Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Matthew 22:34 – 40
“Christianity made simple.”

“On the whole, God's love for us is a much safer subject to think about than our love for Him.”
[C.S. Lewis.]

I. Everything depends on love!

A. Jesus teaches the essential commandment of the entire Old Testament (and by implication the New Testament) is “love.”

1. Notice what Jesus did NOT say:

a. Jesus did NOT say “be holy” (25x in the Bible)

b. Jesus did NOT say “have no other Gods before me” (the first of the 10 Commandments)

c. Reason Jesus did NOT say these things?

1.) You can be holy in an empty way.

2.) You can put God first by discharging all your duties, but not have a living relationship with THE living God.

2. Understand some things that love is NOT:

a. Love is NOT “just” a feeling.

(Ill.) George Crane tells the story of a wife who hated her husband. "I do not only want to get rid of him, I want to get even. Before I divorce him, I want to hurt him as much as he has me."
Dr. Crane: "Go home and act as if you really love your husband. Tell him how much he means to you. Praise him for every decent trait. Go out of your way to be as kind, considerate, and generous as possible. Spare no efforts to please him, to enjoy him. Make him believe you love him. After you've convinced him of your undying love and that you cannot live without him, then drop the bomb. Tell him that your're getting a divorce. That will really hurt him."

Wife: "Beautiful, beautiful. Will he ever be surprised!" And she did it with enthusiasm. Acting "as if." For two months she showed love, kindness, listening, giving, reinforcing, sharing. When she didn't return, Crane called. "Are you ready now to go through with the divorce?"

"Divorce?" she exclaimed. "Never! I discovered I really do love him." Her actions had changed her feelings. Motion resulted in emotion. The ability to love is established not so much by fervent promise as often repeated deeds. [J. Allan Petersen.]

Dr. M. Scott Peck, “Sacrificial love has transforming power. Genuine love is volitional rather than emotional. The person who truly loves does so because of a decision to love. ... True love is not a feeling by which we are overwhelmed. It is a committed, thoughtful decision.”

1.) The feeling is one product of love.

2.) This love begins with action.

In his book Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis wrote, "Do not waste your time bothering whether you 'love' your neighbor act as if you did. As soon as we do this, we find one of the great secrets. When you are behaving as if you loved someone, you will presently come to love him. If you injure someone you dislike, you will find yourself disliking him more. If you do him a good turn, you will find yourself disliking him less." [Our Daily Bread, February 14.]

b. Love is NOT about what you can get.

(Ill.) Dearest Jimmy, No words could ever express the great unhappiness I've felt since breaking our engagement. Please say you'll take me back. No one could ever take your place in my heart, so please forgive me. I love you, I love you, I love you! Yours forever, Marie.

P.S., And congratulations on winning the state lottery. [Source Unknown.]

1.) What happens is we focus on the strengths of others because they contribute something to us.

Endi Kovaks: “The culture forces us to live by our strength. We are asked to list our abilities, show our certificates, name our gifts and illustrate our achievements. That is what they praise us for when we introduce ourselves to a new group; that is why we get affirmation from our friends, that is how we can feel good about ourselves; and that is what the ongoing competition of the world demands from us all the time. But where does all this emphasis on strength lead us? It reduces our relationships to tasks, roles and programs. It empties our relationships of real content. A culture which lives by human strength cannot experience real community and friendship. ... we relate to others with our plans, ambitions and dreams. This is not our real self, this just a phantom. People cannot have intimacy with a phantom, but only with a real person. The fact that weakness is so contradictory to our culture is largely responsible for the lack of meaningful human relationships, I think.” [Endi Kovaks, Imago Christi, CRMLeaders]

2.) We look at those strengths because we want something from someone and we feel loved only if we get it.

