evangelism


Started my Christmasing today. Dropped off my Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes at a drop off location. Doing my part to light up a broken world.

We sang this song in church this morning (How He Loves Us https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JoC1ec-lYps) and I felt moved to remind you if you’ve forgotten, or inform you if you didn’t know, that He loves us.

Jesus did not have to stay hanging on the cross. He chose to stay hanging there. Nails did not hold him to the cross, love held him there, love for each and every one of us, past, present and future. What Jesus did that day at Calvary was the epitome of selfless love, i.e. choosing to do something for someone else regardless of the cost to self. Jesus did something for us that we could not do for ourselves – he created the way for us to get to heaven. He explained this to his disciple Nathaneal in the first chapter of the gospel of John, verse 51: “Then he said, ‘I tell you the truth, you will all see heaven open and the angels of God going up and down on the Son of Man, the one who is the stairway between heaven and earth.’”

Jesus’s action of staying nailed to that cross until he died was a gift of love for all people throughout time, including the people who crucified him and those who mocked and abused him as he hung on the cross. “The leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders mocked Jesus. ‘He saved others,’ they scoffed, ‘but he can’t save himself! So he is the King of Israel, is he? Let him come down from that cross right now, and we will believe in him! He trusted God, so let God rescue him now if he wants him! For he said, I am the Son of God’ (Matthew 27:41-43).

What the leading priests, teachers of religious law, and elders didn’t understand was that Jesus stayed on that cross for them. If Jesus had come down from that cross, which he was more than capable of doing, he would have saved himself. He would not, however, have saved them and he would not have saved us.

Excerpt from When Going with the Flow Isn’t Enough:

“God anoints. Human beings ordain. When God anoints someone to do something it is very different than someone deciding to go into professional ministry and being given the seal of approval, i.e. ordained, by human beings to do that work…It is important to understand that someone can be ordained by human beings to do something and not be anointed by God to do that same thing. It is also possible that someone can be anointed by God to do something and not have the approval or blessing of human beings to do that.”

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Going-Flow-Enough-Upstream/dp/1625860714/

It may surprise some people to know that not all Christ-followers are conservative and vote Republican. I believe that Jesus calls His followers to love liberally.

Love Thy Neighbor …
Thy Homeless Neighbor
Thy Muslim Neighbor
Thy Black Neighbor
Thy Gay Neighbor
Thy Immigrant Neighbor
Thy Jewish Neighbor
Thy Christian Neighbor
Thy Atheist Neighbor
Thy Disabled Neighbor
Thy Addicted Neighbor

It is important to remember that we can love and accept people for WHO they are, without accepting WHAT they do.

I was watching The Today Show this morning when the court of public opinion was referenced. I immediately felt grateful and relieved that I have learned to live my life for an audience of One, and not be swayed by the opinions of human beings.

Excerpt from When Therapy Isn’t Enough:

My spiritual wounds healed during my time of spiritual re-education … I learned that my worth and value come solely from being a child of God … I don’t have to please others or gain others’ approval in order for God to love me. He loves me no matter what, and he knew me and loved me before he placed me in my mother’s womb. There is nothing I can do to make him love me more, and there is nothing I can do to make him not love me. His love for me is not based on what I do or who I am. It is based on who he is. Feeling secure in his love, I now gratefully live my life for him. I am no longer bound by a sick need to please human beings and obtain their approval. I am living my life for an audience of One.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625861117/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1531867727&sr=1-2&keywords=When+Therapy+Isn%27t+Enough

Being a Christian is not about going to church, it’s about having a personal, intimate relationship with Jesus Christ and allowing yourself to be led by the Holy Spirit, rather than being governed by the law. Bruxy Cavey communicated this truth eloquently and clearly in his book The End of Religion (Colorado Springs, Colorado: NavPress, 2007). Some of my favorite quotes from that book are:

  • There is a difference, an important difference, between relating to God through systems of doctrine, codes of conduct, inherited traditions, or institutions of power, and relating to God directly, soul-to-soul, mind-to-mind, heart-to-heart. Jesus taught this distinction, lived this message, and was killed because of its implications.
  • Jesus’ call into a rule–free, principle–based spirituality is very difficult for religious people to fathom. Certainly, rule–less spirituality is only a constructive way to live if love is the guiding dynamic, the foundational principal of our lives. This is essential to Jesus’ message. Jesus never made rule–breaking a worthy goal in and of itself. His point was that rule–keeping should be a natural expression of something deeper, rather than a goal unto itself. Simply remove rules and you are left with anarchy. Transcend rules with love, and you are beginning to live like Jesus.
  • So here is the great irony – Jesus is happy to see his followers get organized in order to help spread the message that organizations are not the answer. Christ-followers read the Bible to learn of Jesus’ teaching that reading the Bible is not what makes us a Christian. We pray regularly in order to commune with the God who reminds us that praying regularly is not what makes us acceptable to him. We meditate to immerse our souls in the love of God that is already ours, not in order to somehow achieve a state of self-induced enlightenment. And we go to church to collectively celebrate the message that going to church is not what makes us God’s children.

Excerpt from When Doing Isn’t Enough:

Waiting is not popular in our modern society. Immediate gratification is popular. We want what we want now, and we do everything possible to get whatever it is we want now and avoid waiting…God appears to like waiting and seems to require it of anyone who will be used by him, particularly those who will be used in a significant way. When studying the lives of individuals in the Bible who have been used by God to accomplish extraordinary tasks there certainly seems to be a correlation between waiting and serving God in the extraordinary ways they were called to serve.

Link: https://www.amazon.com/When-Doing-Enough-Waiting-Plenty/dp/1625860838/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1508523850&sr=8-3&keywords=books+by+mary+detweiler

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