Well, if you want to be challenged, here’s a link to go to It is from SansBlogue and has a quote from Bono (U2 fame) dealing with how the west has basically forgotten (or chooses not to acknowledge) the issues in Africa. I’m not really current on the issues, but I do know one of our conference missionaries has also said that he feels the west has given up on Africa.
I just finished reading Philip Yancey’s book “What’s So Amazing About Grace.” I have to agree that the only thing the church can offer the world, that they don’t already have, is grace. I have been wondering what life would look like if I was able to truly live by the same grace that I have experienced through Jesus.
Dallas Willard asked the question in “The Divine conspiracy” (I believe that was the book), Why don’t we do what Jesus says? I’ve been thinking about this question in relation to Jesus “new” commandment to “love one another as I have loved you.” To love as Jesus loved, I believe, is the most difficult thing I have ever tried to do. Perhaps, it is really the only commandment that I need to follow. Jesus has loved graciously, generously and sacrificially.
If I can get to the place of loving like Jesus loved, I believe my life would be grace-filled. I also believe that Jesus love would shine through everything that I did. I wonder what the church would look like (and the world) if those within the church decided that the only thing we have to offer is God’s grace through Jesus Christ and therefore decided to love as Jesus loved.
There are times when I get some clarity of mind. Of course, I know that in a few days I may realize I was wrong. Be that as it may, today I sense some clarity. I believe there is joy in the christian life. I also believe that Oswald Chambers was right when he said that joy was found in being obedient to God (or doing His will). That, perhaps, is what the joy of the Lord is all about. Elsewhere Chambers writes,
“It requires a conscious decision and effort to keep our primary goal constantly in front of us. It means holding ourselves to the highest priority year in and year out; not making our first priority to win souls, or to establish churches, or to have revivals, but seeking only to be ‘well pleasing to Him.'”
Ah. How easy it is to switch the goals. How easy it is to make the ‘results’ the goal rather than the true goal of being pleasing to Him. It is hard work. To be broken and poured out before God is to be constantly looking at your motives and asking the question, “Lord, is this it. Is this the thing that YOU would have me to do?” It is this being “well pleasing to Him” that is missing in the church today. We want to be relevant (which is important), we want to be significant, we want to do great things for the Lord. Yes, these are important. However, as we seek to be pleasing to Him, we will discover along the way that we are relevant, significant and doing great things for the Lord, “Unless the Lord builds the house the laborers labor in vain.”
What we are to be about is not Christianity that is a “flash in the pan,” but one that lasts, that calls people to bow before God, receive his grace and move from that place as changed persons. This is not for a season, this is for a lifetime. Have we, perhaps with good intentions, forgotten our primary goal of being pleasing to God? It happens.
To be led by the spirit of God is perhaps the most freeing, yet the most difficult and fearful thing one can do. To follow God’s spirit while not knowing for sure, not always understanding and at times, not believing what one is doing can make a difference makes life an incredible adventure while at the same time makes it a scary proposition. Following one’s own views, ideas and plans is much, much easier.
Following the spirit is not simply speaking in tongues, singing peppy songs or being happy all the time. It is a constant struggle to understand God’s ways (which are not our ways) and His will (which isn’t always our will). At times it means to wait when we want to go and to go when we want to wait. It is following a still small voice when we long to see a big real sign. It is not always knowing, or understand where one is going, but having the confidence that one does not go alone. It is knowing that no matter what, nothing can separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
Right now, I’m reading a book on blogging, so, it inspired me to make an entry 😉 Nothing special…..
As I continue to try to get my life inline with what Jesus would want, I’m finding that many things that I hang onto, I should probably rid myself of. One of the things I’m trying to let go of is my many books. It is amazing really. I know I probably won’t read these books again, but I like having them around just the same. My hope is by summer to at least get rid of half of my books. Some of the books I have, I haven’t read yet, so I plan on reading them first. If they are good (meaning I can use them to help my sermon prep, I will keep them, otherwise, it would be best to get rid of them.
One of the things I’m finding is that it would be good if I spent more time on sermon prep. I find preaching fairly easy which is both a blessing and a curse. I don’t have to do that much prep, but God still deserves my best and if preaching is an area God has gifted me in, it would be best if I worked at that area.
I just bought a new Tungsten E palm. At some point, I might put on information about programs that I’m finding very helpful in sermon prep and scripture study.