Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Intentionally Reflecting Jesus

I have heard people say that we are like the moon and God is like the sun in that He gives off light and we reflect that light. We are not light in ourselves, we just reflect Him.

For argument's sake, though, let me take this analogy to task. What does the moon do to reflect the light of the sun? Nothing! It just floats in space while the sun does all the burning.

Too many Christians have taken on this aspect of this particular analogy. They let God do all the work and assume that somehow His light will just shine through us.

"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven." - Matthew 5:14-16 (NIV)

I know that for some this seems to contradict not letting your right hand know what your left hand is doing (Matt. 6:3), but that command was specifically about giving to the needy.

This command is more about how you live. Intentionally doing things that will bring honor to God, and show the world what matters to Him. You don't accidentally do these things. You have to look for ways to do this; pray for opportunities, then make the most of them.

What has your faith caused you to do that rips you out of your comfort zone and ignites the light you are to be in this dark world? What have you done to intentionally bring glory to God? How have you "loved your neighbor as you love yourself" in action?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Personal Info

Rachel and I attended my 20th high school reunion in the Summer of 2005. What a surreal experience that was! I have put on a few...hundred...pounds since I saw these friends last, but it was a lot of fun! I wouldn't have missed it for anything! It was also the first time I have been back to Alaska since I graduated, and the scenery I used to take for granted was more beautiful than I had remembered. I'm going to try to add some scenery pics from the trip, if I can ... Posted by Picasa

How political should we become?

Have we become more of a political "special interest group" than a world-changing "new creation" of God? How far should we go in the inerest of trying to force a sinful world to behave with Christian values? How much time is spent trying to make people act right than we are trying to spread the good news of Jesus Christ? Is it effective in our witness to get angry at sinful behavior in a sinful society, or should we focus on showing love to the sinners who are bound by their sins? Most importantly, among believers, is it worth causing division in the body of Christ by arguing over which political party is right? Are either of the political parties right?

These are questions the church is going to have to deal with intentionally over the coming years, or we are destined to forget what we are and where our citizenship truly is. Yes, I believe America has been blessed by God, but it isn't because of our written codes or political practices. It is because the people putting those written codes into practice believed in God and desired to please Him. In the past, our leadership has operated with a genuine respect for God, from their hearts. Forcing people who don't genuinely hold God in the highest honor to act like they do is a huge mistake, because the outward actions fool only men, not God. God sent us into the world to change people, not governments. When the people are truly changed, they will elect government leaders who truly honor God, and His blessing will remain on us. The immorality that is running so rampant in America is connected directly to the rejection of God by the people. If the church is doing its job of reaching the lost and making disciples, it will be reflected in the leadership we elect.

So church, are we going to be a political party or the hands and feet of Jesus Christ to a lost and dying world? How should we then invest our time and efforts - Fighting the lost or saving the lost?

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Opening Day!

This is the first post on my new blog site. I've called it "The Scope" because I plan to cover a scope of things about the Christian life, what is happening in the "Christian World", and scriptural truths that apply to current events. I plan to write often, especially hoping to have something new here every Thursday. For today, just establishing this site is my accomplishment. For the coming days, I will be attempting to make this site known to the people of Croswell Wesleyan Church, our community and my family. At the end of each post there is an opportunity to respond. I would love to hear your views on every post. For this post, you can use the response option to let me know you've found me.

As I learn more about this stuff, I am sure things will keep changing and improving. Please be patient with me as I learn.