God Will Let You Have Your Sin

book

I was reading Romans 1 the other day and while this passage is often used as to why homosexuality is a sin, I was struck by something else. There is a phrase in vs. 24 and 26 where Paul says, “God gave them up to their dishonorable passions.”

When we choose to sin, and yes, every time we sin we are choosing to sin.

God will allow us to make that choice and experience what comes from that choice. That wording, “gave them up” is a handing over.

Often, when we experience the ramifications of sin, we get angry at God. Why didn’t he intervene? He did, He allowed us to move forward.

The truth of the gospel is that God does and will rescue us from our sin. He does give us a way out of temptation. He also will allow us to have our sin.

Often we complain about the consequences of our sin. Why does God allow our sin to hurt ourselves, others? Why do we bear consequences for what we do wrong? Why are relationships broken because of words? Why do our actions lead to bankruptcy, broken trust? This falls into the area of what God allows.

His will is not for this to happen, but is what He allows.

There is grace found in our consequences. 

When we feel the consequences of our sin, we learn that God is indeed good. In our sin, we learn that God is better than our sin and the temptations we face.

[Image]

My blog will be moving in a few weeks and I don’t want you to miss anything. Simply click here to subscribe via email so that I can serve you better and continue to help you grow to become who God created you to be.

How to Trust God

Big Idea June 8.jpg

My blog will be moving in a few weeks and I don’t want you to miss anything. Simply click here to subscribe via email so that I can serve you better and continue to help you grow to become who God created you to be.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Is It Biblical for a Church to have a Target?

book

Recently, I did a series of posts on why a church should have a target, why every church has a target and how to make choices to reach that target (you can read them here). After the series, I got some questions about whether or not it was biblical to have a target. After all, are we told anywhere in the bible that a church should have a target.

The answer is yes.

In the book of Acts, we see how Paul had a target of the Gentiles (Acts 9:15; Galatians 2:17) and how Peter had a target of the Jews (Galatians 2:17). Jesus in the great commission even gave the disciples a road map of who they were to reach and the order in which to do it (Matthew 28:18 – 20).

As you look at the New Testament, you see that certain people were better suited to reach certain people. Their backgrounds, the way they talked, how they understood certain world views, enabled them to be more effective in taking the gospel to places. The courage of some allowed them to plant churches others never would.

Does this mean that Paul never shared the gospel with a Jew? Or Peter with a Gentile? No, in fact we have evidence of them doing that. It means they were focused though and knew who their primary target was.

Churches are the same. The style of preaching lends itself to reaching a certain person. The pastors who have effective ministries are largely effective because of where they are located. That isn’t an accident. Instead of fighting against this, churches need to be clear about this. And, they need to support church planters who go to places they don’t.

Let’s admit a tension here: it sounds unloving to say we are better suited to reach a certain kind of person as a church. This is a reality though. Dress, style of music, age of the people on stage, how programmed or organic a church is. All of these go into who a church is best suited to reach. A church will reach people outside of the norm, but by and large, they will reach a certain kind of person more easily. When we fight against this, our effectiveness goes down. This is one reason that church planting is so important. It enables a church to reach different kinds of people within a city.

I think that is one reason God blessed Peter and Paul’s efforts. They led from their natural gifts, didn’t fight with each other about it (at least after Acts 15, so you can see what happens when we look down on each other) and they then encouraged each other by planting more churches in a variety of places with a variety of leaders.

[Image]

My blog will be moving in a few weeks and I don’t want you to miss anything. Simply click here to subscribe via email so that I can serve you better and continue to help you grow to become who God created you to be.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Made Right with God

Graphic

All of us want to be happy. We all want to know that we meet the standard that is set. What happens though, when you feel like you don’t measure up?

If you are a follower of Jesus, you know that the grace of God saves you. There is nothing you can do to earn it. Yet, once you begin following Jesus, so much of your time is spent earning more of God’s love and favor.

The truth is, you can’t do anything to get any more of God’s love and approval and grace than He has already given you. 

But what if, you want to be made right with God? What happens when you discover you are broken and you can’t fix yourself? How are you made right with God? How do you stay right with God? Do you do something? Work harder? Be better? Clean yourself up?

Sunday, as we continue our series Changewe’re going to look at Galatians 2:15 – 21 and what is a paradox of Christianity: you are forgiven by grace, you are sustained in your relationship with God through His grace and you do not nothing to attain this grace. It is freely given to you.

About this passage, Martin Luther said this:

This is the truth of the gospel. It is also the principal article of all Christian doctrine, wherein the knowledge of all godliness consisteth. Most necessary it is, therefore, that we should know this article well, teach it unto others, and beat it into their heads continually.’ In other places he refers to it as the ‘chief’, the ‘chiefest’ and ‘the most principal and special article of Christian doctrine’, for it is this doctrine ‘which maketh true Christians indeed’. He adds: ‘if the article of justification be once lost, then is all true Christian doctrine lost.’

This is by far, one of the most crucial passages in the entire book of Galatians, and a truth, if we miss, we will miss out on the life God calls us to live. 

If you or someone you know has a hard time believing that God can forgive them, that they don’t have to earn God’s love or that will continue to forgive them and work in their life, this is a great week to bring them to Revolution.

