It is absolutely amazing how many wrong ideas there are concerning what it means to be a Christian. It would absolutely astound you, I hope, to hear what many people think makes them a Christian. Let’s look at a few things that some wrongly believe.
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OK – I had posted on Facebook that I heard the most moving sermon on missons in my life at the FBC Pastor conference by 30 year old pastor David Platt of Church at Brook Hills.
I bought both the DVD and the CD and since they are not marked as copyright material, I am posting the audio here as a podcast to help build the kingdom. Enjoy and listen closely.
David Platt – FBC JAX Pastor Conference
Having been a male for the last forty-eight years, I kind of thought I had it figured out what it meant to be a man. You know, go out and kill dinner and drag it home, have control of the house, etc…, etc…, etc…
I have learned that my wife was right – I am an idiot. Wait, Julie doesn’t think I am an idiot, on the contrary she thinks I am quite smart. It’s the stupid things that I do that at times that cause her to shake her head and think “idiot!” I call it the Ray Berone syndrome, if you have ever watch the sitcom named after Ray you know what I am talking about.
Before being in full time vocational ministry (an oxymoron BTW), I was in the work force in Accounting and Financial Management for a couple of Fortune 500 companies. I was making good money, had loads of responsibility and bought into that my identity was found and based on what I did for my livelihood. The scripture passage is so true in 1 Corinthians 13, “when I was a child(boy) I spoke like a child(boy), I thought like a child(boy), I acted like a child(boy). When I became a man, I put away childish(boyish) things, thoughts, and actions.”
There is still a little boy in me and in most men. That is what I call the fun side of manhood. When the boy in me controls my life, I am going to be selfish, not generous. I will think of only my self and not others. Many men need to grow up and get rid of the boy in their life. That doesn’t mean we can’t go to football games or kill some animal and drag it home for dinner. But in the context of our relationship with our wife and children, we put them and their needs and wants first – way ahead of ours.
When I was a boy, I never thought it would be so hard to be a man.
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Second, you need to determine what kind of person you are going to be in this life. This is an issue of character and integrity. I don’t know any better description of what Jesus was like in character than in Galatians 5 where Paul writes about the fruit of what God’s power does in us as He grows us. Our character is formed by the accumulation of good habits and honestly, by the accumulation of bad habits if we are not careful. If you have a habit of being kind to people, people will look at you and say you are a kind person. And God is developing those good habits in us to develop good character.
Third, we must determine how we are going to use our God given talents, abilities and gifts to carry out his vision. You have talents, abilities and gifts that God has given you to make a difference in the world. Until we start using these special presents from God, we will be unfulfilled. I believe in the principle found in Colossians 3:23, that whatever we do, we should do it for the glory of God. This includes using our talents, gifts, and abilities to carry out God’s vision in both ministry positions and secular jobs.
Continuing from my previous post…
First, you must determine what is the center of your life. Our solar system is a marvel in many ways, but one that relates to this topic is that all of the planets revolve around one central source of energy, our sun. God set in order our solar system and each planet pays a part in the system. Without our sun we could not exist physically. Without God, we cannot exist spiritually, physically, and emotionally. The center of your life in the twenty-first century revolves around you. We have been trained by our educational system, our media saturated society, and the politically incorrect to believe that we are the center of our life, that we are our own gods.
If you have any age to you, you will remember years ago there used to be an inexpensive toy called super balls. You hit it on the ground and it’d go thirty, forty feet high. Why? Because the center of a super ball was so tightly compacted it was a solid core not some mushy center like a tennis ball, which is very mushy. But a super ball had a very solid core and that gave it its bounce. Man, I loved those balls. When we got tired of them, we would pitch them to each other and knock it about five hundred feet, without human growth hormones!
God must be at the core of your life, your vision, your call, and your dream. God is a solid core, not some mushy psycho-nonsense that we get from media superstars that have afternoon talk shows. Making God the core of your life will involve a disciplined walk with God which will include a daily devotional time of Bible study and prayer, and also importantly, the sacrifice of your wants and desires.
I am sure you have seen them. Those annoying traffic cameras that cities are using now to catch those who have a tendency to continue through the stop light as it is turns from yellow to red. As I write this there are lawsuits in the city of Cleveland, OH. that state these types of cameras are illegal. Cities argue that they are for safety, not for income. That is open to debate!
Every Christmas we travel back to Tennessee and Alabama to visit our families and enjoy a respite from the lake effect snow machine that usually cranks up in November in northeast Ohio. A few weeks after we returned from our annual pilgrimage to the Promised Land in East Tennessee in 2006, my wife Julie comes in the house laughing. She was holding in her hand an envelope addressed from the City of Knoxville, Tennessee. Inside the envelope were a couple of photographs that showed what looked like our vehicle going through a stop light. After closer examination of the license plate, I did determine that it was indeed our vehicle. Who was driving is still debatable in our home as both Julie and I took turns operating the vehicle while in Tennessee. I hope the City of Knoxville put my fifty-dollar fine to good use.
We have to determine in our lives when to stop and when to go. When are there red lights and when are there green lights and should we pay attention to the yellow lights that mean we should use caution. When the green light comes on regarding vision, we cannot sit still, we must move. We must go forward. So how do we do that?
Tomorrow I will give some simple steps on how…
That is a law of life. Look at history. The Civil Rights movement was nothing until a man came along named Martin Luther King and said, “I have a dream” and he provided leadership. The NASA space program was nothing until a guy named John Kennedy said, “We’re going to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade.” A man by the name of Ray Kroc said, “I want fast food at a convenient price in a clean atmosphere” and he invented an entire industry called fast food. In your own family — you have family problems… nothing happens until somebody in the family assumes leadership and says, “We’re going to do something about it.” Everything rises or falls on leadership. Most problems can be traced to a lack of competent leadership. The greatest problem today is a leadership shortage. The greatest need is trained leaders.
I came across a verse in the Bible that is found in the book of Judges. As a matter of fact, it is the last sentence in that book. Not only is it the last sentence, it also sums up the entire book. The last verse of the book Judges 21:25 “Every man did what was right in his own eyes. There was no king in Israel.” Where there is no leadership, people do their own thing. There is instability.