Month: July 2017
No One Else is There
Imagine yourself going to a very important party with your best friend ever and NEVER being introduced to others at the party. If this situation were to continue at some point you’d wonder about the quality of your friendship with your best ‘friend’.
Pushed aside and being placed on the back burner is never any fun. It builds resentment, hurt feelings and a falling away.
In approaching God in prayer, it would really suck if we found ourselves in a predicament where God really didn’t know us and had never seen us around.
Yet, in denying our Good friend, even my best friend I find myself as GUILTY as in not stating the presence of my friend in the company of others.
Unlike as with Peter whereas it was only a three time event of denial, I discover myself denying Jesus over and over again. This occurs every time I am with others and fail to acknowledge the present of Jesus to those of whom I am around.
But, of course, I am too shy to introduce Jesus.
I am embarrassed.
I don’t know what to say.
I am not a preacher.
It was not the time or place.
The list of excuses goes on forever.
The Bible is clear about this. Deny Jesus in the presence of others and he’ll deny us in the presence of His Father.
For all of this, you can’t blame Him. Truly, no one can support us when we are in the grace of good company and end up proclaiming that no one else is there.
You Shouldn’t Feel that Way!
How many times has someone come up to you when you were feeling bad or mad or frustrated and a friend, in attempts to help you says: You shouldn’t feel that way.
Oh, man, why of course. Sure. That really helps a lot. A moment ago you were feeling terrible and now comes Johnny Genius and explains how you shouldn’t feel that way and now that he said it, all of a sudden you feel 100% better.
Of course, this is total nonsense.
Feelings are feelings. No, they are not really directed or controlled by thought per se, but then again feelings are not values that can be judged as right or wrong. In other words, you feel what you feel: your emotions don’t care about the morality of them, only that they feel.
Yes, of course, you shouldn’t feel that way. Heck, you already knew you shouldn’t feel that way, but there is nothing really you can do about it for any given immediate timeliness.
Over time one can direct their energies and thoughts towards positive relationships and actions and in response, our feelings will become redirected, but for the short term, if you feel bad, in all likelihood, your life is going to suck in respect to pathos.
So then, I’m sure our friends mean well for us and in describing our disposition, there is more than likely a good reason to upgrade and feel good if we are out of sorts. However, a simple platitude of how we should feel isn’t going to help at all. And no, we realize we shouldn’t feel that way at all. Thank you for your assistance.
And Who Have You Said That I Am
This identical question was more or less asked by Jesus to the disciples. At least in great respect, He was finally announced as the Son of the Living God. As Christians, it is also our task to proclaim the Gospel which is really nothing more than the simple story of Christ who came and conquered our sins on the Cross.
In declaring our Lord, the Christ as the Son of the Living God, we might do this on Sundays while at Church or maybe even at home in our personal prayers.
Where else have we testified in stating who Christ is?
My guess is that probably you have not. You probably have not said that Christ is a phony or that He does not exist or that the story is a hoax or probably anything else.
My guess is that when it comes to Jesus you are probably like most Christians and leave it up to preachers to say who Jesus is one way or another.
Oh, we say that we are too shy or that we are not versed enough in the scriptures or that we are way too timid.
Either way we don’t say it. Perhaps even a better answer why we don’t declare our active savior and friend is that we are cowards. In some respects we are even ashamed of declaring the gospel or Jesus because of fear of what others will think of us.
And if we are ashamed of Him then He is ashamed of us. No wonder there is so little miracles abounding or beams of lights emitting from Christians.
To the credit of our good, we should be committed in firmly avowing that Christ is the Son of the Living God, that he came to earth as a moral, was crucified for our sins on the cross, was buried and arose again on the third day. After his resurrection, Jesus declared himself to His disciples and then ascended into Heaven where he sits on the throne at the right hand of God.
Sure this is all a mouthful: All that Jesus is—-he is far more than anyone we could ever really describe.
Yet, when people ask and people deny, we should be quick with our identity to our Lord. When they ask of whom that he is: we should be quick> He is the Christ, the savior of the world
The Invisible Church of God
It can very easily be said that the invisible aspect of the church does much work daily on behalf of God’s people. Many Christians perform tasks or deeds on behalf of others all the time without recognition. Some would or might even refer to this as random acts of kindness.
