Saturday, December 15, 2007

a love >revolution< THE REAL PROOF

Q: Revolution - what comes to mind when you hear that word?
Q: How often do you hear that word associated with church?

Most images and thoughts associated with the word revolution are rarely if ever found in the context of our church life. Yet revolution is something we must embrace or we may find ourselves separated from the Vine. This one issue alone has the potential to change or revolutionize the church like never before. Because we’ve grown accustom to a soft sell gospel, we’ve forgotten that Jesus calls us to absolute allegiance. And that allegiance has a very specific look and feel to it.

• John 15:1-8 >GK for prune also means cleanse<

Q: Where are these branches located? >Matthew 7:17-23<
Q: What happens to fruitless branches? >Matthew 3:7-10<

When we find ourselves in Him, by His grace through faith, there is an ongoing process of repentance that is to occur, an ongoing change in our thinking and being. Our transformation is rarely completed over night. But very often takes time and testing, but in that time change will occur as we avail ourselves to the Lord, His Spirit and His Word. The change God is brining about in us is seen most clearly in our outward behavior. Our likeness should be slowing dying and Christ’s likeness should be growing more and more evident. >2 Corinthians 13:5<

Q: What happens to fruitful branches? >Matthew 7:24-29<

• John 15:9-17

Q: How do we remain in His love?
Q: How do we achieve complete joy?
Q: What is the command He gave us to obey?

This present generation is challenged in almost every area of life, with one exception, their resemblance of Christ to the world. We must be willing to embrace this challenge. We must determine in our hearts 1) that we love Jesus and the Father and 2) that we will obey His command.

• Philippians 2

Be warned, this revolution is not for the unwilling, the timid, nor the selfish. We must be people of divine knowledge. We must take what the Lord has given us and live it!

Know the cost >Luke 14:25-35<
Know the road >Matthew 7:13-14; Luke 13:22-30<
Know the plan >John 13:34-35; 1 John 4<

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Religion or Real Faith?

Just a few days ago, I saw a news report following one of the presidential candidates public announcements about his faith. The commentators were interviewing several radio personalities who had people call into their show following the speech on faith.

The dominant Conservative response was this in a nutshell. "We don't care what religion a person is, just as long as they have faith in God and are not an atheist." The men being interviewed indicated that almost every single caller responded in kind.

So my thinking is this, have we gotten to the place where, "faith" in any religion or any philosophy is enough to give us comfort and confidence in a presidential candidate.

And if so, does that same sentiment hold for what ever church a person chooses. "Oh... it doesn't really matter what religion I am or church I attend, as long as it makes me feel good and gives me a sense of something to believe in."

My contention is this... what type of "faith" a person has, does matter. It must be fully biblical faith in Jesus Christ alone. I often believe that we've come to the place where genuine Christianity... Christianity that is NOT concerned with popularity... has all but been replaced by designer types of neo-christian faith.

I for one am very unsettled by things like this.