| Time to Rethink|
Time To Rethink
Just recently the Lord has been causing me to rethink many of the things that I thought were normal Christianity. There have been several books that have been instrumental in this shift, Deitrich Bonheoffers The Cost of Discipleship, Francis Chans Crazy Love, Brother Yuns Heavenly Man, Marie Monsens The Awakening Revival in China 1927-1937, Jonathan Go forths When The Spirits Fire Swept Korea, E.Stanley JonesThe Christ of the Mount, David Platts Radical, and Shane Claibornes The Irresistible Revolution, which might even be just a bit too radical for me, but taught me a lot about what love looks like.
I have come to understand why there is so little power and fruit coming forth from our labors, if we even really labor is questionable in itself here in the good ol USA. Most of us have become a group of believers that pamper ourselves and enjoy our societies. We spend very little time working to fulfill the great commission. We are too busy enjoying life as others are swept into a burning hell. We have to upkeep our lifestyles, and that takes time and money, doesnt it. Well I am convinced, and convicted, that God is calling us to something really radical.
In Bonhoeffers book I read how the call we receive calls us to forsake all and follow Him. Every call He gave while walking this earth was the same, leave all and follow me. Lest we misunderstand, here are the verses:
Luke 14:26 If any [man] come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
Mar 10:21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
Mar 10:28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
Mar 10:29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
Mar 10:30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
You might say, hey wait a minute God doesnt call us to forsake all, what about our families? They are free to follow as well. Peter and others had families and he undoubtedly continued to take care of them, but they followed Jesus with him.
What God began to show me is that we believers have cut ourselves off from the bleeding and dying and cloistered ourselves in our safe havens. We wonder why many of our children go astray, and get irritated at the black holes that suck the life out of us. Why is this happening? Do we invite to our dinners the ones Jesus told us to?
Luk 14:12 Then said he also to him that bade him, When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, neither thy kinsmen, nor [thy] rich neighbours; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompence be made thee.
Luk 14:13 But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind:
Luk 14:14 And thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Well we are afraid that bringing in this type of strangers might be dangerous, they might steal our stuff. Well there are groups of Christians around the world who are doing just that. Why dont we? We want to see people changed for Christ, but want the nice guys, the easy to deal with that wont mess up our lives. So we have chosen to live cloistered peaceful, dull lives that dont turn the world upside-down.
We admire the missionaries that sacrifice their lives at the tip of a savage natives spear, for the gospels sake, but we fear the homeless and insane that are right outside our door. It is dangerous, yes, but who is our keeper? Do we really care that these folks are perishing without Jesus? How much do we care?
The Lord led me to the book by David Platt and I saw how my children are not serving the Lord because I kept them in a greenhouse. I thought I was doing right. I was protecting my kids from enemy. Now I see I should have taken them out on the streets and into the homeless shelters, hospitals and allowed them to minister with me and they would have caught the fire. Shame on me. In his book he shares how God has led his church to forsake all an follow Him. It looks different individual to individual, because God doesnt require the same thing from each of us because we have different calling. But these folks are selling their excess and tightening up their lives, smaller homes, more practical cars, etc and using that money for the furtherance of the gospel. Not to build bigger church buildings, but to win the poor and beggarly to the Lord, to equip poor pastors in other countries to win their nations for Jesus. To supply water and housing to the homeless. Love looks like something. I would suggest you read Radical. It will mess you up in a good way. You are called. We all are.
David Platt also shares how we are called to go and make disciples of all nations and shares how Jesus made His disciples, He walked with them. He had the inner 12 that really became His family, He poured into them all He was as they walked together. We can only mentor someone by being with them. They have to be with us in all walks of life. Time must be invested and that means it is time to re-think me time. Me time is well, all about me. Where in the word are we told to have me time? Thanks PJ for that insight. We are called to go into our closet and have Him time, but me time is just selfish wasted time. You might say that is pretty strong. Well just read about the revival in Korea and even about the church these days in other countries and you will see the urgency they place upon the great commission. They believe that no cost is too great. But most of us dont want to be too radical, just reasonably radical. After all we have to live in this world. Sorry it is on its way out to be replaced by a new one. Time to be eternally minded.
