Archives For grace

Life in a Lazy boy

July 21, 2014 — Leave a comment

lazyboy

Imagine you have a lazy boy chair at home with an awesome cup holder and the push out foot rest. The chair is worn in nicely and even contours perfectly to your butt. You are so content with your coke in hand as you watch your Tv. Nothing is getting you out of that chair. God says “it’s time to go out and tell somebody about jesus” but you have become complacent and immovable in your contentment. 

CONTENTMENT Desiring no more than what one has; satisfied.  – however this can breed complacency and apathy. 
Our imbalanced contentment becomes a justification for not being concerned about the lost.
Are you that person?

Maybe you are sitting in that chair and it is a nice chair, but you just can’t ever get comfortable. God hears your grumbling and instead of bringing judgement on you He gives mercy and grace. God supplies you with a brand new leather chair with a built in iPad! You sit in it and love it for about a week. You begin to complain and grumble again.

“There is no cup holder in this one and I want the old one back!”

God says, “tell somebody about Jesus” but you can’t hear him because you are too busy not recognizing that you are where God wants you and you would rather complain. Are you that person?

DISCONTENTMENT: Unhappy with everything – breeds contention and grumbling.
Our imbalanced discontentment isolates us from God’s Goodness and mercy. Instead of wanting more of the BREAD OF LIFE we want more of food that does not satisfy.
Are you that person?

When someone in the Scriptures submitted their life to Christ…it was complete and total surrender and not “submission based on convenience.” It is a selfless walk.
We are told to find our life and live it to the fullest we must lose our life first. (Matthew 10:30)

So if both Contentment & Discontentment can lead to things not of God, how should we operate?

Apostle Paul said: “For I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am” (Phil. 4:11)

Another option…A HOLY DISCONTENT – You have learned to be content in whatever circumstances, but You are also ready and waiting as you shadow God closely. While you were yet a sinner, Christ died for you. Complacency and grumbling pull you away from the character of God’s grace.

There you are in that lazy boy. It’s nice and it has the butt contour. It has a few tears in it, the cup holder has lost it’s form and can no longer hold your coke can. You are enjoying the comfort of what God has given you and not complaining about a few springs poking through. You are sitting at the edge relaxed, but ready to leap if God calls you. You can hear His voice and you are not stuck.

“The man, who is deeply discontented with himself, is probably growing fast into the full likeness of Christ.” – Spurgeon 

THRILL your hearts with the CLOSENESS of the love of God. 

Today, as I sat in the waiting room at the doctors office, I began to think thru some thoughts on Christianity. I have seen churches remove crosses because they wanted to make sure people feel comfortable. Some have decided communion is no longer valid and a bit creepy because it mentions the blood and flesh of Jesus. Then there are the christians that have learned to profess something they aren’t willing to walk out. Christians that are 100% on point to biblical text, but at the expense of loving others. Too often I have seen the church stand up for truth and then use that truth as a smoke screen and justification for anger and hatred.
This got me thinking about how I can sum up where I think we are going wrong and that we are turning people away from the ONE who can save them.
So here they are…

My top Two ways to do Christianity wrong:

1. Preach a gospel that doesn’t offend the lost
– 1 Corinthians 1:18-25
“the cross offends men and women, because it is contrary to their ideas of human worth” – C.H. Spurgeon

The cross is offensive. sin is offensive. our depravity and need for God is not an easy message, but its the ONLY one

2. Walk a life that offends people and doesn’t point to God’s grace
 – John 3:17-18
“You will find all true theology summed up in these two short sentences: Salvation is all of the grace of God. Damnation is all of the will of man.” – C.H. Spurgeon

Yes… we are suppose to speak the truth, but even more importantly we are to speak life. Our role is to show people that sin, while fun, without the cross equals death. We can’t point people to Jesus if we are preaching the wrong one. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world, nor did He come to teach us how to condemn. He came to save it and we need to show people that:
OUR GOD SAVES. OUR GOD LOVES. OUR GOD PAID SO ALL COULD RECEIVE HIS GRACE.

Let us be careful to not get those two ways wrong. Don’t water down the gospel and don’t let your sin and pride keep others from the free gifts of God’s salvation.

