Showing posts from August, 2011

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less...

My wife and I have started Beth Moore's study titled Paul: 90 Days on His Journey of Faith. Today, for me, was day nine and it was centered on Paul's conversion and the account of it we find in Acts chapter 9. One of the questions that she asks us to consider prior to the lesson is this;

"Your saving encounter with Jesus may very likely have come with fewer flashes of light that Saul's did. Has this troubled you? Why should it not?"

Now, before I go any further let me say that I have strange feeling that I may have already addressed this subject matter in the past. So, if this is a repeat then I am sincerely sorry but it is what is on my heart and mind this morning and it is my blog so I'll write what I want to write. So there.

The thoughts that this question sparked in my mind focus on the idea that some believers have that if you didn't have a massive, lights flashing, emotional, amazing conversion experience then there is a strong chance that you are no…

OneCry update

Hello everyone. I just received this link from Dan Jarvis, the leader of the "voices" team for OneCry. I can't encourage you enough to check out the video and information on this site. The launch date for the movement is officially February of 2012 but that doesn't mean you can't start praying and getting excited now! The intro video is about 2 1/2 minutes and it is time well spent. The tech team at Life Action Ministries has done a magnificent job with it. Again, as things progress I will be putting out more information and updates as they come to me.



Why are you a Christian?

As I was recently reflecting on some people I know, some people I've heard of and some people I've seen teach a question came to my mind. Depending on the inflection that you use when asking the question it could come across in at least two ways and depending on how this post flows we may look at both. Now, without any further ado, the question:

Why are you a Christian?

The original impetus behind this question, in my mind, was seeing people who claim the name of Christ yet disregard, ignore, or discount most of the traditional teachings of the faith. For instance, say a person calls his or her self a Christian yet does not believe in the Resurrection. Why call yourself a Christian? This is THE central teaching of the New Testament and according to Paul it is by this fact that the rest of Christianity holds together.

For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins (1 Cor. 15:1…

Purpose in the Shadow of Death.

Though He slay me, I will hope in Him. Job 13:15

The thoughts for this post were inspired by two things. First, it came from a discussion I had with my father-in-law in our Sunday School class last night. Secondly, it has come from the experience of a dear saint of God, Pastor Mike Wilkinson, who went home to be with the Lord Jesus on Saturday night at 6:04 pm. Pastor Mike was the father of my good friend, and our youth pastor, Matthew Wilkinson. Though I was only able to spend a few hours with Mike over the past year his life, testimony and ministry were well known to myself and so many in our church family. His passing came at the end of a long battle with various forms of cancer and though he will most assuredly be missed there is no doubt that he is rejoicing with Christ this very moment.

The question that naturally arises when you see a saint of God, one of His faithful servants, succumb to a terrible disease is, "Why wouldn't God heal him?" To say that prayers were…

Franklin Heights Christian School: A Testimony of Revival

Many times revival among the Church is driven and spread by the testimony of the saints. In light of that I would like to share a story of one movement of God that I had the privilege of experiencing last year. Some of you may have heard this but I wanted to put it down "on paper," so to speak so that it will not be lost. Now, this actually happened about a year ago but I believe it will still be edifying for the Body even now just as the old stories of revival still have an impact on us.

The setting for this movement was Franklin Heights Christian School in Kannapolis, NC during one of their weekly chapel services. I was asked to bring a message for this service but I am so glad that the Spirit moved almost from the beginning. Per the usual order of worship the student led praise team began to lead us and we were singing "Amazing Grace, My Chains are Gone" by Chris Tomlin (Oh, how the Lord has used his music to move people's hearts so many times). Somewhere in…

Come, Lord Jesus

Over the past three days I have been in Buchanan, Michigan at "The Lodge," the retreat center of Life Action Ministries. I was there with 12 other people to talk about "OneCry" which is a movement that seeks to call for nationwide spiritual awakening. Let me say this, none of us were there because we are giants among American Christians. We were there because God brought us together with one passion and vision. The details of how each of us became part of this team are stories of God weaving events and meetings together so that He could put together a team of people who are passionate about seeing a visitation of God in America.

My own story begins in Israel in March of this year. My mother and step-father were on a tour of the Holy Land led by Erwin Lutzer of The Moody Church. One day my mother was able to sit and chat with Dr. Lutzer and she shared with him about my ministry and my heart for revival. This led to an invitation for me to come to Chicago for the Nat…

God's Fame > Our Fame: 1 Peter 2:9 Part 5

Well, we are finally ready to embark on the final leg of this journey through 1 Peter 2:9. I must confess that I never believed one verse could lead to a five part blog series but this one is so rich and it is vitally important that we understand who we are in Christ. Over the course of the past couple of weeks we have seen that, according to this passage, we are four things in Christ: a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people for God's own possession. While each of these descriptors is unique, they are all interconnected and even when considered together they do not fully express the new life that we have in the Lord Jesus.

The last part of the verse serves as a wonderful reminder of why all of this is made possible. It would be extraordinarily easy for us to become prideful or even arrogant after finding out that we are royalty of the highest order, or that we are handpicked for God. Knowing that that is the case the Holy Spirit inspired Peter to ground us r…

He Doesn't Want to Rent You: 1 Peter 2:9 Part 4

As we begin to close in on the final portion of this series on 1 Peter 2:9 we find that we are not only handpicked by God, royalty and a great big nation of people, we are also "a people for God's own possession" and if you read the King James Version you find out we are a "peculiar" people. How do you like them apples? You, Christian, are peculiar and the Bible says so. This is actually a good example of where using the KJV gets kind of tricky for us today because the language doesn't simply have the addition of "thees" and "thous" many of the words don't have the same connotation today as they did back then. To us, "peculiar" means weird or strange. In the context of this verse it means a special people that God has chosen as His special possession, hence the phrase used in the NASB.

Now, before we go too much further I think it is important to look back into the Old Testament and see what we can learn about possession. H…

The World's Largest Nation: 1 Peter 2:9 Part 3

Holy: moral and ethical wholeness or perfection, sanctified, set apart.

Nation: birth, race, nation, from nasci to be born.

This third portion of our series on 1 Peter 2:9 is interesting and it flows logically from the first two descriptions of who we are in Christ. In part one we found out that we were hand picked by God to be a His people and following that we learned that we are royalty because of our new-birth into Christ's royal line and because we will one day be married into it. Having set the stage with those two facts Peter goes on to tell us that we are a "holy nation." To understand this more fully we must understand the meaning of "holy." For the longest time my image of holiness was either divine or something that is kind of "untouchable." Let me give you a somewhat humorous example. I remember one time when I was a kid being very concerned that I shouldn't put anything on top of my Bible. Why? Because it is the "Holy" Bible …

You are Royalty: 1 Peter 2:9 Part 2.

Today we're going to continue our five part investigation of who we really are in Christ as expressed in 1 Peter 2:9. If you missed the first part you can go hereand catch up with our discussion. The next part of Peter's description of believers is truly amazing because it is something that only Christ could do there are some very interesting points of contact between being a "chosen race" and a "royal priesthood."

The first thing that stands out to me about this element of who we are in Christ is that it is a "dual office." What I mean by that is that being of the royal line and the priestly line are two very different things. If we look back into the Old Testament we see that being a king and  a priest was an impossibility within the Law that God set up. One of the most vivid evidences of this comes from 1 Samuel 13 when King Saul offers a burnt sacrifice before Samuel arrives. Samuel's response tells us all we really need to know:

You have a…