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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Decision Day

More people make life changing decisions in the month of January than any other month of the year. Because of that statistic, Community Christian Church purposely has a Decision Day the last Sunday of every January. It's really a neat Sunday as we all come together to celebrate so many life and eternity changing decisions.

During the month of January, we spend a lot of time purposely engaging in direct questions to people about where they are at with God. I know in my life I have unfortunately often passed on asking people where they were at in their relationship with God...what is holding them back from choosing to follow Christ...I guess I felt a little awkward and didn't want to make them feel out of place. Bottom line...I think that's a pathetic attitude and excuse for not sharing Christ.

Now I'm not saying cram Jesus down people's throats, but I am challenging you to consider the last time you lovingly asked and engaged someone in a conversation about Christ? Christ never passed up an opportunity to talk to someone about lifechange...awkward or not. In fact, He created those types of situations time and time again (woman at the well, Pharisees in the Temple, healing on the Sabbath, etc.). I believe Jesus' desire was to simply preach the truth in love because He truly loved people, no matter how messed up they were. When people doubted Him, He would challenge them to find something wrong with His testimony. Jesus' truth, no matter how tough it was, was backed up with character. Jesus consistently earned the right to speak, even though He of all people really didn't have to.

Check yourself...are you able to do that? Can you share your faith? What are you excuses? What have you done to build relationships with sharing Christ in mind? Do you consistently look to earn the right to share Christ or do you let opportunities pass?

While you are considering these questions...here's a couple more for you. Let me also ask this...Have you accepted the love and forgiveness of Christ and made Him your Lord and Savior? Have you repented of your sins and been buried/immersed in the waters of baptism to rise and walk in a brand new life? If not...why not? Jesus' love for you is immeasurable. His sacrifice is incomprehensible...why would He allow the torture and murder of Himself? Love...love for you. Check out John 3:16, Romans 5:8, and 2 Cor. 5:21. He loves you. He died for you. He lives again and is waiting for you with open arms just as you are right now.

Do you belong to Him? Are you willing to share Him with others?

Stay strong...

Tim

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Just who do you think you are?

Traffic in south florida is...ummm...interesting. I own a 1988 ford F150 that is NOT fast...never has been and never will be. So I drive slow...actually I drive the speed limit which seems slow compared to everyone else.

"WHAT!!?? People still follow the speed limit?" you exclaim. Yeah, I know...I live life on the edge.

It's actually nice. Not a lot of stress involved...let other folks go in front of you...I don't get bent out of shape because of other drivers' stupidity...well, at least not that often...I'm more entertained by people's haste and stressed out driving styles. Plus there's that follow-the-law and not-getting-a-ticket-for-speeding thing. That's nice too.

I live 2.8 miles from the church I work at...so one wouldn't think that there's much opportunity for bad driving experiences between church and home. Unfortunately, that's not usually the case. This morning, I was tailgated by 3 different people (one flashed his lights at me), all of who zoomed around me and told me I was number one. Then I was cut off by a city bus turning left in front of me only to then jam on his brakes so he could whip into the bus stop. I was quickly cut off from being able to move around him by the the four people behind me, who all thought it necessary to race around me and be first. I get around the bus only to get stuck behind a tractor (full sized Kubota farm tractor). Awesome.

I'm not really complaining because I had an enjoyable time listening to some tunes and worshipping. I'm just blown away by how often people think that they are so much more important than everyone. I see it all the time in how people drive, shop, eat, park, walk/run/bike, enter/exit somewhere, talk to others, act towards others, complain about things, get stressed out about things. It's ridiculous.

Our life is not more important than anyone else's...He is creator and He created us to serve Him and love others...not to be first/important/etc.

Give these couple things a try:
  • "Rejoice in the Lord always. i will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 Here's a direct command from God to rejoice. It doesn't say be stressed, worried, freaked out, treat other people like junk, do everything you can to get to the top!!!! God says to rejoice in Him...period. Be satisfied with who you are and praise God daily because of who He is. Life...no...history really isn't about you...it's about God. Consider all He has done throughout space and time and then remember that He loves and cares for YOU! And yet we doubt and disobey Him and put us first? Wow.
  • "Don't be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 Again...leave the stress and anxiety behind. It's about trusting God and following Him. When's the last time you prayed for God to use you (and not pray about getting something or God doing something for you)?
  • "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:7 How about that promise? Notice it doesn't say God will give you everything you want, take your pain away, and make life super easy. It DOES say that God's peace will be with you and allow you to get through whatever situation He has you in!
So here's the deal...let's get over ourselves and what we think is important (which too often is ourselves)...passionately seek God, and make ourselves available to Him daily/hourly/every moment. Serve God...not you (it's much more of an adventure anyway :) ). Stay strong.

Tim