Monday, December 28, 2009

3 Things to Think Over

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great Christmas. I sure did. I've been glued to my iPhone since I got it. The thing is scary at all it does. I feel like it owns me sometimes. Ha. I got something to write about that I've been thinking about on my 3 hour drive back down to Conway yesterday. First though, I want to give a praise to God for something so huge, I got accepted into UCA! His hands are all over that. I also want to ask that you all pray for a friend of mine. She's currently on the way to Mercy Hospital with severe abdominal pains, and it may be either kidney stones or appendcitis. I'm worried sick about her. She's one of the godliest women I know...scratch that, she is the godliest woman I know, and she needs all the prayers she can get. Thanks.

As for the purpose of this post. Heh. Oh yeah. I was suppose to write something, huh? Hmm, Alrightly then. I want to talk about these 3 things that I narrowed my thoughts down to on the drive. I kept thinking about all the different aspects of my faith and while explaining my faith to someone who isn't saved is easy. Trying to describe my faith to someone who is, is really really difficult. There are so many questions you have to cover to describe, your version basicially. So I tried to narrow it down and cut out all the fat and just get down to the basics. The three things to consider in your faith.

1. Grandpa's Faith vs. Dogma, Doctrine and Details

I don't know much about my grandpa's faith. I do know it was simple though. I like that. It's very endearing. There weren't fights over, infantial baptism, salvation security, Heaven, Hell, the last days, free will, works and so on. It didn't matter. The fact is if you believe you are a sinner, that Christ, the Son of God, died for your sins, and you accept him into your heart and confess him with your lips. You. Are. Saved. People always like to throw in extras to bog it down. I guarantee people will say I'm over simplifying that, but I would like to see scripturally where I am wrong. Some believe that 'once saved, always saved' others, believe you can lose it. I believe regardless, as long as you keep the faith, you can't lose it! It doesn't matter at that point. I believe baptism is very important, but you know what, it's not a matter of salvation. You don't get saved by water, you get saved by Christ, the end times aren't something that matter too much for a believer either. For one, we don't know the time or place, so no point in worrying about it on a personal level. Secondly, if you are saved, then you shouldn't be worried about how it ends, 

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28
My grandpa kept it simple, he didn't split hairs over those issues, and beat down other Christians, he kept the faith, trusted in the Lord to discern situations, and that was it. Simple. I feel like we as humans are naturally drawn to controversy, arguments and debate. God gave us reason on purpose, though sometimes I really believe we over think it. We want to figure out every little thing and we aren't satisfied otherwise. I draw back to the Child-like faith, keep it simple. I'm not saying dumb things down to smooth over the "rough edges". I'm saying don't get caught up in the little things, keep your focus on the big picture and see the greater scheme of things. I think the reason we are losing some many people is because of the factionalism. We are all out to show why our version of Christianity is the best and why the others aren't. We are competing with the other denominations. The ironic thing is, that right there isn't Christinaity. That's not Christ. Christ was never about that. We need to quit being so defensive and confrontational and realize we are all brothers in faith and we all look to the same person as our Lord and Savior. A house divided, cannot stand, as they say. It's practically a sign of vanity, we as Christians are looking so inwardly that we lose focus of the people who aren't saved, and on following Christ's teaching and instead bicker over the details to complete "The Look". So next time you get bogged down in the details. Keep my grandpa in mind, and keep it simple.

