Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Sign of a False Prophet

“Beware of false prophets . . ." (Matthew 7:15)

Joyful, Humble Proof of a True, Deep, Real Relationship with God

“Has it not been told my lord what I did when Jezebel killed the prophets of the LORD, how I hid a hundred men of the LORD's prophets by fifties in a cave and fed them with bread and water? And now you say, 'Go, tell your lord, ‘Behold, Elijah is her’; and he will kill me." (1 Kings 18:13-14)

Excerpt from “Who is Your Master?” - 2011-06-26
Obadiah admits here that he has been trying to serve two masters. While he does attempt to argue that God is his master; his complaint reveals who his true lord and master was -- Ahab. His greatest fear was not that he was working against God, but the fear that Ahab would have him executed for not personally delivering Elijah to Ahab himself. But the problem is, Jesus said: “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other." Jesus also said: "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters” (Matthew 12:30). When we try to serve two masters, we will be forced to make one choice.

This puts us face to face with the convicting words of Jesus from Matthew 7:21-23: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘LORD, LORD,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘LORD, LORD, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’” Like Obadiah, it doesn’t matter how many good or godly things we’ve done, or how much of the Bible we know, or how much money we’ve given, or how long we’ve served in church, or even if God has done great things in our lives. Jesus is saying that doing things for God and knowing things about God mean nothing if God is not the absolute sovereign Lord and Master of your heart and soul. Doing things, knowing things, saying things for God and having an intimate relationship with God are two completely different things.

But there is a tension here. You can do and know and say good and godly things for God without a true, deep, real relationship with God - yet the proof of having with a true, deep, real relationship with God is that you will do and know and say good and godly things for God. And so how can you tell if what is done and known and said for God is done out of a true, deep, real relationship with God? Two words: Humility and joy. A heart attitude of joyful humility reveals the difference between whether what one does or knows or says flows out of a true, deep, real relationship with God. A soul that has a true, deep, real relationship with God humbly proclaims God as Lord and Master – and joyfully does and knows and says what gives glory to the Lord of Lords, the King the Kings.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sometimes Religion is Funnier Than You Think

On June 15th an Australian anchor's attempt to joke with the Dalai Lama backfired.

Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl

Notes from the Tilt-a-Whirl: Wide Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
is one of my favorite books I have read of late. Nate Wilson's writing has been described as a cross between C.S. Lewis and Jerry Seinfeld - and I would add a dash (a really large dash) of G.K. Chesterton.

Wilson's ability to see real life from not only underneath the surface but also deeply beyond what most of us see is joyfully stunning. The simplicity and depth of this book both refreshed and restored me. I highly recommend it!

A "bookumentary" DVD has recently been created and is now available. I look forward to reading/seeing/hearing it! A sample of chapter three from the DVD is below.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Sovereign Purpose of God in Seasons of Dryness

And after a while the brook dried up, because there was no rain in the land. 1 Kings 17:7

Excerpt from “God’s Endless Provision” - 2011-06-19
There are times in life when our brooks dry up. Maybe you don’t have everything you want, but your needs are being taken care of - but then just suddenly, your brook dries up. Maybe your job may is not the best but your needs are being taken care of - but then suddenly, without warning, your brook dries up. Maybe you’ve been pretty healthy most of your life – but then suddenly, your brook dries up. Oftentimes the things of life – health, family, employment, recreation, education, faith – are just rolling along or even thriving, and then one day - the brook dries up. What we thought was going to continue, what we took for granted, is suddenly gone - and we begin to worry and wonder why.

God’s Word tells us that the brook dried up because there was no rain in the land. But the truth is - God was still in control. He is the one who makes is rain. God’s grace is always more than sufficient. If God can command ravens, He could have commanded that brook to continue to flow, even during dry times. God watered a million Israelites and their flocks in the desert with enough water; surely He could have watered one man for a period of time. But that wasn’t God’s will. Nor was it His purpose or plan. It was also not the will of God that Elijah stay at Cherith, for there was still greater work to be done in Elijah’s life, greater work ahead in his life for the glory of God. When our brooks dry up God is calling us to change – and move to the next place where he has something for us to do.

Nothing dramatic or awesome happened at the Cherith. The Cherith was not for miracles nor for provision nor for protection nor for prosperity, nor for health or wealth. Cherith was about trusting God; Cherith was about obedience in the face of trial. Cherith was about preparing Elijah for the greater things to come in his life. When our brooks dry up, God is preparing us to be used for something greater for the cause of His glory– if we respond with obedience.