Archive | May, 2012

So if they wanna reach us with Jesus they gotta do it better than some screaming preachers…

21 May

Where do you strike the balance?  How do you strike the balance?  How do you get to the point that you are able to tell somebody that you love them and care for their soul, but very strongly disagree with their position on a certain subject without them immediately getting defensive?  How do you share the gospel with someone who has an undue and unreasonable hatred toward you simply because of something you stand for or against?  There is a tension that we must realize and live with in this “already, but not yet” kingdom that we live in as Christians.  It is something that I believe that God is working on within me.  We must stand firm on subjects that are contrary to God’s Word while loving those who are on the opposite side of those subjects.  It’s hard though.  We are called to love those around us and preach the gospel and make disciples, but often times the people that we are preaching the gospel to are hostile in nature toward us simply because we identify ourselves as Christians.  I honestly believe that young, reformed Christians in my generation (those born after 1980) are trying to figure out how to wade through the misconceptions that Christians are massively and overarchingly judgmental.  Granted, there are some “Christians” who are incredibly judgmental and they should be ashamed for it.  I have witnessed it myself and wanted to nearly pull my hair out in frustration.  However, every Christian is not judgmental, and I wonder where along the way that the Christian community was so judgmental that that label was seemingly permanently applied to all Christians.  I want to show gracious and merciful love to a community that is starving for it, but it seems so hard to do so when there is a huge wall of previously judgmental attitudes and ungracious interactions with people who called themselves Christians.  God show me how to make an inroad, and give me the patience and understanding to show love and share the gospel.

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Oh praise Him Hallelujah my delight and my reward…

9 May

There are times in life when things come along that are just straight up difficult.  It is not necessarily a life or death type of thing, but rather a situation that is just hard.  You know what I’m talking about.  Those times when you would rather the thing that is before you be something that is behind you.  We have all been in those types of situations.  What are we supposed to do during these times?  Is the Christian to simply press forward through it in his own power, grinning and bearing it all the while?  Or is there something else?

I have been reading several of the psalms each morning for a while now, and it just so happened that this morning the few that I read speak directly to what we are to do during these times of difficulty. Quite honestly, I have worshiped through reading the Word today already.  Psalm 55:22 says, “Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”  Here we find an answer to the question proposed above.  God never intended for us to face difficulty alone.  Read again in Psalm 56:3-4 where David writes, “When I am afraid I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.”  Finally in Psalm 62:5-7 we find this, “For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.  He only is me rock and my salvation, my fortress; I will not be shaken.  On God rests my salvation and my glory, my mighty rock, my refuge is God.”  We can clearly see that when we find ourselves presented with difficulty, but also when things are seemingly great, we are to delight ourselves in God, our salvation and rock.  God will provide the strength and direction to face whatever may come our way.  Now this does not mean that the situation will become instantly easy, but when we are delighting in our God we can make it through.  We have to trust in Him and find our everything in Him and trust in Him to provide everything for us.  John Piper once said, “The beauty of the covenant keeping love of Christ and His church shine brightest when nothing but Christ can sustain it.”  How true!  Our reward in this life, and the next for that matter, is not being right or winning or getting our way.  Our reward is Jesus!  He is what we are striving for, racing toward, and laboring to gain.  Christ is the end!  Not heaven, not eternal riches, not a big house on Golden Way in heaven.  

Our delight and reward is Jesus.

You are maker, life sustainer, everything comes everything goes when you give the word

2 May

Ah some good ole shane and shane. Today I’m sharing about a Bible study that I just went through. Experiencing God around the Kitchen Table by Marilynn Blackaby. I thoroughly enjoyed it and highly recommend it. Lately, mostly due to finances, I’ve been depressed. Especially when I hop on Facebook and see many of my friends taking fun vacations that I dream of going on. I was convicted all throughout the book but the last chapter just really hit me hard. First page of the last chapter she said “My happiness came from being where God wanted me to be and serving him”. Recently on Facebook I said roughly the same thing. It’s good to hear others in the faith have the same struggles as me. She said she looked out her window and thought about her friends on fun vacations where she didn’t even have money to catch a bus to grab coffee. Oh how this is us right now. Luckily God provided a way for her to travel to over 110 countries. I’m not banking that God will do this for me but I’m not trying to limit him. Especially in ministry its important to see the transparentness of others in our situation. Although I fully realize financial difficulties aren’t restricted to only those in ministry. I’m babbling without a point so I will stop. God do the Bible Study. You won’t be disappointed.