Monday, August 2, 2010

Free Corrective Eye Surgery

Why is it so hard for us to see what is so obviously wrong? Why do we struggle to see our next step? Why do people wander aimlessly through life without purpose or passion?

Proverbs 29:18 says, "Where there is no vision, people perish." I deal with people everyday who have a vision of what life should be like, but they don't see why they will never experience that life because they are self-centered, self-directed and near-sighted.

Maybe the New Living Translation puts this verse into a more accurate translation. It says,
"When people do not accept divine guidance, they run wild. But whoever obeys the law is joyful." Our fleshly, selfish, fallen vision is corrected by the Word of God. Look at James 1:19-25, 2 Timothy 3:16

True vision is "seeing things from God's point of view." We are witnessing the perishing of people who are willfully rejecting divine guidance and yielding to the selfish desires of their flesh. Why can't people see why they are perishing? Marriages fail, destructive habits continue, talents are wasted and lives are ruined because people refuse to view life through the corrective lens of God's Word and accept the divine guidance it offers.

Ignore the Bible and perish. Know the Bible but don't obey it and perish with guilt. Know the Bible and obey it and find victory, peace and joy. Having a hard time making sense out of life? Can't see why you are where you are? Does the future seem blurry? God offers free corrective eye surgery, if you are willing. Maybe it all starts here.

Just Thinking.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Called to Reach not to Keep

Churches can unconsciously move from a biblical agenda of proclaiming the Gospel and reaching the lost to an organizational agenda of pleasing people and keeping everyone happy. Everything leadership does should equip the saints to reach the lost, not to please the crowd to prevent the loss. When Jesus was confronted about people leaving because what He was saying bothered some, He didn't try to change, but He gave others the opportunity to leave if they wanted.

God is responsible to keep people. As a matter of fact, He said that He will not lose anyone. Why do people leave? First, some people have an agenda that is not the agenda God has laid on the leadership of the church. These may be good people that God will use elsewhere. The incident between Barnabas, John Mark and Paul is an illustration of good people going in different directions because of different agendas.

Some people leave because they don't know God, even though they profess to know Him. These are folks who want God on their terms and will continually run from the truth. Either way, trying to keep people with different agendas or lost religious people with personal agendas is not healthy for the church (and especially leaders).

We are called to reach people with the Gospel and to train up others to reach more. God is responsible to keep those who have turned to Him. The departure of people is never fun but it is a reality of ministry. If Christ's ministry had a back door, why do we think that our ministry will not. When people leave it may be a time to reflect and inspect, but it is not a call to change agendas.

Church leaders fail to be fishers of men when they become keepers of the aquarium. While we are spending our energy pleasing the 90, we fail to reach the 9,000 at our doorstep who have not heard the Gospel. A great awakening will come when we become "reachers" and stop trying to be "keepers".

Just Thinking.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Rolling Very Fast - Uphill

Moving at a high rate of speed can be very exciting, sometimes intimidating, sometimes overwhelming and sometimes scary. Generally, when I think of going fast it involves going downhill (That's the only time I went fast on my bicycle ride from Maine to Georgia). I grew up near Maple Grove Drag Strip and know that you can also go very fast on a flat quarter-mile strip of asphalt.

Rarely do I think of going fast uphill, and yet that is exactly what is involved in a rapidly growing ministry. Going fast uphill has its challenges. You are fighting gravity (the status quo). It takes above-average energy to keep up the pace. When you let off the gas things slow down very quickly. Finally, the thought of a never ending climb can become overwhelming and discouraging.

There is a Haitian proverb that comes to mind today. "Never look a mountain in the face or it will slay you. Watch where you are walking and you will climb the mountain." Paying attention to. . . being engaged in . . . and even enjoying the present, while pressing on to the future is the secret to rolling very fast - uphill.

Just thinking . . .