Monday, February 22, 2010

Ramblings on "taking God's love out of the four walls"

These are totally random and have no real order. They're just a bunch of thoughts and you must determine their value. You must allow the Holy Spirit to show you how to apply them to your life.

Why be light in dark places? Why get dirty? ...because He shined so I could see his love; He got dirty so I could be cleansed. For those reasons I love him, I want shine in the darkness and get "dirty". I want others to see his love and receive his cleansing and forgiveness.

How can I get dirty?  (Getting dirty has reference to previous thoughts shared and internet conversations with a few college students. Jesus, perfect and holy God, came and lived in the world, among the dirt and the dirty. We should do likewise. This is the reason for the question, "how can I get dirty?" Philippians 2:5-8)
  1. Pray - Jesus spent hours in intimate relation with Father God. John 8:38 "I am telling you the things I have seen while with the Father; as for you, practice the things you have heard from the Father!" NET (New English Translation)
  2. Go where the Father says go and do what the Father says do - Jesus did only what He saw the Father do. John 5:19 "So Jesus answered them, "I tell you the solemn truth, the Son can do nothing on his own initiative, but only what He sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise." NET
  3. Shine at all times - where ever Jesus went people saw the light.
  4. Speak God's truth and demonstrate God's love where ever you go - Jesus ministered to Nicodemus, the woman at the well, the tax collectors, the prostitute and the rich young ruler there was no condemnation, just forgiveness and the charge to change.
  5. Jesus the Christ and his life, death and resurrection are the good news, nothing else (1 Cor. 15:1-9). Never allow theology and being right or wrong to be the center and focus. I'm not saying correct theology isn't important, but Jesus' sacrificial love for us is the focus.
  6. Share the love of God; shine the light of Jesus; show (demonstrate) the power of the Holy Spirit.
  7. Do all for the glory and honor of the Father.

We can never merit God's love, but we can show him our sincere love and genuine appreciation by obeying him, sharing the good news and making disciples of all nations.

Faith without corresponding action is dead.

I came to you in the power of the Holy Spirit, not with fancy, convincing words.

Some of the darkest, dirtiest places in the world are clean, well lit offices.

Getting dirty is...
  • being generous,
  • not letting the right hand know what the left is doing (what you do, do it for God's glory, not for personal recognition, gratification or merit),
  • caring for a friend,
  • helping the helpless,
  • encouraging the hopeless.

Getting dirty is being Jesus where ever you are.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Lazarus: a dead man walking

At four-thirty the curly headed drunk I call Lazarus wouldn't let me open the door at church, so I went to the store and bought us each a can of juice and a piece of bread.

As I opened the plastic bag to share the prize he mumbled, "when you left I thought you were mad at me."

I was a bit upset, but I let it go.

We sat in the van and ate and drank together. He continuously slurred incoherent words while he ate his breakfast, lunch and maybe supper for the day and I understood that he was thankful. As I said my good-byes his semi-toothless smile and dirty smelly hug let me know the twenty minutes it took and the two dollars I spent, instead of shaking him off him by dropping twenty-five cents for a fictitious tortilla, was worth it. Jesus was there.

I went inside to set up for class.

Maybe your Lazarus isn't a drunk; maybe he isn't dirty and smelly; but there is somebody in your life, today, that needs to be touched with the love, grace and patience of God.

Be ready.