The world is perishing all around us. Do we really believe the sermon on the mount is for real? If we have an extra coat do we give it someone who has none. Do we visit those in prison? I saw an example recently at church. Jamie & Cameron took several young men with them to visit prisoners in a very dangerous prison. It was a fearful place but those young men who accompanied those who were mentoring them, were transformed and touched by Gods love expressed there. They were impacted and came back excited to share what God was doing. Was it dangerous? Yes, so what. What can they threaten us with? Eternal life? Seeing Jesus face sooner. Hmmmm. I also saw those doing the who were leading becoming much more excited about their own walk because of pouring their lives into others. Hallelujah. Rivers of living water flowing freely one to another.
Reading of the revivals in Korea and China caused me to see that these folks had no me time, but poured out their lives for the lost. No spa days or manicures. Weeping snotty noses replaced external beauty and pampering. Their hearts bled over the condition of the lost. The went to great ends and dangers to bring in the harvest. One lost soul was too much. Men like Bro. Yun were in prison numerous times, receiving vicious torture for being bold enough to proclaim the gospel where forbidden, but they felt the cost was worth forsaking all to follow Him. Their lives were not their own. They were bought with a price and they were willing to give all in return. It is time we heed the call. We are all called. Will our fathers, mothers and the rest of the family hate us? many will. But it has always been thus. However they are free to follow us as we follow Christ.
I am convinced we are in the final hours. Jesus is drawing nigh and we need to be without spot or wrinkle. How do we do that? By fulfilling His calling on our lives. Obedience. Love looks like something. We need to open up our lives and homes to those who need it. Why do we have spare rooms and not share them with visiting ministers of the gospel. Why do we send them to impersonal hotels. Why cant they join in our family and eat at our tables. Maybe we dont want them to see us in our unguarded, un-groomed moments. Maybe we have something to hide? We are cloistered. How about the others we say we love. Do we really. Or do we only love them on our time, and occasionally when the dont interrupt our lives. Folks its time for change. We are called the family of God. What does a family look like in the natural. Do we love each other as much as our own family members? Do our hearts break for every member of our spiritual family?
Mat 25:34 Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:
Mat 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Mat 25:36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Mat 25:37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed [thee]? or thirsty, and gave [thee] drink?
Mat 25:38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took [thee] in? or naked, and clothed [thee]?
Mat 25:39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
Mat 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done [it] unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done [it] unto me.
Mat 25:41 Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:
Mat 25:42 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink:
Mat 25:43 I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked, and ye clothed me not: sick, and in prison, and ye visited me not.
Mat 25:44 Then shall they also answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?
Mat 25:45 Then shall he answer them, saying, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did [it] not to one of the least of these, ye did [it] not to me.
t 25:46 And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal.
In that day He will not bring up how great we worshipped, prayed, preached, or prophesied, but how we loved. Love looks like something. Come on church this is our watch. The things of this world are passing away. The only thing we can take with us is souls. We are ambassadors for Christ. We are not of this world. We are a called out people, so why are our roots so deep in the earth? Why do we turn a blind eye and deaf ear? Why do we act like this world is not passing away? Now is the time. Look up our redemption draweth nigh. Lets be about our Fathers business before its too late.
I would say that when we are frustrated or discouraged because those we thought were walking in the Lord fail to do so, we should look and see if we really walked beside them and did as Cameron & Jamie did, setting an example. Did we bring them with us to the nursing homes, prisons, tent cities, homeless shelters, etc. or just expect they would be content to come to church and not really impact the world around them. Jesus said, take up your cross and follow Me. Hey that means He leads and they followed. We impact those around us by walking the walk. If you are wondering why everybody around you is so dry and selfish, check your degree of excitement over spreading the gospel. I am. I cant point the finger at anyone else if I am sitting on my rear end expecting someone else to do it. We inspire by doing, just as our Jesus did. He loved unto death, even the death of the cross. So must we. It isnt about us, its about Him and them. Get up and teach by example. It you see no fire, ignite some. Go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. The great commission hasnt change, we have. The good news is we can change again and impact or world and those we are mentoring by example. We just might find ourselves changed in the process. Amen?
| 2010/6/11 23:39||Profile|
| Re: Time to Rethink|
Have i gone through what you now begin, and still, after six years, there are still things that are being eliminated.
It's not really about going and getting rid of everything. It's about being sold out to God.
