Thursday, January 29, 2009

The Rap on Tithing

Recently at Cornerstone we have been looking at what God's Word teaches concerning a believer's finances. Therefore when I saw this youtube video, I couldn't resist putting it out there for all of you to enjoy. I hope you and yours are finding God's peace during the financial crisis that is surround our nation. HE IS ABLE!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Mustard-Seed Life

Greetings, Friends!

I would strike up a question, instead of giving an answer today. It was sparked from some of my own personal experiences in my private time in prayer, and has been stoked by a book I've been reading by Tom Sine, Mustard Seed vs. McWorld. The basic premised of his book is that our world system, mainly the American dream, and the Kingdom of God within us and among us is an a barbarian battle. His observation, and I would concur, is that we often model and teach that our "Christianity" is to be laid upon everything else in life. God is not to be included, He wants to take over. Sine writes:

"At the core of this emerging crisis is the dawning reality that my generation sold their generation the wrong dream. For all the talk about the lordship of jesus, my generation sold the young the American dream with a little Jesus overlay. For all the talk about lordship, the real message to the Christian young is the message that drives McWorld. Agenda one is getting ahead in your job, getting ahead in the suburbs, getting your upscale lifestyle started; then, when whatever you have left, follow Jesus. As we have seen, if the new generation puts the American dream first, they will have little time or money to invest in the mission of the mustard seed." (p. 137)

Ouch, that one hurts. I have to admit that all my aspirations and goals for self, marriage, kids, health, etc... are laid next to my spiritual goals... as if they are equal?!? We are not called to include Christ in our life. We are called to a new life in him... "the old has gone, the new has come" (2 Cor. 5:17). We are not to conform any longer to the patter of this world (Romans 12:2).

Paul asks the question, "Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules..." (Colossians 2:20). Turning to God as we follow Christ is not just about going to church and getting involved in a ministry. It is about a different way of life altogether.

With that, I'll refrain from a whole sermon and simple ask the question, "What would your life look like if God truly CONSUMED your life?" I don't mean part of it, but literally all of it. What if the mustard seed was more important to us than the American dream. Perhaps this is what the Lord Jesus meant when He declared, "anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me" (Matthew 10:38).

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Urgency of NOW

What motivates you to action? Why get up early for work and leave late? Why continue to hold the kids to the home rules, when it would be easier to give in. What keeps you focused on the menial tasks from day to day? Why work out when gravity and nature takes over anyway?

No, I am not trying to depress you... I just want you to ask yourself the question, "Why do I do what I do?" I know for me, I believe that my daily actions are tied to larger goals and purpose. For instance, I both discipline and encourage my children daily because I believe I have been entrusted by God to raise them to be righteous, and responsible adult for Him. I physically exercise because my body is God's temple and I want to be around to play with my grandchildren.

However, sometime we get caught up in the "survival mode." The emergencies of the moment overshadows the importance of tomorrow. Choices are made every day concerning how we spend our waking hours. Many of these choices have eternal consequence. Ephesians 5:16 tells us to "make the most of every opportunity..."

What we do today matter, even the little things. The reason: Today Effects Tomorrow as well as Tomorrow Effecting Today!!! These two combined yield THE URGENCY OF NOW. And if now is that urgent, what should you do now? Once this is answered, apply Nike's slogan, "JUST DO IT!"