What is up?!?!! Well...I'm having a wonderful time with my family in Greenville, SC. We are watching old family videos and all that good stuff! It is so funny to look back and see how far you've come. haha...
I'm up in the "bible-belt" area of the country. It is different as in how people dress, act and all that good stuff...People have been nice and it has been cool to be at my Dad's church in Greenville. It was awesome to see people baptized and a lot of decisions. People are responding to God and many lives are being changed. It was encouraging to see that in a "bible belt church" (for those who don't know...big steeple, organ pipes and traditional music)...
I am always wondering about what it will take for people all across America to respond to God?? Some say that we need a nice looking worship atmosphere and environment...Some say we need to have contemporary music or traditional music....Some say we need to have less preaching or more preaching...Some say we need to wear shorts, some say we need to wear ties...Honestly...it makes my head hurt! haha...
One thing I noticed today was not the dress, worship style or the environment. But it was that God's Spirit was moving in people's lives!!!! The sermon was about America repenting and depending upon God.
When will we as Christians quit depending upon the outward appearance and deal with our heart? Doesn't scripture say something about this??? well...YES!!
In 1 Samuel 16:7 David is about to be anointed by Samuel. Jesse, David's Dad was thinking that His stronger, older sons were going to be chosen for the new King...They were stronger, better qualified, had more expereience and many admirable traits that made them able to be a strong King. But Samuel answered the question of God's chosen one with this,
"Do not look at the appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him, For the Lord does not see as a man sees, for man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."
Wow... If we are to reach our community for Christ. We must always look at our heart first. See people at the heart level. Talk to them. Listen to them. Pray for them.
When is the last time you prayed for someone? The word to pray for someone else is called, "intercession." Many times all we do is pray for ourself.
Repentance is needed in America. It all must start with each individual believer, to ask God to move in our hearts and strrengthen us to tell others about Jesus!
If we are too focused on how the church looks...what songs we sing or don't sing, then we are going to be focused on self-worship.
Self-worship is running rampant in today's culture...will it seep into churches? Lord, I pray that it does not.
Dependance on God's Spirit. We need repentace, not just a cry at the altar, but a lifetime of serving Jesus in an undying commitment to Jesus Christ. We must not focus on how to be "cool" in today's culture. Meet people where they are at, care about them, love them, listen to their hurts and needs. The unbelieving world will find this amazing.
Share God's grace and love with them and rely on God's power to change lives!
Biblical? yes...Is "repentance" a cool word in the church world today? probably not...
Well...it is awesome to repent to God and depend upon Him!
2 Peter 3:9 says, "The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness. but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance."
Does it say, "that we should all come to enjoying singing the songs we like at church?"....hmm...no.
Does it say "that we should all come to feeling good about ourself? hmmm....let me see...no.
It is life-change that happens in a person's life that no longer focuses on themselves, but upon other people. Repentance is to change the way we think and act.
Will you share your faith in Jesus with other people? Just ask God for boldness to live your faith by action and heart.
Well...I've written enough. All of you in Jacksonville, well...I miss you and love you all. I'll be praying for you while I'm on vacation. Please pray for me. I look forward to seeing God change lives!
Tell others about Jesus, bring them to Elevate wednesday night! Boyd is leading the service, you need to bring your friends and family that do not have a relationship with Christ.
Stay clean and close to God!