VidDevo Today: "Be a Rock FOR someone else"



What if Jesus Meant All That Stuff?


What if Jesus Meant All That Stuff?



To all my nonbelieving, sort-of-believing, and used-to-be-believing friends: I feel like I should begin with a confession. I am sorry that so often the biggest obstacle to God has been Christians. Christians who have had so much to say with our mouths and so little to show with our lives. I am sorry that so often we have forgotten the Christ of our Christianity.

Forgive us. Forgive us for the embarrassing things we have done in the name of God.

The other night I headed into downtown Philly for a stroll with some friends from out of town. We walked down to Penn’s Landing along the river, where there are street performers, artists, musicians. We passed a great magician who did some pretty sweet tricks like pour change out of his iPhone, and then there was a preacher. 

He wasn’t quite as captivating as the magician. He stood on a box, yelling into a microphone, and beside him was a coffin with a fake dead body inside. He talked about how we are all going to die and go to hell if we don’t know Jesus.

Some folks snickered. Some told him to shut the hell up. A couple of teenagers tried to steal the dead body in the coffin. All I could do was think to myself, I want to jump up on a box beside him and yell at the top of my lungs, “God is not a monster.” Maybe next time I will.

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The more I have read the Bible and studied the life of Jesus, the more I have become convinced that Christianity spreads best not through force but through fascination. But over the past few decades our Christianity, at least here in the United States, has become less and less fascinating. We have given the atheists less and less to disbelieve. And the sort of Christianity many of us have seen on TV and heard on the radio looks less and less like Jesus.

At one point Gandhi was asked if he was a Christian, and he said, essentially, “I sure love Jesus, but the Christians seem so unlike their Christ.” A recent study showed that the top three perceptions of Christians in the U. S. among young non-Christians are that Christians are 1) antigay, 2) judgmental, and 3) hypocritical. So what we have here is a bit of an image crisis, and much of that reputation is well deserved. That’s the ugly stuff. And that’s why I begin by saying that I’m sorry.

Now for the good news.

I want to invite you to consider that maybe the televangelists and street preachers are wrong — and that God really is love. Maybe the fruits of the Spirit really are beautiful things like peace, patience, kindness, joy, love, goodness, and not the ugly things that have come to characterize religion, or politics, for that matter. (If there is anything I have learned from liberals and conservatives, it’s that you can have great answers and still be mean… and that just as important as being right is being nice.)

Also by Shane Claiborne: A Dialogue on What it Means to be Pro-Life

The Bible that I read says that God did not send Jesus to condemn the world but to save it… it was because “God so loved the world.” That is the God I know, and I long for others to know. I did not choose to devote my life to Jesus because I was scared to death of hell or because I wanted crowns in heaven… but because he is good. For those of you who are on a sincere spiritual journey, I hope that you do not reject Christ because of Christians. We have always been a messed-up bunch, and somehow God has survived the embarrassing things we do in His name. At the core of our “Gospel” is the message that Jesus came “not [for] the healthy… but the sick.” And if you choose Jesus, may it not be simply because of a fear of hell or hope for mansions in heaven.
Don’t get me wrong, I still believe in the afterlife, but too often all the church has done is promise the world that there is life after death and use it as a ticket to ignore the hells around us. I am convinced that the Christian Gospel has as much to do with this life as the next, and that the message of that Gospel is not just about going up when we die but about bringing God’s Kingdom down. It was Jesus who taught us to pray that God’s will be done “on earth as it is in heaven.” On earth.

One of Jesus’ most scandalous stories is the story of the Good Samaritan. As sentimental as we may have made it, the original story was about a man who gets beat up and left on the side of the road. A priest passes by. A Levite, the quintessential religious guy, also passes by on the other side (perhaps late for a meeting at church). And then comes the Samaritan… you can almost imagine a snicker in the Jewish crowd. Jews did not talk to Samaritans, or even walk through Samaria. But the Samaritan stops and takes care of the guy in the ditch and is lifted up as the hero of the story. I’m sure some of the listeners were ticked. According to the religious elite, Samaritans did not keep the right rules, and they did not have sound doctrine… but Jesus shows that true faith has to work itself out in a way that is Good News to the most bruised and broken person lying in the ditch.

It is so simple, but the pious forget this lesson constantly. God may indeed be evident in a priest, but God is just as likely to be at work through a Samaritan or a prostitute. In fact the Scripture is brimful of God using folks like a lying prostitute named Rahab, an adulterous king named David… at one point God even speaks to a guy named Balaam through his donkey.

 Some say God spoke to Balaam through his ass and has been speaking through asses ever since. So if God should choose to use us, then we should be grateful but not think too highly of ourselves. And if upon meeting someone we think God could never use, we should think again.

