Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the "road" to the Kuna People in Panama...

Near Term Speaking Schedule:
Jan 27 Bluefish Television, Phone interview by Producer, Dallas, Tx.
Jan 29-31 Northwest Baptist Church, Missions Conf. Oklahoma City, Ok.
Feb 2-5 Indian Rocks Christian School, Spiritual Emphasis Week, Largo, Fla.
Feb 3 Indian Rocks FBC, Youth/Parent Rally, Largo, Fla.
Feb 5-7 FBC Marion, "Elevate," Marion, Ark.
Feb 18-19 Dallas Christian College, Train Missions Teams, Dallas, Tx.
Mar 6 FBC Tulsa, "Mission Ignition," Tulsa, Ok.
Mar 13-20 Mexico Spring Break Mission Trip, Nuevo Laredo, Mex.

In my role, I see many who give lip service, but many fewer who follow through. If I am honest, I struggle not to be one of these.

Isaiah 29:13, Amos 5:21-24, Matthew 15:8-9, and Mark 7:6-7 (among others)all speak to this issue.

The Word clearly states, "The Lord says, These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men" Isaiah 29:13.

Being a man of passion, I find that my fervor grows cold at times. It begins to be drawn in other directions. I struggle to have singular passion... that being for my Lord alone.

I am not pleased about this. It gets in the way of my worship and my relationship. I see this happen to others as well.

My friend and partner Walker Moore, just wrote an article about the difference between "commitment" and "surrender" in today's youth culture. I see this play out on a regular basis in the lives of "Christians." Clearly, it is not just students who struggle with this.

The very core of this issue is how "committed" we are to Christ, period. (is putting a period after the word period, redundant?) Most of us believe ourselves to be deeply so. The true reality is reflected when an opportunity of "more" interest to us comes along and conflicts with what we have previously "committed" to (that would bring God more glory).

For example (since I enjoy hunting), if I am to attend a regularly scheduled worship service, but an opportunity comes along through a friend who invites me to hunt during the same time, and I choose to forgo my time of worship for a time of hunting and fellowship, what message am I sending my Savior?

I can justify it till the proverbial bovines retrace their steps back to the barn.

"I can worship Him better out in His Creation than I can with a bunch of hypocrites." "I feel closer to Him out in His Creation than I do in some man made building."

Those statements would both be true. But are the attitudes of my heart correct?

Hunting is just my example, what would yours be?

True "surrender" says that nothing will get in between my Savior, serving and worshipping Him, and me!

From the time your parents dedicated you to the Lord as a baby (in a common church practice), to the time when you begin to recognize His call on your life, and try to obediently respond, distractions and relationships will get in the way of being able to do so.

Sometimes, the very parent who dedicated you, won't let you follow Him in obedience to what He's called you to do.

The parental instinct to protect children, often supersedes the promise made to the Lord... to 'train their child to serve Him, and let them do so.'

Clearly, the "commitment" made at some point in the past gets nullified... often times, by parents who struggle with their own "surrender" to Christ.

Commitment says "I will do this." Reality reflects that what this means is "I will do this, unless a better offer comes my way, or a logical train of thought leads in a different direction" (even when that direction is away from His will).

Surrender says, "I will always do what the Lord leads me to do, and will keep my lips from committing to the contrary."

This is not an easy task. I struggle with it!

Let's do our best to be fully surrendered, as parents, as students... as believers!



At 1:46 PM, Blogger Mike, Youth Pastor said...

Very challenging word Brent!

At 1:10 PM, Blogger gilbert said...

I always get challenged by what you share, but there's always encouragement too - thank you again Brent.

At 1:11 PM, Blogger gilbert said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 1:16 PM, Blogger gilbert said...

The comment deleted was the above one by me - the system printed it twice - sorry about that.


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