Monday, November 15, 2010

Desiring God

How many of you believe in Jesus? That he was crucified, died, was buried and rose again?

Ok, you have at least as much faith as the demons of Hell.

How many of you consider yourself Christians?

Why? What makes you a Christian? How do you know you are one? Are you sure?

Are you truly a follower of Christ? Have you died to this world?

We know we are Christians by our fruit. (Galatians 5 22-23)

Have you honestly taken each one of these things and assessed whether you have it? To what extent? Are you satisfied with that? When you stand before God, and he asks you if you were kind how will you answer? Do you expect God to accept your answer and say "Well done my good servant"?

God calls us to be servants (Christian means follower of Christ, Christ came to serve, but we are often too proud, too stiff necked to serve others, we put ourselves above Christ), to serve others and to die to the flesh, to be "Not of this world."  This is very hard, we are in the World, so it is a constamt struggle not to be of this world. We must train ourself to think eternally, to think beyond our worldly finite existence.

But things get in our way, literally. Not only does the temporal fallen world surrounds us, but the things God gave us to help us live have replaced Him in our hearts. Tozer says in The Pursuit of God that things have grown down into our heart like roots, and we scream with pain to pull out the least rootlet.

Abstract, I know... let's make it concrete. The rich young ruler... Christ asked him to sell his things, give the money to the poor and follow Him. The price was too high, he could not give up his stuff in exchange for eternal salvation.

How would you react if God called you to walk away from home, friends, your stuff, and move half way around the world to be a missionary? #9/mt just give me the canned Sunday School answer... take a minute to think about it, giving up your friends, your TV, Xbox... going someplace where they don't know what a biscuit as you know it is, no fast food or maybe one franchise you recognize.

How does that make you feel? Scared, uneasy? If so then you are just like that Rich Young Ruler.

Do you want to serve Christ? Do you want to be able to answer these questions better? I hope so, I know I do.

So, how do we get there?

First of all, there is no magic answer. I can't do this for you, no one can. It's a process, life long and at times painful and frustrating.

It begins when you realize that salvation is the begining and not the end of the story. When you realize that you are a babe in Christ and living on milk.

Then you have to desire more, to mature, to learn to eat solid food. This is done by moving beyond simple answers. By asking hard questions of yourself like I did earlier. Measure yourself against the traits of the Spirit. Look deep in yourself, don't gloss over your faults, acknowledge them, own them, then seek God's help to resolve these shortcomings.

The only way to grow is by living and experiencing, by daring to step out on faith and fail. Then get back at it and fail some more. This is not easy, it hurts. It takes time and perseverance.

This is the only answer to sterile faith, and dead churchs. It begins with you, and me. We can support each other, we can pray for each other, but in the end we are ultimatley responsible only for ourself and our own actions.

So, for the next week be kind. Easy, right.

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Location : 206 Ashley Ave, Greenville, SC 29609,

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