After all, Jesus says to the religious elite who looked down on everybody else: “The tax collectors and prostitutes are entering the Kingdom ahead of you.” And we wonder what got him killed?

Also by Shane Claiborne: The Christian Industrial Complex

I have a friend in the UK who talks about “dirty theology” — that we have a God who is always using dirt to bring life and healing and redemption, a God who shows up in the most unlikely and scandalous ways. After all, the whole story begins with God reaching down from heaven, picking up some dirt, and breathing life into it. At one point, Jesus takes some mud, spits in it, and wipes it on a blind man’s eyes to heal him. (The priests and producers of anointing oil were not happy that day.)

In fact, the entire story of Jesus is about a God who did not just want to stay “out there” but who moves into the neighborhood, a neighborhood where folks said, “Nothing good could come.” It is this Jesus who was accused of being a glutton and drunkard and rabble-rouser for hanging out with all of society’s rejects, and who died on the imperial cross of Rome reserved for bandits and failed messiahs. This is why the triumph over the cross was a triumph over everything ugly we do to ourselves and to others. It is the final promise that love wins.

It is this Jesus who was born in a stank manger in the middle of a genocide. That is the God that we are just as likely to find in the streets as in the sanctuary, who can redeem revolutionaries and tax collectors, the oppressed and the oppressors… a God who is saving some of us from the ghettos of poverty, and some of us from the ghettos of wealth.

In closing, to those who have closed the door on religion — I was recently asked by a non-Christian friend if I thought he was going to hell. I said, “I hope not. It will be hard to enjoy heaven without you.” If those of us who believe in God do not believe God’s grace is big enough to save the whole world… well, we should at least pray that it is.

Your brother,
Shane

VidDevo: "In me no good thing"





CLASSIC DEVOTIONALS: "Getting to Know God" -A.W.Tozer

DAILY DEVOTIONS
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"Thanking God for the Day"

#ClassicsByNight

Ministering Spirits




Our Protestant churches have never been very enthusiastic about the Bible references to the many kinds of angels and angelic beings which make up the Lord's heavenly host. Because we do not see them, we generally do not discuss them. There seem to be many Christians who are not sure what they should believe about God's heavenly messengers.

In short, where the matter of Bible teaching about angels is concerned, we have come into a sad state of neglect and ignorance.

Personally, I despise the cynical references to angels and the comic jokes about them. The preacher who reported his guardian angel had had a hard time keeping up with him as he sped over the highway spoke in bad taste and probably in ignorance. If that is the best a preacher can say about the guardian angels or God's angelic host, he needs to go back to his Bible.
Verse


Are not all angels ministering spirits sent to serve those who will inherit salvation? Hebrews 1:14
Thought


Angels depicted with huge wings has contributed to the lessened attention we give them these days. In biblical accounts angels sometimes appear hardly distinguishable from human beings. But angels are sent to serve us as ministering spirits. What service have we experienced unawares?
Prayer


Lord, for whatever and whoever You send to aid me in my walk with You, I give You thanks.


CLASSIC DEVOTIONALS: "Direction By Impulse" -My Utmost for His Highest

DAILY DEVOTIONS
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"Honoring God for the Day"

#ClassicsByNight

Direction By Impulse


There was nothing either of the nature of impulse or of cold-bloodedness about Our Lord, but only a calm strength that never got into panic. Most of us develop our Christianity along the line of our temperament, not along the line of God. 

Impulse is a trait in natural life, but Our Lord always ignores it, because it hinders the development of the life of a disciple. Watch how the Spirit of God checks impulse, His checks bring a rush of self-conscious foolishness which makes us instantly want to vindicate ourselves. 

Impulse is all right in a child, but it is disastrous in a man or woman; an impulsive man is always a petted man. Impulse has to be trained into intuition by discipline.

Discipleship is built entirely on the supernatural grace of God. Walking on the water is easy to impulsive pluck, but walking on dry land as a disciple of Jesus Christ is a different thing. Peter walked on the water to go to Jesus, but he followed Him afar off on the land. 

We do not need the grace of God to stand crises, human nature and pride are sufficient, we can face the strain magnificently; but it does require the supernatural grace of God to live twenty-four hours in every day as a saint, to go through drudgery as a disciple, to live an ordinary, unobserved, ignored existence as a disciple of Jesus. 

It is inbred in us that we have to do exceptional things for God; but we have not. We have to be exceptional in the ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, and this is not learned in five minutes.

DANIELS PRAYER: "A petition" (3 times a day we pray)


DANIELS PRAYER
at 3:00

"While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people, and the nation, my leaders, my teachers, my family of faith; presenting my plea before the Lord my God" 

“O Lord 
according to all your righteous acts
The Love you have for you Son
The work He has done for the World 

Let your anger and your wrath turn away from this Land,
Let your righteous anger be turned to Mercy
Let your wrath turn to Grace

 Because for our sins, 
and for the iniquities of our fathers
We are guilty

Forgive us.
Have Mercy on us
O God shed your grace. 

