Contend Earnestly: Follow Up on "Playing Church"

Monday, April 23, 2007

Follow Up on "Playing Church"

I have been very busy the last three or four days because of my wife's 29th birthday this last Saturday and have not been able to keep up on the comments on my post, "Genuine verses Counterfeit Christianity." I wanted to follow up by taking some time to answer the questions that were asked in a post today.

First, I really appreciate the readers and commenters on Contend Earnestly who continue to make Justin and I strive for content that continuously exalts Christ and humbles ourselves. With that said, I want all to know that in no way do I mean to exalt myself through this post but just want to share my heart and also what is coming up in my life as I take a look at the ministries God has placed me in. I am not going to give you the ins and outs at this point of the amazement of my church and God seemingly lifting me out of a pit and placing me at Taylor Creek Church, but if you knew the story you would be amazed to see God's work in my life.

What I have been learning through my pastor and also the sharpening of iron with my close brother Justin, is the heart of my post on Genuine verses Counterfeit Christianity, namely, I cannot improve on my justification. This is really easy to say, for I have been saying it since I was 8 years old, but I think I have only recently really had a true heart change in this area. I was listening to a message by Matt Chandler this morning and he asked, "Why are you righteous?" and also "Is God pleased with you?" If most of us were to answer this, I know this was me, I would start pointing out things like my ministries, Bible study, theological knowledge. Of course I would never "point these out" on a verbal level but at a heart level. Then, I would respond outwardly correctly, by saying, "Because of Christ." So, for a long time my outward and inward have been warring with one another. Knowing the correct answer to give but not really living that out. I was well pleased to go to church, be a Youth Pastor, evangelize and study and that was it, that was my life. In my heart really believing, and this is hard to confess, that I felt like I was "meriting my salvation" instead of doing all these things because of the cross of Christ.

I hope you know what I am speaking of. I would do the things that was "required" of a "good Christian man" and not doing the true things that Christ tells us, to love God and keep His commandments. Not out of trying to appease a wrathful dictator, but doing these things because the love of Christ controls us (2 Cor 5:14).

Sarah, from Amazing Grace, asked a great question: Now what? What are you doing with these convictions. So, I will answer her in humility and hope that Christ is glorified with this answer and my thoughts on where I see His will guiding me.

The first ministry that we are undertaking to better serve our Lord is a new homeless ministry. It is a ministry that was in place, before, with another church, but it fell off. There is a place in Seattle that has a place for the homeless to come and take showers, so we are going to start by going there every other month (to start) and hand out sack lunches with tube socks and also tracts inside the lunches. If God permits we will also speak the truth to these people who are in so much need of a Saviour.

The second is a ministry I am going in with my eyes closed and just trusting God. I will be riding with a cop this Friday night. He is K-9 drug unit so when he is called in he usually gets called in on drug busts and it can get pretty hairy. So, when the shots have ceased he said he will call me out of the van and I can then go around to those standing around to hand out Bibles and tracts. If the night is slow, he said we can go to where he knows the homeless teens hang out in the middle of the night and give me the chance to share the truth with them as well. Who knows what I am getting myself into, I just pray that God is glorified and will show me what these people need, both physically and spiritually.

Lastly, my wife is looking at starting a prison ministry at a youth detention center that is about 20 minutes away from us. Many of the young women are from the streets and many have children even though they are all under the age of 18. We are still in the infancy stages at this point and are asking for prayer on what God would have for us.

These are some of the things in my life that I feel that God has guided me to. I pray that I am doing the will of my Father and not what I believe I want to do. I pray that you would be in prayer for me as I go out with the cop for the first time this Friday night, April 27th. His shift is from 7pm to 3am so I will be right in the middle of it all and pray that God will open opportunities to share Christ to those I come in contact with. I don't know how much danger I will be in, but I don't pray for my safety, I pray that God would be exalted and His word would go forth.

May I live for Him, not out of merit but out of love.


Jake said...

That sounds AWESOME Seth! I'll be excited to hear how those ministries develop. Please keep me updated :).

Anonymous said...

Wow,now that is truly going forth!What a great and unique opportunity God has given you in that cop letting you go with him! This is exactly where the Gospel needs to go! We change our country by the Holy Spirit and not all the laws we can make...He is truly the only One who will change the heart of man! I will keep you and your wife in my prayers.

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