying is that we have to be careful with what makes us comfortable. Being involved with people is a hard thing to consider when we think of ALL that we’ve become so busy doing in our lives. It’s even scarier to consider letting people in my business. In the same way I don’t want to bother or be bothered - there should be a passion that makes me want to be a brother and a breather of life to the body. The more my tendencies take me to an expression of “church” vastly different from the model, I want to cry out to God "Lead me out of it" and Lord, when it comes to the Church YOU'RE building, don't leave me out of it.

In Him,

Monday, April 08, 2013

Quality is Job 1

Hello All,

How much consideration have you given the first chapter of Job? Whew! I’d thought so long and hard about that question that I’m finally glad to just have it phrased in a way that I’m comfortable with. As I thought of the question, I mulled over the multitude of words I could use and I still couldn’t get away from the necessity of the word “consider”, which when you think about it, is really very telling since the first chapter is really about consideration.

In the first chapter of Job, we’re introduced to the man as a perfect and upright God-fearing man who hated evil. Consider what that looks like. When we think of “perfect and upright”, I think our mind equates that to – you’re average all-around good guy. But what about a person who disapproves of evil – what does THAT look like? Many people these days are carefully silent as to not offend people when it comes to speaking out about evil. The next thing I notice is all the blessings Job has – He’s been fruitful and multiplied; 7 boys and 3 girls and it goes on to say that Job is VERY wealthy: Wealthier than anyone else in his area…Like Bill Gates wealthy. He’s got QUANTITY. But that’s not what God considers. When God and Satan discuss Job in verse 8, God repeats the statement in verse one; the QUALITY of Job – Perfect and upright, fearing God and eschewing evil. Satan is no dummy. He knows us (and takes advantage of us) to a greater degree than most would be willing to admit. But here he wrongly considers that Job’s quality is the result of his quantity.

…but God…

Oh! How I love that small string of words. You realize instantly that you can put absolutely ANYTHING on the first part of that phrase and it will have absolutely no bearing on the second part because GOD is in the middle. God allows Satan to touch Job’s quantity (according to Satan’s request). If you allow your compassion to go out to Job, you’ll have to fight back the tears on what befalls him. And if you allow your understanding to entertain “what would you do?” you’ll have to be honest that there aren’t many who would respond to the situation the way Job did: Job assumed the mourning position, fell to the ground and worshipped basically saying – “It was never about the quantity anyway!” As verse 21 ends the chapter, I imagine Our Heavenly Father glancing over at Satan as it says: In all this Job sinned not, nor charged God foolishly.

Here’s the Word;

Job 1:1 There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.

I pray that this Chapter find you self-reflective as you “Consider” what important attachments you make. Some people get caught up in the idea that a life in God is enjoyable because of the blessings, or that you must be on God's 'favorite persons' list if you've acquired a lot of stuff, but if you really look deeper, you’ll see that Quality is Job 1.

In Him,