O our God
Our Father 
Listen to the prayer of your servant 
Hear His pleas for mercy,

HEAR OUR CRY 


 For your own sake, 
O Lord 
For the Obedience of your own Son
Who Died For Us

Make your face to shine upon Us,

O my God,
 incline your ear and hear. 
Open your eyes and see our need
Lord have mercy on us

 We do not present our pleas before you 
because of our righteousness, 
but because of your great mercy.

O Lord, hear; 
O Lord, forgive. 
O Lord, Have mercy on us.
Act upon your Grace to us. 

 O my God, 
because your Son

 and we who are called by His name.

Lord Have mercy on us.





COMMUNION DAILY: "Do this in Remembrance of Me"


Jesus Said
"Do this in Remembrance of Me"

SO WE DO DAILY AT 1:00

Sometime today

Kool Aid and Graham Crackers
Or
Kosher Wine and Matzoh

TODAY

COMMUNE WITH YOUR GOD

And 

"Do this in remembrance of me"

DANIELS PRAYER: "A proffession" (3 times a day we pray)


DANIELS PRAYER
at 12:00

"While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people, and the nation, my leaders, my teachers, my family of faith; presenting my plea before the Lord my God" 

To us, O Lord,
 belongs open shame.

We are shamed and we are ashamed
Of our Country and our Government, 
of our Congress and our Judiciary.

From the Fathers of our Children, to the Mothers that have borne them
From One corner of this land to other 
For the stranger within and citizen inside
WE ARE MORE THAN ASHAMED

BECAUSE WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST YOU

We hide our heads in sorrow.
O Lord Our God

 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness.
It is not our right to ask.
 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness. 
We have rebelled against him
 To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness.
We have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God 

WE HAVE SINNED
We have done wickedly 
We have not obeyed your voice

TO YOU O LORD OUR GOD BELONGS MERCY AND FORGIVENESS




FACEBOOK PRAYER TEAM: "PRAYING FOR SOPHIE"


FACEBOOK PRAYER TEAM
"Make the difference; Be the Difference"

PRAY

#FACEBOOKPRAYERTEAM
#FBT
#PRAYINGFORSOPHIE


Prayer Request:
Could you please say a prayer today for my granddaughter Sophie. She is having heart surgery tomorrow am. Thanks and God bless.
6 seconds ago via mobile · 

DAILY DEVOTIONS: "the days of Noah " -Mike MacIntosh

DAILY DEVOTIONS
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"Honoring God in the Morning"



#DAILYDEVOTIONS
#LIFESTYLEOFINSPIRATION
#INTHEMORNING


But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.
Matthew 24:37-39


A little boy was invited to dinner for the first time in his life. He would just be going to his next-door neighbor's house, but to him, this was a huge event. "See ya, Mom! See ya, Dad!" he hollered as he raced to the house next door. When they sat down at the table to eat, the boy, who was raised in a Christian home, bowed his head. "Lord, thank you for this food," he began to pray out loud. 

But nobody stopped; everyone kept passing food across the table. The little boy opened his eyes and asked, without a hint of embarrassment, "Don't you people thank God for your food?" After an awkward silence, the lady of the house said, "No, honey, we don't." The little fellow thought for a moment. "You know, you're like my dogs" he told them. "They just start right in."

You and I can be like that, can't we? We can make $100,000 on a real estate deal, and not give God a penny. We can "start right in," carelessly feasting on the food before us, ignorant of God's graciousness to provide it. But when we lose $100,000, we're quick to cry out to God. 

When things go wrong, we look to Him with eyes of desperation. Why? Because instead of loving God, we think we can use Him. Instead of blessing God with our gifts, talents, finances -- you name it -- we expect God to bless us. We are self-focused. And we are deceived.

The people of Noah's time were living the good life. They ate, they drank, and they partied. And that's not necessarily bad. 1 Corinthians 10:31 says that "whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." But the people were self-focused, not God-focused. They didn't eat and drink to celebrate God, but to satisfy themselves. 

When Noah warned of God's imminent judgment, a world-wide flood, they mocked him. "Oh come on, that's ridiculous!" they must have said, laughing. After all, it had never rained! They had never even heard of a flood! But must God use means with which we are familiar? Must He work in ways we expect? Because the people couldn't even imagine such a substantial work of God, they were swept away by it. "So also will the coming of the Son of Man be" (Matthew 24:39).

