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Posts Tagged ‘messages’

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. – Jude 1:3 (NIV)

God’s people have been entrusted with “the faith.”

The ability to contend for the faith is based on commitment to the faith.  However, there is cause for concern in Christendom.

The Prop. 8 Debate: Arguing about What We are Against Rather Than for What We Believe

Homosexuality is a sin.  That’s biblical and sound.  However, adultery, lying, murder and a load of other things are sinful, too.  In church, we are to speak out against sin and speak up about salvation.  We cannot attack one group of sinners and turn a blind eye to others.  That type of soap box ministry feeds the media frenzy, but does little for the kingdom of heaven.

Preach the truth and teach how to live by the truth.

Denominational Divisions and Disunity 

For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 1 Corinthians 13:3 (KJV)

We are divided over doctrine.  We are divided over religious practices.  We are divided over women and their roles in the ministry.  We are divided over heaven and hell.  We are even divided over Christ, His deity, and His miracles, even His messages.

We are just plain divided.

Return to the Word and resubmit to His Spirit.

Let the Lord lead you in how to go forward with brothers and sisters in the faith.

Lackluster and Lost Leadership

I oftentimes contemplate whether we are part of that generation that was led astray, destroying the landmark left by our ancestors and removing the reminders of God’s faithfulness to us and those who came before us.

Are we the generation who did not know the Lord of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob?

Have we forgotten the Law of Moses?

Have we neglected the work and ministry of Jesus Christ?

Our leaders are leading us in the wrong direction.  They are leading us down the road away from God, where many of us have fallen away.  They have led us down a path that has led to our demise, all the while losing their own sense of calling and making their followers lose faith in them and the Christian faith that they represent.

Truth trumps everything else.  Let’s stick to the truth.  Let’s teach truth.  Let’s preach truth.  Let’s uphold the truth.

It may not cure everything at once, but it sure can cure a lot of things immediately.

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Surely the Sovereign Lord does nothing without revealing his plan to his servants the prophets. – Amos 3:7 (NIV)

Israel was in a bad spot.

God had been speaking to them through the prophets.  He was sending messengers their way.  He sent them with His words of warning.  He sent them ahead of sending the people into captivity.

They did not listen.

It actually sounds familiar.

So Moses spoke thus to the children of Israel; but they did not heed Moses, because of anguish of spirit and cruel bondage. – Exodus 6:9 (NKJV)

I will punish him, his family, and his servants for their iniquity; and I will bring on them, on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and on the men of Judah all the doom that I have pronounced against them; but they did not heed – Jeremiah 36:31 (NKJV)

Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.- Matthew 13:58 (NKJV)

Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. – Mark 16:14 (NKJV)

I guess one way to look at it is that hard heads make for hard times.

You cannot hear from God’s message if you will not listen to His messenger.  It just will not work.  In order to get the message and grasp it, you first need to hear from the messenger.

After all, God has revealed it to the messenger first so that he can carry it to the people.

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2 Hear me, you heavens! Listen, earth!
   For the LORD has spoken:
“I reared children and brought them up,
   but they have rebelled against me.
3 The ox knows its master,
   the donkey its owner’s manger,
but Israel does not know,
   my people do not understand.”
– Isaiah 1:1-3 (NIV)

 

The prophet is a messenger from God.  He shares the Lord’s message for the Lord’s people.  He echoes the words of God for His people.  He embodies the message.  He spreads the message.  He pleads with the people to turn back to God and make things right with God.

The prophet’s assignment may be for a season or a lifetime.  The prophet may see the people undergo countless tests and trials that can bring him to tears.  Or, he can pronounce the coming of judgment on the horizon.  The prophet might remind or rebuke.  He might offer hope or damnation.  It’s not up to the prophet.  It’s all in the hands of God.

The prophet stands before the people, but He is God’s man.  He calls upon the people to live holy lives dedicated and devoted to God.  He is heard by some, but he surely is hated and despised by many.

Ask Jeremiah.  Check with Isaiah.  See what Ezekiel or Joel would say.  Go to Haggai or Zephaniah.  Each one of these and others will share the challenge of being the prophet of God.  Obviously, there is nothing minor about being a prophet in biblical times or nowadays.

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I will approach this topic without the aid of an anchor verse or quote.  It is simplistic in the view that we, as leaders of Christian groups, churches, and organizations, need to consider our approaches in reaching audiences with our messages and ministries/ services.  In my opinion, we have been approaching some of the issues with antiquated concepts and strategies rather than investigating what may be as near as a neighboring church or organization that demonstrates growth.

We need to stop approaching our outreach with a shotgun and start to take direct aim at specific targets.  Easter weekend is approaching and most probably most of us have debated and deliberated over which one draft of the flyer, postcard or mailer that we will inundate our respective community with via U.S. mail, seeking to captuure their attention and invite them to sunrise services to celebrate the risen Lord Jesus Christ.  The issue is not that we should not reach out to our communities.  The issue is that we decided on one approach with the addition of Facebook, Twitter and maybe some other mechanism like Youversion, Linked In or YouTube.  Did we try to reach the teens and elderly with the same mechanism? Did we expect our outreach to say the same thing to the single mother as it said to the recovering addict? I should hope not.  If so, we need to really consider how much prayer we have invested in our preparations.

We tend to think too general.  Yes, it would cost dollars for developing multiple layouts, but I believe the goal is to reach out to people with a message that will speak to them.  Soccer moms may not be on Facebook or Twitter for tagged photos and videos. Include your youth send out the viral message to reach their “friends” online.  Your elderly congregants may want something to hand someone down at the community center or the senior program, while your soccer moms may want an email that they could forward to friends and family, even other home school families.  What about your adult professionals? Include them by offering a text message to invite friends and others that they could send out via their iPhone, Blackberry, or other handheld device.  Look at who you are trying to reach and take direct aim at your target.

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