Challenging believers in Jesus to think and act based on Bible truth.

Tuesday Rambling 4.25.17 – About Churches and Aging Believers

Tuesday means rambling thoughts. Today: about churches and aging believers.

  •  I’d venture to say most newer or growing churches in the U.S. have a smaller number of aging believers (perhaps a lower number of those age 60 and up? – just a guess).
  • A question: what would happen if a number of new believers – equal to 20% or more of a church body – over the age of 60 just showed up and got plugged into a church targeted at younger believers?
  • Would it feel like an inconvenience? Or moving backward?
  • Would the leadership change the style of worship to adjust?
  • Would the younger congregation welcome them with some of the struggles they might bring?
  • Older believers by default will have more health problems and require more visitation.
  • Would anyone see such a situation as a blessing? Would leadership work to connect the aging believers with younger believers in need of godly wisdom and counsel?
  • I don’t write this to condemn, but to challenge.
  • How can our churches honor our older members, whose lives have changed so much?
  • How can our churches welcome their service and influence as part of the larger mission?
  • How can our churches help us learn compassion for people at different stages of life, even that stage which leads naturally to death?
  • For all ages: who do you know in an age bracket 30-40 years or more away from you?
  • Do younger folks know older folks? Do older folks really know younger folks? Both in a way that allows for prayer, relationship, and connection inside and (gasp!) outside of church?
  • Read Titus 2 here and get a picture of the types of relationships the Bible describes.

Tuesday Rambling 4.18.17 – Do You Have Faith?

Rambling about faith:

  • Definition of faith: Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
  • Let’s start there. Assurance? Do we have it?
  • The point of faith involves believing without seeing. That does not preclude assurance.
  • Evidence of faith abounds. God intends the history of His works to sustain our faith.
  • He commands OT believers to remember through the Passover.
  • He commands NT believers to remember through celebrating communion.
  • We should remember the great works God has done and let those fuel our trust of His present and future work.
  • If we have no faith in past promises, how can we trust His promises which guide the future?
  • A practical question: Do we act like we have faith?
  • If we always question everything that doesn’t go our way, do we look for God’s purposes? Or do we wallow in self-created confusion?
  • Faith does not mean we get everything we want. It means we trust what God gives us.
  • Does it mean we shouldn’t struggle, or admit the difficulty of situations or seasons? No. We should admit those in the process of seeking to understand God’s will and plan, increasing our faith.
  • Faith is a gift (Eph. 2:8-9). Faith is a defense weapon (Eph. 6:16 and a great companion comparison in Genesis 15:1).
  • In times of great unknown, we can create a weak shelter of our own views and strength. Or we can actively trust God and marvel at His work, however much we may understand at that time.

Tuesday Rambling 4.11.17 – 10 Ramblings About The Cross

Rambling about the cross during Holy Week:

  • Yes, the cross portrays brutality. Hard to get around that. So why would God do that?
  • The brutality of the cross speaks to the weight and seriousness of human sin.
  • If it took the cross to make atonement with God for the sin of mankind, that should tell us about the terror and dread of our sin.
  • In the midst of such dread, the cross tells us a story of hope.
  • The cross says God cares about humans, even those who have offended him by their sin.
  • The cross shows the love of God, his love for us which allowed His Son (HIS SON!) to suffer in our place.
  • Further, God allowed Jesus to suffer knowing some would reject the offer.
  • Jesus’ opposition thought the cross won their victory.
  • Instead, the cross won the victory for all who believe: victory over sin, then eventually leading to the resurrection which brings victory over death!
  • Romans 5:8: but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Tuesday Rambling 4.3.17 – Is It Possible For Me To Love You?

April won’t prevent a little rambling.

Is it possible for me to love you if…

  • you voted for Trump and I didn’t?
  • you voted for Hillary and I didn’t?
  • you disagree with me theologically?
  • you don’t believe what I believe?
  • you live a lifestyle I totally disagree with?
  • you have fallen away from your faith?
  • you no longer attend our church?
  • you have a different background than I do?
  • you struggle or have committed a sin I haven’t?
  • Our culture might say these situations prevent me from loving you.
  • But who has obligated me to erect walls of hate?
  • The love of Jesus possesses a consistent, patient nature.
  • I’m always hopeful that love will win in any relationship, strained or not.
  • Yes, in any of the situations above I could eat a meal with you and listen to your interests and find out how I can pray for your concerns. Would you do the same for me?
  • Don’t believe the lie that you must hate or shout at anyone “on the other side”.
  • All that does is generate ratings and social media traffic.
  • Instead, how about we live like this:
  • Romans 12:18:  If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

 

Tuesday Rambling 3.28.17 – Walking By Faith

Rambling about faith on this fine Tuesday morning:

  • “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” – Hebrews 11:1
  • Any relationship with God must have faith as its foundation. To truly trust in the promises of God means you can’t see all the outcomes and results.
  • “for we walk by faith, not by sight.” – 2 Corinthians 5:7
  • The opposite of faith is sight. Relying on our own sight means we trust our view better than God’s.
  • Faith requires trust – at all times.
  • Faith often wavers in difficulty; faith comes easily when good times roll.
  • Faith means we trust God’s plans supersede our own – always.
  • Faith means we operate out of conviction God will work in ways we cannot understand.
  • “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God” – Ephesians 2:8. 
  • Without faith we have no relationship with God. Without God, we have no faith. We cannot originate faith – we must ask God for more and more faith!
  • The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” – Luke 17:5. Reading Romans 12 and passages like the ones in Luke 17 will encourage us to ask for more faith!
  • And when we have it we should glorify God for it rather than take credit ourselves!
  • So, for salvation, for heaven, for forgiveness, for everything God gives us, we must ask for the faith it takes to see God’s ways and plans.