Saturday, August 29, 2009

Something Old, Something New

Renew. It's a word we use all the time. It obviously means to make something new again. Renew wedding vows, renew an insurance policy, renew a promise. There are things all around us that cna be renewed. What about our commitment to living our lives for Christ?

In Joshua chapter 8, Joshua and the Israelites defeat Ai by renewing their commitment to God to listen and follow. At the end, Joshua renews the covenant that Moses made in the desert by making new the law on new stones.

We too can renew our covanent with Christ. We can recommit ourselves to the promise of living our lives for Him, for His work, and for His people.

Keeping it simple,
Jesus Freak Out!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Give it all you got.......

For those who may not know, our church is about to take a step of faith in a huge way. And do I mean a huge way. We are not making a relatively miniscule decision to give to a new missionary, or start a new ministry. We are literally taking a huge step............out the door of our current location to that of a new one. This move has brought many challenges, stresses, timelines, and tests. Throughout this time I have taken on our lead pastor's challenge of reading through the book of Joshua. I have never read the book of Joshua (and I'm still not done) until now, but it has opened my eyes to the challenges that Joshua faced casting the vision of what God had planned for the Israelites. And I found one challenge that we now face as a church.

That challenge is one of intensity, tenacity, perseverance, and intention. We have it now, but can we keep it?

In Joshua chapter 7, Joshua sent men from Jericho down to Ai to spy out the army there. Before having Joshua bring the WHOLE army down there to fight, the spies brought information back that only a few thousand were needed because the army at Ai was not all that tough. Or so they thought. Maybe that was their mistake, they thought instead of trust. In the end, the Israelites who were sent to fight the army at Ai were destroyed because they not only sinned against the Lord (Achan had stolen some of the "devoted things"), they lacked humility and intensity.

In our daily lives and walks with Christ, we must never give in or give up. We must persevere and we must give it all we have for the Christ. Half hearted effort for Christ produces whole hearted shame from God. He doesn't want us just on Sundays or at the dinner table, He wants us all the time, full throttle, whole heartedly pushing the proverbial rock up the hill. As long as we rely on Him and trust in his unfailing and unconditional love, and as long as we give Him all that we have with every fiber of our being, then we have fought "the good fight."

This move for our church is a battle, not against the world or the challenges of the move. It's against ourselves. This battle is against our half hearts, our mediocre efforts, and our "spare time." The Israelites failed at Ai because of themselves, not because of the Amorites. They lost because they did put forth their all.

For this church, for God's church, for this life, we must give it all we got............

Ante up,
Jesus Freak Out!