Thursday, May 14, 2009


Kristin and Deanna...Kristin is helping us lead our Peru team this summer. She was on BJ's last team...


I find myself having to withdraw a bit from writing here. So much of what I have to say is extremely important (to me), but I fear comes across as judgmental when I put it to paper.

I have no sense that what I convey is bearing fruit. I am not looking for affirmation. I want to know that people are responding to the call of Christ in their lives.

A friend came to me recently and said, "I am so tired of people telling me they cannot wait until Christ returns. If they really felt that way, shouldn't they live a life that reflects it?"

She has a valid point. We tend to use our conversations about Christ's return as some sort of an escape...an out...a place to hide.

If we truly had a heavenly mindset, we would not be just talking, but we would be out sharing who Jesus is with the lost... those that Jesus doesn't desire to see perish apart from a relationship with Him.

My purposes in writing on this site are about bringing glory to God and attempting to motivate others to do so. We cannot afford to look at our relationship with Christ as a place of refuge without being active in doing what He has called us to do.

Most of those who make such statements (as the one my friend is tired of hearing) are not doing anything to share Jesus, they are just tired of having to do life. Much of the reason we have little joy in life is that we don't focus on serving Him, but we put most of our effort into building our own earthly kingdoms, and it makes us tired and frustrated.

Jesus told us not to store up for ourselves treasures on earth, but to store treasures in heaven. That means we focus on doing what He impresses on us to do. We live to serve Him and His desires.

Some are offended at this, wanting just to be saved by grace without ever having to do anything... especiall if it makes them uncomfortable.

We were not called to lives of comfort... as my son made so clear by how he wrote and how he lived. Yet it is what most believer's do. We seek to be comfortable. We pursue the American Dream, and forsake the call of Christ.

We let precious few things get in the way of our comfort. Things that challenge us or make us ill-at-ease, are quickly weeded out of our lives and discarded.

People spend ridiculous sums of money every year on vacation, and have nothing to give to the Lord. People spend insane amounts on elective surgery to "look better," but never do anything to 'serve better.'

Good intentions don't merit any applause.

Our lives are supposed to be a sweet aroma to Christ our King. Instead, we are building mighty fortresses that only an elect few are aloud to enter. We don't let many past the security gate of who we really are.

Christ's return for those who toss the phrase about, often is more about reaching that place where the problems of life cannot touch them. Where they can take their ease in their heavenly mansion, which surely must be more comfortable than the earthly ones they are constantly building.

We Christians will stand before the judgment seat to give an account of how we lived our lives for Him. Way too many of us are going to merely survive as those escaping through flames. We have built little to nothing on the foundation of Christ. What we have on earth may invoke the envy of neighbors, but a Mighty God has no need for such poverty.

What impact have we had on or in the lives of the lost, the broken, the orphans, the widows?

James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

We are pretty good at quoting the first part of this verse. Who even remembers the last part?

If we follow the call of our Savior successfully, then we would not be making such large storehouses on earth, we wouldn't be tearing down our current barns to build bigger ones, to hold more stuff. We would be tending the needs of others. We would be serving. We would be having His impact and leaving His mark on the world. Not living life trying to make one for ourselves.

Until we get this, we will not be keeping ourselves from the pollution of our culture. Rather, we are embracing it and teaching our children to do likewise.

There will be those who will be quick to ask how I have a job if it weren't for the giving of believers.

Believers spend four times more per year on weight loss than they do missions. If every believer gave $2 a month to missions, it would increase giving by 90%.

Not only do most of us not give with our lives, we don't give with our money... and it won't be long before our vile taste in the mouth of a Holy God causes vomiting.

If we say we get it, then we will demonstrate it by the actions of our lives... everyday.

Don't talk about His return and your desire for it, unless you are "actively, forcefully, even violently,"* out there making a difference for Him. The corresponding joy will be apparent in your journey of faith and will help overcome the low selfish ebbs we are each prone to.


dad


* I am in no way encouraging violence, rather quoting my son and implying the significant effort we must put into living for Him.

9 Comments:

At 11:57 AM, Blogger Katie said...

Love you.

Thank you for this post.

 
At 1:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This put me under conviction.I find it even easier to give to missions through special offerings at church,than it is to witness to my neighbors across the street.

 
At 4:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The lost await for us to bring them hope that comes only through Christ. Our relationship with Him drives us to want to share His love. Our desire to go home should stem from lamenting the separation from God that sin has caused and wanting to go home to be with HIM. For would heaven be the same without Him? Would we still want to go? Or would it just be some nice place to visit. As nice as heaven might be it would not be the same without Jesus. Its our relationship with Him that should bring about the desire to have Him return. To be WITH HIM, and that relationship starts here and now.

Now a question, Brent. What do you do when God tells you something will happen and then it doesn't? All indications were that it was true and from God. All faith was put into it. How do you rebuild trust in His voice when doubt has taken over?

Lisa Potter
Santa Cruz, CA

 
At 4:55 PM, Blogger kristin said...

thanks for this shout out.

and for a call to actually do something.

LOVE YOU ALL!

 
At 5:58 PM, Blogger Pray for BJ said...

Lisa, can you send me an email message so I can respond to you personally. My email is brent@awestar.org

 
At 10:51 PM, Blogger Marti said...

What I love about this is that Brent actually practices what he preaches. That's more than so many of us do. I think so many times we walk around oblivious to the opportunities God places right before us. Over the past few months, I've asked Him to wake me up and to help me become much more intentional in praying and watching for open doors with my neighbors. He's answered in some amusing (broken-down car) and amazing (serious conversations with neighbors who haven't said more than "hello" previously) ways!

Thanks for all the time and effort you put into your posts. I hope you know I'm grateful and

praying in pink
with tender love,

Marti

 
At 12:24 PM, Blogger gilbert said...

Thank you again for this post, and recent similar ones - I'm bloggong from Britain and we need this message over here too - we Christians all need to take seriously our Lord's words not to store up treasures on earth, but to leave our comfort zones, take up our cross and follow wherever He leads. Your book on BJ's life and these posts challenge me to do this. Thank you, Brent.

 
At 1:03 AM, Anonymous Kim said...

I so love your openess and honesty. You have a God-given ability to speak His truth in a powerful way and I am truly grateful for your posts! Marti is right...you are the real deal! How sad the statistics on the amount of money spent on weight loss by Christians compared to missions. I find this same shallowness in our churches, and in myself more than I would like to admit. I am convicted and pray to be more like BJ who to me was a radical Christian never content in this comfortable world. Preach it Brent, we all need to have our calloused hearts awakened.
Because of His Love,
Kim

 
At 7:15 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i got my pray for BJ shirt in 3rd grade and i still have it and now i am in 6th grade but it doesn't fit me anymore but i still keep the shirt to keep his spirit alive.

 

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