Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Lost Get Found

Yesterday I was visiting with my sister-in-law and cousin. We were talking about praise and worship music, my cousin was recommending a new CD she is listening to that inspires her. She made the comment "It really moved me."

I love music and am often moved by different songs. Today as I was driving home, I was listening to K-love. The song is by Britt Nicole, The Lost Get Found. I was moved to tears as I thought about the words that I so often sing, but never really hear.

I realized how many times our actions as Christians speak louder than any preacher could ever preach. So many people will never step foot into a church, until they come to Christ. But it is the message of our life that ministers to the lost. It is the difference that we should portray from the rest of the world that stands out and makes the lost take notice.

I was reminded of a young man that I have felt led to witness and pray for on a regular basis. He is lost. I have tried to be a good role model with my life, and my kids have too. But my heart was broken at the times that my life has modeled that of the world, and not that of my Lord and Savior.

The song says "So when you get the chance, Are you gonna take it?
There's a really big world at your fingertips, And you know you have the chance to change it."

I think about the chances that I failed and wonder if I will ever get them back. The chance to show him that Christians are different, in a good way. A chance to show him that the love of God is not demanding, but all encompassing. It is not because I am a Christian that I don't do certain things, but because in God's love for me. Because of my relationship with Him, I no longer want to do certain things.I know God can save him despite my shortcomings, but I want to make sure I take the chances that are given to me, so the lost get found!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The smallest part

We started our new discipleship study on Wednesday, the message was "The Church and you." One of the scriptures discussed was I Cor. 12:12-31, where Paul writes about the importance of the individual parts of the body in comparison to the individual members in the body of Christ.

We started talking about how everyone is important and needed in the body of Christ. And that even the person who doesn't think they have an impact on the body of Christ does impact it. And what about the members that are missing, those that have made a decision to walk away from God?

I started to think of the small body parts, that we so often take for granted. appendix, spleen, toes and chromosomes. Each one has the ability to impact the whole body, even though they are so small - some causing lasting damage.

The appendix is about 3 1/2 inches long, some question its purpose in the body, however if it becomes inflamed, it can burst and if left untreated can cause death. The little lady that sits quietly on the pew each week without saying a word, overlooked by many. She may seem like she has lost her passion and has no purpose. Maybe she is alone and has no one to share her burdens, but maybe she is the lady that prays the powerful prayers of faith. If no one reaches out to connect, what if the cares of this world start to inflame her prayer life?

The spleen is four inches long, if it has to be removed there are life long consequences as the body is less able to fight off certain infections. I am sure that there are many spiritual warriors that have went on to be with the Lord, they left a legacy that will continue to work God's mercy in the life of the church, but what this generation that is not being taught about spiritual warfare, how will they continue to fight off the infections brought by principalities and evil forces?

Birth defects develop when something is wrong with the genes or chromosomes. Genetic disorders like Down syndrome or chromosomal disorders like cystic fibrosis are caused by an altercation in one of the smallest parts of the body. Sometimes these altercations make an impact on the way someone looks. Other times they cause developmental delays. Some disorders can lead to death. All this because of a small altercation in the smallest part of the body or because it is missing. I wonder what we miss because certain members do not carry out their God given function in the body of Christ, or are not completely obedient to God's directions. Certainly when individual members act out, it can cause the lost to look and make judgements about the appearance of Christ in this world. Or maybe the delay in miracles happening or great moves of God being slow to come is because the members of the body do not act in unity with each other and in accordance with God's plan for each individual. And how many are lost because of the failed actions of individual members?

People with amputated big toes may have some difficulty when they attempt to run or increase the speed of their gait. This is because the body uses the big toe to push off from the ground when it wants to accelerate. How much momentum is lost in the body of Christ when we cast aside those that fail? Is the rate in which the lost are reached decreased because there is no one to push off of and get those members left in forward momentum?

I realized that maybe I will never be Billy Graham, Joyce Meyers, John Bevere or Francis Chan, but I have a role in the body of Christ. It is an important role. Although there are times that I question my purpose, I know however small my part I must play it.

I know that in order for the Body of Christ, the Church to reach it's full potential, it will take me, all the great leaders, and each and every Christian. We must each be doing what God has laid before us, because no one else can do our part. An eye can not be a toe, a finger can not be an ear. We each have a role, and even the smallest part must be played out to the full.

I Cor. 12:12 "The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body. So it is with Christ."

Sunday, May 2, 2010

That's not faith

I have been reading "Discover the Real Jesus" by Bill Bright. There is this line that reads "Jesus expects us to pray in Faith."

As I read that, I thought "Why would you pray in anything except faith?" I mean when you pray you make petition to the Lord for things. Why would you not pray believing He would answer "Yes." If it is worth asking for, it is worth having faith for it.

That quiet, still, small voice reminded me of the many times I have prayed without faith.

1) Praying as a last resort.
2) Praying because I need to say "I tried."
3) Praying so I could place the blame on God when it doesn't come to pass.
4) Praying with a double mind.

I have done all of these things, and I am sure many more examples of prayers without faith.

When you have run through all the options and then turn to God, that is not faith.
God should be the first I turn to, not the last.

When I pray just because it is the right thing to do, that is not faith.
My part is not just asking. My part is having faith to believe God for what I am asking.

If my motives are wrong or I know it is not in line with God's will, and it doesn't come to pass, it has nothing to do with faith. Sometimes God may say "no", He has something better in store for me - this does not mean that God is to blame for it, it means that I have to have to have faith that He has a better plan.

When I ask for something, and then with the same breath tag on a question of if He will do it. That is not faith. I can't say "God heal this person, if it is your will." Or "God save this person, if it is your will." That "If" makes it double sided and not only questions my request, but also the validity of God's word.

Lord, help me to pray in faith, at all times.