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Believe

By | Day 20, Day 21, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Chapter seven in Dan Grider’s book Crucial Conversations: Bridging the Awkward Spiritual Gap is titled “The Power of Pisteuo”.  Grider explains how the Greek word pisteuo is usually translated as “believe” , or sometimes as “faith”. However, our typical church culture mistakenly thinks that by this Jesus meant “we should dispassionately repeat a set of sterile doctrines, theologies, and beliefs”.  Rather, it’s not about intellectual consent to a set of facts. In reality, Crider suggest that to capture what Jesus intended, a better translation would be “all in” or “abandon all competing ways to live and fully embrace the new Jesus Kingdom”.

Imagine what our world would be like if it was full of Christians who understood belief as all in, complete abandon, to truths working themselves out in every aspect of our lives. What a huge difference that would make!

The hard part for me is reading Scripture in light of this expanded definition.  John 3:16 would be “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever would be all in / sold out / fully abandoned to His way of life shall not perish but have eternal life”.  Now read John 3:18 or Hebrews 11:6 or Mark 16:16 with this pisteuo/believe definition in mind.  Calls us to up our game, doesn’t it?

 

 

Run In Such A Way

By | Day 17, Day 21, Uncategorized | No Comments

 

Seek Me And Live

By | Day 21, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Sometimes I wonder why so many people who profess to be Christians live lives of defeat and have minimal impact on those around them.  The other day I came across this devotional in my YouVersion bible reading plan (Daily Encouragement by David Evans). I wonder if this might be part of the reason?

“Seek me and live” – this is the essence of true religion: to seek and find the one true and living God, and in finding him, to enter into a life which pleases him. That life is inevitably characterized by good works and the evident presence of God: “Seek good, not evil, that you may live. Then the Lord God Almighty will be with you” (Amos 5:14).

The tragedy of nominal, formal, merely traditional religion is that it is just religion and nothing more. It does not change the life of the individual, and the Lord is conspicuous by his absence. The ritual is carried on while righteousness is missing in public and private life. People go to Bethel, but they do not meet with God. There is no lack of religious feasts, assemblies and music, but this ritual goes hand in hand with injustice and immorality and is an abomination to the Lord.

The test of all religious profession and practice lies here. Is there a genuine seeking of God, and does it produce holy living? We do well to bring our meetings, our music, our charity, and our whole lifestyle to this searching examination. Our Bible study must be subject to it too, because it is possible to search the Scriptures and yet not come to Christ (John 5:39,40).

All In

By | Day 21, Day 22, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Recently I was reading Jeremiah 29, which contains some verses familiar to many of us. Normally my attention is drawn to verse 11, which is the life verse God gave my middle daughter:  “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” We like to read that verse.  But as I reflected, it struck me that this promise comes with conditions (or at least a roadmap). The words that immediately follow it, verses 12 & 13, explain: “Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” For at least a week now, I keep thinking about verse 13 … when you seek me with all your heart.  Sounds like the picture of someone who is “all in”, fully committed. What a challenge this can be, but what a glorious outcome. When I get down about the state of God’s People today, or with my own walk for that matter, I am reminded of the solution laid out in these verses. We must call on Him, come to Him, pray to Him, and seek Him with all our heart. The question is, am I “all in”?  Are you?

Unexpected Instruments

By | Day 06, Day 10, Day 23, Uncategorized | No Comments

Some days I find myself wondering, “How can God use a regular person like me?” This past week I heard a “regular guy” named Lee Wood share his God-story.  Lee, a former street dude with lots of energy and “self-diagnosed ADD … squirrel”, is a riot to listen to. God has worked through Lee and his team to launch a disciple making movement in the heart of Tampa, Florida. (click here to read Lee’s story). As Lee shared with us, it struck me how often God uses unlikely instruments to accomplish His work. It made me think of Samuel anointing David as the next king (1Samuel 16:7) … man looks at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart. So, take heart. However God has wired you, He wants to use your unique gifting, talents and passions to help fulfill the Great Commission. Ask Him to show you, and He will.

Racial Reconciliation

By | Day 08, Day 09, Day 21, Uncategorized | No Comments

It seems like everywhere we turn these days, we’re confronted with the issue of racism. Whether it’s a simple conversation over coffee or a violent protest that makes headlines, racial conflict seems to be on the minds of many people. But, one question that has not really been fully addressed is this: what is my role as a Christian? Or better yet, how does the Gospel touch the issue of racial reconciliation? If we believe that the Gospel impacts every area of our lives, and every aspect of society, then surely we must give this careful consideration.

The video below was recorded by The Village Church. It is an interview with author and pastor Bryan Loritts, and it focuses on how the Gospel is the ONLY hope for racial reconciliation …. and what reconciliation means for all sides involved.

No Faking, Please.

By | Day 21, Uncategorized | No Comments

Every once in awhile you come across a video that is just so on target that it makes you feel a little uncomfortable.  The video below from Francis Chan is one of those videos.  As you watch, ask God to show you how the “inner you” is really doing, and how you might share today’s message with those around you.

Click HERE to see the video

Does the Church Matter?

By | Day 28, Uncategorized | No Comments

It seems that, more and more these days, people young and old are questioning the role of the Church. Is it relevant? Does the Church matter? Do I even need to be part of a local Body, especially if it seems so broken? Perhaps this short but clear video by Trip Lee will help shape your thinking about the Church, its role, and yours.