The issue is we must give everything up to God as His alone, so that our focus is on Him alone, and not: people, places, things, nor all the selfisms (self-esteem, self-respect, self-gratification, self-preservation, etc).
This is the essence of if thy eye offend thee, pluck it out, or if thy hand, cut it off....
...yet, if everything is God's posession, it is no longer your concern, though it may still be your responsibility, and you will do everything to glorify God.
This is all about taking up your cross, which Jesus mentioned specifically 6 times, twice in each of the synoptic gospels. In John it is said in other different ways, i.e. Jn. 14:15; 15:6, 7; 15:13, 14 and so on and on.
It's the same principle everywhere in the Gospels, creating a paradox in us: to live, we die.
To the extent we die, to that extent we rise to new life.
In Bonhoffers book, read that section on Life in the Body closely and seriously ponder.
In life, following Jesus, it's all about walking in opposition in every respect to how the world (this age) does things, so knowing deeper and deeper relationship in Jesus Christ which results in abundant life, above and beyond whatever the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life can ...NOT! do for you.
Rather than chasing the wind reaping the whirlwind,
on Christ the solid Rock we stand.
Welcome to the fray.
| 2010/6/12 0:29|
| Re: Time to Rethink|
God is using his word, and books like these to stir up a whole generation of believers that as Platt puts it "Make much of the glory of God." God is calling us to know Him and to make Him known, to say no to the American dream and yes to the vision of God. God is messing me up too!
| 2010/6/12 1:08||Profile|
| Re: Time to Rethink|
Excellent Goldminer, and a quote from one of my favorite books as well 'The Cost of Discipleship." .....brother Frank
| 2010/6/12 1:24|
| Re: Time to Rethink|
I am excited about what God is doing in the church in the USA for the first time in many years. This is His counter to the prosperity gospel, that is no gospel at all. I see real revival coming, but it is revival in each individual heart. A return to the true gospel of the cross, and resurrection too. Praise the Lord. I don't mind the fray. I am in fact excited about it, not that I like pain, nobody does. But the answer has come that there is really something different about what we believe, and God will impact a dying world through, yes, our death that they may have life. When we walk as He walked we will have the goods to turn the world upside-down, because we will have Him. Hallelujah.
Phanetheus you said "In Bonhoffers book, read that section on Life in the Body closely and seriously ponder", I have and was very impacted by it. I saw a Bonhoeffer page on facebook where a person said, " it is a book I will never finish, because I will read it over and over for the rest of my life".
Bro. Frank I love the book also. I have been sharing it constantly with everyone who will listen ever since I read it this last time, which I read twice back to back because it impacted me so much.
I am glad to be in the fray with you Phanetheus. It is a sad thought to think about how much, in time and resources, we have wasted on ourselves. But I am not beating myself up, I didn't know until revelation came. I am so glad it came.
Shadyg thank you for your words of encourgement.
Peace and blessing to you all.
| 2010/6/12 8:22||Profile|
| Re: |
I know someone suggested this before, but I would suggest you all read David Platt's book "Radical" in it's entirety. It is such an amazing book with regards to understanding the urgency of the great commission. He shares the reasoning behind the thought that if the gospel isn't preached to all men they will be in heaven. The understanding he shares is very solid and biblical. If you have people asking you if those who haven't heard will go to heaven this book will really help you with an answer that makes sense.
| 2010/6/12 11:55||Profile|
| IN THE BODY: Discipleship and Judgement|
Life in the body, start first with ourselves. Though few recognize it, our responsibility start with us, and whatever we do in our body affects and effects those of His body surrounding us.
Every man has an appointment with death.
You, me... everybody will end up before God enthroned and account for their way of life.
Yet, how different will it be for the believer?
If you failed to ever consider the judgement seat of Christ, somebody has deluded you.
Some think that believers will be absolved of responsibility for actions done IN THE BODY because Jesus blood covers and remits.
This is not so.
Jesus made the opposite clear. Anybody reading the Gospels being honest with themselves easily sees this is not the case. Read Matthew 5 to gain clearer understand regarding just what God's accounting is about for those who will walk in His kingdom. Nobody but nobody has an exception pass, but rather, Mk. 9:49.
(How could it be any otherwise knowing your own experience in relationship with God unless in the first place someone has decieved themselves into imagining they have relationship with Him.)
