Contend Earnestly: December 2009

Saturday, December 26, 2009

New From Reach Records and DJ Official: Entermission

I got an email from Reach Records to try and push some new stuff from DJ Offical...pretty stoked for this album. Enjoy...late Christmas maybe?

Entermission the debut album from DJ Official available in stores now!.

After producing for over 10 years and serving as traveling deejay, Official finally has the opportunity to reveal the dynamic of his skill-set on one project. The album is purposed to influence Christians to think about the Great Commission (Matt 28:19) and the Great Commandment (Luke 10:27) on a local level. As Christians we have a personal mission field, which consist of those that God has placed in our sphere of influence. With a missional mindset we can affect the people around us with the Gospel message by the way we live and conduct ourselves in our everyday walk. This is a message that needs to be heard and with everything from Reggae, Downsouth, East Coast, Commercial, Underground, Electro, and Rock/Hipster featured on the album there is something for everyone!

EnterMission features over 20 artists such as Lecrae, Flame, Sho Baraka, JR, Tedashii, Trip Lee, R-Swift, Thi'sl, Jahaziel, and more! Every single track on EnterMission is produced by DJ Official.

To order the album, go here

You can listen to the singles, read about the album, and create your own version of the album cover here

There are three versions to choose from:

album-now deluxe-now lp-now

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

What Comes to Mind When You Hear "Muslim" or "Islam"?

I want to see how many responses I can get from this. Please just give me your honest thoughts on what the first thing is that comes to mind when you hear the term "Muslim" or "Islam"? If you don't want to put it into comment form, please email me at smcbee at mcbeeadvisors dot com. Thanks.

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Evangelical Christian Lives with a Muslim Family for 30 Days

Thought this was an interesting video.

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How Can I Pray for You?

Someone asked me recently how they could be praying for me. My first thought is always, "please pray for me as the apostles would pray for me." Here is a list of those verses that specifically show what the apostles prayed for in regards to their flock and those in the faith. We know that these prayers are what God wills for us. Romans 8 tells us that we don't even know how to pray, so the Spirit prays for us. But, we can be imitators of what the apostles prayed, being they were speaking the very oracles of God. I try and pray these things for others when they are sick, well, poor, rich, saved, unsaved, etc. I don't know what God will do, but I DO know that these things are in the revealed will of God for all peoples.

Now we pray to God that you do no wrong; not that we ourselves may appear approved, but that you may do what is right, even though we may appear unapproved. For we can do nothing against the truth, but only for the truth. For we rejoice when we ourselves are weak but you are strong; this we also pray for, that you be made complete.
2 Corinthians 13:7-9

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,
Ephesians 1:18

and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel,
Ephesians 6:19

And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment,
Philippians 1:9

For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,
Colossians 1:9

praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned;
Colossians 4:3

To this end also we pray for you always, that our God will count you worthy of your calling, and fulfill every desire for goodness and the work of faith with power,
2 Thessalonians 1:11

Finally, brethren, pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified, just as it did also with you;
2 Thessalonians 3:1

and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.
Philemon 6

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a good conscience, desiring to conduct ourselves honorably in all things.
Hebrews 13:18

Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers.
3 John 2

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Thursday, December 17, 2009

What I Am Learning From My Muslim Friends (Guest Post)

I asked Michael, one of the elders at Harambee that has a ministry to local Muslims, if I could post his thoughts on what he has been learning from those Muslims that he is not only contacting, but becoming friends with. He is teaching me a lot through this, and I respect his love for our Muslims neighbors greatly. I thought it would be great to share and show the "other side" of Islam, even if it is short and sweet.

SOME of what I’ve learned from my Muslim friends:

1) God’s word should be respected, so don’t handle it like any other book. Throwing it around, putting it on the floor, bringing it into the bathroom, stacking them on the shelf below other books. Why don’t I treat it like what it really is…God’s word.

2) Always have drinks and food ready to serve when ANYONE comes into your home. Arabs used to host strangers for three nights with food and sleep before they even asked the question “Where are you from and how can I help you?” Arab’s build homes with the guestroom as the FIRST room they decide on how to build and center everything else around the guestroom. They have a completely separate living room SOLELY for hosting guests.

3) Even though I can enter the throne room with confidence because of the work of Jesus, there is a reverence for God I have learned from Muslims. Just look at how everyone approached Jesus in the Gospels and you can see how many Muslims approach God.

