Thursday, October 28, 2010

Glorifying God

"If your church ceased to exist would your community care, or even notice?"

A couple of years ago a visiting speaker asked the church I am part of this question. We weren't sure how to answer. Would they? Do they care? We want to say of course they would. But are we certain that they would?
This question has continued to surface occasionally over the past couple of years. It has been a really good question that has helped us look beyond ourselves and into the community. Are we a blessing to the people around us?

Today a thought struck me. Isn't this question really self-centered? Doesn't imply that what matters is if the community notices us and cares about us? And how does this question fit into the teaching that Jesus gave us that we will be persecuted if we are his disciples? Is our primary mission about blessing others?

It seems to me that our primary mission is to bring God glory (and yes this does include blessing others just like Jesus did).
So, perhaps a different question we could ask is:
"If our church ceased to exist would God receive less glory in our community? Or would we just receive less glory?"

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sunday's sermon

The text for this coming Sunday is: Matthew 9:2-8

In this text we see Jesus' authority to forgive our sins. One of the striking things is that Jesus offers forgiveness outside of the temple. The normal way for a Jewish person in the 1st century to obtain forgiveness was in the temple. This man however did not need to jump through any "hoops" to get forgiveness, Jesus simply declared him forgiven.

This made me ask a couple of questions:
  1. What "hoops" do I feel that I have to jump through in order to get forgiveness from God?
  2. What "hoops" do I expect others to jump through in order to forgive them?

Friday, October 08, 2010

Every Man's Battle

Every Man’s Battle by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker

A book that deals with sexual sin head on is very refreshing. The authors pull no punches when talking about a man’s battle for sexual purity. They also pull no punches when talking about noting how men often fail to be pure sexually. And for them sexual purity means:

You are sexually pure when no sexual gratification comes from anyone or anything but your wife.”

Stephen and Fred offer very practical advice to men on how move to sexual purity. They state it all begins off with deciding to fight for it – and it may be a big battle. Once you have engaged they talk about training your eyes and mind. And end off with encouraging men to cherish their wives.

It is fairly well written and is easy to read. So guys get the book and read it.