FNB WIRe 9.5.09

September 7, 2009 at 5:13 am (Biblei-Octopi, Words (Not Mine)) (, , )

Flesh & Blud – Week In Review [09.05.09]

>Items That Grabbed My Attention This Week<

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>>Church structure (ecclesiology) is fresh on my mind because we are going through team development and principles of recruiting/developing people into followers of Christ. In thinking through this, some clear principles come to the forefront to guide strategy:

:: The Command (our foundation for life) – Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength…love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:29-31)
:: The Commission (our focus/process for ministry) – Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (Matthew 28:18-20)
:: The Tool (God’s breath of life for all we do) – All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God many be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16,17)
:: The Mechanism (our obedient service) – Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. (2 Timothy 4:2)
:: The Application (our relational approach) – We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us. (1 Thessalonians 2:8)
:: The Gospel (clarifies our message) – See 1 Corinthians 151-9

It is incredible how much information and “this is the way” material is out there. Another point that seems clearer to me now is that we do not serve a purpose, we serve a person (person obviously in the sense of a being not exclusively corporeal – although Jesus is 100% God and 100% Man and ascended bodily into heaven). As in all of life, we must guard against improper extremes wherein our good intentions override our clear calling. Jesus made things incredibly simple – Love God with your all. Love people as you love yourself. Everything God commanded is pretty much summed up in these two. (paraphrase) We love God by living out the gospel and we love people by showing and declaring the gospel. The church serves to uphold, instruct and equip the body of Christ Love God and to Love People, thereby fulfilling the mandates of it’s commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

>>An brutal post by Phil Johnson in which he quotes JC Ryle, speaking on pastors:

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Those who think that unsound ministers ought never to be exposed and held up to notice, and men ought never to be warned against them, would do well to study this passage. No class of character throughout our Lord’s ministry seems to call forth such severe denunciation as that of false pastors. The reason is obvious. Other men ruin themselves alone: false pastors ruin their flocks as well as themselves. To flatter all ordained men, and say they never should be called unsound and dangerous guides, is the surest way to injure the Church and offend Christ.

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>>Francis Chan popped up on my radar, surprising that we were that close (I used to live in Ventura, CA and he has been pasturing in Simi Valley, CA) and I was ignorant of his presence. He challenged me with two things: 1) to pray the prayer uttered in Proverbs 30:7-9; 2) his message Lukewarm & Loving It (link to video here – WARNING: This message is brutal as it will transform certain passages of Scripture from, those guys to, “He’s talking about me!” I don’t yet know much about Chan, but this is worth the 40 minute investment.

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Piety

September 20, 2007 at 5:47 am (Biblei-Octopi) (, )

I was thinking and I can’t say that I am over it, but I am at a funny place where I am looking at it… What is “it”? It is piety.

Growing up is a lot about learning your families values and beliefs, you make it to Jr/Sr High (for some later) and the weirdness amps up and you realize just how differently others were raised from you. This weirdness is a confrontation and a revelation. Your upbringing is your foundation and you begin to build upon that foundation.

The Christian upbringing can lead to an esteemed view of oneself, this is the religious aspect that clamors with the disciple inside (Christ did not espouse or build within his disciples a belief in themselves or their own goodness, “Apart from Me you can do nothing.”). Religion, in the sense of a man striving for God on that man’s own terms of what God “truly wants” battles very much with the understanding that disciple = follower (one who follows, learns, obeys and loves Christ).

Kels and I have also discussed piety. Piety can be a chameleon, stalking as a “prayer concern”, attacking as “hard love” or perched as “an observer”. Piety gone wild can taint your perspective and sour your listening skills. This is a life-long battle, a strand of the inherited depravity. You see it when it turns on you, but you often over look it when it is you turning on others. (This is not to say that sin should not be called sin)

Jesus esteemed piety, he said, “Unless your righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees…” But, why did the Pharisees have so much trouble with Him? He called their piety for what it was, SELF-righteousness. Christ came “to do the Father’s will.” Christ told His followers, “Follow Me.”

I fight for consistency but often ping between extremes (piety vs. debauchery). At the end of the day, the desire is for Christ, the path is directed by His Word, and it really boils down to Love God on God’s terms (not yours, not mine, not anyone’s but His).

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The Waves…

August 31, 2007 at 8:30 am (Biblei-Octopi, Parents) (, , , )

I was reading Abbie’s Princess Bible (thank you Eydie) and we came to a passage discussing the disciples confrontation with the storm.  As you will remember, disciples and Jesus are on the boat, storm brews and slams the boat.  The disciples are freaking out while Jesus is napping.  They finally wake Jesus up and inform him about their impending doom.  Jesus calmly commands the waves and…their is peace.

Princess Bible pointed out that no matter what may happen in life, Jesus has the same control over all situations.  I thought this was a little odd for a devotional aimed at preschool girls, but it was a great point.  It’s so true, we run around like the world is collapsing and where is Jesus?  Probably napping!

I know, he never sleeps…but the truth that Christ can speak a word and the world comes into existence, demons leave a man troubled by legions, a girl gets up from her death bed and the waves stop (just to name a few).  We’ve recently embarked upon a few intimidating paths and it was good to be reminded of the power of Christ.

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