4) Relationship trumps being considered “right” or “winning” the argument. That’s why arguing about who’s “religion” is right never leads anywhere but being upset.

5) Christians do not own Jesus…neither do Americans. Jesus is asking people to follow Him, take up their crosses and follow him. That looks different for everybody. I was with my friend Omer and told him how I think American Christians have hijacked Jesus. He said to me “Jesus is for everyone, Christians, Muslims, Jews, it doesn’t matter”. He then went on to tell me how he liked my idea about getting people together to study about the life of Jesus and other prophets as well. How amazing is Jesus!?!?!?!

I know some of you think this is legalism, but this is just what I’ve learned. I’d encourage you to spend time with Muslims and share what you learn.

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Following Jesus and Still a Muslim?

Any thoughts on this video? It hits me pretty hard to see what Christ is doing around the world. I am picking up this book today to read more about the understanding of the Muslim world: A Deadly Misunderstanding by Mark D. Siljander

As a follow up to this video, please read this article as well: Muslim Followers of Jesus?

Following Jesus from The Global Conversation on Vimeo.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Muslim and Christian Resources: And Some Questions

There is an elder in my church who is doing some amazing work within the Muslim communities here in the Seattle area. He works with local churches to aid them in the understanding of how to speak to and serve Muslims in their area. I recently asked him for some resources that would speak to me how he formed his convictions for his ministry to the Muslims. I wanted to put that here for all to have. I have only had the chance to read the Christianity Today article (Muslim Followers of Jesus?) and listen to the Desiring God mp3's from the conference: Evangelicals and A Common Word. Both have already started to impact my thinking. I have not made many actual changes yet, but looking forward to see what the Spirit will teach me through it. Some of the questions that I am honestly asking myself as I read and listen is:

Do Muslims worship the same God? If we believe Jews do, what is the difference?

What does an actual Muslim believe? Do I characterize Muslims in a way that erects straw men instead of their actual convictions? (this is of vital importance) I have read many books on apologetical differences, but have found out that most of them erect unnecessary and unhelpful straw men.

How far can we go to reach Muslims? i.e. Can we pray with them?

What can I appreciate about the Muslim? What can I learn from them?

How can I impact Muslims for the gospel?

Mike is a great resource as he is on the front lines of bringing the gospel to the Muslims. He has been great to me so far in our discussions and I look forward to many more. As I continue, I will probably be interviewing him on this blog and would also like to invite a Muslim as well to interview them to aid us in a correct understanding of what they believe. I hope these resources help.

Evangelicals and A Common Word Conference Lectures (mp3):

Muslim Perspectives on the Writing of "A Common Word" (Caner Dagli and Joesph Lumbard)

Christian Defenses of the Yale Response to "A Common Word" (C. Donald Smedley and Joseph Cumming)

Christian Concerns About the Yale Response to "A Common Word" (John Piper and Al Mohler)

Questions and Answers


Muslim Followers of Jesus?

Pilgrims of Christ on the Muslims Road by Paul Gordon Chandler (

Building Bridges: Christianity and Islam by Fouad Accad

No God But God by Reza Aslan

How to Win A Cosmic War by Reza Aslan

Muslims, Magic and the Kingdom of God by Rick Love (

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Are You the Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?

As I watched Clay Guida get beat up on Saturday night, I wondered if he really wasn't Kenny G the rest of the year. Honestly...they look like they could be related in some way, in a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sort of way. Then I started to realize that is exactly what I was in high school. I was a terrible kid 6 out of 7 days...maybe more like 6 and half days out of 7. I put my "Christian face" on for those at church and then the rest of the week, I went on to smoke pot, get drunk and would honestly steal stuff for the rush. My parents were well off and would give me anything I wanted, so this was my way to be ghetto. I would sneak out at 2 or 3 in the morning and go and steal stuff, with others, out of cars. I once stole a whole box of baseball cards from a 7-11 (in broad daylight) because someone told me it wasn't possible. I walked out, and then threw the box of cards away...again...not needing the money or merch.

On Sundays though, I was totally different. My Kenny G face was on and ready to impress. I didn't get the fact that my whole life was worship, and I really didn't care. What was interesting is that during this whole time, I would enter into church, falsely repenting and telling God that this was the week I was going to change. But, true to form, I would return to my vomit every week (Proverbs 26:11).

