Sunday, November 28, 2010

I'm in Trouble; Help!

In one of my devotional times this past week I was meditating on Psalm 80. The psalmist prays, "Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine that we may be saved."

He goes on to to point out to God that it was Him who "brought a vine out of Egypt" and it was Him who "drove out the nations" for this "vine."

As I reflected on this psalm 3 lessons regarding prayer came to my mind. I should pray according to:
  1. The Purpose of God - What do I know for sure about God's heart and His purposes?
  2. The Past Behavior of God - What has He done in, through, and for us in the past?
  3. The Present Calling of God - What is God doing today? Even if the present looks grim, I can trust that God will continue His work in and through me (Ph. 1:6).
Would love to hear from church planters, pastors, or any Christ-follower who would like to give me some feedback. Thanks!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Doesn't Deserve to be Called a Religion

Imagine early Christians talking to their neighbors in the Roman Empire. "Ah," the neighbor says, "I hear you are religious! Great! Religion is a good thing. Where is your temple or holy place?" "We don't have a temple," replies the Christian. "Jesus is our temple."

"No temple? But where do your priests work and do their rituals?" "We don't have priests to mediate the presence of God," replies the Christian. "Jesus is our priest."

"No priests? But where do you offer your sacrifices to acquire the favor of your God?" "We don't need a sacrifice," replies the Christian. "Jesus is our sacrifice."

"What kind of religion IS this?" sputters the pagan neighbor. And the answer is, this Christian faith is so utterly different than how every other religion works that it doesn't really deserve to be called a "religion." [from Gospel in Life by Tim Keller]