Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Great Commission.3

"No one who puts his hand to the plough, 
and then looks back, 
is suitable for the kingdom of God."

I asked a young man recently, "Do you think Jesus came to make us  good "Christians" or good men?  

The question brings to mind an event I read in Mark Steyn's "After America":
[on Dec 6, 1989]
MarcL├ępine walked into an engineering classroom at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique with a gun and told all the men to leave the room.  They meekly did as ordered.  He then shot all the women....The defining image of contemporary maleness is not Monsieur Lepine but the professors and the men in that classroom, who, ordered to leave by the lone gunman, obeyed, and abandoned their female classmates to their fate--an act of abdication that would have been unthinkable in almost any other culture throughout human history.  The "men" stood outside in the corridor and, even as they heard the first shots, they did nothing.  And, when it was over and Levine walked out of the room and past them, they still did nothing.  Whatever its other defects, Canadian manhood does not suffer from an excess of testosterone."
Mr. Steyn uses multiple examples of the shift in expectations, attitudes and behaviors of the male species throughout the modern world. 

If the highest and most noble demonstration of manhood is love; and the highest of which love is capable is to lay your life down for another, we are failing most miserably who look back-or around-to get our bearings for manhood from anyone but Jesus himself. 
"And now, Israel, what does the LORD your God require of you, but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul..." (Deuteronomy 10:12)

If you want to be right, love right.  And to love right, love a righteous man!  Love The Righteous Man!  Trust me, you'll keep your furrows straight!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Great Commission.2

"There is a great harvest before you, but sadly, the laborers are few. Pray to the Lord of the harvest that he will send more laborers to gather in his harvest."

Did you realize that you can read or listen to all the recorded words of Jesus, the things he spoke and taught, in two to three hours? In very few words he was able to shape the course of human history by revealing the essentials of our humanity!

Over the centuries innumerable words have been written attempting to explain what His words meant. But the secret to unlocking the depths of understanding to the Treasures of Wisdom he holds is not found in a Bible Commentary or study of the original languages or memorizing creeds. 

The secret is really no secret at all. If you truly want to know the meaning of Jesus' words it begins as it always has: 
do what He says!
Every act of obedience begins with our eyes on the Father and our hearts attentive to His Will.

An owner of a manufacturing plant expressed his frustration to me one day relating how difficult it is to find good workers. "They finish a project, then sit down to wait for more instructions. At the very least they could pick up a broom and clean around their area. There is always something they can do to be productive!" 

That worker who knows his employer's heart and orders his activities by that knowledge and truly desires to please him is worth his weight in gold!

Core Values of a Follower of Jesus*: 

1. Jesus has a right to our absolute obedience.

2. Jesus died that we might die like him: die to any ruling power in us but the perfect will of God.

3. Jesus died to make us Just, Merciful and Perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect.

4. Jesus died to make us merry children of our Father in heaven, loving what is lovely, delivered from all meanness, pretense, falseness, unfairness, cowardice, fear, anxiety, self-worship, trust or hope in possessions.

5. Our Father in heaven is grandly beautiful, is always doing His best for every person, and is the only good for any person.

6. No man is ever condemned for any sin except one: that he will not leave his sins and come out of them to be the child of Him who is his Father.

7. Our heavenly Father, in justice and mercy,will give us what punishment we need to make us right or keep us from going wrong.

8. Our Father gives His spirit to everyone who will open their hearts to him in childlike obedience; his Spirit will always guide us to what is true and will lead us in the way of righteousness.

9. To be a follower of Jesus Christ is the reason every human being is born and the goal of teaching is to persuade everyone to become His follower.

*(adapted from MacDonald's Unspoken Sermon, Justice)  

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Great Commission.1

"Let those who are spiritually dead attend to their earthly concerns; but you go and proclaim the coming of the kingdom of God to the waiting world."


The problem with being a Zombie, as near as I can figure, is that you don't know you are dead...I suppose that is troublesome enough--to be self-deluded like that--however, compounding the problem is that they just won't leave the living alone...

The Chick Fil A controversy is a great example.  The owner, Dan Cathie, answering an interviewer's question, simply stated his belief and support for Biblical principles like traditional marriage and keeping the Sabbath holy by closing his restaurants and giving his employees a day off to rest and worship God.

In reprisal--go figure--several big city mayors have come out and put up a "no vacancy" sign to Chick Fil A.   Consider Boston's announcement:
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino declared, "Chick-fil-A doesn't belong in Boston." He recklessly slandered the company by accusing it of "discriminat(ing) against the population." And he warned ominously: "If they need licenses in the city, it will be very difficult -- unless they open up their policies."
A simple suggestion, from radio commentator and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, to support them by designating a day to eat at Chick Fil A quickly spread throughout the social media network. Support was overwhelming with long lines and long waits to show solidarity for Mr. Cathie's right to exercise free speech and not be publicly vilified for it.

By contrast, CEO's from two of the world's largest companies, Microsoft and Amazon, have contributed millions of dollars to support Washington state's gay marriage law against a ballot initiative to overturn it with little fanfare or public response.

Let's say, for argument's sake, that supporting efforts like letting babies live and not encouraging their termination in the name of "choice", or staking a historical position like narrowly defining marriage as the union of a man and woman is on the side of Life, i.e., the Kingdom of God.  And, for argument's sake, taking up a position opposite of those views is on the side of Death.  We then can, for argument's sake, understand Joshua's declaration: 

"And if it is evil in your eyes to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:15)
Or Mose's admonition:
"I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live,
loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them." (Deuteronomy 30:19, 20)
Let's suppose, for argument's sake, that proclaiming Life, the kingdom of God will, like the smell of flesh to Zombies, attract the spiritually dead to attack with vicious and deadly retribution, what will you choose? 

Boston mayor quote from Michelle Malkin's blog at: