… the thoughts from a life in the Son-shine State

Posts tagged ‘Bible’

A shout out…

This one goes out to the heresy police.
(You know, the ones who feel the God-ordained mission to point out all the “false teachers” out there, instead of just living out the gospel and discipling others in the truth.)

It’s true that some are preaching out of jealousy and rivalry. But others preach about Christ with pure motives… But that doesn’t matter. Whether their motives are false or genuine, the message about Christ is being preached either way, so I rejoice. And I will continue to rejoice.
(Phil. 1:15, 18 NLT)

In the world of the Internet, there are so many “experts” today.

It seems as though technology and social media has made everyone a political analyst, theologian, sports commentator, photographer, journalist… the list could go on.

No one is short of opinions (and this includes me).

This is one of the reasons why, apart from my resolution to be changed by the Holy Spirit, my only other resolution was to do everything in my strength to not get involved in political commentary on social media.

There is a very wise man of God that has invested in my life… one thing he would often say is, “Unless you are next in line for the position, your opinion doesn’t matter.

There are too many pew-warmers that have opted to use Facebook, Twitter, and the blogosphere as their platforms for proclaiming to the 50 people that read their updates their displeasure with Mr. Christian Public Figure… and how he is a heretic… and how she has lost her way, and is leading the flock astray…

And I tell you this, you must give an account on judgment day for every idle word you speak. (Matthew 12:36 NLT)

This passage scares the crap out of me.

You could even say this blog is hypocritical.

Honestly, I pray that this is something that encourages you. My desire is to motivate you to acts of love and good works, just as I was urged to do more times than I could count in this same area.

If there is something that really upsets you about a public figure, maybe the Holy Spirit is moving your heart to pray for them. But, please be careful when taking the seat of judgement.

If I’m busy doing what God has called me to do, I probably wouldn’t have the time to be so concerned with what everyone else is doing.

Not that I should be ignorant, but in the end, I simply answer for what I did, said, taught, etc… No one else.

Let’s rejoice in the good God is doing, not be burdened with the evil the enemy is doing. Let’s be focused on preaching Christ, and Christ crucified! Let’s lay aside the world’s ways of debating and thinking of ourselves to be wiser than we really are! (1 Corinthians 1:18-25)

Looking upward…

Steve

Don’t be confused

with knowing God, and simply knowing about God.

Many people know the Bible.

Many people know about God.

Fewer people actually know God.

You may have a degree in theology, but that does not mean that you actually know the one that created you.

Knowledge does not equal relationship.

If you find that you are one of these types of people, knowing about God but not really knowing God, I would encourage you to pray divine revelation of the cross.

Office vs. Position

Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ… He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love. (Ephesians 4:11, 12, 16 NLT)

Sometime I wonder if we are doing it correctly.

What is it?
You know, the whole paid church staff thing. Pastors, teachers, worship leaders, a full office of secretaries and administrative assistants, grounds keeping crew, janitors, counselors, media team…

It just seems that we got things all mixed up.

I struggle with wanting to get paid to “pastor.”

I know the Bible says that a worker is worth his wage. Peter and the others quit fishing and worked helping to establish the New Testament Church; and their needs were met.

But have we gone too far with it?

I opened with Ephesians 4 because it talks about some specific offices. These are known as the “Five-fold Ministry”. What is interesting is Scripture says they are given as gifts.

These gifts are designed to help everyone else sothey can grow the church.

We have taken something that is a gift and made it a position.

Now, Christians around the country show up Sunday mornings and are serviced. They pay Pastor, or the evangelist to grow the church. The teacher is paid to make the disciples for us.

Was this the intention? Were these gifts given so we could elevate them into the authority?

Is it possible we have lifted up man to the place of king, and the building of our churches (lower-case ‘c’ because I’m referring to the institution and buildings), rather than the whole body working together—equally participating and contributing—in order to lift up the King and the building His Church (upper-case ‘C’ because it’s referring the body of believers)?

I’m really not so certain anymore that we’ve got things properly ordered.

Thoughts?

McChurch: I Want to Be Served.


Say what you want, but we are lazy by nature.

If I had it my way, I wouldn’t do any work.

I want my marriage to be great = Love and serve.
I want money = Work.
I want to be healthy = Exercise and eat right.

