What if all it took to bring us to our knees and to ignite our affections was the Word opened and the presence of God? What if that was enough for us? What if it didn't take a great band to evoke that kind of response from us in worship? What if His presence - His Word opened - what if it was enough?
We will not wish we had made more money, acquired more stuff, lived more comfortably, taken more vacations, watched more television, pursued greater retirement, or been more successful in the eyes of this world. Instead, we will wish we had given more of ourselves to living for the day when every nation, tribe, people, and language will bow around the throne and sing the praises of the Savior who delights in radical obedience and the God who deserves eternal worship.
As long as you and I understand salvation as checking off a box to get to God, we will find ourselves in the meaningless sea of world religions that actually condemn the human race by exalting our supposed ability to get to God. On the other hand, when you and I realize that we are morally evil, dead in sin and deserving of God's wrath with no way out on our own, we begin to discover our desperation for Christ.
This is the gospel. The just and loving Creator of the universe has looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent His Son, God in the flesh, to bear His wrath against sin on the cross and to show His power over sin in the resurrection so that all who trust in Him will be reconciled to God forever.
Anyone wanting to proclaim the glory of Christ to the ends of the earth must consider not only how to declare the gospel verbally but also how to demonstrate the gospel visibly in a world where so many are urgently hungry. If I am going to address urgent spriitual need by sharing the gospel of Christ or building up the body of Christ around the world, then I cannot overlook dire physical need in the process.
Being a member of a church means realizing that we are responsible for helping the brothers and sisters around us to grow as disciples of Jesus. In the same way, they are responsible for helping us. We desperately need each other in the daily fight to follow Christ in a world that's full of sin.
Do you and I believe him (Christ) enough to obey him and to follow him wherever he leads, even when the crowds in our culture - and maybe in our churches - turn the other way?...For the sake of an increasingly marginalized and relatively ineffective church in our culture, I want to risk it all. For the sake of my life, my family, and the people who surround me, I want to risk it all.
The way we use our money is a barometer of our present spiritual condition. Our neglect of the poor illustrates much about where our hearts lie. But even more than that, the way we use our money is an indicator of our eternal destination. The mark of Christ followers is that their hearts are in heaven and their treasures are spent there
We act, though, not under a utopian illusion that you or I or anyone or everyone together can rid this world of pain and suffering. That responsibility belongs to the resurrected Christ, and he will do it when he returns. But until that day, we do with an undivided heart whatever God calls us to do.
If we were left to ourselves with the task of taking the gospel to the world, we would immediately begin planning innovative strategies and plotting elaborate schemes. We would organize conventions, develop programs, and create foundations… But Jesus is so different from us. With the task of taking the gospel to the world, he wandered through the streets and byways…All He wanted was a few men who would think as He did, love as He did, see as He did, teach as He did and serve as He did. All He needed was to revolutionize the hearts of a few,... Read more »
When God tells us to give extravagantly, we can trust Him to do the same in our lives. And this is really the core issue of it all. Do we trust Him? Do we trust Jesus when He tells us to give radically for the sake of the poor? Do we trust Him to provide for us when we begin using the resources He has given us to provide for others? Do we trust Him to know what is best for our lives, our families, and our financial futures?