Remember, we meet at 10am on Sunday mornings at 8300 E Speedway Blvd.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Change Starts in 1 Week!

Graphic

What is something everyone needs, but few know how to get?

And usually when we need it… it’s too late.

Some people make more rules, trying to force it. Others give up because it seems too hard or just out of reach.

It’s discipline, perseverance, it’s daily choices, both big and small. It’s not impossible, but it’s not easy.

No matter what it is, what we all need is Change. 

Join us at Revolution Church this sunday as we kick off Change.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Boldness, Community and How God Moves

book

Sunday I’m preaching on Acts 4 and the boldness that the disciples had. One of the things that struck me about their boldness was how closely it went with generosity and community.

Boldness → Generosity → Community

Something in us knows the connection between boldness and community. Something in us also hates this connection. When we are hurting, we want community, but the last thing we want is to be bold to get it. We want it to fall into our laps, for someone to just show up and be a shoulder to cry on, but how can they help if we don’t ask?

Think for a minute, do you need community right now? Do you need someone to walk along side of you right now? What is keeping that from happening?

Boldness. 

You are sitting on the sideline waiting for it to happen.

It’s the same with generosity. In Acts 4, as the church is bold, their generosity increases and they see God add to their number.

This is not an accident.

Boldness → Generosity → Community → God Moving

But it all starts with boldness. It all starts with a step.

Boldness to drop the pretense and be real.

Boldness to ask for help.

Boldness to be weak.

Boldness to open yourself up.

In that moment of boldness, others have the opportunity to be generous, to be community and in our weakness, in our humility, we stop trying to be God so we can see God be God.

[Image]

Enhanced by Zemanta

This Weekend @ Revolution Church: How God Answers Prayer

Graphic

Ever feel like your prayer life is lifeless? Like your prayers leave your mouth, float up to the ceiling and fall right back down next to you? Unanswered. 

This week, as we continue our series All In we will look be looking at Acts 4:1 – 35 and seeing how to ask for it all in life.

One of the reasons many followers of Jesus never see God use them to the extent He could, never see miracles happen, never see mountains move is because they don’t ask. Or, if they ask for anything, they ask for the wrong thing.

Our prayer life reveals everything we believe about God and his power. 

And the person that goes all in sees prayers answered in ways that others do not. And there is a reason for that. There is something in their prayers, in their hearts that is not in the prayers and hearts of others.

If you or someone you has struggled to see God move in their life, struggled to see God answer their prayers or struggles to see how God could use them, this is a great week to bring them to Revolution.

Remember, we meet at 10am on Sunday mornings at 8300 E Speedway Blvd.

Enhanced by Zemanta

God Does not Withhold His Forgiveness

book

I’m reminded as my kids get older that parenting is about the moments we miss or don’t miss. Changes in our kids hearts, seeing the Holy Spirit work in them, helping them make right choices, helping them become who God has called them to be, it happens in moments, in conversations. While some of those might be planned and exactly as we see them working in our heads, by and large, they just happen.

I was reminded of this recently when our kids made some poor choices for some babysitters while Katie and I were out. As we talked with them and led them through a prayer of repentance, I was reminded that God already forgives us.

It was a great truth to remind my kids, God does not withhold his forgiveness from those who ask it. 

In the church, many say they believe this, but few actually do. We talk about grace and forgiveness with the culture around us, but don’t believe that God will really forgive them if they seek it. We also sometimes harbor bitterness at the idea that God would give forgiveness so freely to someone who would sin so willfully. Yet, we sin willfully. And God grants us forgiveness without reserve.

As we talked with our kids, Katie reminded them of 1 John 1:9 which says: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

This verse often gets talked about in terms of becoming a follower of Jesus, yet 1 John was written to Christians. Meaning, as a follower of Jesus, you will continue to sin and mess up. You will continue to get it wrong. Which means, you need to continually ask for forgiveness and confess your sins to God. But, that God is faithful and just and forgive us of our sins. I’m blown away that God’s justice in this verse is equated to he forgives us. Imagine that justice. It is forgiveness. Not wrath. Not anger. Not hatred. Not withholding love and his presence, but forgiveness is his justice for a follower of Jesus who confesses his sin.

And…

He will cleanse us of all unrighteousness. He will make us right. He will make us into the person He has called us to be. 

[Image]

Enhanced by Zemanta

Going All In

Graphic

I love the first week of a brand new series, which makes this Sunday extra special as we are kicking off All In

For the next 4 weeks we’ll look at:

  1. How God changes the world we live in.
  2. How God uses us in our everyday life (at work, at starbucks, at school, at the park) to change the lives of people around us.
  3. How to share your faith and answer questions about the gospel and Jesus when people ask.
  4. How to pray audacious, world changing prayers for those who don’t know Jesus.
  5. How the mission of Jesus, the mission He has given to Revolution is unstoppable and nothing can stand in its way.

This week, as we kick off All In we will look be looking at Romans 8:14 – 17 and why we should go all in, what our motivation for changing the world, the why behind it all.

If you or someone you know feels aimless in their life, struggles to see how God could use their one and only life, this is a great week to bring them to Revolution.

Remember, we meet at 10am on Sunday mornings at 8300 E Speedway Blvd.

Enhanced by Zemanta