I now know that nothing could have really changed my actions, as they came from the heart, besides the power of Christ. But, the reality of the situation was that I knew that I couldn't tell anyone, because my pops was the pastor. So, instead of looking for help, I just figured one day I would stop doing all this stupid crap. It wasn't that I didn't want to quit or that I didn't want to live for Christ, but it was just the fact that I didn't realize true worship, nor did I have anyone that I could trust to help me in my times of need.

I guess the question then comes, "Is there anything we can do to NOT be Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde?" I don't want this to become some sort of stringent list to follow, but I think it might be helpful to seek some of these things out to aid you in your walk with Christ.

1. Every day is Worship and Communion with God

Know that everything you do will either be to glorify God, or yourself (which is ultimately Satan). This is why Paul takes it to the mundane in food and drink in 1 Cor 10:31 and why we should try to put Christ in front of us in everything we do. We must continually find ways to put the cross and God's goodness and mercy in front of us daily. Try to find God's grace as you do all the things you repetitively do every day. In those things that do not give God glory, find ways to eliminate them and replace them with something that does. The more we realize that every day is worship and for the glory of God, the less chance there is for us playing the part of Kenny G and Clay Guida.

2. Pray

I suck at praying. Which means, I don't pray enough. I will go days without praying. Praying is a reminder of who this life is all about and who is control. The absence of prayer is the showing that I am in control and it is all about me. Not only is prayer a great reminder of your Creator and Sustainer, it is how we talk to God and one of the ways that God comes to our aid. The more we are on our knees for Christ, the less time we will be bowing down to our idols. Also, one of the major themes of prayer is our repentance. The one who repents, is the one who understands it isn't about them, but about Christ. One who repents gets to be reminded everytime the promise in Colossians 2:13-14

When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.

Colossians 2:13-14

Luther said that the life of the Christian is one of continual repentance, and without prayer, this becomes impossible and allows sin to find refuge and God's glory to flee.

3. Accountability

Be in community with people you can tell stuff to. I am not saying that I would have been any different if I had this type of community, but it would have no doubt helped. I am not telling you that these people will be able to change you, they might be able to guilt you into change for a while, but that isn't the point. The point is for you to have people who can give you wisdom, point you to the cross and mediate on your behalf to our Christ. This will be difficult, because we don't like to lay ourselves bear before others, because they will judge us. What you want is someone who judges you, but still loves you and desires your greatest joy for the glory of Christ.

4. Word

Not weeerd...but in the Word. The Word of God strengthens, convicts, comforts and guides. We need our God to speak to us, straight to the heart so that we can see his mercy and grace up close and personal. I need to be in the word more to just hear from God, instead of trying to break it down and erect it like it's some sort of tricky puzzle that needs to be put together. Sometimes it is good to just read and ask for God's guidance and comfort. Not only that, but Christ is the hero of the Bible and so it is very difficult to make yourself this lone hero where it's all about you. Tough to get past that it is all about Christ and not worship him, unless you aren't saved.

I am writing this post to help myself out. I use my blog a lot of the times as a personal journal for all to read. The reason for this is that I was closed off for years, not letting anyone know who I really was, and now I just don't care. People at school didn't know that went to church and confessed Christ, and people at church didn't know my real life outside of the church doors.

I hope that posts like this help others who hide things, who struggle with the Christian life and believe that it is all about them and their works instead of the One whom God said he was well pleased (when one misunderstands God's pleasure in Christ and not works is when one 'struggles' with their Christian walk). Know that because of Christ, God is well pleased with you (if you indeed know Jesus and He has saved you from your sins) and that because of this, all the "work" you do is because you love him, not to try and get God to be pleased with you. The more we understand this, I believe the more good works flourish and God is praised.

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Friday, December 11, 2009

Santa is a Pharisee

When your child comes up to you and asks the question that will come up, "Daddy/Mommy is there such thing as Santa Claus?" What will you answer? Shouldn't be that difficult.

You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another.
Leviticus 19:11

Your answer should be:


There is no debate on this subject if you are Christian. Doesn't mean you don't have fun with the subject of Santa Claus, but he should be treated like a unicorn or leprechaun, not like some sort of quasi Jesus character. The reason? Because Santa's gospel is more like a Pharisee's than like Jesus'. Think of it. What do good kids get? Whatever they ask for. What do bad kids get? Coal. One's grace is dependant upon their actions, which isn't grace at all. What do parents tell their kids to hang a carrot in front of them all year? "Jimmy, if you are good, maybe Santa will bring that to you at Christmas." Brutal.

