Tuesday, November 18, 2008

How Sharp is Your Sword?....

As the next generation rises to take it's place at the head of the battlelines, we have a serious challenge that faces us in the days ahead: Our swords are dull. What do I mean by this, do you ask? We are not a generation that has a love for the Word of God. I am not sure that it is because we find it boring, or that we are busy or that we are religious and so we only give it enough attention to assuage our troubled consciences, but as I have listened and interacted with those that are in this generation, I have found that we are not a people that are submerged in the Word. Is it that there are to many things that are trying to grab our attention? Is it that we only love Him marginally? Is it that we are afraid to face the Word because we might have to face our sin and have it dealt with so that our lives will match up with our words of love and devotion for Jesus? How can we say that we are passionate for Jesus when we don't want to spend time in His Word? To fulfill the call of God on our lives, we will have to go beyond just, "reading my Bible" to "studying to show ourselves approved" as Paul told Timothy to do. In this hour, we are in desperate need of those that, though may not have been formally trained, "have been with Jesus" as the Pharisees observed when they encounter Peter and John in the early chapters of the book of Acts. IT IS NOT ENOUGH TO HAVE JUST HAD AN EXPERIENCE WITH HIM, WE NEED TO FIND HIM IN THE REVEALED, UNCHANGING WORD OF GOD! Our encounter must match up with what is revealed in that Book, or else it is worthless and possible deception. The other thing is that, without the seeking and searching in the Word of God, we will never have true revelation of our own. If we are not immersed in the Word, then we will end up becoming robots that regurgitate what we hear from the pulpits on Sundays, from someone else that has dug out truths from the Word. It was the Bereans that were more noble then the Thessalonicans when they searched the Scriptures to verify that what Paul was saying was the Truth from God and not the philosophy and good ideas from a man.
The Word of God is the blade that we have been given to face the battles of our age. If that blade is dull because we think that it is an outdated weapon, then we will be left to face the war to come with weapons of our own making and that are not authorized by the King of Heaven, facing a ruthless Enemy that has never once played fair. The battle is hopeless unless we sharpen our swords and take our place in the battleline of the end of the ages...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Living on the edge...

Leadership is something that is incredibly interesting to to me. Look at sports and tell me that leadership doesn't make a difference. A year ago, the Miami Dolphins had one win. Now, they are looking a possible playoff berth and the only thing that changed is that Bill Parcells comes over from Dallas. Sure, he clears out the coaching staff, gets rid of 6 players, drafts with a plan and now is four and four with a very workable schedule, but really not that much changed in the way of personnel. The Chargers have all the talent in the world, but can't get out of their own way because their head coach is a pushover. Changes in head coach and quarterback in Atlanta have the Falcons extremely competitive, while the Cowboys are talented, but being led by a marshmallow of a coach and are hoping that Tony Romo can lead them out of the mess that they are in. Larry Brown can coach the Pistons to a championship, but Flip Saunders can't get back with the same players. Curt Schilling said that he was going to deliver a championship to Boston in the face of curses and Yankees and got it done that same year. Leaders lead and we have a serious lack of that in this generation.

One of the keys to being a leader is this: Living on the edge. What is living on the edge anyway? Living on the edge is when men and women put themselves at risk in order to achieve a certain vision. The greatest mistake that a leader can make is not taking a risk. Everything that Jesus said and did was a great risk to His comfort and well being. We have to push ourselves to the borders of our natural comforts and limitations to achieve this aspect of leadership. When we do this, then we get in the place where the natural and supernatural begin to connect like two pieces of cloth being sown together. If we always stay in our comfort zone, we will live a safe, uneventful and non impacting life. In the natural examples above, all of those men in those different sports are dice rollers. They have taken risks and have lost as much as they have won. In the spiritual, it is much the same. We have to take risks, get out of the boat, so to speak, and make ourselves vulnerable to failure to see God come through and for HIm to get all the glory, which is the point of all this anyway.
So, try it. Put yourself out there a little more then you feel comfortable with. You may just find the hand of the Almighty, reaching out to take yours and taking you further then you ever thought possible!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Everything begins with Revelation...

Well, I have done it. I have offically started blogging. I am about to let the entire world wide web into the madness that is my musings. The purpose of all of this is to glorify Jesus of course. Without Him, I would be nothing, little more than a bump at the bottom of a trash heap. But that is the miracle of this whole thing. I have, through no account or merit of my own, recieved revelation of Jesus and that has taken this bump and transformed him in to something that the King finds useful.
People may say that I have found a teaching that somehow makes sense out of my life and now if I live for that, then I personally will live a wonderful life, but that it had better just stay with me, that these ideas must never get on them, because it may slime the inside of their minds and make them uncomfortable. The problem is though, I haven't found a teaching, I have found a Person. Paul said in Galatians that what he taught was given to him by revelation (Gal. 1). I am in the same boat. What I see and hear in the here and now have been affected by what I have seen and heard. I am like John, when, in opening his first epistle, he indicates that what he is about to talk about has been infected with revelation, an eye opening encounter with the Person who sits on the throne forever and ever (I John. 1). This is more than just a great teaching. I am willing to put my life on it and the life of my family.
Everything in the Kingdom begins with a revelation of the Person Jesus Christ. Peter say in I Peter 1:16 that, "We did not follow cleverly devised tales when we made know to you the power and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty." All of this is based upon revelation and the depth of that revelation is tested in the day to day living with people, not just the angelic vision and glory, carpet eating sessions. If those don't produce real substantive change in us, then we haven't really received revelation, we have only gotten emotional.