2008/11/18

BE PREPARED

Peter writes that followers of Christ are to always be prepared for the reason for the hope that they have. This is an intriguing verse as we look at it from a Western, logic mindset. What if we viewed it from an Eastern mindset, how would we understand this verse?

In the West, we follow the way of the Enlightenment and the Age of Reason, and attempt to provide sophisticated arguments for our faith. While this effort has produced some great information and sold a lot of books, of what value has this made in advancing the Kingdom of Heaven agenda?

It has been my experience that people who I would like to follow Christ, develop their own advanced arguments and at best, there is a stand-off between our viewpoints. It is easy to solace in the idea that we have mutual respect for each other but I want these people to see God and not me.

What if we would give a response for the reason for my hope as simply being, the "Creator" of the universe loves me. The Creator believes that I am significant. From my efforts, I have had many more people engage in genuinely seeking an understanding of the Christian faith by this answer than any of my "knowledge" about science, creationism, or logic.

2008/11/13

Would Jesus Go There?

There are many places in the city in which I live that are dangerous to life and limb. As gunshots reverberate in the apartment complex which neighbors our property, what is my role as a Christian?

In receiving training to be a life guard, I was taught that in a rescue attempt to make sure that there were not two drownings. This meant that if you were unable to make the rescue without endangering your life, leave the victim. What may be wisdom for the lifeguard does not fit the follower of Jesus Christ.

There are places in Columbus that are dangerous in other ways. What is our Christian responsibility? Some thoughts that I have are:1. Jesus always went on His terms. In being led by the Spirit, He was not taken by surprise.2. Jesus feared no one and loved everyone. In being led by the Spirit, He was demonstrating the peace of God.3. Jesus never left the will of the Father. In being led by the Spirit, He was fulfilling the call upon His life.

It may have more to do with my preparation, obedience, and submission than intimidating circumstances. Thus, if I focus on what is visible to my eye, I will see the dangers. If I focus on what God sees, then I will see His hand.

2008/11/11

Happiness Comes In Unexpected Ways

How much do we invest in 'doing' and miss living?

Observe a mature, elderly person, who is not "well to do." See how much they live. It is often stated that "Youth is wasted on the Young," but the converse of this might be "Wisdom is the result of experience." Just because I have many years behind me does not guarantee me 'experience.' But for the person who has lived rather than done just about everything the world presents as important, this person lives at peace with themselves.

Their priorities are unusual and their routines may be predictable, but they are of all people most content. Jesus once told a man to go and sell all that he had and then come and follow Him. Go and completely change your priorities and you will be able to enjoy what is genuinely important.

2008/11/07

Fear God ONLY

The quote, "only thing we have to fear is fear itself" (Franklin D. Roosevelt) is apropos to the life of the Christian with a small twist. "The only thing we have to fear is God Himself."

Collectively we bemoan the state of the economy, the state of a decaying morality, the political climate, and many other problems which we face. The bottom line is in the midst of these uncertainties, do we fear God? Do we believe that God is willing to judge the Christian population of the United States as we have defined Christianity to fit our culture and guidelines?

Now is the day for the Church of Jesus Christ to assess the situation, locally, nationally, and internationally--and seek God above all of our presuppositions. God is wanting to lead the church in a new direction and the only thing that stands in His way is those of us who claim to have such a clear understanding on what this means.

I challenge us to unravel what it means to be an "American Christian" and learn what it means to be Christ-like? The difference could turn our world upside down!

2008/11/05

CHANGE IS A COMING!!!

As the United States pauses after the election of Barack Obama as our new president, it marks significant change in the status quo of American culture. We have before us the greatest opportunity to see the benefits of what has been called a "melting pot." In the past the leader of this melting pot has been a white male. Even though the parties and policies did vary, this nation has never been led by an individual whose background is as diversified as we will now experience.

How will we as a church respond? Before us lies the greatest opportunity to display grace, compassion, and acceptance or we can continue to alienate people over items of little eternal consequence. This is a time for the church to raise up leaders whose passion is a Kingdom of Heaven agenda. If we are convinced that God raises up those individuals for governmental leadership positions, we should be a the forefront of supporting and praying for our new leader.