Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hungering for Christ lesson II

If I want to hunger for Christ, I must empty myself of all selfishness, all pride, all self pity, and any thing else that comes between myself and Christ.

God scattered the believers.

On the way home from house church tonight I was thinking about, the way we all love each other and enjoy the time of fellowship. I was also thinking about the fact that logistics of a participatory meeting require the group to remain fairly small ideally <20. It would be ideal for each family to be prepared to lead a church in their home. In order to attain that we have to be spending time now preparing our own family, hearts, and homes for this. God used the persecution of the early believers in Jerusalem to scatter them, causing the message of Christ to reach distant parts of the world.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Praising God

Have you ever had a day, where nothing seems to go right, everything you touch seems to break, nothing you attempt to do turns out right. On days like these it is difficult to praise God and be thankful to him, but we are called to rejoice in the Lord always. I had the pleasure of eating supper with a fellow believer, that I knew was having a hard day, but was impressed as he prayed for our meal, and thanked God for not just the meal, but for the day. It hit me like a box of rocks that I needed to take the same attitude, when I have bad days. I need to be thankful that God has granted me life, and forgiveness even when things are bad, and not wish for that day to be over, so I can get on to the next one, but to truly be grateful to be alive to experience it.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Are you under Christ or under Old Testament Law

It is interesting how many christians choose to follow parts of the old covenant, even after Christ fulfilled it and replaced it with a new perfect covenant. Galatians says if the law could save you, Christ would be of no value. It also states that if you retreat to part of the law, you must keep the whole law. So why do we seek to go back to the law that brings condemnation, rather than continuing in the grace of Jesus. We once again have a choice to make, Do I want to follow the new covenant of grace and mercy bought and paid for by Jesus with his own blood, or would I rather follow the old covenant of legalism and condemnation. The Old Testament was meant as shadow of what was to come, and has now been fulfilled, and we now live under the New Testament, and cannot return to the Old Testament in whole or as is more common in part for personal gain, and still hope for grace. It is most common to use the Old Testament when it comes time to preach on giving, to continue to bind people to the tithe, which is not found in the new covenant. Beware when you choose to go back under the law in one thing you must keep it all, so if you demand the tithe you need to also demand the sacrifices of goats, lambs and doves. You should also only accept the tithe in grocery form, rather than money, because that is how the Jewish people tithed before the coming of Jesus.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Will a Man Rob God?

If you have attended a church for very long, I am sure you read the title and thought, "please not a post about giving." The good news is it is not a post about giving your money, the bad news is it is about so much more than your pocketbook. In Galations chapter 5, Paul makes the comparison between followers of Christ, and followers of the the world, being the same difference as Isaac and Ishmael. Isaac received great blessing, and through him many many generations have been blessed. Ishmael received no blessing, and persecuted Isaac, and his descendants continue to persecute Christians (the descendants of Isaac, by birth or adoption.) The exciting thing about this is we have the choice to be the descendants of Isaac or Ishmael, one is blessed, one is cursed. Our Lord and Savior Jesus, bought that choice for us on the cross. In Galatians chapter 5 Paul writes, "So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free." Christ bought our freedom from both the Mosaic Law, and bondage to sin. I submit that when we choose to follow the world we cheapen the gift that God gave to us freely, and in so doing rob him of the glory he deserves from us.