Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dear Brothers, Why Must We Fight?

Dear Brothers,

Why must we fight amongst one another over such small issues in the light of eternity? How is that helping the cause of the gospel to go forth? Is God really pleased that among our churches we have "worship wars?" Can we see past small, minute details and still fellowship with our brothers and sisters who see things a little differently? You know, Christ died for them as well. If only we took Jesus' command to love one another seriously. "By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another." Is this the message we are sending the world by fighting with each other? What if we all went back to the cross of Christ, not a certain denomination or worship style, and made that our identity. Instead of forming little "camps" separated from everyone else, let's embrace the Kingdom that we're a part of.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Christianity: The "Don't" Church?

Unfortunately, too many people know Christianity as the "don't religion." You can't do this, you can't do that. Which, frankly, sounds pretty unappealing. At the end of it, it's like "Alright, what can I do?" I don't think this is the way God intended us to view our relationship with Him. Yes, we are called to give up things to follow Him and yes we're to stop sinning. But it's because we've been made new in Christ! And we no longer want to sin because it doesn't bring glory to God.

I believe we're to focus on our freedom in Christ. We are freed from the bondage of sin! Don't let religion bind you to a list of things you can't do. Instead, see the freedom that Christ offers apart from sin and religion. Because, to be honest with you...religion will always leave you feeling like you have to do more. Whereas, Christ says "It is finished!"

I firmly believe we are free to have fun in this life. God has created the ocean for His glory and our enjoyment! He has created us with the desire to have pleasure. And when we find that our pleasure is completely satisfied in Him, it opens up a huge door to enjoy His creation.

Christianity shouldn't be known as the religion of "don'ts", but rather as the freedom experienced by being saved by Christ. No longer a slave to sin! But freed in Christ to enjoy Him forever. Don't get me wrong, Christ tells us that we will have to deny ourselves to follow Him. But, God delights when His children delight in Him. Not when they are tied down to a list of rules they have to follow. Our love for Christ should drive us to want to live to please Him. That's freedom. When you get to the point of seeing that what we do on this earth can glorify God. Whether it be eating, laughing, or fellowshipping, we can do all to the glory of God.

So instead of being the "don't" church; let's strive to be the church that understands that through Christ it is "done" which compels us to live life to the fullest enjoyment here on earth in Christ.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Three Ways to Not Waste Your Days (Guest post by: Mitch Miller)

Every day of your life is a gift. We get a very limited number of them, they all count, none are worthless. All days have potential…massive, incredible potential…to do great good and great harm. The days we go through add up and equal a life. Our life. It can be wasted or it can be fruitful.

And here’s the bottom line, no one gets to their deathbed and is surprised at what their life amounted to (or didn’t amount to).

If a life is wasted, it’s done so a day at a time. If a life is fruitful, that fruit grows a day at a time.

A day is a powerful thing. A day is a weighty thing. A day is a thing to be taken seriously. So don’t waste even one…Here’s my three tips:

1. Remember what’s important

I’m not going to tell you to do your devotions everyday. Because, and some of you need to sit down for this, the Bible does not say, “read the Bible everyday”.

Here’s what the Bible does say in Psalm 1 and Joshua 1 – “meditate on God’s word day and night”.

Here’s what God’s word tells you – Here’s what you should be meditating on

·      If you’re saved, you’re going to heaven, so the worst that can happen to you is dying into an eternity of hanging out with Jesus.
·      If you’re in Christ, God literally CAN’T be mad at you, upset with you, disappointed in you, ashamed of you or far from you. So quit with the guilt trips. He said, “It is finished”. Trying to add to that is blasphemy.
·      God likes you more than you like you, wants to keep you close to him, and will provide for anything that you really do need.
·      The people around you either need to meet Christ or grow in Christ and God’s number one call on your life is to give both groups the gospel by how you act and talk.
·      The point of life is worship not grades, popularity or money. So freak out about worship, not the other stuff, for it should simply lead to worship anyway.

Meditate on these things and you will avoid wasting a LOT of time every day.

2. Notice the things around you

First of all, if you’re reading this, you’re either on a computer, smartphone or tablet. Right now, I literally want you to stop reading and sincerely thank God for the chance to use such great technology. You don’t deserve that so be thankful. Unthankful people waste their day by default.

You will waste your whole life wanting stuff. And you look ridiculous. Because your life is already full! You already have a family, transportation, roof, bed, more than one change of clothes, food, water, vision, hearing, the ability to walk, to feel a breeze and to smell bacon…you have so much. You just need to look up, notice it and say, “Thanks God” once in a while.

3. Ask someone what they need 

The person who makes your coffee, the people you live with, your co-workers, your classmates, your friends…ALL have needs. Ask them what they are and do all you can to meet them. This is how Jesus lived and you follow Jesus, don’t you?

This will surely prevent you from wasting your day. People are never a waste. You are the waste.

I mean, stop and think. We’re in America. Almost everyone I know has a phone, car, degree and place to stay. Yet the whole country is depressed. We’re a giant, medicated moody teenager of a nation. Want to know why? It’s because our culture has encouraged us to think about, look out for and please ourselves. Such a waste.

There is no sadder thought, than a person dying, and no one showing up to their funeral. But it happens. It happens to people who waste day after day focused on themselves, neglecting the needs of others.

I urge you don’t waste another day! Remember what’s important, notice the things around you and ask someone what they need. Your life depends on it.

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