Monday, October 19, 2009

Set a spell, take your shoes off...

The last three week have been an amazing experience for the Fellowship of Believers who for the time being worship in our home on Sundays. I’ve seen God move on SO many different levels. I know this is long, but since I had some things eating into my blog time, I thought some sermon cliff notes would serve as a catchup if you missed a week of worshipping with us or inspiration if you’re simply a blog follower.

Week 1: Worship (a.k.a Yea Jesus!)

Worship is the overflow of a forgiven soul. It’s the byproduct of when we place our mind’s attention on our heart’s Affection.

It can be anywhere, anyplace, anytime and don’t let anyone tell you different. Worship is not limited to a time between 10 and 12 on Sunday morning in a church building. The disciples did it in a stinking boat. Matthew 14:33 “Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."...DONE! Now that is a lean mean set of cliff’s notes.

Week 2: Devotion Part 1 (a.k.a. God Has A Facebook Page)

What if we took the Bible for more than just a history book?

What if we quit saying God WAS powerful, God WAS merciful, Jesus HEALED a lot of people, Jesus DID a lot of great works. What if we replaced those words with God DOES and Jesus IS?

What if we thought of the Bible as God’s Facebook page? His status is active and alive and we should see it as our living example today. If we were to check into our Bible’s half as much as we check our friend status on our iPhone the personal time we spent with God would be out of this world…literally.

What if we read Act 2 , where the first church started and saw what the people did after they received Christ and we did the same thing???

What if we forgot about all of our differences and our everything was Jesus.

What if we invited more people we have nothing in common with outside of church inside our homes to eat more often?

What if we fellowshipped together and talked about doing God’s work more than we sat around and talked about other people?

What if we sold or gave up some of our stuff to help people in need?

HOLY COW! Those people were in Acts were CRAZY! YES THEY WERE! THEY WERE CRAZY FOR JESUS AND THEY COULDN’T HOLD BACK ONCE THEY GOT ON THE JESUS TRAIN!

If we do the same will people say we are crazy? Absolutely.

Will the first ones to talk about us be our friends, family or other Christians? Absolutely.

But if we’re not doing something different in our lives as Christ followers then why in the world would someone who’s not a Christ follower have any desire to be a part of this team?

God’s Facebook page is the Bible and His status is… “I would rather have 15 sold out on fire believers, doing crazy stuff to reach those around them with the word about my son Jesus; than 2,000 lukewarm going through the motions, I attended my church 3 times this week, put in my check so I can mark it off my list now I’m done and by the way I didn’t cuss this week Christians ANY DAY!!!!” Don’t believe me? Read Revelation 3:15-16

Week 3: Devotion Part 2 (More Than Just the Born Again Guy)

Nicodemus and devotion can they go together?? Nicodemus is the “born again”guy. Interesting character. Shows up three times in Bible but those three times speak volumes about an amazing path to devotion that just allow your mind to wander what happened to this dude in between the last time I read about him. Remember these are just cliff notes!


Nicodemus goes to see Jesus as night (from John 3:1-9) – your first step of devotion may be in your personal time/personal life – a change no one else may ever know about but you and Him

Nicodemus stands up for Jesus in his inner circle ( from John 7:45-52) – your next step of devotion will be a little more visible – yours friend will see it – they will see a change in you

Nicodemus shows up to take the body Jesus (from John 19:38-39) – final step of devotion all the world will see – now you may very well be telling other people about Him and not just leaving up to your pastor.

I can’t give you specific examples of what it will take for you to start down the path of devotion. But I promise there’s been something tugging at your heart. It’s either been something to give up or something to do. And you’re thinking of it right now. That tugging on your heart is really Jesus knocking. This is not something you’re going to be able to plan out in “three simple step”, but if you take the first step, He will lead you to the next and to the next…

For Nicodemus that something was religion. He was a Pharisee,a religious ruler of the day. Keeper of the law of Moses and keeper of whatever else they made up along the way. Sound like anything in today’s society?

Religion is was what was tugging at Nicodemus’s heart.

Now don’t shut down on me here I’m talking about religion not the church. TWO DIFFERENT THINGS! The church is us as we respond to Jesus and is nothing less than beautiful, religion is all the man made junk we bring into church that clutters things up and hinders us from following Him. Religion is how we’ve institutionalized church. Religion is how we’ve turned church into a country club rather than a hospital. Religion is junk and we can’t serve bother…you must choose…Jesus or Junk.

Hear is just a sample of a couple things Jesus said about religion…

Matthew 9:12 (Msg)
"..Jesus, overhearing, shot back, "Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? Go figure out what this Scripture means: 'I'm after mercy, not religion.' I'm here to invite outsiders, not coddle insiders."
Matthew 11:28 (Msg)
"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."
Matthew 23:15 (Msg)
"You're hopeless, you religion scholars and Pharisees! Frauds! You go halfway around the world to make a convert, but once you get him you make him into a replica of yourselves, double-damned. "

Religion is what Nicodemus had to give up when he started down the path of devotion for Christ – it first started in his personal life, then I grew to something his friends could see, then into something that the everyone could see.

So what’s tugging at you today? I challenge any of you reading today to take even the smallest step of devotion and see great things happen.

P.S. I'm not anti-iPhone...I hope to be getting one soon!