Category Archives: Christian living

Which Church?

#Contagiouschurch

#Contagiouschurch

Churches want to grow. Those that grow are contagious congregations that focus on people over programs.  Growing churches reach their communities with the good news of salvation in Christ and keep people connected because they help people mature in their individual spirituality.  These congregations bring people to Christ and assimilate them into the body of Christ – His Church.  Are we that church? Are you helping the congregation you attend be that church?

Someone once suggested three categories of churches, one of which you are a part of. There are:

  1. Private Hospital Churches: These congregations seek to care for their own.  Everything they do from programs, classes, fellowships, trips, groups, and even worship focuses solely on the needs of members. These churches have an inward focus; helping only those on the inside and those that come to their “hospital.”
  2. Army Churches: The congregations are constantly on the march. They move from one issue to the next. They seem to always have a fight on their hands. They fight doctrinal error in other churches, they fight political battles against society, and they sometimes even fight among themselves. There is always more ground to win and some to win back. They are always in battle, but might be missing the real war.
  3. M.A.S.H. Unit Churches: These congregations resemble an army on the march. However, they know that the enemy is Satan. These congregations carefully ensure that there are no victims of friendly fire. They understand that people are not the enemy, but sin is. They are on the march looking for and caring for the wounded.  While advancing the Kingdom they recruit and train new people. These congregations equip members and send them to the front lines. Those who come for help, receive spiritual healing, training, and any needed rehabilitation so they can return to the front lines to fight against principalities, powers, and the forces of evil in this present age. M.A.S.H. Unit churches care for the souls of people.

May we strive to be a M.A.S.H. Unit Christian and together work to bring people to the healing blood of Christ.

- Scott

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Filed under Christian living, Christians, church growth

This is about Nothing

Nothing to see here.

Nothing to see here.

“What are you up to?” – “Nothing.”

“What’s new?” – “Nothing”

You would think we live in a boring word.  Nothing seems to be going on.  Maybe we answer “nothing” out of a sense of feigned humility.  We do not want to appear excited by our own life and events so as not to give the impression that we think more highly of ourselves than we ought.  However, we should be doing something. We should be learning something  or doing something new as we grow in Christ.  We are God’s “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus, for good works, which (God) prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” (cf. Eph 2:10).

With that in mind, I want to share this poem I found in my files last week: (A Google search did not reveal author’s name.)

The Sin of Doing Nothing

He made no mistakes, took no wrong roads

               He never fumbled the ball.

He never went down ‘neath the weight of the load.

                He simply did nothing at all.

He lost no hard fights in defense of the right;

                He never bled with his back to the wall.

He never fell faint in his climb to the light;

                He simply did nothing at all.

So death came nigh, for life slipped by,

                Add he feared for the judgment hall.

When they asked him why, he said with a sigh,

                “I simply did nothing at all.”

So, God will pardon your blunders, my friend,

                Or regard with pity your fall.

But the one big sin that may surely mean hell,

                Is simply do nothing at all.

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Positives From Rapture Books and Movies

There are positive things that come from movies and books about the end times. Although

there are misunderstandings of the end of time in many of these works of fiction, there are some Biblical teachings present that we can learn from.

      1. Belief in God. These stories compel you to believe in God.  There is a direct appeal for people to have a dependent faith in God. As Christians we have the responsibility to develop personal faith in God and to challenge our society with God (Matt 28:18-20).
      2. Bible Knowledge. Stories like Left Behind insist that everything we need to know is in God’s word. Although God has not told us all we want to know, His Word tells us everything we need to know to serve Him faithfully. Of course with any presentation about God’s Word, we need to compare what is taught with the scriptures (Acts 17:11).
      3. Repentance. A story line about the end of time will call for repentance of those who do not have active faith.  In contrast to Left Behind, there will not be time after Christ’s return to repent. The time to change is now this side of eternity (Heb 3:7-13).
      4. Prayer. These stories promote belief in prayer and dependence on God. We need constant reminders of our constant need to be in contact with out heavenly Father.
      5. The End of Time. The overall message of the Left Behind series compels the audience to consider the end of time. Although the events that happen in Left Behind are not consistent with what Scripture teaches, there is a message to consider the Lord’s return.  There is a heaven and hell, we need to consider the reality of the end and ask ourselves, “Am I ready for Jesus to come again?”

There is a great day coming! Are you ready for that day to come?

- Scott

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Filed under Christ's Coming, Christian living, Judgment, second coming

Ten Things to Think About

About 4 years ago I heard Vance Hutton share a message entitled “Things to Remember.”  I wrote his list in the back leaf of my Bible and every once in a while I look back at it. I looked at the list this morning and decided I would share it with you because, well it is worth sharing.

