Category Archives: TRUST AND OBEY

IF IT’S GOOD FOR PAUL AND SILAS, IS IT GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME? 110615

Two young girls having conversation in the park

You’ve heard that old song, “If it’s good for Paul and Silas, it’s good enough for me.”  There’s lot of stuff from “the good ole days” that IS good enough for me.  I mean not from ‘their’ era, but from the days of my youth.  Good ole Gospel singing.  Billy Graham preaching.  Maybe even a tent revival with preachers speaking the truth of God, and the people truly rising to the occasion and meeting the Spirit with their hearts.  It’s been a long time since I experienced the movement of the Spirit like that.

But as it applies to ‘making disciples’, what I experienced when I was young fell short of what I now perceive as God’s will for our lives as disciples of Jesus.  Even now-a-days I find much of the teaching in churches about discipleship is pretty dry and academic.  I hear about programs for college kids where they spend the summers working at jobs and spending all their ‘free’ time walking the beaches talking to people about Jesus.  High intensity training in making disciples. In six to eight weeks each kid gets to talk to several hundred (200-300) people.  People are getting saved, making a commitment to Jesus.  Their lives are being transformed;  the kids (the evangelists) as much as their contacts.  No matter what they do for God in the future, it changes their whole perspective on what it means to “follow” Jesus.  Continue reading

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KBMT FOR JESUS #2. 103115

IMG_7045 (1)A lot of Christians think the process of making disciples is reserved for clergymen (aka pastors and priests), missionaries and others who are particularly called to this area of ministry; and the rest of us are supposed to sit in the pews, listen to them talk about God, pray a little, send a little money, and be satisfied that we have done God’s will.

But if you’re a “practicing” Christian, and you’ve been developing a personal relationship with Jesus thru a daily quiet time and weekly sharing with others in a small group, you already know that making disciples is part of God’s plan for your own personal life. (and I bet you are already developing those relationships  to make disciples, even though you may not yet realize that’s what’s happening or that’s what you call it.) You know, this discipleship process is ALL about developing relationships.

Since long before you and I even thought of it, God (by His Spirit) has been preparing the hearts of the people He wants you and me to touch for Jesus.  The main point of ‘making disciples’ is that you have to trust Jesus and obey Him in order to do His will in this.  Because He has all power, like it says in Matt. 28:18, and He is going to do His will in us, it will only happen as we surrender ourselves to Him, and let Him work through us to touch the lives of others.

PRAYER AND MEDITATION.102915

Young man holding Bible and praying by windowIt’s sad to say, but a lot of people think prayer is solely about asking for stuff, especially in an emergency.  Even sadder is that a lot of them only pray in an emergency.  Makes for a strained relationship with God, if the only time you talk to Him is when you need something, especially only when you are in dire straits.  I’ve heard a lot of parents say that it makes them sad that their college age kids, or even young adult children, only call them when they need money.  Sounds like the kids don’t really care about having a real relationship with their parents.

But you know, God’s not like that.  He really wants to have a close, personal, dare I say intimate relationship with you.  He already knows all about you anyway.  He’s been looking at your heart.  Why shouldn’t you really let Him in and begin to develop a relationship with Him where you know a lot more about Him.  Get intimately acquainted with God.  For my money, that’s what prayer is, and should be about.

Oh, about meditation.  Continue reading

PRACTICING CHRISTIAN 6: Daily Quiet Time, Part 1. Bible.102615

Corinthians 13Just for the record, a “Daily Quiet Time”, is a short (maybe 15 minute) time each morning when we focus our attention on talking to, and listening to, God.  It usually begins with reading a Bible verse or two, and a short devotional from some brother or sister or group, concerning our lives and our hearts as Christians, and writing in a journal the main point of the verse and the devotional.  It ends with a period of sitting (or kneeling) alone, in the Presence of God, and thinking about what I’ve read, how it applies to my life and what is happening to me today, and listening for God to tell me what I should do or think about it.  That’s where the revelations come in.  Do you know that verse/passage in Matthew 11:25-28, where Jesus is talking to God, and He says, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have REVEALED them to babes.

