"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
My friend Benny Nowell (http://www.sevensonline.org) told me once about a vision he had outside of a place called Freedom tunnel (ironically spelled Freedoom). He witnessed this girl fixing up her heroin to shoot. The vision was that Jesus was standing next to her, His hand on her shoulder eyes fixed on Benny and saying, "it's about time you got here."
The message was that Jesus is waiting for us, for His disciples to arrive in the dark places so we can reflect His light. Many times we get all caught up in taking Jesus to the lost; yet, the fact is HE is waiting for us there. HE is wanting to take me to the lost.
I hear the question frequently, "why would a good God allow suffering; bad things to happen to good people; children to starve...?"
The question I ask in return is, "Why are you allowing it to happen, what are you doing to help?"
We can no longer just sit by and "Occupy Space and Time" we have a responsibility. When Jesus was asked what were the greatest commands, He answered
Love God with all you have.
Love others as yourself.
This is a expository statement on the Ten Commandments. The Law and Prophets (The Old Testament) boil down to these two things Love God, Love everybody else. Why?
Because God created you, and made the sacrifice that frees us from our crap that we choose instead of Him.
Because God created others and they carry His image too.
Ephesians 2 tells us that God saved us not just to be little cute figurines in some cosmic display case, but that we were saved for good works. What are good works? Love others as yourself. Do you feed yourself? Get yourself out of dangerous situations? Clothe yourself? Buy yourself nice things? Then love someone else the same way. I am not saying you alone have to rush out and save everybody, but you can rush out and help someone.
Lets agree to start small and simple, today make it your goal to only use words that build up and encourage those around you. No demeaning jokes, or sarcastic belittling of people. No jokes about Lindsey Lohan, Kim Kardashian, Joe Paterno, THAT person in the office, THAT kid at school, etc...
Look around, take notice, and then act on what you see. Lift some one up today in the name of Jesus Christ, lift someone up.
There are some lessons that you learn that are so stupid, you can only learn by doing them... Here are some of mine. (Idea blatantly stolen from TreyMorgan.net)
Never try to unplug a record player with your teeth.Never try to pull two broken ends of an electric fence together without checking to see if the charger is disconnected. (I believe this is how they discovered the transporter beam in Star Trek).Never try to capture a cow by hiding in the hay loft, and placing a loop on the ground for the cow to step in. (Could also be titled little boys cannot fly...)Never try to stand in the upstairs window of your parents roller skating rink and moon people. Never try to jump your bicycle of off the edge of the pool into the water. No matter how much time you think you have before the bus arrives, do not "go behind the tree." Never tell your mother, "Well bless your little heart," in the same sarcastic tone she uses with you when you are whining about something.Never just fal…
“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”
Have you ever felt the need to conceal something? Perhaps you were ashamed of something that you did. Maybe it was a good thing even, but you just did not want anyone to know. Like the fact that you love Barry Manilow, or maybe you were a huge fan of Hee Haw. There is generally something in our lives that we hold very close to the vest and work diligently at not allowing anyone to see, or know.
The passage above was written by the apostle Paul to the church that met in Corinth. Corinth was a town that was renowned for its sinful behavior. Paul could very well have been writing about them in another letter when he said, “they invent ways of doing evil.” Corinth was a place well known for sexual perversion, idolatry, men and wom…
How do you see God? How do you picture, view, imagine, etc...
Do you see God as this big police officer in the sky, waiting to pull you over for reckless living? Maybe He has set up a trap to catch you, a "sting" to arrest you for your sinfulness and shame you into being a better Christian.
Do you see God as a wish-fulfilling Genie? Running to Him in prayer, during times of crisis. Speaking of crisis, maybe you view the Almighty as some kind of hostage negotiator... SO you give Him your list of demands, the things that you are bargaining for before you will set your heart free to Him.
Maybe He is that old guy who lives on your block, you know the one...He knows about everybody else on the block. He is always going from house to house, always with some crazy idea about how you could better mow your grass, raise your kids, drive your car, etc...
Perhaps you see God as this ancient powerful man imaged creature, sitting on a throne, waiting for t…