Archive for August, 2011

911 is Coming; Hate or Love”

Posted: August 28, 2011 in Uncategorized

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hater your enemy.’  But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those  who persecute you.” (Matthew 5:43-44)

Someone asked me, as a Christian, how do I relate to Muslims, especially on 911? This year, Sept. 11 is a Sunday. If you know Muslims, what a great chance to invite them to come and worship. And everyday we should pray for them and love them.

Recently, during Ramadan, the Muslims celebrated ‘The Night of Power’, one of the most important days of the year for Muslims. It is a night where they pray that God reveal Himself to them. If God answered that prayer, the Bible teaches, He would reveal Himself as Jesus Christ. Why would we not join them in praying that happens?

A Christian is not permitted to hate. One of the greatest stories that Jesus ever told we call “the Good Samaritan.” The hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans was intense. Surely we can reach out and show love. Pray for Muslims to come to Christ. Invite them to worship with you on 9-11.

God bless.

Taking Up the Challenge

Posted: August 27, 2011 in Uncategorized

Read 2 Kings 2. Verse 13 say, “And Elisha took the cloak of Elijah that had fallen to him…”

This is an amazing story in 2 Kings 2. Elijah and Elisha start out from Gilgal, travel to Bethel, from there to Jericho, and finally to the Jordan River. Each step of the way Elisha is tested and challenged with whether or not he will continue. Elijah tests his resolve, and the sons of the prophets tempt him to be discouraged with a negative word. But each step, the two men travel on together.

As Elijah is carried away in chariots of fire, his mantle, symbolic of his prophetic office is dropped to Elisha. There may be so much more than this, but one thing the mantle symbolizes his the message of God’s Word. As one generation gives way to the next, the message of God never changes. That is true today. God’s message of love and grace through Jesus Christ is steadfast and constant. People are lost in sin and separated from God, and Jesus Christ is God’s perfect and only provision to deal with our sins.

But each generation must give way to the next in the context of how ministry is worked out. Styles of worship change. Methodologies must be reborn in the context of each generation. Sometimes those with good intentions (sons of the prophets) may offer a discouraging word. The people of God, however, must continue on and take up the challenge.

Churches that refuse to pass the mantle to the next generation will wither and die. Generations that have no “voice of God” through God’s people will not be reached. These are challenging days, but they are great days for the Kingdom of God.

Is Your Heart Troubled?

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

When we travel into the bush country of Mali, we will often Prayer walk through our village. As we ask people to share their prayer concerns, almost always we are asked to pray for “peace”. They ask us to pray for peace in their courtyard, peace in their family, peace in their village.

Jesus said in John 14:1, “Let not your hearts be troubled.” He was anticipating the concern the disciples would have with the upcoming crucifixion and His soon departure from the world. It is great to notice, however, that Jesus didn’t just say, “Don’t have troubled hearts.” He offers something to take its place. He said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” (John 14:27)

The peace that the world allows is dependent upon our circumstances. If everything in our life is going well, then we live with peace. But let something disturb our well being, and peace is replaced with anxiety or worry. Jesus offers a peace in the midst of the storms and crises of our lives.

God’s Word says, “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.”(Isaiah 26:3). Our minds are stayed on God when we are living in His Presence. The secret to having peace is  living in God’s Presence.

God’s Word says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be known to God, and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7). Is your heart at peace today? Or is it troubled? You can run to Jesus. Don’t delay.

Hello world!

Posted: August 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

     I read about a man that finished school and moved to a remote town in the midwest somewhere. He got a job on a 500  watt radio station and began his first program with, “Hello, world.” I don’t want to be like that, and I am certainly not presumptious enough to think that a lot of people would read this blog and respond. But honestly, on the world wide web, it is “Hello, World.”

     I hope that somewhere along the way I will say something that makes people think about Jesus Christ. I hope that I will say something that prompts conversation and reflection. I pray that it will honor God.

     So let me pose this thought today. In John 15:15 Jesus says, “I have called you friends.” Two verses earlier in 15:13 he said, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” I have always read that and thought of how great Jesus’ love for us is, that He would lay down His life on a cross for us. But what if we look at it the other way. That we are the friends who love enough to lay down our lives for Him.

     The apostle Paul wrote in Phil. 3:10, “that I might know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings…” It is not so hard to want to know Him, and to want to know the power of His resurrection. But to want to know the fellowship of His sufferings. WOW.

     Back to John 15. Jesus said in verse 11, “These things I have spoken to you that your joy may be full.” What if the fulness of joy only comes in the abandonment to lay our lives down for Him? I am not talking about intentional martyrdom or being careless. I am talking about abandoning ourselves fully to Him so that whatever He desires is absolutely our desire. In that surrender comes real joy. What do you think?