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Monthly Archives: September 2007

A Life of Wonder…

Dangerous WonderBut you, Timothy, man of God: Run for your life from all this. Pursue a righteous life—a life of wonder, faith, love, steadiness, courtesy. Run hard and fast in the faith. Seize the eternal life, the life you were called to, the life you so fervently embraced in the presence of so many witnesses. -1 Timothy 6:11-12

When I think of a life of wonder and faith I can’t help but be reminded of a book I read several years ago. In his book Dangerous Wonder: The Adventure of Childlike Faith, the late Mike Yaconelli suggests four obstacles that block adults from living the childlike faith that Jesus calls us to:

  • The obstacle of dullness: we have made faith safe and comfortable, but the faith Jesus taught was radical and transforming.
  • The obstacle of the dream stealers: we make a relationship with the living God into ritual and rules, quenching the work of the Spirit.
  • The obstacle of predictability: we put God in a box, never allowing him to surprise us, challenge us, or show us something new, thus stifling the creativity of God.
  • The obstacle of the banal: we become so immersed in our culture and in the material needs and wants of life, that we fail to live in abject dependence on God for every breath of air and every bite of bread.

If you are challenged by Paul’s words to Timothy and you want to live a life filled with wonder faith and love, I suggest you pickup the book, Dangerous Wonder. If you click on the picture of the book, it will take you to Amazon. I know you’ll love it!

be blessed..

-pastorj

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2007 in Devotional Thoughts

 

Okay then… Let’s not go there!

BFThe Spirit makes it clear that as time goes on, some are going to give up on the faith and chase after demonic illusions put forth by professional liars. These liars have lied so well and for so long that they’ve lost their capacity for truth. They will tell you not to get married. They’ll tell you not to eat this or that food—perfectly good food God created to be eaten heartily and with thanksgiving by believers who know better! Everything God created is good, and to be received with thanks. Nothing is to be sneered at and thrown out. God’s Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy.  1 Timothy 4:1-5

It’s kind of sad, but as you read this scripture you can undoubtedly think of 1 or 2 or more churches that you have attended that operate in the very thing that Paul is speaking against above.  In fact, in many churches, delineating what is holy and what is not holy for people to consume or participate in is the very foundation of that body’s faith.  It is almost like there is a following of people out there that want to be told what to do and what not to do.  Just give me the rules, and I will attempt to abide.  It is any ugly thing, but what it really reveals is a lack of understanding of who God really is and a lack in understanding of what grace truly is.

We serve a big God that is full of Grace.  In the rest of this chapter, Paul encourages Timothy to live by the faith that brought him safe thus far.  We too would be wise to do the same.  As soon as we start trusting and living by the rules of man then we slowly move out focus away from God.  And that is the foundation of all sin.  Keep your eyes on HIM today and as always…

be blessed…
-pastorj

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2007 in Devotional Thoughts

 

The Joy of The Lord

I know, I know. I have been gone lately. Well, I’m back. Things are going well and the Lord sure is moving in amazing ways. This definitely is a whole new season of mine and Amy’s lives and we are only beginning to see what the Lord has planned. Stay tuned for big things!

Today, as I read in 1 & 2 Thessalonians, I was overwhelmed at the joy that pours out as Paul shares about his life in Christ. Even as he shares about the struggles of bringing the message of Jesus to often resistant and sometimes brutal groups of people, the joy he experiences in Jesus just pours through the pages. It really is an overflow.

Sometimes I wonder, “Where is that kind of joy in the church today?” Don’t get me wrong, I am starting to see it more and more, but it seems that much of the church is still held in an incredible amount of dull, boring, slumbering bondage. If you want to see true joy today, often you have to look to the world of sports. I did a Google image search for the words joy and jubilant. I wasn’t surprised to find mostly sports imagery Jubilantreturned to me. As I looked at these pictures of people overjoyed by crossing the finish line or making the big score, I began to ponder what it is that causes this intense joy in the sports arena.  I don’t proclaim to have some new insight, but I asked the Lord, “Why is this?” and this is what I received:

People want to be overcomers.  They want to be victorious.  At the heart of the human experience, there is this drive in all of is (no matter how suppressed) that causes us to want to come out on top.  Sports are a pathway to achieve this innately human goal.  When this type of joy and jubilation don’t translate into the life of the church it is a symptom of the lack of understanding and experiencing the life of a true overcomer found in Christ.  People don’t see the church as a “winning team” and therefore don’t ever really experience the joy of being in Christ.

Brothers and sisters, I have great news for you.  We have much to be jubilant for!  Jesus is the ultimate winner, the ultimate overcomer and the church is and will be the most winning team in history.  If we are on HIS team, this will be said of us:

I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day–and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.  1 Timothy 4:7-8

be blessed…
pastorj

 
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Posted by on September 2, 2007 in Devotional Thoughts