I assert that there is nothing random about being kind—that kindness is indeed extremely deliberate and well thought out. Too, by the same token, whereas the performer of these deeds may in fact be ‘unsung’ heroes, they are not really invisible at all, in fact, highly visible to the person who is on the receiving end. By that identical virtue, our God is not really an invisible God. No, our Lord is highly visible whenever a person, once again is receiving the blessings from those highly visible ministers of God’s Kingdom.
Whereas there is no need to be tooting one’s horn as such as if one were performing a Hollywood script, there should be enough Christians in service to others that the presence should in fact not be invisible, but highly visible—a strong force to be reckoned with.
Sadly, this strength is also a weakness of the church as a whole. The church as a whole is good about paying for someone to provide service to others, but generally fails to outwardly present itself as a service agent or agency.
In a nutshell, if we want God to be an inward expression of a Christian’s soul, then service should be outward, highly visible, often enough to merit recognition that it exists to the world as a whole.
Thus, the true witness of the church comes not by word, as many proclaim by mouth, but by example of what we offer to others in terms of service. This witness comes without the need of many words, as service has a mechanism of speaking for itself. The same was true for the miracles of Christ. They did not need explanation as the goodness in itself was enough. His work stood on its own.
So too it should be with the Christian. If a Christian is to be known by his love, then that love should be free, available and without demand. And without being a magician, this is how the invisible church becomes highly recognizable and visible as the spokesperson for God. As Christ, the Christian then also becomes no longer in the shadows, but as a beckon of light for all.
A Handy Pain In-the-Butt Prophet Hanging Around
At least one feature the Old Testament guys had was almost always: a handy pain in the butt Prophet. We all know the heavies. We know about Elijah, Isaiah or Samuel or Nathan.
These guys were available to come in, chew out whoever was messing up, direct fire or floods or whatever mayhem on the bad guys and force them to straighten up their acts.
Enter: Agent X out of Lubbock, Texas. Here is a Fat Beggars kind of guy (what? What the heck is that?) Who charges the WordPress pages with exhortations that lift up the homeless.
Okay, okay so Agent X is not one of the heavies when it comes to prophets. Yes, he is more of a Nathan kind of guy: one who points out, who admonishes and charges, who more or less backs off, yet demands justice through the auspices of God’s justice—the law of salvation and goodness.
And the Good News out of all of this is that God’s Prophets are not only still with us such as Agent X, but that the words of the prophets, established from the very words of God are also just as powerful as back in the days of old.
I’m not so sure how handy Agent X is, but I do know he is committed to the cause of the poor and homeless in the area of Lubbock, Texas.
My desire is that all of us out here elevate and lift up the prophet. Let this pain in the butt do whatever He was called to do in order to rescue those poor souls sent to by God.
A pain in the butt, yes sir, but a very needed one. Concentrate your prayers towards our friend and modern day pain in the butt prophet that hangs around for a just cause. Agent X’s mission is just as real as those others in ancient day. Too, God’s purpose is the same.
The Purpose of Accidental Mistakes
If you are like me, you’ve messed up many times over stupid things that were never intended that way from the start. Oh, you might have dropped off over at the club more or less by accident, no real intent, and then the next thing you know, you wake up somewhere the next morning someplace else. This was never your intent or your purpose. We end up wiping it off as a mistake.
The same is true for many scenarios—we being with something that seems innocent enough and the next thing you know, we are over our heads and involved. Usually we’ve also spent way—far too much money and time and always promise never to get involved with something like that again.
This is NOT how it is about going to church. No one goes to church by accident, by mistake. No one drops in to a bar and somehow wakes up in a church. NO, those who go to church, those who serve the Lord don’t do so by accident: This is all by virtue of a conscious, active decision performed by deliberation and thought.
By the same breath of virtue it is the same with God. He does not find us by accident or by mistake. Our relationship with God, with His church is formulated by conscious decision. In other words, there is purpose: design with our relationship between us and His church.
Moreover, our fundamental tenet and belief system of God could never be established by accident: Our foundation and relationship with our creator is set into concrete by our determined though process as we declare our thoughts by action.
Thus, then our actions are not performed either by accident. They are conscious, deliberate acts that describe the very nature of love.
And I this sense, the world then knows who we as Christians are. This is done not by our thoughts, but by our actions.
