Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Maranatha! Come Lord Jesus!

Here are a couple of illustrations from my latest sermon about the return of Jesus.

The word "maranatha" is a Syriac expression that means: "Our Lord comes." It was used as a greeting in the early church. When believers gathered or parted, they didn?t say "hello" or "goodbye," but "Maranatha!" If we had the same upward look today, it would revolutionize the church. O that God's people had a deepening awareness of the imminent return of the Savior!

Here is an example of the type of attitude we should have.

On the shore of beautiful Lake Como, nestled in the Italian Alps, is a lovely old villa, perhaps two or three hundred years old. For years the grounds have been immaculately kept by a trusted old gardener. One day some tourists were complimenting him on his work. “The owner must come here frequently to supervise your work,” one of them said.
“No, sir,” answered the gardener. “He has been here only once in fifteen years and then I did not see him.”
“Well, then, how do you get your orders?” came the next question.
“They come from the owner’s agent, who live in Milan,” the old man replied.
“Then he must come here often.”
“No, not often, perhaps once a year or so.”
“This is quite amazing,” said the tourist. “You have no one to supervise your work, and yet the grounds are as neat as if you expected the owner to come back tomorrow.”
“Today, sir!” came the old gardener’s firm reply. “Not tomorrow, today!”

Are you ready and watching for Jesus to come.

Monday, August 9, 2010

How committed are you?

Are you willing to suffer for your relationships with those in your church family? Here is an article about how the western church does not function like a family. Should we?

Is suffering for the Lord part of your life? I love reading about how Christians function in other parts of the world, because it gives me perspective.

I believe that suffering is a necessary part of learning to trust God, and that especially in America when we try to avoid all suffering we limit the opportunities to grow in our trust of God.

So check out this article. What do you think?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Atheist Creed

Here is the Creed for the Modern World without God.

Turner's Creed
This is an excerpt from Ravi Zacharias' book.
"Can Man Live Without God?"
and, in a very hard hiting, satirical way, Steve Turner says "No!"...
But we try to do it all the time....

by Steve Turner

We believe in Marx, Freud and Darwin
We believe everything is OK
as long as you don't hurt anyone
to the best of your definition of hurt,
and to the best of your knowledge.

We believe in sex before, during, and
after marriage.
We believe in the therapy of sin.
We believe that adultery is fun.
We believe that sodomy’s OK.
We believe that taboos are taboo.

We believe that everything's getting better
despite evidence to the contrary.
The evidence must be investigated
And you can prove anything with evidence.

We believe there's something in horoscopes
UFO's and bent spoons.
Jesus was a good man just like Buddha,
Mohammed, and ourselves.
He was a good moral teacher though we think
His good morals were bad.

We believe that all religions are basically the same-
at least the one that we read was.
They all believe in love and goodness.
They only differ on matters of creation,
sin, heaven, hell, God, and salvation.

We believe that after death comes the Nothing
Because when you ask the dead what happens
they say nothing.
If death is not the end, if the dead have lied, then its
compulsory heaven for all
excepting perhaps
Hitler, Stalin, and Genghis Kahn

We believe in Masters and Johnson
What's selected is average.
What's average is normal.
What's normal is good.

We believe in total disarmament.
We believe there are direct links between warfare and
Americans should beat their guns into tractors .
And the Russians would be sure to follow.

We believe that man is essentially good.
It's only his behavior that lets him down.
This is the fault of society.
Society is the fault of conditions.
Conditions are the fault of society.

We believe that each man must find the truth that
is right for him.
Reality will adapt accordingly.
The universe will readjust.
History will alter.
We believe that there is no absolute truth
excepting the truth
that there is no absolute truth.

We believe in the rejection of creeds,
And the flowering of individual thought.

If chance be
the Father of all flesh,
disaster is his rainbow in the sky
and when you hear:

State of Emergency!

Sniper Kills Ten!

Troops on Rampage!

Whites go Looting!

Bomb Blasts School!

It is but the sound of man worshipping his maker.

Steve Turner, (English journalist), "Creed," his satirical poem on
the modern mind. Taken from Ravi Zacharias’ book Can Man live
Without God? Pages 42-44

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What are you doing wrong?

I like reading classics to my kids, because I learn so much. Here is a quote from the "Princess and Curdie" by George MacDonald about the need to think about your life how just letting things happens means we miss out doing all the good things we had the opportunity to do.

Curdie says,

'I was doing the wrong of never wanting or trying to be better. And now I see that I have been letting things go as they would for a long time. Whatever came into my head I did, and whatever didn't come into my head I didn't do. I never sent anything away, and never looked out for anything to come. I haven't been attending to my mother - or my father either. And now I think of it, I know I have often seen them looking troubled, and I have never asked them what was the matter. And now I see, too, that I did not ask because I suspected it had something to do with me and my behaviour, and didn't want to hear the truth. And I know I have been grumbling at my work, and doing a hundred other things that are wrong.'

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Harvest in America?

Our church name is Harvest, and I am now convinced that the name applies. It applies not because we are so great, but because the fields really are white for harvest (Matthew 9:37). In our part of America at least, we meet so many hurting and needy people that are searching for love or an answer or something different because what they have tried so far has not worked. Not all of these people receive Jesus even after they have been shown his love, but some do! Adults in this culture can and do make decisions to follow Jesus, and their lives really are changed.

If you are not currently seeing this happen in your church or as a result of your witness, I would encourage you to pray that God would open up opportunities to share his love with someone. You don't have to be perfect to share life with someone. If you will simply live authentic loving lives, including your struggles, in front of non-believers they will see the difference. Invite your neighbor over for a BBQ or a co-worker out for coffee/pop. Have a game night at your house or go out with them to their house or even to the bar (if you can do that without temptation yourself). Outreach is not some huge deal that takes years of training. If knowing Jesus is really good news for you, then sharing your life with someone you will be sharing that good news.