  1. You have a God to glorify.10
  2. You have a Savior to imitate.
  3. You have a Soul to protect (save).
  4. You have a Body to “put to death.”
  5. You have Virtue to acquire.
  6. You have Heaven to seek.
  7. You have Eternity on which to meditate.
  8. You have Temptation to resist.
  9. You have the World to guard against.
  10. Perhaps today you have to Death to meet or perhaps the Lord will return today.

Get to thinking!

-Scott

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Filed under advice, Christian living

Don’t or Do?

I remember it like it was 30 years ago . . . well it was 30 years ago. I was in high school and a classmate brought me a Six Step Evangelismcassette to listen to in the car. It was a copy of a comedic routine with a religious focus. I want to remember that it was the first time I heard Mark Lowry, but it may not have been him. The comedian spun a tale of the influence his godly grandmother had on him, including hitting him over the head with a “90lbs Bible.”  Then he turned serious for a moment.  He confessed that he did not read the Bible as a young person because all he knew about the Bible was that it was a “bunch of don’ts” and he did not want to be told what not to do.  He like most of us did not want anyone, even God, to squelch his good times. Then one day he decided to read the Bible for himself and he said he found out that the “Bible is a bunch of “do’s” and when you do the “do’s” you don’t have time to do the “don’ts.”  That rang a chord with me. That made complete sense, why in my 17 years of life had I not figured that out.  Now 30 years later, I want you to understand that simple truth.  Jesus said the same thing using these words, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven,” (Mat 7:21).

While thinking about that comedy routine as I drove to the study this morning I thought I would share a list of things you and I can do each day to help us keep from doing the don’ts.

  1. Encapsulate your day with prayer. Begin a prayer when your feet hit the floor and you are still sitting on the bed.  Close that prayer when you sit back on the bed at the end of the day. In other words, keep an open line of communication with God all day long. “Pray without ceasing” during the day.
  2. Engage your mind with the word of God.  Spend 10-15 minutes reading or listening to God’s. Bible Apps like YouVersion will read to you. Reflect on that reading. Think about why it was written, what the author intended, what the first audience needed to learn, and what you need to learn from the text.
  3. Encourage others in their walk with God. Do this everyday as long it is called today (Heb 3:13).
  4. Enjoy life in Christ. Live in the joy of your freedom from slavery to sin. Live in the joy of forgiveness and Grace. Let me say it again, rejoice! (Phi 4:4).
  5. Evangelize, that is to say share the good news of salvation in Christ that is available to all. Tell others how great it is to live in service to God. Tell them how God blesses your life. Let them see Christ in your daily life.

- Scott

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Stop It! Quit Now!

I Quit!

If you are like me and everyone I know, you find yourself adopting some bad habits. You struggle to do what you know is right and find yourself doing things that waste your time while keeping you from investing in the work of God.  Paul, that renowned apostle, understands your struggle. Notice his words, “For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.” (Rom 7:15).

I have some advice for you. Those thing you know are wrong, those excuses you make for not doing what is right.  STOP IT!  Quit now! For example:

  1. Stop blaming others for your decision not to be a Christian.
  2. Stop using the hypocrisy of others as an excuse for your lack of commitment.
  3. Stop listening to Satan’s lies.
  4. Stop refusing to live in God’s Grace.
  5. Stop putting your wants (yourself) above God.
  6. Stop focusing on the world and start focusing on God.

Stop it!

As motivation consider the advice of Bob Newhart in this “therapy” skit.

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Filed under Christian living, Grace, sin

R U Contagious

 

Worship this past Sunday Morning at Central

Worship this past Sunday Morning at Central

#Contagiouschurch

#Contagiouschurch

This past Sunday we looked at the concept of becoming a contagious church.  We want to:

  • Connect People with Jesus and His Word.
  • Have a Contagious Positive Attitude
  • Be United as a Church Family
  • Show Compassion – Care
  • Work Together for God’s Glory not Our Own.
  • Contagious churches are Churches that Sing Praise
  • Contagious churches are Churches that Provide Physical and Spiritual Care
  • Contagious churches are Churches that Pray
  • Contagious churches Reconcile People to God through Christ

But there is more. In our LIFE Group we were discussing these lessons and someone brought up how we can become contagious. They pointed out that as Christians we have God in our lives, that Christ is in us, and we live according to the Spirit that dwells in us. This spurred some thoughts.

Consider these very attractive, well CONTAGIOUS qualities:

  1. Love
  2. Joy
  3. Peace
  4. Patience
  5. Kindness
  6. Goodness
  7. Faithfulness
  8. Gentleness
  9. Self-Control

In Galatians 5:22-25, Paul calls these the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

R U Contagious?

- Scott

 

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