November 2, 2011 Comments Off on All Things, All Possibilites
“19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. 20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. 21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” -Corinthians 9:19-23
Freedom from sin is not an excuse for self indulgence, but a means of greater intelligence to reach others for Christ. Paul became all things, to all people to further his evangelism. Paul cared so much about Christ that he even lived under jewish customs, despite not being jewish. What are you holding back?
Paul understood the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ. He understood he had the ability to become all things because Jesus has conquered all things. I think so often times we are afraid to reach the people that need Christs love the most because we are afraid that relating to them would somehow make our reputation and status lesser.
But understand this, your opinion of what others think of you cannot out-weigh what God thinks of you.
Paul is an excellent example of turning his entire life over to Christ because he held nothing back – even the way he lived his day, what he ate and what he drank was adaptable to whoever he was around. Historians also noted that Paul would even drink an alcoholic drink in geographic areas that mandated that part of their social customs to be more approachable by others.
Let us give honor and service to Jesus in all of our life, not just the obvious. You may have gone through a traumatic physical disability, maybe you lost your virginity at a young age, maybe your sibling is mentally handicapped. Whatever your situtation may be, God allowed these specific events to occur for many reasons, but I believe the greatest is that you may be able to relate to someone else in a unique way than the next. What happened has happened, you can only use these difficult situations to further the gospel.
Become all things to all people because Jesus died for all sins for all people.
October 11, 2011 Comments Off on No More Aquariums
What does an aquarium really do for a fish? It provides a safe, secure, clean, and effortless place to thrive and live amongst the other fish. Providing no predators, no uncharted areas to explore, or concern to the fish – besides swimming around and looking pretty for everyone watching them.
For so many people today, you manage your own aquarium of your faith. You surround yourself with the same people, same small group, same weekly routine of showing up. You like the idea of keeping things the way they are, just trying to keep the aquarium running, and playing a game of religion rather than faith in Christ.
Jesus called us to be fishers of men, not keepers of the aquarium.
Our faith can only grow to a certain extent when all we do is surround ourself with like-minded people. Think about Jesus, our leader, He put himself out into the streets with the common people. Jesus had so much compassion for anyone that was willing to hear and receive the truth. There was no qualification to hear Jesus speak or to have a conversation with Him.
Yes, it is important to have a good core, supporting group of people around you. But it is not biblical to thrive only in that group and only encourage and build up those members. That’s called being selfish. Church world likes to tell us that the church is the only place we can thrive, only place that we should invest in. We are called to have our part in the body of believers, but to advance the kingdom and pour out our heart on those that are the exact opposite.
The truth of the matter is: the people that you judge and think are bellow you because they don’t go to the same church as you, same campus ministry, or even same religion are the people you should be spending the most time around.
To be a true fisher of man, you must allow yourself to be vulnerable to the people that need to hear the truth and love that Jesus has in store for their life. Jesus invested in the most diseased and social outcasts of his time, not just his disciples. Jesus spent time around his disciples to empower them to go out and be fishers of men, not be an exclusive judging group of men.
You have to be willing to elevate them above yourself: Jesus never condemned anyone, rather offered them something greater than what they had – eternal life and love.
August 10, 2011 Comments Off on Actions and Words
For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. -James 1:23
Throughout our life we constantly hear the phrase “actions speak louder than words”. We understand it. Take it to heart. File it in our mind and move on. Never applying it, consciously.
We, as christians, today are so good at speaking the bible, telling others we go to church, singing worship songs in the car, or telling people we are praying for them. But when do we ever actually take action?
There are situations in your life that are going to call you to be Jesus rather than speak Jesus. Nobody can BE Jesus, but you get the point.
Think about the last friendship/relationship in your life and how it ended. What do you remember? You probably remember the actions as of why the relationship ended rather than what was said. You remember what the person did you, rather than the apology. Why? Because your actions leave a lasting impact more than your words.
Sometimes we get so busy telling others about God that we forget to spend time with God, ourselves. We get so caught up inviting people to church, writing blogs, counseling others, or listening to Pastors that we forget to have a personal relationship with Jesus. (All those things are extremely important to your walk, but that’s not the point of this post)
If I can write these blog posts, but do not live the very words I speak then what good is that? If my actions do not align with the words I speak, then what kind of a witness am I?
Before I die to others and love on them the way Christ loves me, I have to die to myself first and love me for me first. If you can’t love the person God has called you to be, you can’t love others the way you need to.