Archive for August, 2008

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I thought you were a Christian, Part 1

August 30, 2008

A few months ago my wife and a few friends were on a mission trip together. One of our friends works at a local restaurant with several of my “fellow seminarians”.

According to the seminary admissions office, each seminary student must be a Christian. How would you imagine these seminary students acted as they served tables at this restaurant? Do you think you would have recognized the light of Christ in them? From the descriptions of my friend (who does not attend seminary), I wouldn’t have recognized them as Christians.

Their jokes, attitudes and service were so consistently poor that my friend said to one of them, “I thought you were a Christian”.

As I witness not only the students at the seminary (including myself) but also teachers at a local Christian school and the attending students, I am more and more convinced that Christians are not aware of why they are going to heaven and what a Christian should be doing along the way.

In that context I’m going to go through several verses of Scripture to help myself and any readers understand why we should either conform ourselves to Scripture or stop calling ourselves Christians.

In my next post, I’ll look at Colossians 1:21-23:

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He
has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to
present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting
from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed
in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister.

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Is there anywhere you wouldn’t pray?

August 25, 2008

In a post on Rapid Fire, Robert E. Sagers poses a good question – “Is there anywhere you wouldn’t pray, if asked?”

Sagers questions us after reviewing Donald Miller’s decision to give the benediction to the Democratic National convention.

Although I disagree with Mr. Miller on many things, I think he responds well when he says, “This is about any believer who’s called and asked to come and pray. No matter you’re called to pray, you go”. It’s not as obligatory as Miller suggests but why wouldn’t we go pray? You can include a lot of God-exalting, exclusively Christ-centered, anti-abortion appeals to God for repentance to be granted. The questions might become, could you do it and still obey Matthew 6:1,5?

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A Life of No Value

August 13, 2008

How would you value your life? By your ability to cook, earn money, program computers, make friends, entertain? Or maybe by your family and their well-being?

The apostle Paul told the elders of the church at Ephesus that his life wasn’t worth anything.

But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. (Acts 20:24)

Paul valued his life as nothing so that he could finish the course and ministry his Lord Jesus gave him. Is that how we value our lives? Our ministry may not be the same type of testifying to the gospel of the grace of God as Paul did. But, as Christians, we do have a ministry by which we fully testify to the gospel of the grace of God. And why? Because our Lord Jesus gave us this course and our unique ministry. And we should count our lives of no value except that we fulfill the course and ministry our Lord Jesus Christ gives us.

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Sick for God

August 12, 2008

Most of the people who know me have come across the fact that I’m rarely ever sick. I had perfect attendance through all of school until college. I was only sick during vacations or holidays. Out of 5 years of work, I took 1.5 sick days.

So yesterday, when I was suddenly extremely fatigued, light-headed, and my joints ached, I was not sure what happened. As I walked back to my car after work I found it much easier to pray, depend on God and trust in Him because of the fatigue and extra weight I seemed to be carrying. I prayed that I would be in that condition more frequently, sick even, because of the renewed sense of dependence on my heavenly Father and His gift given through Jesus Christ.

The sickness didn’t last. It’s just about gone now. But I think it was a great lesson that my life should be lived like that, almost as if I was always sick, sick with (and of) sin – constantly keeping in mind that God “Himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything” (Acts 17:25).

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Fading Wonder

August 6, 2008

A few weeks ago I was given a security/access code at work, a privilege. The most frequently used advantage of this was the ability to use the restroom without going to another building. The initial wonder of such a privilege quickly faded. I now leave and return almost without noticing the wonder of being employed here for less than a year and having access to almost all of the information technology.

I think it’s good that it quickly faded though. It is a bit of a lesson for us that our earthly wonder fades but our wonder in the glory of God never should.

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness. – Lamentations 3:22-23

What great and unfading wonder it is that the love of the LORD never ceases for His people, nor do His mercies to them – they are new, every morning. We should have a great wonder and awe in the presence of our God. Through Jesus Christ we see the great love with which He loved us, the extent of His mercy and how faithful and just He is to forgive us anew each day (1 John 1:9)!