Jesus' gospel tells us we all deserve coal, but we get the best gift that was ever given, which is true grace:

For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;
1 Peter 3:18

The more we lean on telling our kids about Santa and his weird gospel, the more our kids will develop a thought process that Santa's gospel is the real gospel. This doesn't mean we don't have fun with Santa and get pictures with the old dude at the mall, but we have to make sure treat him as he should be treated: like a fantasy character that is only seen on TV and not actually raiding our living room of our milk and cookies. When Santa is treated like he is real, what happens when your child finds out that you are a liar and they were foolish for believing in this unicorn type creature? I would rather be truthful to my kids on Santa "unicorn" Claus than having to have an odd talk of why daddy thought God's word wasn't useful in telling my kid a lie about this fat dude in the mall.

This Christmas, be more gospel centered, and tell your kids about the greater Santa Claus, the One who brings the greatest gift and not one that will perish, but save them from perishing.

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Thursday, December 10, 2009

My Thoughts on Ugandan Anti Gay Bill & Video Response from Rick Warren

If you are not familiar with recent news of the Ugandan bill that is being proposed, it is going to put forth that homosexuals will be given the death penalty and those who know of homosexual activity and don't turn them in will be put in jail for somewhere between 5 and 7 years (link to Time article). This would include not only doctors, but pastors. Some theonomists are as giddy as a child on Christmas morning, but this law is exactly what Rick Warren says it is, completely anti Christian.

We are not living in the state of Israel and if we are going to get excited about killing gays, bring out the stones and get ready to throw them at your unruly children (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). This law is ridiculous and the sad thing is that U.S. pastors are pretty stoked that it is happening (check Time article). We are to be a people of forgiveness and love, not a people who can't wait to slay those who are in sin. Although homosexuality is sin, we should allow God to bring forth the punishment he has promised for those who remain in sin and do not turn to him (Romans 12:17-21). We should be mediators for them, hoping that they would turn from their sin and into the loving arms of their Saviour who paid the price on the cross. Grace, more grace, and when you are done showing grace, show more grace.

We know what Christ would tell anyone who would feel that killing homosexuals is a great idea, because he specifically speaks to one who was having sex outside of marriage and was asked to comment on what should happen to her because of her sexual immorality, as the law required death by stoning:

But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. Early in the morning He came again into the temple, and all the people were coming to Him; and He sat down and began to teach them. The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman caught in adultery, and having set her in the center of the court, they said to Him, “Teacher, this woman has been caught in adultery, in the very act. “Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women; what then do You say?” They were saying this, testing Him, so that they might have grounds for accusing Him. But Jesus stooped down and with His finger wrote on the ground. But when they persisted in asking Him, He straightened up, and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. When they heard it, they began to go out one by one, beginning with the older ones, and He was left alone, and the woman, where she was, in the center of the court. Straightening up, Jesus said to her, “Woman, where are they? Did no one condemn you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said, “I do not condemn you, either. Go. From now on sin no more.”

John 8:1-11

The sad thing is that the self righteous moralist believes that they are better than a homosexual and that the sin of the homosexual is worst than their own. When they realize that are a sinner just as badly as the homosexual, then they will drop their stone and walk away. Until then, they will look for stones to cast from their glass house.

We must not condone their sin, but we must not overreact and ask God to destroy them either. We must be a people who covers their sin with the love of Christ and point them to the Saviour, not point to a cross for them to die on.

Below is a video of Rick Warren responding to this bill. His thoughts are well done and speak as a caring pastor for a country that he spends much time in. May we heed the understanding of Pastor Warren.

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Monday, December 07, 2009

Advent Conspiracy

I put this video up last year before Christmas to seek out opinions about this ministry. The way that my church is handling this is very well. They are calling all of us to rethink Christmas during this time of Advent. This is part of the thought process and throughout this Advent season I will put forth what I am going to be putting into practice with my family and what our community group is doing as well to impact our communities and world for Christ. Although those posts will be difficult, because it isn't a "look at me" issue, but look at what Christ is doing issue. Challenge yourself this Christmas and think through how you can impact others of Christ and his kingdom.

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Thinking About Church Planting or Missions? Look at These Stats

One of my elders put this up on The City, and thought it to be interesting. I also wonder, what can we as the church individually help get the church universal back into the correct understanding of Matthew 28? Because what it seems is happening is that dying for our faith, or being persecuted for our faith isn't something that sounds too condusive to my idols that I have placed in my life. These numbers are striking to see where we send missionaries and our monies, because it isn't to save all the nations, but seems to be to try and strengthen the "safe" areas.

