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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Discipleship...the whole of life

God has been awakening my heart recently to His heart for discipleship. Being a believer in Jesus Christ does not stop there. A relationship with Jesus Christ cannot take place in a vacuum. It is simply not static. It is a dynamic, ongoing daily walk that takes place within a community of growing, moving, and unified children of God. Discipleship is not just about learning- it is about becoming more and more like Christ, being His image-bearers and truth-carriers. Discipleship is not an option for Christians- it is the actual whole of our being. Discipleship is a life-long refining walk of transformation, as the mystery of the fellowship of Christ's Kingdom is being unveiled to our souls. Following Christ is not something you can check off your life is something that calls your very essence into surrender and passion. We must daily take up our cross and follow. We must daily be accountable to the body of Christ. We must daily worship and gaze in awe at the glory of God. We must daily turn to Jesus and fall into His magnificent grace. Becoming a disciple is a process that isn't finished until we reached the final finish line...when our earthly journey is over and we meet our Maker face to face. Becoming a disciple cannot be done with our egocentric, independent leanings. Disciples humbly learn from fellow disciples and go out into the world inspiring and leading through serving new disciples. Discipleship can only be done with Pauls, and Timothys, and Barnabases by one's side. We must have mentors, mentees, and running buddies along the way. Christ's beloved church and body is comprised of the most beautifully woven patchwork of sinners saved by amazing grace, who are in desperate, daily need of the Lord and of one another.

Will you ponder this with me...

The radiant evidence of the love of God in our lives should inspire.
Humility and joyful self-sacrifice should mystify.
Forgiveness should unravel the skeptic, and purpose-filled hope should be a magnet drawing those without hope into a life-revolutionizing discovery.
Our abiding in the vine, our bearing the fruit of the Spirit, and our living in the life that is truly life creates the inspiring draw upon the souls of those without Christ.
Disciples make disciples...they cannot help but do so."
-from the book Relentless Hope by Budijanto, Todd & Yeadon

May we take up our crosses and follow Him. May we exchange our burdens and transgressions for His grace. May we adore our Savior more and more each day. This journey with God never ceases to amaze...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Gift of Life

"Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is bliss, taste it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it. Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it. Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it. Life is luck, make it. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it." -Mother Teresa

I want to dwell on the last two points this saint and servant of God made in her sweet poem. Life is too precious, do not destroy it. Life is life, fight for it. We are told by Jesus in John 10:10 "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." There is a battle raging between life and death. Our culture denies it. Media mocks it. However, we cannot ignore it. This battle is "not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12).

This is not a battle by the sword, this is a battle where we must get on our knees and beg for mercy and hope from heaven. God's most precious creation- his sons and daughters made in the likeness of his own image- are being put to death every day in our nation and around the world. All because the enemy has used deception and placed a death trap at our door by twisting the word "choice."

This month, 38 years ago, our courts & judges decided they would take law-making in their hands, and they decided it was ok to put innocent children to death in America if they are unwanted for any reason. Unwanted. Inconvenient. Unplanned. At Risk. Financial Burden. Mistake. Problem. Embarrassment...the list goes on. And here today we are living in a generation of genocide...silent, unseen genocide.

My heart cries out, Lord Jesus. I plead your blood over the sins of my nation, over the sins of my generation. We are so far from you, O Lord. Please send healing, send revival, send forgiveness. Jesus, we can only find life in You. Give us vision for life, a passion for life, a love for life, but more than that, Lord, a love for You. You are our Creator, our Sustainer, our Redeemer, our Lover. Awaken our hearts to the truth of life, and bring to light the deception we have fallen under for years. Let the enemy's message be buried and bound under the ringing truth that YOU HAVE COME TO GRANT US LIFE ABUNDANT. Let us cherish how sacred your gift is, and let us never give up in this fight for innocent lives.


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Pray for Sudan

Today is a milestone in history. Sudan is voting on the referendum that will determine whether or not South Sudan will secede. Please pray for our brothers & sisters in Sudan & those refugees scattered throughout the world. There have been millions slaughtered and enslaved for years now. Innocent sons & daughters, mothers & fathers, orphans & widows...These people were created with dignity and worth. They are children of the living God, and no one should be allowed to take away that identity from them. They have suffered for too long under violence and terror. It is time for them to find peace and freedom. It is time for hope to be on the horizon, so they can sing & dance with joy, they can praise their Maker without fear or persecution, they can farm their land and send their children to school and live their lives with great zeal, proud of their tribal heritage and culture. It is time for the slaves to be released and for us to stand with them as a voice advocating for freedom.

Let us pray with the Psalmist (Ch. 126) ~

"When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter, our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations, 'The Lord has done great things for them.'
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy.
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him."

Find out more by reading Francis Bok's book, Escape from Slavery, & visit: