Monthly Archives: May 2011

Would You Have Faith Without The Cross?

I’ve had a thought going through my mind for the last several weeks. “Would I still have faith in God and be in love with Jesus if there was never forgiveness for my sin?”

This is something I have questioned about myself as I wonder at times how many Christians sit in church, do all the Christian things and say they follow Jesus because he died for their sins and he has forgiven them of those sins. I wonder how many people choose to follow Jesus because he has promised to give them a pathway to heaven.

When I think about all the incredible things my wife does for me I am overwhelmed with love for her. However, if she couldn’t cook, couldn’t clean, couldn’t pick me up when I’m down or celebrate with me when times are good would I still love her? If she wasn’t a rock beside me as we leadGenerationChurch, if she didn’t have an angelic voice, if she didn’t look so stinking hot, would I still love her? To answer, I’d have to say yes. Our relationship and love is built on so much more than these things. Yes these are some of the benefits of our love, but our love is not built on what we have done or will do for each other.

So I have to question myself, is my love for Jesus based around what he has done for me, or is it a deep connection of my soul?

When I look at the patriarchs like Abraham they had a faith in God that went so much deeper than just what God could do for them. Abraham didn’t have the assurances of grace, or justification by faith. Abraham didn’t have the cross or the blood of Jesus to look to, yet Abraham chose a life of faith and righteousness. David had a heart that yearned after God even without the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

I sometimes wonder how many people come to God because of fear of going to Hell instead of a heart felt love for the father. To be honest this question is bothering me! Sometimes I feel we are raising up a generation of Jesus followers who have never entirely fell completely in love with the person of Jesus. Yes they maybe in love with all that Jesus has done for them, but are they completely in love with Jesus?

This is a question I have been asking myself and I encourage you to ask of yourself.

Are you in love with Jesus or are you in love with the thought of what Jesus has saved you from?


Compassion, Outreach or a Fad?

What tugs at your heart? What are the things that you see in your community, your city and even the world that causes you to be moved with compassion?

For some it’s the sight of a starving baby, others it’s the reality of human trafficking, yet some get moved when they see their neighbor struggling with their yard work or a work colleague struggle through an on going sickness.

We are all wired differently, yet our make up is the sense. While compassion may not be everyone’s strongest point, there is no doubt that there are certain things in life that pull at our heart.

However, some do a good job of ignoring these emotions, others just sit there and feel sorry for those situations, while a limited few decide they must do something about it. It is this later group who are the ones who have the compassion to be world changers. 

I think compassion ministries have become a fad in a lot of churches. While this is a good thing as a lot of good is being done, by worry is that as soon as reaching out to our communities doesn’t result in church growth it will become like every other fad, and just die!

Tomorrow is Saturday May 14th. Just another Saturday to most, yet for a few it is a day to reach out and serve our community. The Help Stamp Out Hunger food drive is taking place, where across the country if you leave a bag of groceries by your mail box, the mail man will deliver it to your local food pantry. In our county ServeFest is taking place, this is where local churches get together to help serve our community for one day in different community projects. For me I will be volunteering at the school my wife works, where they will be hosting a community outreach to their local neighborhood.

While this is all good, I wonder what would happen if the collective church would really start to embrace the things that pull at peoples hearts on a daily basis. Not adding more ministries to a never ending schedule, not just schedule one day a month or a year, but started to empower and mobilize the people who make up the church to start to reach out on their own accord when they see a need. To be the hands and feet of Jesus day to day. To learn to do good and stamp out injustice when we see it. The world would change overnight, that is what would happen!

Of course in all reality the church is made up of imperfect people, reluctant to step out of what they have always know and people who can be very self absorbed, of which I know I am one; so this today is only a far fetched dream. Yet I have discovered in my life that dreams do come true and my dream is to see a church that hurts for others just as much as it hurts for itself.

I suppose it could all start with just leaving a bag of groceries for the mail man to pick up!

Isaiah 1:17


Transitions

Transitions are always hard. People are transitioning all the time. Whether people are moving home, getting married, changing jobs, starting new endeavors or even changing churches, transitions happen.

In my experience I have found that May & June are the time people tend to transition most. As a ministry leader and then as an associate Pastor I learned and recognized that this time of year was the time when volunteers quit, people wanted to try new things or people left the churches we were at. However, it was also a time when new people would come on board, new volunteers would be found and your ministry was the new thing people wanted to try.

For any leader this is a bitter sweet time. Transition is hard. Change can be difficult and sometimes you feel people are making the wrong decision in their transition. Yet transition is something every ministry has to embrace. Big churches, small churches, urban churches or rural churches all experience it.

However, I encourage you to embrace this time. Transition shows health and life. Your body transitions and changes because it is alive. The trees and plants transition during this time because they are alive and so the church, which is the body of Christ, will transition and change because it is alive.

This doesn’t mean everything should change and everyone should move on to other things, but it does mean when you see a change in the wind or a new season arriving embrace it and work with it because more than likely God is moving the pieces around to perfectly align you for a new fruitful season of blessing.