Blowing up with life

November 29, 2014

I know when a Christian is blowing up with the life of Jesus in their heart. I know when a person’s relationship is fresh and vital and flourishing. I can see it in people. I can see it on their face, hear it in their words, and observe it in their worship. It is seen in their actions, the freedom and love they have for people. It’s there for all of us to see…

When the life transforming power of Jesus is flowing through a person it is very obvious.

Acts 1:8 …you will receive POWER when the Holy Spirit comes on you.

The word power is from a Greek word dunamis. It means miraculous power, might, or strength.

Dunamis is also translated, dynamos, or dynamis. We readily recognize this as dynamite. Literally, we receive God’s power like explosive dynamite into our hearts.

Dynamite is used to blow things out of the way, things that obstruct a path. God’s power obliterates things in our heart that obstruct our relationship with Him, or people. What are those things? Dishonesty, pride, jealousy, gossip, unbelief, insecurity, religiosity, unrepentant heart, tolerance of sin, wrong attitudes, apathetic or critical natures, cynicism, self-sufficiency…

Dynamite is used to enlarge spaces. God’s power blows up and enlarges us. Our capacity to love, serve, grow in our revelation of Him–our faith–is enlarged.

The Holy Spirit power blowing up inside us makes us large, strong, loving, humble, devoted to others, and focused on the things of God. It does nothing less than transform our lives, so that the life and nature of Jesus is fully formed in us.

Less eisegesis, more exegesis…

Puh-lease! We don’t need opinions in pulpits. We need God’s loving, life-transforming, time-transcending Truth.

There are too many cracked foundations and breached walls. This is true of individuals, churches, and even whole denominations.

Opinions change. They are subject to a person’s preference, pride, popular culture, peer-pressure, previous life-experience.

Any foundation built upon opinion, is built upon shaky ground. Jesus likened this to “…a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” Matthew 7:26 NIV.

Everyone has the responsibility of being careful how we build.

The people of Jesus’ day were amazed at His teaching …because He taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law, Matthew 7:28,29 NIV.

That is, authority comes from the Word of God. Not opinions. Not long-standing traditions. Not even when these are taught from pulpits by church leaders. These may tickle people’s ears for a little while. They may even entertain us.

But, enough with the eisegegis!  We cannot teach opinion with integrity before God in His pulpit. It is His pulpit. Do we need reminding of that?

It is only God’s loving, life-transforming, time-transcending Truth, unfiltered by opinion and unapologetically spoken, that builds the right foundations…

Is cussing sin?

November 17, 2014

Recently my 7 year old asked me, what’s wrong with cussing? She seemed very concerned.

She doesn’t have the habit of cussing. She was just asking me about it.

At school she hears words that are pretty bad. Already. At 7! But I am happy she comes right home and asks me about them. I’m glad for her honesty. And, although some of the words she’s heard other 7 year olds use are pretty shocking, I don’t necessarily want my daughter to know, I’m shocked. So I don’t let on. Instead, I keep the conversations full of grace as I explain why using such language is, well, ugly!

I said, “Cussing is not super bad sin…” I’m not trying to give her a theological lesson.

“But, cussing is just very, very, ugly.”

“Cussing is undignified. And since God gave His Son Jesus for you, Bella, you are very, very, valuable to God. You have been given dignity by God. And a daughter of the King of heaven, doesn’t need to use such undignified, ugly words.”

That was all she needed and she went on with the rest of the day unburdened, happy, and playing, as a 7 year old should.

In the end, if my daughter lives a life based upon values from the word of God, understanding who she is in Christ Jesus, rules about language, rules for rules sake, will be totally unnecessary.

Same is true for us; about our whole life… Not just our language!