The following information was taken from an article on

Of the world’s 15,958 Major People Groups, 6,415 (numbering 1.8 billion persons) are considered Unreached – though Christian work occurs among most of them. (

Numbers of major religions:

* 2.0 Billion – Christians

* 680 Million – Evangelicals

* 1.3 Billion – Muslims

* 350 Million – Buddhists

* 1.0 Billion – Roman Catholics

* 340 Million – Chinese Folk Religions

* 900 Million – Hindus

* 250 Million – Tribal Religions

* 875 Million – Atheists & Non-religious

* 17 Million – Jews

Annual Growth Rates:

* World population 1.6%

* Muslims 2.7%

* Hindus 2.3%

* Buddhists 1.7%

* All Christians 2.6%

* Roman Catholics 1.2%

* Protestants 2.9%

* Evangelicals 5.7%

* Pentecostals and Charismatics 10%

There are an estimated 6,400 unreached people groups worldwide, which still need missionaries to plant Christ’s church among them.

Most of the unreached people groups are located geographically in what some scholars call- “The 10/40 Window” – from West Africa across Asia between 10 degrees latitude north of the equator to 40 degrees north.

Within this 10/40 window are:

1. Most of the world’s unreached peoples.
2. Two-thirds of the world’s population, although only one-third of the earth’s land area.
3. The heart of the Islamic, Hindu and Buddhist religions.
4. Eight out of ten of the poorest of the world’s poor enduring the world’s lowest quality of living.
5. Only 8% of the world’s missionary force and 0.01% of the income of the world’s Christians.

While about some of these unreached people groups are scattered among various world cultures, the majority of them are primarily in five major cultural blocks: (Global Progress Scale Listing)

1. 3,276 unreached Muslim groups. Over 1.3 billion individuals are Muslims. One sixth of the world’s population.
2. 2,550 unreached tribal groups. Only about 140 million individuals.
3. 2,425 unreached Hindu groups. They comprise a population of about 900 million individuals.
4. 450 unreached Mandarin Chinese groups. In which live 793 million individuals.
5. 552 unreached Buddhist groups. About 375 million individuals are in these groups.

Over two billion people live in these unreached people groups and every day some 50,000 of them perish without having heard the Gospel. That is about 26 million a year.

60% of unreached people groups live in countries closed to missionaries from North America.

22 million internationals visit the US each year. Of these, some 705,000 are university students from 220 countries 25% of which prohibit Christian missionaries. 80% of those students will return to their countries having never been invited to an American home.

* 40% of the world’s 220 Heads of State once studied in the US.
*60% of international students come from the 10/40 window.

10% of international students are reached by ministries while in the United States.

Worldwide Christian churches devote more than 85% of their resources on our own development. That is, only 15% of this arsenal of personnel, finance, prayer, and tools goes to bless unreached people groups.

In the U.S., the picture is even bleaker. According to the Bibles for All World Prayer Map, American Christians spend 95% of offerings on home-based ministry, 4.5% on cross-cultural efforts in already-reached people groups, and 0.5% to reach the unreached.

American evangelicals could provide all of the funds needed to plant a church in each of the 6,400 people groups with only 0.2% of their income.

If all the missionaries needed came from this country, less than 0.5% of evangelicals aged 18 – 35 could form the teams required.

The Resources


There are 430,000 Missionaries from all branches of Christendom. Only between 2 and 3% of these missionaries work among unreached peoples. 140,000 Protestant Missionaries. 64,000 Protestant Missionaries from the US.

Distribution of Protestant Missionaries among cultural blocks

*74% Among Nominal Christians
*3% Among Buddhists
*8% Among Tribal Peoples
*2% Among Hindus
*6% Among Muslims
*2% Among Chinese Folk Religions
*4% Among Non-Religious/Atheists
*1% Among Jewish Peoples

Global Church Member Finance (in US Dollars)

* 12.3 Trillion – Total Annual Income
* 213 Billion – Giving to Christian Causes (1.73% of total income
* 11.4 Billion – To Foreign Missions (5.4% of giving to Christian causes)
* 87% of foreign mission money goes for work among those already Christian
* 12% for work among evangelized non-Christians
* 1% for work among the unevangelized.

The church of Christ has over 100 times the resources needed to plant native churches in these people groups.

