I was watching Francis Chan preach about how it is good to ‘think hard’ on scripture but questioned are we staying humble at the same time. Francis encourage’s us that thinking hard on scripture, learning it and understanding it, should only be driven by love and he posed the question “Do you learn, because you love?” It is something I have always struggled with, l ‘love’ reading theology and growing in knowledge of God but it seems I have struggled to connect my love of learning, towards love of people, something that cannot be separated. Understanding theology should not only make us more in love in God, but as Francis quotes Paul, it should make us feel ‘unceasing anguish’ for those who do not know Christ and lead us in love for them. Many christians and I myself see only the goodness of growing as a christian reading theology, putting in lots of time to study scripture, so we can know it and be encourage by it. Not many people see as I believe Francis suggesting, the burden of knowing the gospel, the burden it is to know the truth. How can we read things like Romans 9 and not be filled with sorrow and anguish for those who do not know Christ. We in our knowledge of theology, know That this is true, if people don’t turn to Christ and repent, then they will be eternally punished and suffer. Does that not bother us? Are we not moved to action from hearing such words? Do we not suffer ourselves knowing its too late for some of our loved ones already?! “I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it through the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my people, those of my own race” Romans 9:1-3 Paul loves People doesn’t he. We look at Paul as someone who has such an amazing, if not the greatest understanding of theology a man can have and yet that understanding has not lead him to think he is better than others, it has not lead him to being a unloving critic. Instead, a beautiful understanding of the truth has burden him to the point of ‘unceasing anguish’ that would give up his salvation for the sake of another because he loves People. There is great burden waiting for any christian who wishes to explore the theology of God, however that burden should be seen as an awakening of the reality we live in. God is holy and no one will be able to escape that. There are people I know and care about who don’t know Christ, what will I do with the great truth I know, does it puff me up and make me a proud and unloving critic, or am I so burdened with the reality and truth of theology that I will not stop at anything for my friends and loved ones to hear the gospel, because I am driven by love, I see these people and I love them, so much so, that I will risk the anguish and pain of losing them, for they might know Christ..Am I going to be like this? Are you going to be like this?
Ugly and a woman of weak eyes. Not really Jacobs type, he was more interested in her younger sister. Rachel. Rachel had a desirable body and was very attractive. Jacob was consume with ‘love’ for her and having to leave his family behind, he sought to find fulfillment in his love for her. He went to Laban and the deal was he would work 7 years for Laban in exchange for his daughter’s hand in marriage. he did so, 7 years, when the time came, Jacob demanded Rachel, Laban saw how much he desired Rachel and decided to exploit his passion for her, Laban tricked Jacob, got him drunk and Jacob lay instead with Leah, the undesirable one. Jacob was furious and demanded Rachel, Laban said he would give Rachel to him, however it was important for him to marry of Leah first as she was the eldest, again Laban said he would give Rachel in exchange for another 7 years work.
7 years went and Rachel was wed to Jacob. He had received his dear Rachel. All he ever wanted.
Although Rachel was beautiful and desirable, she was barren for a time and took a long time to bear children. It was Leah who bore the majority of jacob’s children. Leah felt unwanted and called upon the Lord, to help earn the favour of Jacob by bearing children…but Jacob still loved Rachel.
This story is about Idolising. Jacob idolised romance, seeking the perfect wife in Rachel and Leah idolised value/worth, seeking to impress Jacob by bearing children. It’s obvious that the point of this story is that we cannot put our faith, our time and effort, our desire, our love in human or secular achievements or fullfillment. Only in God do we find fulfillment and it is in God that we should pour our time and effort, desire and love. Putting it in anything else is for us is to waste our time and energy, for whilst we might be seeking a Rachel, we will always receive a Leah.
Reading this story again in such light, really stirred me. It showed a lot about myself and what I idolise in my life. I can relate a lot to Jacob’s feelings and desire. I realise now that I kid myself if I think seeking such a thing, will bring me to finding my dear Rachel. All I will find is Leah and I will be disappointed and left empty. Again.
Open up, open up To the lamb of God, To the love of he who made, The blind to see you
He’s coming back He’s coming back I believe it.. Jesus come back!
“a verified or indisputable fact, proposition, principle, or the like”
Something I have been thinking about alot lately (influenced by what I have been reading and what has been going on around the world) is this very word, Truth. Truth has become more relative. Relative to what we experience, have grown up with and influence by our culture/beliefs. For example, a religious person would say “there is a God” and live according to what they believe, again another might say “there is no God” and live according again to that belief. Both people see their choice of living as the truth and they justify that “truth”, by saying “truth” is relative to what we want, experience, grow up understanding and been influenced by and to try and escape from this is to not be ‘true’ to ourselves.
Basically saying, truth is defined by what we want. This idea says truth is not universal and that there can be many different truths that although conflict entirely with one another, can coexist individually.
“A verified or indisputable fact…”
It seems to me the very meaning of the word has become lost on us. Instead of being the universal, ruling model of our life, it has become relative to more of what we want and acclaiming that to be the truth, rather than allowing oneself to be ruled by the truth. I do not mean to say everyone’s opinnion is wrong and they should change it to what I think, half the problem is, if there is ONE truth or a right way to live, then which way is that? We are faced with many different groups of people who claim to hold absolute truth, which creates a problem for the one trying to find the truth. Because so many groups believe different things about what the “truth” or meaning of life is, the decision becomes based more on “what group suits me most” and following that idea in finding the truth. Again we see how “truth” is moulded by our own desires, rather than shaping our lives.
