Friday, August 26, 2011

The Innocent Murderer

A man named Steven Ian Nichols murdered 5 people recently. He was actually caught murdering a sixth, chopping her up with a hand axe. He was caught literally "red-handed" and covered in her blood. However, the first words out of his mouth were words of denial. "I didn't do anything wrong." he Steven insisted.
Furthermore, when arrested, he was offended that the police thought he was a "bad" person. He maintained that while in past counseling, the counselors taught him the importance of self-esteem & that he was beautiful, no matter what people said. He firmly held that he was innocent because he is a beautiful, perfect person. When he appeared before the judge he kept his chin up with a wide grin. Maintaining great self-esteem and confidence that God looked down upon him with the same wide grin. Thanks to the counseling he too has good self-esteem and believes that he can do nothing wrong.

This reminds me of the song by Christina Aguilerra "Beautiful", or by Pink "Perfect" or modern culture in the USA that teaches that we are to believe we are good people, who don't have any darkness in us.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A conversation: Can you be a Christian and not follow Jesus?

Here is a conversation between "Fred" & me. This is a fun, faux conversation, that teaches. Enjoy.

Jeff: So Fred, what brings you in today?
Fred: I want to know if I am following Jesus.
J: Where is your heart headed? Your life?
F: I want to follow Jesus, but I keep screwing up.
J: We all stumble in many ways. Look at your direction. Who is at your finish line today?
F: Huh?
J: Who is standing there? Who are you or what are you running toward? What is on your heart right now?
Example- I was running a 100yd. dash once & at the finish line, I saw my dad standing. I ran hard directly at my dad. It was awesome!
What are you running at today?
F: Good?! It changes...all the time. Depends I guess.
J: Lets look at Luke 9:23-25
Jesus teaches 3 things for people who wish to follow Him:
1. Must deny self.
2. Pick up cross daily.
3. Follow Jesus.
Some questions to consider based on this passage are:
1. What are you living for? What's your primary passion?
2. It is a daily mortification of self, yes even moment to moment. It is a way of life, a decision we make. What is your decision? Will you pick up your cross and head toward Calvary today?
3. Do you strive to follow Jesus, without compromise? Or do you live assuming He doesn't really care if you follow?
F: Do you have to follow to be a Christian?
J: Absolutely!
F: What I mean is, do I have to follow Jesus/ be a Christian in order to be saved?
J: Saved people will strive to follow, out of gratitude (Ephesians 2:8-10, 2 Corinthians 5:17).
F: Good point. So, can I say, play sports and follow Jesus, etc...?
J: Maybe. Is that what He wants you to do?
Does it cause you to be disobedient or derail you from following (ex. Hebrews 10:24-25)?
And does it serve a greater purpose? To help others follow Him too?
Can you play a sport and follow after Jesus at the same time?
F: So, I can['t play a sport just for fun?
J: You can. But once again Christians live for a greater cause than self. We are to be about our Lord's business.
F: Which is???
J: Matthew 22, to love God & love people. Part of this is, "The Cause" found in Matthew 28, that Jesus called us to do. We are to obey Him & be all about His Cause (John 14:15).
F: So fun with a purpose?
J: A purpose greater than any national or international agenda!
[telemarketer calls & conversation ends]