The stats above are adapted from data by David B. Barrett and Todd M Johnson of the Global Evangelization Movement web site. Other portions come from Patrick Johnstone’s The Church is Bigger Than You Think, Bill and Amy Stearns’ Catch the Vision 2000, and the course material for Vision for the Nations published by the US Center for World Mission.

Also data used from and

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Friday, December 04, 2009

Taking Risks is Christian, Playing it Safe is Idolatry

When was the last time you heard a godly man or woman in the Bible described as "a person who continually played it safe"? I am not sure if you could ever describe a person in the Bible as such. Now, does this mean that they then just took stupid risks for the sake of taking risks? No, they were thoughtful in their risk taking, but were continually taking risks. Know this also, that the idea of taking risks is only involved on the human level and not the omniscient infinite God level. While we see it as trusting in God and taking a risk, God knows all things and never takes a risk, and never "plays it safe" because these ideas are not even viable for an all knowing God.

But, think of the patriarchs of the Bible:

Noah built a huge boat in a desert in a world that never had rain

Abraham left his family and country to follow one God, instead of many gods. I am sure they told him that "even a blind squirrel finds a nut"...meaning (like those on Mars Hill in Acts 17) that if we worship enough gods, we'll get one right. Abraham rebuked all those gods and his land to follow one. Talking about putting all your money on red.

David went to fight an uncircumcised Philistine as a boy when his brothers were playing it safe behind their great army of self idolizing cowards

Jeremiah spoke the word of the Lord against his own people, which led to people hating him and throwing him into a pit

John the Baptist, yelled at people in the desert, ate bugs, dressed like an overzealous hippie and mocked the Pharisees. So much so, that it lead to his head being served up like a ham.

The 12 apostles left their comforts to follow some carpenter from a small town that seemed to have the power of God upon him

Paul stopped killing Christians and joined their ranks, knowing that this meant he was a traitor and it was only a matter of time before he was dealt with by "the family" and put into the trunk of a Cadillac

Jesus, who was the biggest risk taker of all, from a human standpoint, shows us that when we are doing the will of God, there is no risk at all.

Think of your life, and the life of those listed above. They all seem to be taking huge risks. But, when we turn to the life of Christ, we can't say that he took any risks because he knew what the future held and was doing the will of his Father. Realize this. You have the same Father, and you have the same Spirit of power within you to take risks in the Father's will. This, in the end, shows forth not as risks at all, but really radical ways to live for the glory of God instead of the safety of the idols of the world.

Are you listening to what God is telling you to do in your life? Are you willing to take a risk because you believe it is the will of God? I am not saying to make a stupid decision, but if you are afraid to follow what God is telling you because you have made an idol of your surroundings and this need to repent quicker than Sodom as the fire is raining from heaven.

If we didn't know better, think of Christ. He left heaven, laid aside his Divine privileges to walk amongst us and die for us, all while we spit in his face and nailed his hands to the cross. Not only that, but he was born to a girl who was 14. That girl today would be into Hannah Montana and standing in line with 30 year old married women to watch the latest Twilight movie. This is who God entrusted to bring forth the Christ to the world. Seems like a risk, until we read the divine knowledge given to us in Acts 2:22-24:

Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know— this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power.

What predetermined plan of God is being placed on your heart today? Are you resisting the will of God for the comforts of your stupid crap sitting around you?

Pray that God would reveal where he wants you to take risks so that his name is glorified among the nations. Take some time to read about others who did the same, not only in the Scriptures, but also afterwards.

Read about those in the Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Read about Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, Calvin, John Bunyan, Hudson Taylor, Jonathan Edwards, Lottie Moon, et al.

Know that they, at one point, were at the same place you are. Sitting around, waiting and wanting the Lord to work through them. The only difference might be that we look to our surroundings for our safety, and they saw themselves as pilgrims and aliens, awaiting their true home in heaven.

Safety sucks. Jesus doesn't.

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Tuesday, December 01, 2009

What is Evangelization?

Found this quote in my reading for my study through the book of Acts. Pretty interesting quote by Hugh Thomson Kerr on where our emphasis of evangelism should be as a universal Church of Christ.

We are sent not to preach sociology but salvation; not economics but evangelism; not reform but redemption; not culture but conversion; not progress but pardon; not a new social order but a new birth; not revolution but regeneration; not renovation but revival; not resuscitation but resurrection; not a new organization but a new creation; not democracy but the gospel; not civilization but Christ; we are ambassadors not diplomats.

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