Monday, June 3, 2013
Radical Sun, Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri and Sat....
Monday. Today is Monday. The day after Sunday. Am I going to live Radically for God the day after Sunday? Hmmm....
We have started a new series at church; Radical, by David Platt. I did a little research on Pastor Platt and he is a very intelligent young man. He holds two undergraduate degrees and three advanced degrees. He is married and the father of three children--all with biblical names. I believe his passion is making true disciples for Jesus GLOBALLY. He travels greatly--practicing what he teaches others so eloquently to do.
My notes from Sunday School are scribbled on a page in my bible.
This page of scribbled handwriting has some pretty powerful teaching from a very passionate pastor. The one statement that Pastor Platt said that convicted me to the very core of my being was this..."Our love for Jesus should make our love for everything and everyone else look like hate." Ponder that statement for a minute or two. It sounds sort of oximoronic, but it isn't, if thought about through the circulatory system of faith.
Our love for our Messiah and King should be so great...so visible...so prominent...that the love we have for everyone and everything else seems like hate in comparison. WOW!! Do I love and live this way? Do you?
I remember several years ago a bible study was very popular in the Baptist churches. It was called..Experiencing God. One of the principles brought out in this study was this...each church needs to monitor who God is bringing into the fellowship. The skills and strengths of these new members are a sign from God in the way He wills the church to go.
Example--My church. A few years back, well actually several years now...we started getting new members. After a major divine weeding out...we were left with a group of men with construction skills. I don't mean just able to fix a leaky faucet skill, but a general contractor, electricians, engineers, men with tools and equipment that the average Joe does not have in his garage type of men. Well, one day a lady in our church noticed that a brick wall was separating from part of our building. The inspector said that 27 tons of roof, walls, brick, windows, plaster, wood and metal could have come down on our heads! The sanctuary could have killed us all!
To make a very long story short I am going to fast forward a few years. We now have a beautiful sanctuary and some other improvements done by these men...members of our church that God brought to JRCC. There are so many stories and testimonies of how God miraculously provided money, cranes, workers, supplies through these men and the community our church is in....ALL DEBT FREE!!
God brought these skilled men--our church was falling down--these men, called by God, rebuilt our church! Amazing!!!
Now, I wrote all this to get to my point about David Platt's book and teachings. If you were to look at www.cbd.com and look at the new books and bible studies...you will notice where God is leading and what He is doing with His Church. The Christian world is being led into a deeper, more expressive relationship with the Father. (David Platt's: Radical, Radical Together, Follow Me; Francis Chen's: Crazy Love, Forgotten God, Multiply...just to name a few.)
There is a great many books being published about the end times. The Harbinger comes to mind, plus many books by Joel Rosenberg and others. Even though some may just be novels--the message is loud and clear.
Another area of literary influx is our Jewish Roots of Christianity. These books are causing us to focus on Jerusalem...the Jews...Israel...the Middle East. The beginning place and the ending place of linear time.
We really need to take heed to what God is allowing the publishers to publish. We need to be Bereans and stay in His Word...checking out if what these authors are writing about line up with His Truth. What is God telling us? I know that the Bible is the Holy Word of God. I am not saying that any of these books are on this Divine Level....but....are these authors the Biblical Prophets of our time? Are they not calling God's people to a deeper relationship with the Creator of All? Are they not a sign from God that time, as we know it, is coming to an end? Are we writing the very Word of God on our hearts and doorposts? Are we heeding the warnings of these published prophets to ready the next generation for hard times that will end with a new heaven and a new earth?
Are we loving the Holy Trinity so deeply that every other love we have appears as hate in comparison?
This sounds like Isaiah or Jeremiah shouting from the steps of the temple, "Turn back to God!!! or suffer the consequences!" Platt, Chen, Piper, Stott, Keller, et al., are shouting "Love God NOW!!!! Before it is too late! Serve as a disciple NOW!! Before it is too late!! Tell your world about Jesus! NOW!! Before it is too late!! Live for Him and Him alone....Before it is too late!!" There seems to be the same message being pumped through the arteries of God's Church, His Bride! Are we listening?
I have seen, just since this Sunday, so many areas of hypocrisy in my attitude, my thoughts, my love for God, and it has only been 23 hours since I heard the Sunday School message! So, I am going to ask myself this question everyday, probably several times a day..."Is my love for Jesus making my love for everything and everyone else look like hate?"
Several scripture verses come to mind...Genesis 22:2, Leviticus 19:18, Joshua 22:5, Proverbs 10:12, Micah 6:8-the list is endless. Now, I sort of understand why "the greatest of these is love"...We are to love God with a love that only He can give us. Quite simple if you think about it.
I found myself praying to God last night while I was sitting outside at my old gray friend..."Father--help me to FEAR you. Break my heart for what breaks Yours. Release me from the American Hollywood type of selfish, self seeking, self glorifying type of love. I want to know true love...the love of You, Father. Please fill me up with the Love that does Your Will-even if it means staying silent. Fill me up with the Love that presses on and through difficult relationships. Fill me with the Love that calls out from the temple steps! Fill me with the Love that pleases you even if it alienates me from others. Fill me with the Love that chases prejudices, hatereds, expectations and sins from my heart, soul and mind. Help me to number my days. Help me to have such a reverent fear for You and Your Love that I will die to self and consider it gain!"