The Grace Effect
How the Power of One Life Can Reverse the Corruption of Unbelief
By Larry Taunton

I received this book to review a few months ago and I have to say it was an ok read. In the book he uses his adoption of his youngest daughter from the world of communism as the underbed for his book. He uses it to basically to show that God’s grace exists through the presence of Christians. He comes to great conclussions with beautiful examples however I just could not get into this book.

I remember reading Blue like jazz which had a “blog” style of writing and this one is very similar. I have never been able to get into books that are written like that because they feel liked pieced together posts jammed into a cover. I love the hope he gives us that shows us that no world or situation are beyond redemption from “the grace effect”. So basically I love his discussion and story, but find that his writing style bothered me.

He also loved to jam in giant words and drawn out sentences just for the sake it. Long story short it was an ok read with a great topic and hope but in a writing style that I found to be bothersome at times.

With that said I think it is worth the read but there are better books on grace like from Yancy and others.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson to review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

If you read my blog, which you should be, you would have noticed a group of men I meet with that we call “the Forge”. It is a group where I can go and be completely transparent with fellow brothers in ministry from other churches. About 7 months ago God had me move out of the role of HS youth director/leader into the role of being part of a team running the men’s ministry in my church, along side of leading worship. If there is one thing I love about our men’s group that I have not seen in any men’s group I have been in it’s honesty and transparency. In both my men’s group and in the Forge nothing is off limits. Everybody is broken.

I decided to look up the definition of Transparent. Here is what it says:

transparent [trænsˈpærənt -ˈpɛər-]adj

1. permitting the uninterrupted passage of light; clear; a window is transparent

 

That definition is astounding. I think there are two keys for real ministry within the church. Honesty and Grace. I have been talking about both with my men and forge group for months. We need to be honest with one another, but at same time we need to have grace for each other when things get put on the table that may possibly floor us, hurt us, or concern us.

Real transparency is what I strive for in my groups and even in my marriage. These days it is very hard to find a group you can be transparent with like that. Let me give you a picture of that with the definition above.

 

Notice it says uninterrupted passage of light…like a window. Light can get in and out of a window if its clean and is not broken. Each one of us is like a window. Many of us are dirty with life, have chips, or are completely broken. When people see us they see the garbage caked on us or get cut by the shards sticking out of us and can’t see the light in us. Light from others can’t get in thru the ice that has developed over our hardened heart (window).

God wants to heal us from the inside out. I believe this healing starts with honesty thru confession. Finding somebody you can trust fully and spill your guts. My wife and my forge group know my hurts, my frustrations, my issues and they also know I am a work in progress. I once heard a friend say “broken people have sharp edges”. We are all broken and we need to be aware that we do cut people, but when we are honest and are open to Christ’s healing he buffs the sharp edges inside and also through others.

My goal in life, and let me say I am no where near this, is to have the window of my soul so clear of debris and brokenness that there is uninterrupted passage of the light of Christ.

I got this book about a month ago with a promise to review and blog about it. I read it in just a few days and then I realized that I had no clue what to say in my review.

I decided to cheat by looking at other people reviews of this book. Many had some little comments and some just copy and pasted some sections of text. No help there.

I went back to the book trying to figure out why I was having such a mental block.

The book is a testimony of a mans life and how God changed it.

I have read those books before and i usually walk away from it going… “wow…thats good stuff..” and then move on in life.

This book however did something a little different for me.

Let me preface this with the fact that I know the writers son. He is a great blog friend of mine, a wonderful father, husband, and fellow worship leader. Why is that part significant. Very simple.

God does amazing things and sometimes we get to see a small glimpse of it. Other times we get to see God change somebody and then that change has a domino effect on everybody and everything around this person. This testimony is just that.

I’m not going to go into too much detail about the mans life and what you can expect. That would ruin it.

The testimony in this book is a testimony much like that of the great men in the Bible.

A testimony of God taking wretched things and making them holy.

A testimony of the overwhelming grace of God.

A testimony that while old still is being worked to this day.

A testimony that forces a person to recognize there MUST BE A GOD.

This is a testimony that confounds the wise.

This is a testimony that is makes the devil shake because people have been changed by this mans life and are continually being changed through the domino effect of Christs amazing grace.

So why was it so difficult to review this. Simple..

Because this is more than just a book. It is proof that God is real and proof that God’s love is greater than we can imagine.

GO BUY THIS BOOK!