Sunday, June 19, 2011

How to be a Spiritual Giant?

Being a Real vs. Fake Spiritual Giant: Smack Talkers & Over Achievers

Luke 17:5-10

What do smack talkers, over achievers, and religious people have in common? They all talk a big game or try to show they are accomplishing much for God, but are they?

Back to this verse- Matthew 7:22–23 (NASB95)

22 “Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’

23 “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’

Thought question:

Rather than being showy or talking a big game, what does Jesus really want us to be about?

1. An example of the type of person Jesus wants us to be like- Hebrews 11:32-40

2. Discussion: What makes these people different than the regular religious person?

Luke 17:5–10 (NASB95)

5 The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!”

6 And the Lord said, “If you had faith like a mustard seed, you would say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and be planted in the sea’; and it would obey you.

7 “Which of you, having a slave plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come immediately and sit down to eat’?

8 “But will he not say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat, and properly clothe yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; and afterward you may eat and drink’?

9 “He does not thank the slave because he did the things which were commanded, does he?

10 “So you too, when you do all the things which are commanded you, say, ‘We are unworthy slaves; we have done only that which we ought to have done.’ ”

“We have done that which we ought to have done.”

Today many people talk a big faith, they wear Jesus t-shirts, they put a Bible on their nightstand, they don’t cuss, they are critical of dirty pagans, they attend church, they even do an occasional good thing. But are they doing what Jesus tells them to do? Are you obeying what Jesus has called you to do? (see John 14:15).

  1. What are the rules Jesus wants us to obey? Love God, love people.
  2. How do we know if we are doing this?

Reflective Questions- Do you have a passion to know Jesus more and more? Is it your desire to love God & love others according to how His word describes? Do you love His church, and look forward to being a part of the body of believers, or is it something your parents make you do? Do you have a desire to care for the people around you? And then are you actively pursuing/doing these three things?

Negative reflective questions- Do you consider yourself a “good” Christian, yet seldom, if ever, seek God or even think about how you can bring Him glory? Are you so involved in work, sports, drama, friends that His Bride, the body of Christ gets less of your passion and time (Heb. 10:25)? Is you commitment to the Church shrinking and are you justifying that it is okay? Are you always too busy to get involved in serving people, and caring for the needy and hurting? Do you rarely get involved in Church or youth group service projects or mission trips because of sports, work, it is too hot, or you just forgot?

You can’t be a real spiritual giant, or even call yourself a Christ-follower if, in the grind of life, He is low on the priority list. I guess you can talk smack, but Jesus sees right through it. He expects His followers to follow. This is the secret to being a giant in the faith. In fact, spiritual giants are made from obedience in the day to day.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Persecution 101: The City Gates

In many Jewish villages, there were "city idols" that stood at the city gates. In order to come into the city to buy or sell, you would have to pay homage to that city god.
Well, what would you do if you were a follower of Jesus? Would you pay homage so you can buy food? Would you pay homage so you could sell product to provide for your family?

The Christians did not, and many of them suffered because of it. They had to go outside the city to sell product, to buy product. However, the people bought & sold at the city gates, not outside the city.

This reminds me of sports, and other activities today. We don't see idols- things that sit on shelves or pedestals. We see things like, "I can't go to church if I want to play on a team". Where people give up, compromise their walk with Christ for the sake of being able to play sports and have friends on the sports teams. This is, in many ways, more difficult because there is no law that teaches that you have to be at all church events or church gatherings. Furthermore, enemies of the Word like George Barna, who are influential in Christian circles are teaching that being involved in the body of Christ is optional. "Personal relationship with Jesus" is taught, and taught that obeying Acts, Hebrews, and 1 John where we need to be gathering with the believers in an INCREASING manner, is optional.

Maybe Christians need to say, "On Sunday morning I get to be with the believers, and worship together, in obedience to God", "And I will go with the Church when they do different functions, and skip my practice. Therefore, maybe I cannot play sports in this culture." People are ditching the teachings of Scripture in order to gain the things of this world- friends, prestige, and to play on a sports team. May God forgive them. May Christians today be willing to sell outside the city gates & never bow to idols. May they follow Jesus, and not bend to the pressures of this world.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Findlay People are Wicked

There is a view in middle USA, that believes that we are pretty good people & God is not disappointed with us. We believe that we are moral & will enter God's good graces when we die, because we aren't bad.

In my opinion, people in Hancock county, Findlay are corrupt, and have committed terrible injustices. There is no one who does good at all.
God has looked down from heaven upon Findlay to see if there is anyone who is wise, who seeks after God.
Every one of them has turned aside; together they have become corrupt. There is not one Findlay person who I found who does good, not even one (Psalm 53).

So where does our idea of "we are good people" come from?
It is surely pride & depravity of heart. It is a total debacle of our understanding of what moral and good is. It is people... you saying you believe in God, but really you do not. You are of the same faith as the atheist, but even worse because you believe you are better off, more holy then they, and you deceive yourself. You hold to a made up idea of godliness, but deny God's real power. You do "good" deeds on occasion to feel better about yourself. You attend church "more than Joe" does, and use the most godless person you can think of to compare yourself, when all the while Jesus is the one we are to be comparing ourselves to. You give some money to charity, so you feel noble. You don't listen to that "bad music" and maybe even to Christian music, yet you devour your neighbors with your thoughts.

O that you would see that you are not as good, nearly as good as you think you are.

So what is the remedy for this? Is there any hope for you? There is, but I am pretty sure you are too busy to really care. And am I any better than you?

John 3:16, John 10:10. There is one who took up this monumental task, so that we could be declared righteous before God, so that we could be saved from God tearing us to pieces (Psalm 50:22). Sadly, you probably don't even care because somehow you still believe that you really don't need saving. Well, you will find out.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Saved vs. Lost people

The difference between saved people and the unsaved is simple.
Saved people admit that they are not perfect and need salvation.
Lost people do not admit that they have shortcomings and don't believe they need saving.

The former comes to Jesus, THE savior. The latter do not because they don't see the benefit.