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Posts Tagged ‘christianity’

Proverbs 27:17 – As iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.

People read the bible for 2 reasons: Information or Formation.

Reading the bible for formative reasons, results in a life that is guided and molded by the inspired word of God.
While reading it for informative reasons, results in a knowledge that puffs up rather than a love that builds up (1 Cor. 8:1).  And rather than becoming a person who grows in spirit and in truth, when you consume the word of God as common information, you recreate into a tool that is used to argue or justify selfish purposes.

There’s a right and a wrong way to do the same thing.
I’ve had many philosophical/theological conversations where the motive was to encourage the other person and thought and perspective: formation. Unfortunately, all too many times my motive instead was to argue or to put the stagnant knowledge I had accumulated on display. And that’s wrong.
But as we allow God to use the bible to form and mold us into his likeness, when we speak of His word, it will flow from us out of love.  

I’ve seen the bible be used to justify the most ridiculous things. Most recently I read an article that argued that common prostitution is not a biblical conflict and therefore okay.

My prayer is that when I read the bible, I allow the spirit to teach me the things of God, rather than studying it like a chore.

1 Corinthians 2:9-11 
However, as it is written: 
   “No eye has seen,
      no ear has heard,
   no mind has conceived
   what God has prepared for those who love him” -but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit.
      The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.

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“[A preacher’s message] is not to rely on theatrics. It is not to rely on technique. It is to rely on God the Holy Spirit Himself to sovereignly work within the hearts of those who sit under his message. [A preachers] duty is to bring the word of the cross to the listeners, and by the power of God and the holy spirit, to come upon his listeners and to bring upon the result…[But] Exposition has given way to entertainment. Theology has been replaced theatrics. Doctrine has been yielded to drama. Profundity has been overcome by popularity. And men are more intent on filling the building than filling pulpit.” -Steve Lawson

Amen, Brother Lawson! Did you catch that? Read it again…

Many churches today have adopted a consumer mentality. No longer is the main intent to make clear the Good news of the cross. Instead, Churches are attempting to fill their pews, and appeal to the ears of their listeners by watering down the message of Jesus Christ in order to make the “sermon” more relevant to the culture rather than the hearts of man. No longer does the sound of ruffling pages fill the sanctuary of a bible believing church, ready to explore the goodness of God’s word. Instead, members of the congregation file into their seats waiting for the show to begin. At the end of the service file out, murmuring to another that the worship was a little off, or where they want to eat lunch, carrying a false sense of satisfaction that they received their spiritual brownie points by attending what we now call the church.

 Am I going too far by saying this? Let’s take a look at what’s going on in the world… shall we?

Pastor Rob Seagers has been basing his sermons on movie blockbusters and dressing up as their characters. This summer he has performed his message by dressing up as The Hulk, Batman, The Joker, Indiana Jones, and others. To make his sermons more relevant “he sees the movie, then prays about how to extract a biblical message.” For example, Mama Mia, about a bride to be searching for her father, resulted in the sermon “Who’s Your Daddy?” –finding one’s spiritual father. (Information found at Washingtonpost.com)

The Oaks fellowship Church recently had a series entitled: “Theolggins for your Noggins.”
 Their website states: “Lessons are most often learned when our imagination is engaged. Probably no one understood this better or had a more profound effect on generations of children than Dr. Seuss. Many of the more than 40 books he wrote have incredibly deep spiritual parallels. In this series we will rediscover four classic Dr. Seuss stories and learn the practical Biblical truths found in them.” ( http://www.theoaksfellowship.org )

 A Bible study series has been created from the popular sitcom “The Office.” The lessons pertain to how to make the most of your career, addressing issues such as dealing with incompetent bosses or co-workers.

It breaks my heart! What about the bible? The word of God, breathed by God, written to convict and delight the hearts of man! If we teach from the world, how will we ever truly find God?
Its possible for a person to live their life in church, and eternity in hell.

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The simple phrase:

“Lord, Reign in me” 

                                                                                                         

  …has startling implications.

Exodus 15:18
The LORD will reign for ever and ever.”

 

What is  the cry of my heart?