14 Pursue peace with everyone, and holiness without it no one will see the Lord. 15 See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no root of bitterness springs up, causing trouble and by it, defiling many. 16 And see that there isnt any immoral or irreverent person like Esau, who sold his birthright in exchange for one meal. 17 For you know that later, when he wanted to inherit the blessing, he was rejected because he didnt find any opportunity for repentance, though he sought it with tears.
18 For you have not come to what could be touched, to a blazing fire, to darkness, gloom, and storm, 19 to the blast of a trumpet, and the sound of words. (Those who heard it begged that not another word be spoken to them, 20 for they could not bear what was commanded: And if even an animal touches the mountain, it must be stoned! 21 And the appearance was so terrifying that Moses said, I am terrified and trembling.) 22 Instead, you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God (the heavenly Jerusalem), to myriads of angels in festive gathering, 23 to the assembly of the firstborn whose names have been written in heaven, to God who is the judge of all, to the spirits of righteous people made perfect, 24 to Jesus (mediator of a new covenant ), and to the sprinkled blood, which says better things than the ⌊blood⌋ of Abel.
25 See that you do not reject the One who speaks; for if they did not escape when they rejected Him who warned them on earth, even less will we if we turn away from Him who warns us from heaven. 26 His voice shook the earth at that time, but now He has promised, Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also heaven. 27 Now this expression, Yet once more, indicates the removal of what can be shaken that is, created thingsso that what is not shaken might remain. 28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us hold on to grace. By it, we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and awe; 29 for our God is a consuming fire.
The epistles point out the fact of every Christian being responsible for everything done IN THEIR BODY while living.
Regarding this judgement, two verses, written specifically to those who believe in Jesus are forewarded for consideration:
Heb. 9:27 and II Cor. 5:10
We live under grace, if we do indeed walk according to the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. The problem is that many fail to recognize what exactly this encompasses.
COUNT THE COST!
So many have been heard to say, "Hey G, we live under grace and not Law..." , and in the very saying of such they show that they have fallen from grace by walking according to certain 'rules' that they have been told to believe. Walking in Law, they claim grace.
Law only deals with outward manifestations of that which is in opposition to God.
Grace deals with the heart.
The outward deeds through works of the Law are all covered by Jesus' blood.
Now, in Jesus Christ, our very grace from God, it is no longer outward thing that remain the issue. If He has changed your heart, by grace through faith, the deeds done IN YOUR BODY will be ever growing into conformity with Jesus, from glory to glory.
The grace of God revealed in our bodies is this:
As our inward man conforms to the image of Christ, the outward man through synapsis keeps God's Law.
Grace is more sever in judgement than the Law.
Think, walk and talk in Jesus.
Everything else will be destroyed.
p.s. Here's a little ditty that came to mind right after praying the sciptures this morning:
Living inside out this mysterious faith,
We're absolved from knowing strife:
From Him in Him by Him for Him
Streams flow out eternal life.
Nobody likes to talk about it.
This just seems so true.
Yet one day each one reckons
This life will soon be through.
| 2010/6/12 13:42|
| Re: Time to Rethink|
i love this thread, i love your heart KLC, just want to let you know that. i love dear Shame Claiborne, you know among us here, who is doing a similiar work in Christ, but doesnt post much, (probably coz he's got Things to do!) is Patrick Ersig with the ministry God entrusted him, The Jonah Project, downtown skid row LA. Pat is a beloved brother....
i love this thread, i love your heart, and all the other saints that responded...much love in Jesus, neil
| 2010/6/12 14:27|
| Re: |
Hi Golminer, the first three chapters of "The Cost of Discipleship," just rips open the reformation generation that followed the first. He clearly deliniates between what quickly became a mental assent to an abstarct truth and genuine faith in a way that is rarely seen...........brother Frank
| 2010/6/12 14:35|
| Re: Time to Rethink|
Thanks guys for your comments. I am much encouraged. I see there are more with a heart for more on this forum than I see so far in my area of the country. But I believe that is about to change. I am speaking to those dry bones.
I would love to get together with you all and have a bible study. Praise the Lord for hearts to follow hard after Jesus and the great commission.
Peace and joy to you all.
| 2010/6/13 0:51||Profile|