August, 2010

Aug 10

Those Who Believe

Sometimes we hear the Word of God speaking to our hearts, and we do not hear it because it comes as a still small voice, so it gets lost somewhere in the noise of our hearts. But I also wonder if sometimes it is because the Word of God is speaking so loudly that we cannot hear what it has to say.

For example:

“And he said to them, Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (Mark 16:15-18 ESV).

Aug 10

Way of Life

Within our world of western rationalism, it’s easy to let the Bible speak to the way we believe and not let it change the way we behave. However, Paul clearly taught a specific way of life to the young churches in his care. 1 Corinthians 4:17 says, “For this very cause I sent to you Timothy, who is my beloved and trustworthy child in the Lord, who will recall to your minds my methods of proceeding  and  course of conduct  and  way of life in Christ, such as I teach everywhere in each of the churches” (emphasis mine).

Would you like to know what Paul taught? Right before that he writes (1 Corinthians 4:11-13):

“To this hour we have gone both hungry and thirsty; we [habitually] wear but one undergarment [and shiver in the cold]; we are roughly knocked about and wander around homeless.

“And we still toil unto weariness [for our living], working hard with our own hands. When men revile us [wound us with an accursed sting], we bless them. When we are persecuted, we take it patiently  and  endure it.

“When we are slandered  and  defamed, we [try to] answer softly  and  bring comfort. We have been made and are now the rubbish  and  filth of the world [the offscouring of all things, the scum of the earth].”

But that’s just Paul and the other apostles, right? Not at all. Read on (4:14,16):

“I do not write this to shame you, but to warn  and  counsel you as my beloved children…. So I urge  and  implore you, be imitators of me.”

Paul is asking us to embrace all this?

I can hear the voices, “Are you calling for some kind of monastic life?” By no means! God wants to pour out abundant grace; He does not intend for us to do it by our own power. The Word if God is life, and whenever it brings death to our hearts, it is not because the Scriptures are wrong. It is because we are believing a lie in our hearts. After all, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” And, “Let God be true and every man a liar!”

And then I hear, “Are you taking us back into a law? We’ve already spent so much of our lives getting free from heavy yokes.” By no means! This is no command. The choice is yours. However, I do observe that Paul is strongly urging us to follow his example, and God never asks us to do something without good reason.

You see, I know many people who long to see the glory of the kingdom of God. But I believe the reason we haven’t seen more of it is because we are trying to fit it into the mold of our existing lifestyle. If we will see that glory and power in our generation, we will not only need to change the way we believe but also the way we behave. It all starts in cultivating an intimate relationship with God, but that is only the beginning, and it needs to take over every part of our lives.

“Lord, reveal your truth to me and shine your light into the deep places of my heart so that I can more fully agree with you. Unlock the mysteries of a kingdom lifestyle that is willing to embrace hardship and suffering to see you receive great glory! Let your kingdom be established on the earth, not in words but in power, in proportion to your strength and might. To you be the glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Aug 10

All Is Yours

I have written this post twice already, and each time I’ve deleted it. But I was challenged by a friend when I shared it with him this morning, and then I “stumbled” across an article challenging me to believe what I read in Scripture, not to read what I believe. Okay, here goes!

Here is the passage:

“So let no one exult proudly concerning men [boasting of having this or that man as a leader], for all things are yours,  whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas (Peter), or the universe or life or death, or the immediate  and threatening present or the [subsequent and uncertain] future–all are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.” (1 Corinthians 3:21-23 AMP).

Check out the list of things we have:

* the universe
* life
* death
* the immediate and threatening present
* the subsequent and uncertain future

In short, Paul wants us to know all things belong to us, and it’s clear Paul’s intent wasn’t to exaggerate, so we can take this as the truth.

I have often heard that we should leave the future in the hands of God, and I believe that we should always have full confidence in the sovereignty of God. But if we have been given the future, why are we not setting the course of history? And if we have been given the world, why do we despair and give up hope over the moral decline or social injustice? We are the ones who are responsible for what’s going on in the world.

I’ve always heard this taught in little, man-sized proportions. We should make wise decisions to take ownership of our future in retirement. We should be kind to the few people we come in contact with and be a light to them. We should lobby for this bill, or vote for that senator. But rarely have I heard teachings on impacting the universe, life, death, the present, or the future in God-sized dimensions. God can unleash change of unprecedented dimensions.

Take a look at 2 Chronicles 7:14: “[If] My people who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” If we pray and seek God, He will not only forgive our sins, but He will heal our land. The healing of our land is within the power of us, the church.

All is yours. “Yours” means you have authority over it. If all this is ours, we will have to give an account for the way we have stewarded what was given us. Will you let the world sit untouched, or will you usher in the Father’s will just as it’s done in heaven?

Aug 10

Born Again vs. Being Spiritual

In 1 Corinthians 3 Paul says he cannot talk to the Corinthians as spiritual men, even though he calls them brothers. Instead he is speaking to them as unspiritual men. Apparently you can be saved without being spiritual. How?

When you were born, you were given the same life that you possess today. You had all of your natural talents and your personality. But you weren’t playing basketball, doing accounting, writing stories, or singing songs. Why? All that was within you, but you had to grow and mature for those to be manifested and expressed.

In the same way, every believer has the life of God within him, the same life that brings victory over sin, heals sickness and disease, and raises the dead. But why don’t we see it? It is because we are as infants, still drinking milk, when we should be eating meat to grow. To become spiritual, we must grow in the knowledge and spirit of Christ. As we grow and mature, that life that we already have will be given a more full and free expression in our lives.

You may be born again, but are you growing up into the fullness of your new life?

Aug 10

You Are Not Your Mind

You have a mind. You have a body. However, you are not your mind, and you are not you body. Thus, use your mind and body in the way a carpenter uses a hammer–as a tool. Use your thinking ability as an instrument to fulfill the call of your life, but separate your self-perception from your mind because it’s something given to you and entrusted to you, but it isn’t you.

We have the mind of Christ–speaks of something we possess (1Cor 2:16). However, we are one with Christ in spirit–speaks to who we are (1Cor 6:16).

Aug 10


Three things:

* This blog is intended to be an outlet for small truths that hit me.

* I intend to blog from my phone, which will keep posts short and to the point (but hopefully frequent).

* This is primarily for my own benefit but will hopefully benefit you as well!