I haven’t been having a “daily quiet time” all my life.  I didn’t know what one was, or even hear the expression till about 10 years ago.  I guess I’ve been reading the Bible early in the morning almost every day for maybe 20 years or longer.  Continue reading

FROM WHOM MUCH IS GIVEN.101915

Beautiful female ballet dancer on a grey background. Ballerina is wearing an orange tutu, pink stockings and pointe shoes.In Luke 12:48, Jesus said to his disciples, “ . . . From everyone who has been given much, much will be required; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

I’ve told all my kids this verse.  I’ve explained to them that God has given them a brain and other gifts and talents and He expects them to use those gifts to help themselves and to help others.  He didn’t give them special gifts and talents so they could waste them on just themselves, or ignore those gifts and not use them for the glory of God and for the good of people.  He wants them, and all of us, to recognize the talents and gifts we have and use them to their full advantage.

This principle applies to our spiritual lives as well as to our natural lives.  ‘Course we all know that Jesus was talking about spiritual things when He told his parable about the Master and the servant.   He says, “Who then does the Master trust?”  He trusts the one who He finds doing his job, being obedient to do what God has told him to do, what He has prepared him to do, with his God-given talents and resources, not wasting his time and his talents.  I just love the concept that God trusts us, just like we’re supposed to trust Him.  We’re pleasing to God when we do His will by being obedient to work WITH God to accomplish His purposes on this earth.  How’s that for a high calling?!  He says, “Blessed is that servant whom his Master will find so doing when he comes.”

Best I can tell obedience is one of the highest virtues in a servant of Jesus Christ.  This is one of those duties we should fulfill, not grudgingly, but with all our hearts and all our souls and all our strength and all our minds.  Just like the way we’re supposed to love and trust God, with all our hearts .  .  .

 

 

 

BUTTING IN LINE.101815

Merging trafficSo I have this real serious problem.  I’m obsessed with people butting in line.  As for pedestrian butting, it irritates me considerably when three or four people are waiting and the one who arrived last steps up out-of-order.  Sometimes I just can’t resist the temptation to say something rude like, “Didn’t your momma teach you any manners?  Those other people were here first.”  You know, it’s just not right, it’s just not fair, it’s just not polite. I just can’t believe the gall of some people.  What happened to courtesy?

Sometimes I almost wish that America would adopt the custom they have in Mexico for waiting in line. In a bus station late one night at least 200 people waiting to buy tickets, and ONE ticket window open, and everyone in a great big semicircle jostling and side-stepping, ducking and jiving, working their way to the front.   Continue reading

What Do You Mean, PRACTICING Christian? 101715

Sandhill Cranes in Flight at Sunrise Panoramic ViewBack on August 16, 2015, I wrote a post called  “Making Disciples”.  The last  paragraph said, “Did you notice that I haven’t said anything about talking to these ‘friends’ about Jesus.  After you develop a relationship with them, if you’re a practicing Christian, Jesus will just start flowing through you to them, and touching their hearts, whether you are trying to make disciples of them or not.  ‘Course that brings up the question of what does ‘practicing’ mean?  But that’s a question for another day.”

Well today is the day to discuss some of what ‘practicing’ means.  Let’s see, you know practicing, as in ‘practicing’ attorney?  I happen to be an attorney, and that’s a scary thought.  When are they going to finish practicing and start ‘being’ one?  Or practicing medicine.  What’s the time line for rising to the level of actually DOING it? In those cases, sounds like practicing may be a cover for seldom knowing for sure what is exactly the right thing to do.  Try something and see if it works.  If not, try something else.

Practicing Christian shall be deemed to be “one who is a follower of Jesus”.  Follower in the Bible is often translated disciple, or ‘one who is taught’ (student).  Continue reading