Friday, July 30, 2010
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Friday, July 16, 2010
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I think this characteristic goes back to those people that truly feel their "duty" as a Christian is to go to church on Sunday and maybe do a few other things here and there. Maybe it's me, but I feel, at times, that we live in this "check-the box-off" society. Everything is task oriented, not about relationships. I have friends that compartmentalize so much of their lives that their "To-Do Lists" include things like: play with the children and talk to God. We have turned the most simple things in our lives into hoops that we must jump through... for what?
The concept of serving God has fallen victim to this same plague. I know there are people out there that serve because they think it's what's expected of them... not because they WANT to serve the Lord. On the flip side, I also know people that throw themselves into service... but not necessarily because they want to serve the Lord either. These people like the attention it brings them... not the Lord. Then you have people like me. I've been known to bite off more than I can chew from time to time... but then again, it isn't because I genuinely want to serve God. For me it was about wanting to draw closer to Him, and I thought my actions, my service, would do that.
Sometimes, I'm left wondering: Who do we serve? God...ourselves...money? What are we motivated by? Over the last few weeks, I've been serving God in a way that might make others uncomfortable... and, to be quite frank, it has made me a little uncomfortable. Going up to strangers and starting a conversation about God would have definitely fallen into my "Jesus Freak" category a few weeks ago. But a funny things has happened to me over the past few weeks. I'm praying more. I'm reading the bible more. I'm talking about me faith more....not out of obligation, but out of desire. I want to serve Him more, for no other reason than TO SERVE HIM MORE. For so long, my service to God has been about something else...motivated by something else. Now, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off of me and there is no limit to how much of myself I would give to Him.
Surprise! This ISN'T a Chan video... but it's still REALLY good! The first time I watched it, I was convicted, to say the least. You might need to watch it twice. What I'd like you to do today is share this video with someone else (Christian or not) and get their perspective. Start a dialogue about our faith and what, if anything, we may put above Him.
Monday, July 12, 2010
As I get deeper and deeper into this study, it is becoming painfully aware that I have mixed Biblical principles with modern social mores....meaning that my frame of reference for "Right and Wrong" are not solely based on Biblical principles. They are also based on what society has conditioned me to believe... what I have ALLOWED. In my example, the latter obviously trumped the former. In our society, we overwhelming promote the belief of "an eye for an eye," or "what comes around goes around." In our society it's about looking out for number one. And, I guess, with our faith, the same principle holds true... except, in that case, the number one is God... not us!
I grew up with my dad always telling me that I have to look out for #1 because no one else is going to. And I will admit that holding on to that mantra has gotten me through a lot of heart aches in life. But, on the flip side of that, it has held me back from endless possibilities. I always expect the worst from people... so that way I wasn't disappointed in the end. But maybe if I tried to find the best in people, things would be different. Maybe if I caught myself being negative... and forced myself to be positive... then things would start to change. Sometimes, despite our efforts, it's just too difficult to love a negative person. But, I need to do a better job of understanding that there's a reason people are negative. Something horrible could be going on in their lives. There's a reason people are snobby or obnoxious...maybe they were raised that way, or maybe they are masking their own insecurities. We need to stop writing people off so easily just because they rub us the wrong way, or offend our sensibilities. We need to stop holding ourselves on a pedestal, because we are not worthy. The only one we need to hold up is God.
Spend some time thinking about someone you find hard to love... maybe you can think of more than one. Pray that God opens your eyes and your heart to those people. Ask for Him to help you love them more... and maybe love yourself less.
Friday, July 9, 2010
This actually ties in to my last post quite well, but, for today, I really want to focus on the last part of what Chan says: "... that sort of total devotion isn't really possible for the average person; it's only for pastors and missionaries and radicals." Now, my first thought after reading this went something like... "Well, if pastors and missionaries aren't radicals... as far as their love and devotion to God... then who is?" I mean think about it. These people love God so much that they devote their whole lives to God. They focus their careers on God and sharing His message. That's a pretty significant level of devotion, right? Isn't that radical? Maybe it is for those of us that, either intentionally or unintentionally, limit our devotion to Sunday morning, or a few other times scattered throughout the week. But, it still begs to question...who are the radicals?