Friday, February 27, 2009

Never Sit on the Sidelines!

Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?
Run in such a way that you may obtain it.
2 Timothy 2:2

If there is a game going on, I cannot stand to be sitting on the sidelines. Call me competitive or whatever you like, but I detest sitting still when everyone else is running around. I suffered a major ankle injury while in high school that kept me off the basketball floor for several weeks. Sitting at practices and games watching my teammates was more excruciating than the injury itself.
I realize that there is a time to be still, but so many individuals choose the wrong times to be still or they choose to be still way too long. God did not save us so that we could just sit on the sidelines. I have often said that if God saved us just to go to Heaven He would have taken out of this world at the moment of our conversion. God saved us so that we could serve. Jesus even told His followers to pray that His Father would send out workers into the fields. Some people have a false idea even of Heaven. They believe that we are all going to lounge around on clouds while playing our harps and singing to one another. We are going to be ruling and reigning with Christ. When God created Adam, He gave him a job to do (tending to the Garden). I would like to challenge all of us to get in the race and run it with a desire to win!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hearing Voices

The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses,
commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2

We are often challenged to learn, but we must be sure of the source of our learning. I often have the opportunity to get my hands on good books that have been either given to me or recommended to me. In these books I am able to glean from others what they have learned about life and especially about the times of life in their spiritual walk. Biographies are my favorite, because it is a glimpse into the life of an individual that we do not often get to see. We live in an age where resources are readily available. I listened this week while on the internet to two great Christians that served our Lord and literally gave their lives for Him: Corrie Ten Boom and Jim Elliott. It was incredible to hear their voices and at the same time to hear their hearts. The real challenge however comes at the end of hearing their sermons, the last page of the book, or the final words of the biography. What will I now do with what I have heard and learned? It is not enough to hear the lesson. There must be an acknowledgment of what is learned so that we can pass it on to someone else. Timothy was benefiting from what Paul had learned, but Paul challenged him to pass it on. May our voices be heard by the next generation!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Search the Scriptures

These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the Word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
Acts 17:11

If ever there was a model for what the modern day church ought to be doing, it was the church at Berea. These individuals felt that it was absolutely important to make sure that what they were being taught had its basis in the Scriptures. I often find that there are many people within the church that do not know why they believe what they believe. They have simply taken someone else’s word for it. If you were to ask them to back up their beliefs, they would not know where to start. This is an absolute shame when there is so much Scripture to confirm the beliefs of the church. Why is it this way? I believe that it could be for a couple of reason. 1) The church has not always done a very good job teaching people. We have expected people to sit and listen and never question what is being taught. How awesome it would be if every church member started questioning their beliefs and comparing them with Scripture. 2) I also believe that some questions have just become too lazy. They do not want to have to dig through the Scriptures. They believe that is the pastor’s job. The church must begin taking ownership of their faith and get to the place where they could defend it without shame.