how can we live in a “church on every corner” country and still have so many thirsty people?Â or should I say “christian” on every corner… why in the world are people thirsty with so many “christians” around?Â isn’t being a christian a foretaste of Christ himself?Â let’s get on the map with the culture and give them something to drink – the living water found only in the savior.Â here’s someÂ thirsty signsÂ to help you engage with the folks in your mission field.
- curious about spirituality
- seeking relational security
- open to dialoguing about “truth”
- want safety
- hungry for “love”
- want to be in a village
- ignorant of their thirst
- looking for authenticity and relevance
- tired of traditional church
- searching for leadership with integrity
- open to spirit-filled worship experiences
- don’t want to be hurt
- want family
- open to new ideas
- dry spiritually
- unable to deal with lifes problems
- drowning in error
- malnourished in the essentials
- don’t know many people
- open to new ministry delivery systems
- filling thirsts w/ things and people
- wasting time
- looking for meaning
- want acceptance and affirmation
- real relationships?
- want spiritual growth
- open to diverse environments
- been burnt
- want to serve God not church
- desirous of more time
- hooked on image and status
- hungry but skeptical
- see church as irrelevant
Give them a drink – FOR REAL.
Who is your personal trainer?
Sitting in a local hot spot last week I overheard someone chatting about meeting their personal trainer for a workout.Â It’s amazing to hear and see how many people are committed to enhancing their physical bodies.Â Part of me inside was thinking, “Wow – this chick is big money – a personal trainer – someone totally committed her.”Â I had a flashback from my church planting bookcamp concerning how important itÂ was for pastors to have mentors or en vogue “personal trainers.”Â This personÂ would beÂ committed to your personal, spiritual, and ministry success.Â I know what you’re thinking – Jesus is my personal trainer… (You’veÂ past the spiritual litmus test for today). :-)Â Yes, but he also uses people to help train you as well.Â Who isÂ in your corner?Â Who is believing you when no one else does?Â Who spurs you on when you are about to throw in the towel?Â Who has your best interest at heart?Â Who is asking you the personal questions that keep you focused on Christ?Â Who is training you to be a spiritual giant for Christ?Â Who is believing God’s dreams for you?Â Take the time to enter into partnership with a “personal trainer” today!Â Someone out their is waiting on you…
No wasted wire
Did you know that God is the premiere wiring specialist?Â He not only knows how to wire us but also the purpose forÂ our wiring.Â Never fret or think that God doesn’t have a plan to use you.Â He has always declared a purpose for everything He creates.Â Every circumstance you’ve experienced hasn’t altered your wiring; it’s only enhanced it for God’s purposes.Â He is not wasteful.Â He uses the sum total of our life experiences, circumstances and outcomes for His glory.Â Â Inside of you is a well wired package ready to be delivered to a thirsty world.Â Ask God to help you find it in prayer.
In God We Trust?
WeÂ are all familiar with the phrase plastered all over U.S. currency – “In God We Trust.”Â Isn’t it ironic that we have been conditioned to trust in everything but God?Â No doubt, it is easy to do.Â In selling our home in order to move to Charlotte, I had a choice to trust in and guard my equity or trust in God and guard my testimony.
Â I am learning that following God by faith takes BIG patience while He unfolds His vision for our lives.Â I knew for sure by faith that God was going to allow our home to sell; however, I was not prepared for the emotional real estate ride and overall energy required to do it nor the way He was going to be glorified in it.Â We deliberately had to trust God one-step at a time although we wanted to FAST FORWARD to the end.Â Each step required patience, trust and faith.Â I call these the “three musketeers.”Â God even knew what obstacles to allow us to encounter.Â Wow!Â Looking back we were TOTALLY dependent on Him.Â We had NO power to make anything happen.
Â We were tried, tested and confirmed in what God was calling us to embrace.Â Although we are stepping out on faith, it surely isn’t independent of patiently trusting Him along the way.Â We were reminded over and over that trust, patience and faith all co-exist.Â We are learning how to patiently trust our Lover’s heart for us even when we do not clearly understand what he’s doing at the moment.Â
Â Over the last couple of weeks Abraham has become my hero.Â I stumbled onto Abraham in Genesis 12 just in time.Â Watching how he left more than I can fathom by faith to trust God has boosted by energy for the calling.Â However, I have also learned from Abraham’s examples of trusting in himself and his own understanding in order to “ensure” that God’s plan was fulfilled (Gen.12:13).Â ThereÂ were countless opportunities for me to bust loose in the flesh versus depending on My Provider in the selling of our home.
How is God calling you to trustÂ Him in this current season of your life?Â Maybe it’s a new job, a new relationship, a dream, your family, a relocation, ministry, getting out of debt, school, health, saving money, selling a home, aging parents, coming home to be with your kids, dealing with a difficult person at work, a calling or relating to a difficult parent.Â Are you seeing the co-existence of trust, patience and faith in your life?Â Patiently trust His heart for you.Â Abandon yourself to His highest good for you and allow Him to stretch your faith muscle.Â He wants to reveal quietly each step of the way to you.Â Do not get out ahead of your Master relying on your own wit or practical understanding to speed up the process so that you can see the end.Â God does not need us to take control but give up control.Â Give Him the “wheel” and patiently enjoy the RIDE.
Living Large (sample)
People all around the world are searching for life.Â The thirsty are feverishlyÂ exploring and lookingÂ under every “rock” in an attemptÂ to discover the meaning of life.Â However, Scripture teaches us that life is livingÂ in relationship with and forÂ God.Â If life is living with and for God then how can one liveÂ “life” apart from God?Â The frank reality is that this isn’t living.Â We live in a post-Christian world and exist in a Post-Christian cultureÂ that “lives” without acknowledging God with great “satisfaction.”Â In the patristic period (100-451 BC) Pelagius, a British ascetic monk argued for a human life of human autonomy.Â He believed that the resources for salvation were inside of us independent of “grace” – unmerited favor given from God.Â Augustine (354-430) argued that there is no such thing asÂ salvation apart from the grace of God.Â Augustine says human nature is weak, fallen and frail; Pelagius says human nature is autonomous and self-sufficient. ScriptureÂ proclaims that man can’t save himself (Ephesians 2:8,9).Â We cannot have life or live life apart from the grace of God.Â What would your life look like if God’s grace wasn’t extended to you?Â Another question to ponder is how have you acknowledged and lived out God’s grace today?Â Psalm 145:8 says, “The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.”Â Although His creature’s sin has provoked His vengeance, He still is loving and patient towards them.Â The text says that he is “rich” in love.Â The Hebrew writer tries to help us to see the brevity, extent and magnitude of His love.Â His love is LARGE and His grace or graciousnessÂ is revealedÂ in the love that He demonstrates to us.Â In order to live life with and forÂ Him, we mustÂ “live large.” We must learn how to live as recipients and givers of His LARGE love and grace.Â May today be a dayÂ that we put on display to an independent, self-sufficient,Â pseudo-autonomousÂ culture God’s LARGE love and grace, intentionally changing the world for His glory. Â