2.  Going Rambo

Yep we all know about those people who go Rambo, they do it all by themselves, don't rely on anyone for anything and just see others as getting in the way. They are in every aspect of life. Noticed they are in religion too? Those people who act like it's just them and Christ. They don't need anyone or anything. They act offended if you offer to help them, or ask them for help. Why are you asking me for help? Where's your faith in Christ?! Those people. I am strongly against Rambos. I understand where they are coming from, Christ is the essential piece to your life, without a doubt. They fail to see the rest though. God gave us the gift of fellowship though, and it's a tool. I feel a lot of people see fellowship merely as socialization. It's a greater thing than that though, it's a bond and a protection. You aren't alone. While in fellowship you may be let down and hurt, God gave it to you still to help you. Case point #1:
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” Matthew 18:20
When we are together, God is right there with you. How can that possibly not be a good thing? You and Christ = Cool. How about You, Christ, and many other followers as well? We are here to hold each other up, and to provide for one another as brothers. How is being a Rambo biblical? It looks to me to be prideful. Here's another view of it. 1 Peter 5:8 says: 
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 
Now I don't know about you, but I like to watch Animal Planet. It's got all the drama of life, in a natural, engaging form. Now sometimes they'll show lions hunting. I've noticed something very particular. The lions always catch the one who splits from the group, the one who goes his own way, the one who goes Rambo. Now look at that verse. The devil is a prowling lion, looking to devour us Christians, why would you want to shy away from the safety of the group, the fellowship? Not to mention, sometimes our hearts fail us, sometimes we can do things and truly be thinking we are doing them for the Lord, but we've become so misguided we fail to see its not at all what He wants. It's nice to have that fellowship to keep you accountable and keep you in check. We thrive on companionship and that's been proven scientifically and it's sound biblically, you don't have to look beyond Genesis 2 to see that. Friends are so important to growing in faith. I would be so far in the wrong direction without them! So again, don't Rambo it, keep up the fellowship.

3.Forgive, At All Costs, Forgive

You hear all the time, yeah but I just can't forgive this person, it's different. No, no it's not. We are called to forgive one another, over and over again, with full genuineness.  I hear, that's not fair though! Why should I forgive them again, I've forgiven them once or twice, why should I keep on forgiving them! They don't deserve it. First, I think it's pretty safe to say, life isn't fair. Duh. Secondly, we are called to do extradionary and what to the world seems to be irrational and unbelievable things. This to me is one of the most important ones. If you want to get really nitty gritty about it and want to discuss fairness. How is your promise of heaven fair? You don't deserve it. You, you sinner, the one who God gave everything, gave in fairness and love. You defile his gifts, curse his name, and spit in his face every hour of the day (Don't forget that includes allll the Christians). If you want to talk fair, you deserve Hell. Eternal, fiery, gnashing of teeth, capital H, Hell.  Like one of my favorite songs by Relient K, Hope for Every Fallen Man says:
"Because the judge of you is someone I could never be, is why you should thank the Lord that it is Him, and it's not me." 
God still, through all that, offers you something so unfair to him, salvation, reconciliation and everlasting life. So don't discuss fair with me. That's ridiculous. Romans 12:2 says:

"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." 
We are expected to be different. We are called to be. We want people to go why on earth would they continue to forgive them? That's how lives and hearts are changed. That's evangelism in it's rawest, purest form, and you thought you had to talk in public! We are to be imitators of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). Should we not then forgive? After all it is the hallmark of what he's known for. Should we not also do it out of love and not out of sheer obligation? We should forgive because we ourselves were forgiven. (Matthew 6:14-15) If we truly have Christ in our hearts, we should forgive others merely to share the beautiful gift that forgiveness is. If you can instill that in your heart, and follow through with it, eventually it will no longer be a burden. Forgive, Forgive, and you guessed it, Forgive some more.

I got one or two more of these idea in the works. I need to mull over them a bit longer. I suggest you think these over and look into it in your own life, I also suggest you don't take a single word I say as Truth and instead go look for yourself in the Word. Test what I write against it, if it holds up keep it, otherwise, throw it out.

Much Love,
Luke

“Listen a hundred times; ponder a thousand times; speak once.”

1 comments:

Patrina said...

Luke, you are al fired up there! I just love it. You've got every bit of what it takes to be in ministry. Congrats on your acceptance at UCA Amen! How exciting. Said a prayer for your friend, I pray it's nothing serious but if it is, the good Lord will handle it.

Your posts are such a quick read. Well written. Do you talk as well as you write? If so, you are doublely blessed.

Oh yeah, thanks for following my blog. The "LUCAS" part had me guessing who you were. The Floyd family blog on your list brought it to me. I listen to Ronnie every sunday - here at home with my 83 year old father. Good man, that Ronnie. I like him alot. Glad you are planted in a good church.

Until next time,
Patrina

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