How is it that we find the overwhelming majority of wealthy Christians routinely disenfranchised from the local church? How is it that these “movers and shakers,” these “make it happen” people, these “empire builders” who have a heart for God have somehow found themselves to be a marginalized group in the church?
Here’s a provocative statement: The goal of the church should be “not to grow, but to die.” This statement flies in the face of almost everything we hear about church growth today. Yet it is a rock-solid, biblical statement.
The Bible repeatedly admonishes us to trust in the Lord. For example, we are told to trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5, NASB). However, because of our fallen and selfish nature, we are inclined to put our trust in anything or anyone but the Lord.
Have you ever been reading a passage in the Bible about the depravity of unbelievers, when suddenly your own face appeared on the page? It is a fact of human nature that whatever becomes common becomes “invisible.” Our culture offers an abundance of things and experiences that can and will numb our spiritual sensitivities.
As you read the Bible, do you ever find yourself identifying with the life or behavior of a specific Bible character? Sometimes you may identify with their good qualities and sometimes with their bad ones. It is likely that of all the Bible characters you have identified with, Judas has never been one of them. Yet, it may be that there is more of Judas in us than we would ever like to admit.
Jesus was a master of hard sayings. While they are not hard to understand, they are hard to obey. Each one of them strikes at the very core of our self-centered human nature. Jesus’ hard sayings demand one of two outcomes: either we make radical changes in how we live, or we choose to ignore them — justifying our choice by convincing ourselves that they don’t really apply to us.
First John 3:17 says, …whoever has the world’s goods, and sees his brother in need and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in him? Ouch! Does this mean that unless we use our material possessions to meet people’s needs, John is calling our love of God into question?
In this final part of the series, we will examine what is no doubt the most subtle and the most subjective of the three ways God communicates His will to us—through our thoughts.
In this second article, we are going to unpack how God gets His directions to us through other people: from those who are over us (spiritual mentor), beside us (spiritual peer), and under us (a mentee).
How do we get directions from the Owner? First, by continuously reading His Word. Second, through studying His Word. And third, by memorizing His Word. Most importantly, we need to be equally committed to obeying His Word.