Archive

Archive for June, 2010

Isolation: from God or satan?

Why is it that we isolate ourselves? We are surrounded by people. In fact there are now over 6 billion people on this earth and yet too often, we feel like we are all alone. This is not how God created us. We work ourselves to death, we go home and hide in our homes only to hope that no one will discover our weaknesses. We pray that our despair will go unnoticed and yet when we show up in church on Sunday morning, acting like everything is OK, it seems like everyone can see through us.

Is this the life that you desire to live? One that is deeply rooted in privacy and isolation and solitude? Do you desire to be alone? Even your spouse can’t figure out why you won’t talk about your day. They want you to open up, but your so sealed up because that is what you’re told to do. You’re told that know one wants to hear your problems or if you were to share them you’d be ridiculed. This is what satan wants in your life. To leave you alone and in despair.

So what does God want of you? Acts 2:42-47 says, “They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. 44All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. 46Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.”

Can you read this passage and think that God wants you to be alone? If you do, you’ve completely missed the picture. By the way, your time with your family, while important and necessary, is not a replacement to community with the body of Christ.

God has called every believer, everyone who claims the name of Christ to take part in something much greater then themselves. He calls up to participate with other believers in fellowship, in breaking of bread, in prayer. He calls us to have everything in common. Nothing is held back, our lives are an open book. He calls us to provide for one another’s needs. To meet together in temple courts and in to meet in homes. Isolation has not part in the life of a Christian. Isolation is a lie that we are fed by satan and this world.

If you are living in isolation from the body, now is your time to step into the life that Christ has called you to. Now is the time to live the life that He gave us through His death on the cross.

And when believers come together in all things praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people, the Lord adds to their number daily those who are being saved. The life Christ came to give is one that should never be put under a shade or covered up. It’s a life to let shine!

Woohoo!

Today, we’ll welcome our 100th visitor to this site!

Please let me know if this blog has been useful for you. Let me know what I can be writing about in order to encourage you in your journey with God.

Have a great day!!

Categories: Community

This is Your time!

We’ve been getting some really great traffic on this blog! Thank for reading!

If you are one of the readers out there and feel like you are disconnected from what LIFE groups are about, or if you are missing out on that week to week community with others in a small group, please let me know! I’d love to get you plugged in.

LIFE groups are not centered around curriculum, nor are the centered around a schedule. They are centered around community with others. This means coming to a place where people really know you. They are praying for you, and you for them. It’s a place where you are able to feel like you can break down those walls that may be up around you.

Unlike are are Adult Ed, which are designed for connecting people and curriculum, LIFE groups will join you with others who will genuinely care and support you, keep you accountable, and help you through the tough times in life as well as celebrate the joys in life.

Being a part of small group community is not an extracurricular item, its something Jesus did when He joined with the twelve. It’s how the church was built and its how the church is sustained today. If you are serious about taking the leap and diving in deep, contact me today and let’s talk about the next step for you.

Email me at: adults@thirdcitychristian.org

Categories: Community Tags: ,

Why is everything under construction?

June 22, 2010 1 comment

If you are in Grand Island, you know that traffic cones, barriers, road workers, tractors, and detours are a normal part of life this summer. As I was heading out for some errands with my wife last night, I blurted out, “Why is everything under construction??”

I began thinking about what I just asked and it made sense to me that nothing would change if we didn’t have reconstruction. In fact, it seems to me Jesus came to this world and put it under construction. He came to call us to change. Paul says it this way in Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God-this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”

Paul hits on a very important scripture. He is telling us to not change to be like this world. He doesn’t end there though. He doesn’t say don’t change at all, he says, change (be transformed) by the renewing of your mind. You see we all live in this world. We are all duped into thinking that we need to live and act like those in this world. This is not why Christ came and died for us. He has called us out of the patterns of this world.

Focus on the Family’s The Truth Project talks a little about this. They talk about this verse, the Greek word for transformation is metamorphoo which is similar to what we’d see a caterpillar do when it changes into a butterfly. There is a complete transformation. This is the work that Christ does in us.

So when you think of all the construction around town as you are headed to work or on your errands, think about the construction that Christ is doing in you. How is He changing you? Are you being transformed or metamorphed into a new creation?

Worship: Not only for Sunday mornings

Worship is often misunderstood.

Many think that worship happens on Sunday mornings. They think that worship is that time in church when you stand up to sing a song. Some say, I’m looking forward to Sunday so I can worship!”If you fit into one of these three categories, take a step back and consider what scripture says about worship.

I asked last week if you worship within your groups, some of you do, some of you don’t. Worship can happen every day. It’s not solely reserved for Sunday mornings. Through the Old Testament, primarily through the Psalms, we read of the heart of worship. David displayed his heart for worship through his writings. This is what stirred his heart on a daily basis. The mere thought of a great and glorious God was enough to send shivers down his spine as he would fall to the floor in reverence.

I often think that today we lose sight of God’s grandeur, not that we could ever hope to know exactly how big God is, but that its much easier to place God in a box and carry Him around like a poodle in a purse. Worship was never meant to be a once a week occurrence but a lifestyle. The word worship, or shachah (Hebrew) means to fall down prostrate on one’s knees. Think of Psalm 29:2 which says, “Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.” Or in the New Testament worship or proskyneo (Greek) is similar, but means “to fall upon the knees and touch the ground with the forehead as an expression of profound reverence”.

Our worship is far more than even singing. To use the cliche saying, it’s a lifestyle. A part of who we are as Christ followers is expressed in how we cope with situations, who we are when no one is looking, and who we desire to be. David was always expressing the fact that he desired so much more than what he had. He wanted more God.

So when we join with others for worship, if we are bringing in a lifestyle of worship, it almost becomes an expected part of our group. If we are worshipers seven days a week, and not just Sunday, our worship is never ceasing. It flows through us, a day without worship is like a day without breathing.

There is a relatively simple passage at the end of the book of James. In 5:13, we read “Is any one of you in trouble? He should pray. Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise. 14Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. 16Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.”

These simple instructions are for the worshiper. Consider them guidance through this life. James tells us to pray, to sing songs of praise, to ask for forgiveness, to confess, and to be prayed for. All of these are characteristics of the life of a worshiper.

So, as an encouragement to you, if you are living a life of worship, why not bring worship into your group meetings, why not sing songs of praise to the God who is worthy? Pray for and with one another, confess and ask for forgiveness. Let God be God.

The last remark from James is one to point out too. “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, 20remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins.”

Even in those times in which we tend to drift away from the truth lean on those around you. Your LIFE groups are more than just a bible study, they are the church.  Let them bring you back to the truth.

Blog post on group childcare options

On June 5th, we had some great conversation about childcare and the ongoing issues that it brings up. Where do we take our kids? What about time lost dropping them off? Do we need to pay for childcare? Here is a great blog post by Rick Howerton of Group Publishing on some options for group childcare solutions.

Does your group worship together?

In the book of Psalms, David speaks to his worship of the Lord over and over again. We read about the songs of praise given to the Lord. Next week I am going to be writing about how we can incorporate worship as a part of our LIFE group meetings. I want to know if your group has ever participated in worship together in your group? What inspired you to bring this aspect into your group? Are you still worshiping with your group?

Please click on the comment link below to leave your comments. I look forward to hearing from you!

Categories: Community Tags: , , ,