Archives For August 2017

Surrendering our lives to Jesus is not a trivial decision. It means leaving behind everything we have known and to place our trust in the hands of a God we’ve never seen. While “Surrendering your life to Christ” is a common phrase we hear in churches, I believe we do an insufficient job of explaining what such surrender means. Because surrender is a commonly understood word, I think we neglect to explain the ramifications of such a decision.

complete surrender,surrender,salvation,commitment,discipleship,Jesus is Lord,Jesus as Lord,Lord of your life

image © digitalskillet1 via Fotolia

Complete surrender is not conditional. There are no areas of our lives we get to keep for ourselves. There are no aspects of our personality over which we maintain control. Complete surrender is the only acceptable way by which we can be called true disciples of Jesus.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Mahatma Gandhi had a famous quote: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” It’s great advice. I believe we as followers of Jesus can subscribe to a similar quote: “Be the church you are praying for”. When I pray for the body of Christ in the world, I pray we will always act in love. I pray we show grace and mercy to everyone we encounter.  Perhaps most of all, I pray for unity among believers.

be the church,gandhi,be the change,kingdom of God,God's kingdom,discipline,discipleship,racism,passion,mission,Jesus is Lord,surrender,unity,church

image © monique delatour via Fotolia

We are an incredibly diverse bunch, and there are as many opinions as there are Christians. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is we look like Jesus to the world around us. We can’t be the church until we demonstrate his love and beauty to everyone we meet, regardless of their ethnicity, background, or social standing.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

We are not, by nature, a humble people. We desire to be praised and honored. At times, we even seek it. At the very least, we maintain a deep and sometimes hidden desire to be recognized and known. Our tendency to pursue selfish pleasures over the needs of others is rampant. God forgive us for having our focus on ourselves instead of others. Forgive us for not keeping our eyes on You.

we are not a humble people,humble people,humility,pride,humble,commitment,pride,Matthew 25:23,well done good and faithful servant,Matthew 22:37,greatest commandement,love the lord with all your heart,

image © gustavofrazao via Fotolia

Our preoccupation with self is destroying our lives, our purpose, and our sense of peace. If we would put Jesus first in our lives, if we would live lives looking like Him, we would be fulfilled and joyful. Alas, we are not a humble people. Humility seems to always lay just beyond our grasp.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

In Ephesians, chapter 2, verse 10, Paul tells us we have each been created to do the specific work God designed us to do. Have you ever paused to think how amazing this is? Each person in history, in every country, and in every time, has been born with a God-ordained purpose for their lives. When each of us fulfills our purpose, it becomes part of the greater whole. It’s another brick in the massive Kingdom of God.

doing the work,do the work,steven pressfield,myth of the blueprint,gregory boyd,greg boyd,open theism,freewill,commitment,kingdom of God,God's kingdom,works,mission,Ephesians 2:10,created for work,Isaiah 5:3–7,Jeremiah 3:19–20,Jeremiah 3:6-7,God was surprised,is god ever surprised

image © UMB-O via Fotolia

When we fail to do the work He designed us to do, there is something missing. There’s a gap which must be filled. It’s an awesome responsibility. I can’t believe the privilege of doing work God designed me to do. How amazing is that? We must never forget the magnitude of the honor, or the obligation to fulfill it.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

Reading A.W. Tozer, I was struck by a passage he wrote: “It cannot be but a major tragedy in the life of any man or woman to live in a church from childhood to old age and know nothing more real than some synthetic god compounded of theology and logic, but having no eyes to see, no ears to hear – and no heart to love!” How many of us have become content with a faith in Jesus which provides nothing more than a ticket to Heaven?

what are you doing,time,fleeting time.time is finite,commitment,discipleship,fear,passion,mission

image © Djordje Radosevic via Fotolia

Worse yet, how many have settled for a Christianity which makes little to no impact on the lives of those around us?  Is the life we are living worthy of what Christ endured for us on the cross?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

How are you doing, in this moment? In this season of life, where are you in your walk with Christ? What are you doing – right now – to reflect His love and character to those around you? In this moment, how are you living like Jesus? We don’t often go through our days pondering such questions, but why not? Why are we not consumed every minute with our Lord and Savior?

in this moment,maria brink,Jesus first,commitment,discipleship,priorities,Luke 12:20,your life will be demanded from you this night

image © Supertrooper via Fotolia

How is it we believe almost everything except God is worthy of our focus? When did it become okay to ignore our pledge to be His servants and for Him to be our Lord? Perhaps the bigger question to ask in this moment is what are we going to do to correct the mess of wrong thinking we’ve allowed into our lives?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

No one is off the hook when it comes to serving Jesus. In our American culture, church has become a place we go to on a certain day of the week. It’s a place where we sit attentively and interact minimally. We watch a select few lead in worship and a single individual deliver a message. Then we get up and shuffle orderly out the door and back into our lives.

your local church,bill hybels,willow creek,greg mcclain,wesleyan church hamburg,Ephesians 4:1-16,unity,local church,light of the world,priorities,commitment,mission

image © sunlover616 via Fotolia

We might have some coffee, donuts, and shallow conversation on our way in or out of the building, but that’s about it. For many, this is the extent of their church-going experience. We’re not involved or invested. It’s become a selfish and borderline narcissistic exercise.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

This is a topic I revisit every so often, but probably not often enough. We need to remember the persecuted around the world. Every day while we enjoy the comforts and freedom of our lives, our brothers and sisters in Christ are facing unspeakable torture and persecution. Throughout the New Testament, Paul urged all believers to be united as one (Ephesians 4:1-16). Jesus prayed His followers would be as close as He and His Father are (John 17:21).

remember the persecuted,persecution,Christians,martyrdom,martyr,commitment,prayer,the church,unity,mission,John 17:21,be one as you and I are one,1 Corinthians 12:26,when one suffers,all suffer,Ephesians 4:1-16,be united

image © cunaplus via Fotolia

To be united, to stand as one, we must continuously pray for and identify with our fellow believers around the world. Allow me to throw down a challenge to you in the form of a question: how much time are you spending in prayer for our brothers and sisters in chains?

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…

My personality is such I try to become better every day. It’s the way I’m wired. What this means for me is, each day I look to improve my relationship with God and the way I live for Him. I look for ways to be better in my job, and to hone my writing craft. I am always on the lookout for processes and methodologies to make me more efficient and effective in everything I do. Truth be told, I’m probably a bit (or a lot) obsessive about these things.

better every day,personal development,effective,efficient,improvement,self help,commitment,discipleship,discipline,gifts,mission,purpose

image © berc via Fotolia

I am of the conviction God has given me gifts and talents to be used for His glory, and I have an extraordinary appreciation for the shortness of time. I want to maximize whatever He has entrusted to me so I might bring God immense glory and leave His mark on this world before I depart.

Click Here to Continue Reading this Post…