With church, it’s the same.

Too many of us see church as a weekend car wash.
Drive thru to clean up and be on your way.
Quick and easy, and cheap.

Or, maybe we don’t go to Church A because the music isn’t our flavor.
Church B has bad preaching.
Church C is full of old people.
Church D serves bad coffee.
Church E…

Here’s a challenge:

It’s not about you.

The reason we become so discontented with churches is because we make it all about us.
Maybe God is directing you to that church because He wants you to serve there.
Maybe the person serving coffee doesn’t know any better, and you can help!

Philippians 2 reminds us, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

Another way of saying is this:

TODAY IS NOT ABOUT YOU.

Let’s ditch the selfish my-way-or-the-highway mentality, and realize that the church is the bride of Christ.
It’s designed to be His way.

Let’s seek to serve the Lord and serve others.
When we do so, I think the church will begin to look more like it should — as a blessing to the world!

Book Review: Answers Book For Teens, Vol. 1

Answers Book For Teens

I really like the new Answers Book For Teens. As someone that has done youth ministry for over six years, this is a book that I would like to have had back when I started. The Answers in Genesis team has done an awesome job answering some of the toughest questions about very relevant, hot topics with today’s teens.

    They give sound, biblical truths for the answers to these topics, which include:

  • Creation vs Evolution
  • Science and Presuppositions
  • Believing the Bible to be True
  • Atheism
  • Sin, Hell, and Punishment
  • Noah’s Flood
  • Sex and Homosexuality
  • Racism
  • And more…

Though this book is written for teens, I would recommend this to anyone. It’s design is edgy and visually stimulating, and it is written in a way that is simple to understand using common, everyday language. It’s an easy read that strengthens your faith, and helps equip you to defend the Bible and to give an answer for the hope that in you.

This book was provided at no charge for the purpose of review by New Leaf Publishing Group and Master Books.

It was for us!

“But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed. All of us, like sheep, have strayed away. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the sins of us all.”
Isaiah 53:5-6

“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!”
Luke 24:1

Happy Resurrection Day!

Speaking of Tiger Woods…

My last post mentioned people’s perceptions of one of the greatest golfers the world has ever seen — Tiger Woods.

He’s a jerk.
He’s rude.
Why won’t he sign autographs?!

I don’t know.
I don’t know Tiger personally.

Colin Cowherd said something the other day that really was profound (at least I think so). *You can hear his radio show, The Herd, on ESPN Radio in the mornings.

[Paraphrase]

When people look at Tiger Woods, they see a jerk. When I look at Tiger Woods, I see someone that is focused and determined to win.

Cowherd then proceeded to talk about how perception is NOT always reality, and the reality is the best in the world are not balanced people.

Balance.

Should we strive to live balanced lives?

  • The greatest athletes are not balanced. They spend every day watching film, working on their mechanics, and strengthening their bodies. That’s why they are the best.
  • The most profitable stock brokers are not balanced. They spend all their time watching the numbers, making trades, and tracking trends. That’s why they are the best.
  • The most accomplished musicians are not balanced. They spend all their time honing their skill, researching new/different techniques, and collaborating with others to create new sounds. That’s why they are the best.
  • The most accomplished doctors, businessmen, writers, ministers… You get the point.
  • The perception is this: We want them to be balanced, normal people that value the same things we value (like getting an autograph).
    The reality is this: We are paying them to not be balanced, but instead be better than everyone else. If they were like us, they won’t be the best, but instead be status quo.

    In fact, we don’t apply this Balance Rule to a lot of things in life!

    What about when it comes to our faith?

  • What is the balance between sin and holiness?
  • What is the balance between being a lover of Jesus and a lover of the world?
  • What is the balance between words of life and words of death?
  • What is the balance between the flesh and the spirit?
  • And you must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. (Deut 6:5)

    That doesn’t sound balanced.
    It’s an all-or-nothing reality.

    I want to be ALL about God!
    I want to be ALL about the Mission!
    I want to be ALL about who He has created me to be!
    I want to be ALL about holiness!

      What about you?

    • Would you consider yourself a balanced person?
    • Have you, like me, been taught we should strive for balance?
    • Are there other scriptures in the Bible that deal with all-or-nothing issues? List one, or some. (Hint: there are many)
    • Steve

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