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All posts for the month September, 2010

Luke 14:25-35

Hate everyone else by comparison
Carry your own cross
Count the cost
Give up everything you own

Quite a list by Jesus to describe a follower of His. If ever I think I have arrived at being the kind of person I want to be I am reminded of how I fall short. And yet what I’m finding is that I no longer am motivated to do better out of guilt, but out of a desperate desire to be like Jesus.

What’s your response when you see this list often called the cost of discipleship?

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Yesterday I brought up a small fear I have…here it is: does God want his church to be poor and small? This question came out of a discussion about how hard we sometimes work to grow the church…to the point where we own it more than God. Why do we do that? Are we afraid that if we let go, God will keep His church small and poor?

After some great discussion we came to the conclusion that blessed are the poor in spirit and great leadership is marked by humility. How does that relate to the above? We recognized that the early church grew rapidly and often there were gatherings of thousands. But the leaders were humble and poor in spirit. They were small and poor individually so God could be big and rich in others.

What do you think?

Scripture: Luke 11:9-10
9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

Observation
Nick Vujicic, a man with no arms or legs spoke to our church this past Sunday. He referenced this passage as he explained why God has yet to give him arms or legs.

When you read this passage you immediately think that what you ask for is what you actually receive; what you seek you find. But what if doesn’t mean that literally? What if means that God will give you something, help you find something, or open a door for you? And that something isn’t necessarily what you begged for, but something better?

After hearing Nick speak I totally understand why God hasn’t given Nick arms or legs. But isn’t it harder to see that for ourselves amidst our own pain and circumstances?

Application
To embrace my situation as an opportunity for God to work through my life.
To find meaning in my suffering.

Prayer
God it is in my weakness that you are strong. I will continue to persist in prayers for healing both for me and those in my life, but teach me to be content in all things. To find meaning and purpose in whatever condition I find myself in.

Barna reported the following: “most of the religious beliefs, behaviors and expectations that define a person’s life have been developed and embraced by the age of 13; relatively little changes after that time.”

So, if this is true, which I believe it is, a couple thoughts come to mind:

1) why do we (the church) spend so much time and resources talking to the adults when barna also reported that less than 15% of adults change anything about their lives or the way they think based on spiritual conversations?

2) why aren’t we (the church) spending more time and resources on helping children and families develop their thinking and living about God and his impact in every aspect of their lives?

Let me put a couple challenges out there:

1) if you have kids, make it a priority to get them to every possible spiritual opportunity (church, youth group, Christian concerts, etc)

2) get upset about this statistic and stop being stuck in old ways. Be teachable whether you are 12 or 82.

Location:Badger Rd,Bend,United States

Reflecting on I Heart Central Oregon and wondering what the impact is of a one-time event. Some would argue that the cost of putting an event on like this outweighs the impact. I guess I’m not totally sure, but one thing I’m confident of is that thousands of people who rarely, if ever, hear the good news of Jesus Christ, heard it last night. Whats that worth? A hundred dollars? A thousand? Ten thousand? More?

What I appreciate about this particular event is that it was hand in glove with helping the poor, serving the community, and showing love in action. The speaker and the band got very little compared to the time and energy they gave. And they did it without question and with pure hearts. So many organizations and churches gave to make this event happen. I think they should be proud of their contribution in planting these seeds.

So when I think of how many churches worked together, how many non-profits were served, how cities came together, this event was worth far more than it cost.

Thanks to Nick and his entire team. They were amazing.
Thanks to Elliot. You guys brought it!
Thanks to the entire I Heart Campaign for seeing this before anyone else did and walking in faith to make it happen.

This is just the beginning. For those reading, what’s next? What do you think? How do we take the momentum that was created and not necessarily try to do something bigger, but something even more effective and life transforming? What are your ideas?

Location:Voltera Pl,Bend,United States