Monday, February 24, 2014

Disunity: The Us vs. Us Mentality

"Disunity" by Wojtek Kowalski
I am saddened today by Christian "brothers" and "sisters" that point at other church bodies around them and tell others not to attend there because they have heard this or that about them.  I have to use quotes around "brothers" and "sisters" because I'm not so sure they consider me a brother if they think it necessary to dissuade others from attending the church Body that I am part of.

I am of the mind that if you believe in Jesus, God's only son, for your salvation, and you are seeking Him, you are my kin.  I don't care what you think of all the other doctrinal issues in our world.  I don't care if you are pre-tribulation, post-tribulation, Calvinist, Armenian, Wesleyan, Methodist, Four Square, Catholic, Assembly of God, Church of Christ, Non-instrumental, Baptist, Lutheran, Open Bible, etc.  But, I am continually reminded that there are those in this world who are arrogant enough to believe that their way of thinking and interpreting the Bible is the only way and will continue to bad-mouth the Body of Christ, His Bride, until the day He returns.  

I am reminded of Jesus' prayer for us recorded in John 17.  I continue to pray this over myself, over you, over the Church universal.  May we get it!  May we continue to grow in unity and love until Jesus returns.
20 “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one— 23 I in them and you in me—so that they may be brought to complete unity. Then the world will know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.  John 17:20-23 (NIV)
God, forgive me for when I have bad-mouthed your bride.  Help me to love Your Church the way you love Your Church.  Continue to work in us compassion, understanding, and love.  May there never be competition or envy.  May those who cause strife and division be silenced.  In Jesus' name! 

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

What Life Are You Waiting For?

In reading from Axiom by Bill Hybels, in the chapter, "What Life Are You Waiting For?" Bill penned this:
Many years ago I shared a conference stage with Joni Eareckson Tada.
Joni Eareckson Tada
She did a Q&A session following one of her talks, and someone in the audience asked her how she kept going - how she kept leading and serving and creating - despite her obvious physical challenges.
I'll remember her answer for a long, long time. She said, "This is the only time in history when I get to fight for God. This is the only part of my eternal story when I am actually in the battle. Once I die, I'll be in celebration mode in a glorified body in a whole different set of circumstances. But this is my limited window of opportunity, and I'm going to fight the good fight for all I'm worth."
 Joni got it right at the conference that day, and I came away from the event more resolute than ever that if I'm waiting for some other life to be courageous, then I'm kidding myself.
Then later at the end of the same chapter Bill writes,
This is the only leadership life I get, my one and only shot at following God the way I feel him prompting me to do so. This isn't some pregame warm-up. It's the game, and the clock is ticking!
 What life are you waiting for?
It's a good question and truth for me to ponder.  I am one that has allowed fear and doubt to control me. I have allowed those fears and doubts to become bigger in my mind than my God.  And I know the truth of the matter, that He is more than able and when I am weak, He is strong.  I need to walk according to those beliefs and be a good steward of this life I've been given to "fight the good fight for all I'm worth".