So then, the issue becomes: will our live be generated by a continual series of accidents and wrongs or by the proper direction of deliberate, conscious decision? The greatest decision is not only to Follow our Christ, but choose also to serve Him.
And how do we serve Him? We serve Him by serving his Children.
Feed the hungry. Give to the poor. Be with the homeless, the orphans and the widows. Go to the prisons and be with them.
Those who are thirsty, give them drink. Go to the sick and infirmed, those who are struggling.
In short, do all those things by deliberate action whose purpose is ingrained by the tenets of God. Those of these behaviors could ever be described as an accident. None of these behaviors are mistakes. They are all part of the pattern, the intent and aim of the driving force of the love of God. All of which possesses a purpose
Are You Still Up There?
Perhaps one of the biggest thing we have about God is that we want Him to be there whenever we need or want Him. It’s all about simply being there.
Often this means that we don’t really want anything, it’s that we simply desire for our Heavenly Father to be there while we are going through moments of doubt, pain, loneliness or despair. The actual PRESENCE issue is a big ticket item, one of which that cannot be overlooked. The truth is: while and when God is there, the reality of the ‘biggie’ of truth is that God becomes real. In fact, He becomes more than real: He becomes integrated into our very soul.
And so it is also with the mission of his church: the people. As a member of His church, it is also our task to be REAL to God’s children.
We become a reality to others when our PRESENCE is felt to be with them. Again, it is a matter of simply being there with them. IN doing so, we establish the reality of the truth of God through us as we have proclaimed it.
And so, in asking if God is still up there no longer really is the principal issue. The real question is that God up there commands us down here to serve and by serving, proves that God is DOWN HERE.
Our presence should be demonstrated with the homeless. Our presence should be shared with prisoners, the poor, with orphans, with widows and all those who suffer from the perils, the trails of despair: the down trotted.
And if you’ll notice here too, that I need not quote scripture. The action is all about presence, not about wits or intellect. While sitting with those who are afflicted to the point of oblivion, there are no words of wisdom one could interject to them. Say for example a person suffering at a hospice or assisted living facility. These people aren’t suffering from lack of knowledge: NO! They are suffering from loneliness and dejection. They need moral support—our PRESENCE!
Again, there is no question about God being way up there. No… the question is God’s love down HERE! And God’s love down here is to be provided by we, the church.
Once more: Is God way up there? Is he still there? And I assert, the real question and answer lies with US for He gave us the Keys to the Gates of Heaven. And if we are willing to Serve the Almighty God, then yes, God is down here with me and you.
When we don’t know Jesus and we throw the Bum Out
A friend of mine, Agent X of Lubbock, Texas spoke of an event where the homeless and bums were gathered and where a group he headed had organized an event that sported a great feast. The pastor of the church, when invited to attend stated he wouldn’t attend as he was full because he had already eaten.
Mind you, this feast was in attune with the scriptures where those who had been previously invited failed to attend and thus, the effort was instead focused on all those who were in the highways and byways.
All of those attending were in fact: the least of these… All were forsaken folk who had been rejected and defected by society and mostly even by the church. Most had been shunned and avoided when seen sleeping on the streets and grossly neglected by those who had nothing better to do than throw the poor bum out.
No, we don’t like the ugly. We hate the poor and despicable. We loathe the hobo,the deranged and outcast. And if they approach us, we demand that everyone throw the bums out.
That mangey bum is our Lord, the Christ. He is Jesus and why is he Jesus? He is Jesus for Jesus said that whenever we assist the least of these, we are serving HIM. And in like manner, it makes sesnse that whenever we reject the least of these, we also reject our friend, Jesus.
Agent X was appalled at the event. He could not believe that people had passed Jesus by. That the homeless, the broken who were in the image of Jesus were NOT welcome and were in fact, scorned.
Those bums are Jesus. Those bums represent the incarnate Love Jesus and His Father, our Father possess for all His creation.
We should do everything EXCEPt throw the bum out.
And whenever you reject the bum, you are also rejecting me for I am also a bum by almost any standard. And rejecting me you are rejecting all my kids and my family and all my friends.
And so too,the same it is with Jesus. If we reject Him, we reject the entire universe for He is the savior of the Universe. For no matter how we are presented, and how we might come to you, just as Agent X says, we are the least of these. And to everyone else, to include Jesus, we are nothing more than a bum.
Thought for the Day by Tom Green