Friday, July 16, 2010

A little web time

Nothing to report yet (on the kidney stone)...

Anyone interested, can listen to my recent message "5 Components of a Healthy Church," at this link: The sermon is not up at this writing, but is to be posted yet this week. I brought it on 7/4/10.

Recently, I have been contemplating the impact of preaching/teaching apart from experience. I know that for me, messages I hear have a deeper impact, if I can relate by experience.

So many times, within our culture, missionary stories inspire, but have no real staying power (apart from what the Holy Spirit may do) in the lives of those who hear, but have not experienced (or in some cases run from the experiences).

Now I know, that no testimony or story has deep impact apart from what the Lord does through it... and that is kind of the point.

I think though, that many struggle to find relevancy in the Word of God, because they have never experienced it in power (or again, run from it).

One can preach a powerful message and know they have experienced the Lord's anointing all over it, and yet watch a body refuse to respond. I believe this happens week in and week out in our churches. It is very discouraging.

The Lord has placed me in the position to speak into the lives of students, and occasionally, adults. Truth all day long, but until they experience His work in action (which requires their obedience), the words will just be words. I don't mean everyone has to go to an overseas mission field, but I do believe ALL of us are called to live missional lives!

My resulting question... is there strong evidence that we are allowing the Lord to reveal Himself to us, through evidence of our own demonstrated acts of obedience?

For too many, a morning sermon is forgotten by lunch. In part, because of our attitude when entering corporate worship.

Many are quick to think the message is about the person next to them, while sporting waterproof skin to His convicting rain.

I have seen so many families of means or lack thereof, arrive at the same dump (though different paths led them there)... broken, divorced, in rehab, embracing worldly lusts, and/or seeking self-worth in relationships apart from Christ.

I understand when non-believing families end here. Their lives are based on cultural traditions. What they learn growing up is often what they value or in some cases are a reaction to. Few non believing families hold to Biblical truths as their guide.

I struggle to understand why the lives of believers aren't dissimilar.

What is valued is often the pursuit of happiness through pleasure. Messages that deal with moving outside of our own comfort are quickly cast aside as irrelevant. Many have bought into the idea that God wants me happy, and my happiness is not based on suffering or discomfort. Rather, it is based on what brings me pleasure. Therefore, my life should consist of pursuing ends that result in pleasure, thus bringing happiness.

You will not find this in Scripture, yet many live this way, within Christian circles.

All of us want to be happy. However, the life of a believer should be characterized by obedience. There is great joy in obedience regardless of the suffering that may come with it. Happiness is a by-product of that joy.

If we seek happiness, we obtain a disillusioned life. If we are obedient, the joy in that yields a fulfilled, happy believer.

Therefore, if we want to be happy as believers, we need to deny ourselves, follow where He leads, and find that the pursuit of Him, yields great joy.

Seeking Jesus brings joy.
Seeking happiness brings disappointment.

We've all experienced disappointment... it's time for some serious joy!



At 1:13 PM, Blogger gilbert said...

Amen "dad" - I love it when you challenge me like this.

At 9:49 PM, Blogger Star Toaster said...

Your blog is inspiring! BJ's story blessed me. Especially enjoyed your focus on prayer and your heart for the mission field. You can encourage others to pray for missionaries by posting the prayer request below to your blog's side panel.

Many, many blessings!
A Mom

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