Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. -- 2 Peter 1:8How awesome is that!!! What are 'these qualities', you ask? Just look back a couple of verses.
[...] make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. -- 2 Peter 1:5b-7I highly recommend reading the whole chapter (while you're at it, the whole book. It's pretty short.) to get a better context about what Peter's talking about.
Notice that the road to effectiveness leads straight to God. It's not about activities or programs. It's not about volunteering and mission trips. It's about God, and your relationship to Him.
God will give you ministries, missions, opportunities. But these are God's gifts to us, not things we can successfully build on our own. Our responsibility is to focus on God and lift up Jesus. Work on building these qualities in your life. Then allow God to make opportunities in your life. Don't waste them.
Monday, September 29, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
I believe that we need to be able to talk about our faith in simple terms. Not simplistically; simply. (Ravi Zacharias said in last week's podcast, "simply is different to simplistically". He gives a good description of simplistic theology and its dangers).
Think of the words you use when you talk about your faith. Think about how you talk about your God and Savior. How many of the words you use are only used by 'church folk'?
Sometimes I wonder if 'Christianese' is a secret code that snuck its way into our Christian culture so that we can talk about God without anyone knowing what we are saying.
Be honest (in love). Be direct (not blunt). Avoid big words (don't water anything down). Use stories. Ask questions. Be passionate. Get involved. Quote scripture.
This last one is the most important. As we memorize God's Word, it becomes a part of us. It nestles down right into our heart, acting like salt and seasoning all of our conversation. Then it can accomplish God's purpose.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Read the letter start to finish in one sitting. As many times as you can. This gives you the whole writing in perspective, start to finish. (Actually, this works for any book of the Bible. It's just easier on the shorter ones).
When you do this, you may notice that Ephesians starts out very theological and theoretical. It's certainly hard for me to get my head around the mysteries Paul writes about in the first couple of chapters.
By the time we get to chapter five, things are getting very practical. Then, at the very end, Paul starts writing about powers, principalities, spiritual armor and prayer.
There is nothing more practical than prayer and the spiritual outworking of our faith. It's hard to imagine that the stuff we cannot see has the most direct impact on our lives, but it does. Without prayer, and the rest of God's spiritual armor, we are completely helpless. And, literally, defenseless.
Sunday, April 20, 2008
...remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'
-- Acts 20:35
I meant to blog about this weeks ago. I heard this story on NPR. Apparently a study found that spending money on others makes you happier. I'm glad to hear that science is slowly catching up to Jesus :-)
They asked for a few volunteers from the congregation, not telling them exactly what they were volunteering for. Each volunteer was given an envelope with a random amount of money in it. They were instructed to invest it for God's kingdom.
This morning we heard the first report from a lady who received $1 in her envelope. This entry is getting long, and it's getting late, so I'll share the details later.
It amazes me how our God can do so much with so little. I guess He really enjoys feeding the multitudes with just a couple of fish.