As Christains we claim to hold absolute truth. That Christ died and rose again, bearing the penalty of our sin, so we can have the oppotunity to repent and follow him and for those that do there is eternal life with Christ waiting for them. However it is hard to convey that in the world today, that holds a relative idea of truth, but why? If your a christian, then you hold an absolute, indisputable truth, that rules your life. This truth has given you purpose and meaning, joy that supasses all other joy, assurance and hope. Yet when the world is told all of this, they reply by saying “thats good for you, but its not for me” or “What you are saying just simply can not be true”.
“Since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.” Romans 1:19
“All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath.” Epheisans 2:3
Humanity by nature, does not have the ability to turn to God and desire to live for him, we do not desire him, nor seek him. There was no way we could come back to God on our own, we became sucked into self-centreness and didn’t want anything to do with God. Only by intervention, a change of heart, are we able to see the truth, to see what we truly ought to be following and seeking in life. God intervenes in our lives and pulls us back from seeking self and leads us to seeking him, opening our eyes to what true joy is and what true love is, once changed we cannot turn away from such truth. We can know the absolute truth, only because God graciously lets us know and he does this by using his people, in preaching the gospel. However that doesn’t mean that everytime someone hears the gospel they will be converted, that also doesnt mean anything is wrong with that christian preaching the gospel, it just means God hasn’t revealed himself to that person yet.
As christians we hold a truth that is absolute, verified and indisputable, because it is revealed to us by God and enabled through Christ. However the world weighs this truth on a relative scale, why? because God hasnt intervened in their lives yet.
Someone I follow retweeted a tweet by another christian, in response to everyone’s joy in Osama’s death from memory it went something like this.. “I dont understand why everyone is rejoicing over the death of Osama”, I find such public response kind of disturbing and offensive. Not to me, but for those who do not hold the same beliefs as this christian. Now before you jump the gun, I do not mean to say we shouldn’t share our opinion, nor do I think there is always going to be a ”peaceful” way of sharing our christian opinion, but there is a correct forum and way of doing that and if we want to win people for Jesus, we have to be careful what we just throw out in socialsphere.
Such a tweet comes from understanding and knowing the absolute truth that christians know and I here agree with this person. However such a tweet is lost on those who don’t share that truth and so it begs the question, what is the point of that tweet? Such a response really shows how easy it is to forget, that people do believe that they can find a good and just reason not to believe in christianity and it makes christians look like people who can’t relate or understand people outside the christian community.
As christians we should be living a way and presenting a life that will bring outsiders in and makes them feel welcome. The more we tweet and facebook and blog about what we believe in, openly rejecting worldy ideologies in a similar format as the tweet above, the less influence we will have on those who reject Christ. I challenge you if your a christian to think before you type, ask yourself ”for what reason am responding to this”, “Will it make a difference” and more importantly “Will it make a difference for Christ.”
“I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
Before we take the plunge and announce our disbelief in western culture or western society’s response to certain events (Osama). Lets remember the end game here, we are here to preach Christ, knowing God is powerful enough to save them. Lets not destroy that truth, by being oppressive towards Worldly ideology by representing Christ, But lets embrace the truth and the only truth that matters. That although we were sinful, Christ came to save us, so we could be in relationship with him, lets be representing and actioning that to the world.
The Price of Pleasure. A video that destroys the ‘glamour’ of pornography and reveals how women (mainly) who are involved in porn are being financially exploited and manipulated away from thinking that they are a product of free enterprise, an industry that openly objectifies and dehumanises women.
What was once, marginalised by society, has become a part of pop culture. Growing from a repressed and rejected industry into a multi billion dollar empire. Please watch, be confronted, get angry.
thanks bekky for showing me this. It has opened my eyes.
I’m discovering the key to not burning out in my faith is to keep things simple. I love it that God has got everything sorted, that no matter what, I can know things are in his hand and no matter what happens, nothing can take away my purpose and hope in Jesus.
I’ve been taking time out of constant study of theology and exegetical work on scripture lately, because they are not the things that fulfill me, my relationship is complete not because I’m constantly in his word reading/learning, attaining wisdom/knowledge/understanding but because my faith, given freely through grace, done by on the cross, is constant in Jesus. How much I know of the bible won’t change that.
And Thank God for that!
Scripture is something I enjoy, for I continue to learn about Jesus! and be more like him and so I continue to devote myself to knowing scripture, but not as intense as before (for the time being), I need to rejuvenate, refocus, “set my mind on things above” and enjoy being in God’s presence, simply because when I am, I am changed by him and therefore desire to share him with others.
This post is apart of my self discovery (which was illuminated by Christ) of my purpose for existence. To reflect God, not consume him
I was driving in my car one night on my way to Mcdonald’s and I was thinking, mulling over my life and pondering what I was feeling. For a while now I have been feeling this emptiness in my heart and I didn’t know what was causing it.
Life is great!
Job is going well and always getting better, Home Life is sweet, Friends are great. My time in the word has never been better, my desire to meet with God daily grows, in my free time I love to meditate on the word and be stuck in awe of God, I dream big of his plans for me and lose myself in thinking of what that might end up being. But still this emptiness existed, an emptiness that had consumed ALL my joy and nothing that brought me joy (as listed) was filling that empty void. What was missing? In the car I blurted in prayer this…
“Lord, do I feel such emptiness because I am not searching you enough, am I not reading your word enough, am I not serving or doing enough good deeds? or is it that I am not true to my reason for existence”
I had become a consumer of God in everything I was doing, reading the word, desiring more and more of God in my life, meditating day and night on scripture, for what?! So I could feel..closer to God? So I could have this ‘spiritual’ comfort? or enlightenment? So I could be a better person?