Mar 27 2011

Recalculating…

Throughout the Bible we find that God has a master plan for every person who comes into this world; we are each born with a God given purpose for our lives. God has designed each of us for a specific reason as part of His master plan for the planet, and for the people on the planet. Even before the time of our birth God has already laid out the perfect path for us to take as part of His perfect will.

Unfortunately we rarely follow the path, or paths, exactly the way God has designed. And so, like the Israelites who wandered in the desert for 40 years, we tend to take the long way around the will of God to end up where He could have taken us a lot sooner, and a lot easier. Sure, we experience a lot along the way and those experiences shape us into who we are, and some of those experiences may even help us to help others. Our passion and our drive is often based on our past experiences; and so we tend think, “if I didn’t go through this I wouldn’t be where God wanted me.”

But I can’t help but wonder, maybe if we followed the path He designed for us perfectly, we would have found our way into His will a lot sooner. Maybe if we stayed on the path instead of going off in our own direction, our experiences would have been different and yet still led us to have the same passions.

So as we wonder through this world, it’s almost like God is the GPS on the dashboard of our lives constantly redirecting us back down the right path and constantly saying, “recalculating.”

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you…” – Jer. 1:5
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jer. 29:11


Mar 24 2011

Confession, Conduct, and Congruence


We confess that we are Christians.  We confess our allegiance to the King of the universe.  We say that we follow Him and that we want to be like Him.  But our conduct does not match our confession and we rarely find congruence between the two.

Jesus said that we are to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength but it seems like we haven’t quite figured out what that means just yet.  Or maybe we have figured it out; maybe we know exactly what we are supposed to do but we allow ourselves to make excuses because we really don’t want to go to that level.

Are you giving God 100 percent?  Does your heart long to be just like Him?  Are you willing to spend every ounce of your strength in his service?  Does your soul cry out to the Creator?  Is your mind filled with His thoughts?

Maybe if we strived to be more like the Master, others would do the same.  Maybe if our conduct matched our confession, His blessings would match His promises.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” Mark 12:30


Mar 16 2011

Life Without Filters

As children we are taught to believe in things like Santa Clause, the tooth fairy, leprechauns, and other fairy tale characters. Our parents allow us to believe these things because it helps to filter out the harshness of life but as we grow out of adolescence we realize that these childhood fantasies are untrue; in essence, we learn to remove the filters our parents applied.

As adults we view polarizing issues such as politics, religion, and race through other filters–filters we acquired from our parents, or picked up in college, or attached through personal life experiences. The reality is that we tend to view life through the filters of what we have been taught. These filters tend to skew our way of thinking by forcing us into one-sided viewpoints and keeping us from considering other possibilities.

Christianity is a great example of this; we have so many different denominations with so many different theological viewpoints that we rarely agree inter-denominationally on any of our dogmatic beliefs. Did Jesus come to earth to create a new religion? Was God’s plan to spawn thousands of differing viewpoints? We are so busy filtering out everyone else’s opinions that we never stop to think about whether or not our own viewpoints could be wrong.

So here’s the deal, from God’s perspective there is only one viewpoint. Maybe if we tossed aside these filters we could clearly see God’s purpose. Maybe if we focused more on God and less on theology we could change the world. Maybe it’s time to live life without filters.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, and your ways are not my ways, says ADONAI. As high as the sky is above the earth are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Is. 55:8-9 (CJB)


Mar 11 2011

Souls, not structures

What’s the purpose of church?
What’s the purpose of “the church?”

Seems like the answer should be pretty easy but in reality we’ve turned the purpose of God into a convoluted mess.  God’s focus is on people but the mega churches of today seem to be more focused on expanding their property lines than reaching out to their communities.  The money we spend on fancy buildings would be better spent on feeding the poor or clothing the homeless; I wonder how many sandwiches or warm coats $8.5 million would buy.

I’m reminded of Jesus’ words from Matt. 7:24-27 “…but everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.”  I hope we aren’t building God’s house on sand.  Here’s the reality, hiding inside the walls of the church and waiting for the community to come to us will never work.

God’s focus is on people, not buildings.
Maybe our focus should be on souls and not structures.