You see, deception comes through selfishness. When our hopes and dreams are only rooted in self-glory, not only do we miss the glory of God -- we can't even imagine it. When our eyes are fixed on ourselves, not only are we oblivious to God -- we assume His very role in our lives. Self-focus always results in self-deception because when we lose sight of God, we lose sight of our purpose. Jesus said, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and [you shall love] your neighbor as yourself" (Luke 10:27). That is our purpose, lest we deceive ourselves.

Today, we live in days very similar to the days of Noah. Jesus Christ is coming to take you home, and what a glorious day it will be to stand in His presence and worship Him "in the beauty of holiness" (Psalm 96:9)! But you must be prepared. Don't live a self-centered life; you only deceive yourself. Give your life to Jesus, and live for His glory.

DAILY DEVOTIONS: "Empty Wells" -David McGee

DAILY DEVOTIONS
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"Honoring God in the Morning"






Empty Wells - Monday, October 21st 2013
2 Peter 2:17
"These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."
NKJV
In the book of 2 Peter, the apostle is sharing the sad truth about false teachers. In the description above, Peter calls them wells without water. I cannot think of a better way to describe someone who pretends to have the Truth of God. Imagine as people come to hear this Truth but are disappointed because there is no real living water to drink from. All they find is an empty well.
The Truth is that God desires to give us His living water and make our lives fruitful. In order to do this, He calls us to connect with Him through His Son Jesus. This is not simply a religious exercise; it's a life-changing relationship. Jesus put it this way...
John 15:5 "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." NLT
As we spend time with Christ in prayer, reading His Word and fellowshipping with His people, we will find ourselves living fruitful lives. The reason is simple; we are visiting the deep life-giving well of Jesus Christ. His well is filled to overflowing, and He welcomes everyone to drink deep and thirst no more.
Life Lesson: Without Jesus Christ, our life will be fruitless and wasted.
Dear God,
Thank You for the refreshing water of life that is found in Jesus. God, You tell us that when we connect to this water, we will also have living waters coming from us. Fill my life to overflowing so that I would be a fruitful worker of the Kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee

DAILY DEVOTIONS: "Empty Wells" -David McGee

DAILY DEVOTIONS
Read it. Live it. Share it. Tag it.
"Honoring God in the Morning"






Empty Wells - Monday, October 21st 2013
2 Peter 2:17
"These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."
NKJV
In the book of 2 Peter, the apostle is sharing the sad truth about false teachers. In the description above, Peter calls them wells without water. I cannot think of a better way to describe someone who pretends to have the Truth of God. Imagine as people come to hear this Truth but are disappointed because there is no real living water to drink from. All they find is an empty well.
The Truth is that God desires to give us His living water and make our lives fruitful. In order to do this, He calls us to connect with Him through His Son Jesus. This is not simply a religious exercise; it's a life-changing relationship. Jesus put it this way...
John 15:5 "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." NLT
As we spend time with Christ in prayer, reading His Word and fellowshipping with His people, we will find ourselves living fruitful lives. The reason is simple; we are visiting the deep life-giving well of Jesus Christ. His well is filled to overflowing, and He welcomes everyone to drink deep and thirst no more.
Life Lesson: Without Jesus Christ, our life will be fruitless and wasted.
Dear God,
Thank You for the refreshing water of life that is found in Jesus. God, You tell us that when we connect to this water, we will also have living waters coming from us. Fill my life to overflowing so that I would be a fruitful worker of the Kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee

DAILY DEVOTIONS: "Empty Wells" -David McGee

DAILY DEVOTIONS
Read it. Live it. Share it. Tag it.
"Honoring God in the Morning"






Empty Wells - Monday, October 21st 2013
2 Peter 2:17
"These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever."
NKJV
In the book of 2 Peter, the apostle is sharing the sad truth about false teachers. In the description above, Peter calls them wells without water. I cannot think of a better way to describe someone who pretends to have the Truth of God. Imagine as people come to hear this Truth but are disappointed because there is no real living water to drink from. All they find is an empty well.
The Truth is that God desires to give us His living water and make our lives fruitful. In order to do this, He calls us to connect with Him through His Son Jesus. This is not simply a religious exercise; it's a life-changing relationship. Jesus put it this way...
John 15:5 "Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing." NLT
As we spend time with Christ in prayer, reading His Word and fellowshipping with His people, we will find ourselves living fruitful lives. The reason is simple; we are visiting the deep life-giving well of Jesus Christ. His well is filled to overflowing, and He welcomes everyone to drink deep and thirst no more.
Life Lesson: Without Jesus Christ, our life will be fruitless and wasted.
Dear God,
Thank You for the refreshing water of life that is found in Jesus. God, You tell us that when we connect to this water, we will also have living waters coming from us. Fill my life to overflowing so that I would be a fruitful worker of the Kingdom. In Jesus' name, Amen.
Living to tell what He died to say,
Pastor David McGee

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