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Luke 22:42  “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

 

Though Christ had repeatedly recognized and affirmed the fathers will in His crucifixion- he  still prayed that the cup be removed from him. Though Christ new the purpose and the glory to be revealed through his death, his flesh cried out.
In that moment, Jesus Christ, by petitioning that God remove harm from him, revealed the his humanity. Yet, in displaying His desires that were juxtaposed to the will of God, Christ did not sin.

So by this we know that it is not a sin to request your desires before God, even if you know that they are beyond His will.

And sometimes God answers our cry. God told Hezekiah that he would die from His illness, and yet when he cried out to God, 15 years of life were given to him.

But sometimes God has a greater good than what our prayers can request. Everything, in the life of Christ pointed to His heavenly father. This is amazing, because Christ was inherently God, yet never aimed to bring Glory to his own name. This is because He set an example for we as Christians to live in a way that continually points back to our heavenly father. But it was clear that the desire of Christ’s heart was to bring Glory to God. And though he presented His request before God, a greater good was done.

 

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD
       and he will give you the desires of your heart.

 

But God cannot give us the desires of our heart if we do not delight in Him.
Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?”
To rejoice in righteousness and despise sin, is to have a heart that delights in the Lord and his law.
But it’s not until we learn to delight in the Lord that our hearts will be cleansed of unrighteousness.  

In short, God longs to give us the desires of our hearts, but more so he desires us to long after Him.

 

And once again, the issue is in the root rather than the fruit.

Two different people can pray the same prayer, but the one whose heart delights in the lord is the one who gets it right.

 

As I continue to muse over this, I feel my relationship with Christ shift and develop a little more.

My prayer is that I delight myself in the Lord.

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I was with a group of friends on a day when the whole crew was worn out and sleep deprived. Except for one girl who was bubbling over with the grand idea of a shopping escapade. She had been hinting about it all week, but now that time was running out- she was very forthright:
“Do you want to go shopping? There is a store that I know you would love.”
What she was actually saying was “I’m going shopping, and it would be less work for me to drag you along if you just wanted to go too.”
I think that’s how we are with God.
“God, I want this… let me show you why it’s in your best interest too.”

I’ve often avoided being that person. “God if you’ll just get me this… I promise that I won’t <insert area of weakness> anymore.” Because I’ve found that I am most satisfied in my relationship with Christ when I’ve willfully submitted myself under His Lordship. With the Lord as my shepherd I have not wanted, he has made me lay down in green pastures, he has led me beside still water, he continually restores my soul. When the weight of His blessing has exceeded my ability to thank him- why should I ask for more?
Because of this I have trusted in Gods sovereignty almost to a fault… and by fault I’m mean Calvinism (small joke).
But a few nights ago, I was in a worship service and I began to pray for everything that I felt lead to pray for. I prayed for my family, friends that were lost, things that were going on my life… and soon I began to pray for something I wanted. I didn’t need it. In fact, I considered it as more as a distraction and tucked the thought away. But as I prayed, my desire crept up and overflowed into my petition before God.

This was very unlike me.
I’m not one to deprive myself of the blessings of God, because my cup runneth over. Normally, the only time I pray for myself is when I’m late and I don’t want to run into traffic or cops. I know- I’m religious.

But I’ve caught myself praying for this ever since then.

And I’m caught between Psalm 37:4 and Luke 22:42.

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the LORD
       and he will give you
the desires of your heart.

 

Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.”

 

I’m trying to keep the blog post short- My conclusion when I return with my next post. Get ready for theology!!!

Until then- enjoy this unrelated video that I LOVE!

  

<3Kay

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Now its Easter… Go love your family and read you bible!!
<3Kay.

Isaiah 53:5

But he was pierced for our transgressions,
       he was crushed for our iniquities;
       the punishment that brought us peace was upon him,
       and by his wounds we are healed.

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There are times in my life where I find a song that probes the very beat of my heart.

For the time being, this is the song within my soul:

There’s a cry in my heart
For Your glory to fall
For Your presence to fill up my senses
There’s a yearning again
A thirst for discipline
A hunger for things that are deeper

Could You take me beyond?
Could You carry me through?
If I open my heart?
Could I go there with You?
(For I’ve been here before
But I know there’s still more
Oh, Lord, I need to know You)

For what do I have
If I don’t have You, Jesus?
What in this life
Could mean any more?
You are my rock
You are my glory
You are the lifter
Of my head
Lifter of this head

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