B. What does it mean to love?

1. It means to be able to look beyond the hurts of the past. [God does not treat us as our sins deserve.]

During World War II, Hitler commanded all religious groups to unite so that he could control them. Among the Brethren assemblies, half complied and half refused. Those who went along with the order had a much easier time. Those who did not, faced harsh persecution. In almost every family of those who resisted, someone died in a concentration camp. When the war was over, feelings of bitterness ran deep between the groups and there was much tension. Finally they decided that the situation had to be healed. Leaders from each group met at a quiet retreat. For several days, each person spent time in prayer, examining his own heart in the light of Christ's commands. Then they came together.

Francis Schaeffer, who told of the incident, asked a friend who was there, "What did you do then?" "We were just one," he replied. As they confessed their hostility and bitterness to God and yielded to His control, the Holy Spirit created a spirit of unity among them. Love filled their hearts and dissolved their hatred.
When love prevails among believers, especially in times of strong disagreement, it presents to the world an indisputable mark of a true follower of Jesus Christ. [Our Daily Bread, October 4, 1992.]

2. It means serious cost to us. [Jesus’ example of the cross.]

"She was lying on the ground. In her arms she held a tiny baby girl. As I put a cooked sweet potato into her outstretched hand, I wondered if she would live until morning. Her strength was almost gone, but her tired eyes acknowledged my gift. The sweet potato could help so little -- but it was all I had.

Taking a bite she chewed it carefully. Then, placing her mouth over her baby's mouth, she forced the soft warm food into the tiny throat. Although the mother was starving, she used the entire potato to keep her baby alive. Exhausted from her effort, she dropped her head on the ground and closed her eyes. In a few minutes the baby was asleep. I later learned that during the night the mother's heart stopped, but her little girl lived.
Love is a costly thing. God in His love for us (and for a lost world) "spared not His own Son" to tell the world of His love. Love is costly, but we must tell the world at any cost. Such love is costly. It costs parents and sons and daughters. It costs the missionary life itself. In his love for Christ the missionary often must give up all to make the Savior known. If you will let your love for Christ, cost you something, the great advance will be made together." [Dick Hills, Love is a Costly Thing.]

3. It means we will be in motion.

a. “Whoever loves much, does much.” Thomas a' Kempis.

b. The problem is that makes us vulnerable.

“To love at all is to be venerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin or your selfishness. But in that casket--safe, dark, motionless, airless--it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable...The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers...of love is Hell.” [C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves, Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1960, p.169.]

4. It means we will focus on others.

The Salvation Army was holding an international convention and their founder, Gen. William Booth, could not attend because of physical weakness. He cabled his convention message to them. It was one word: "OTHERS." [Unknown]

Bill Hybels says, “We have never locked eyes with someone that did not matter to God.”
[from Ryan Johnson, from www.sermoncentral.com]

II. What is the plan?

A. Everything starts with loving God.

1. This love changes everything:

a. Jesus said “with all your heart.” (The biblical “place” of the will, where choices are made.)

b. Jesus said “with all your soul.” (Biblically tied to the “heart” but when it is not, there seems to be two meanings: a) emotional part of us b) the “life principle,” a part that survives life... it can be controlled by the mind/heart.)

c. Jesus said “with all your mind.” (Biblically, this is the reasoning part and process... “be transformed by the renewing of your mind”)

2. How we chose, how we feel, how and what we think will be transformed as we put the full energies into loving God and others.

3. “Worship and Witness”

a. Worship as we direct our love to God.

b. Witness is helping others love God.

B. Loving God is mirrored by loving others.

1. The Bible says: “Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. [11] But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.” [1 John 2:10, 11]

a. Notice this is put in terms of “absolutes.” There is love and hate, light and darkness... nothing in-between.

b. We would like there to be shadows and gray area because:

1.) It relieves us of the responsibility to love.

2.) It relieves us of the guilt of not loving.

2. Remember: God loved us when we were “unlovable.”

a. The Bible says: “You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. [7] Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. [8] But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. [Romans 5:6 – 8]

b. As helpless sinners who were loved unconditionally by God (who had every right to hold our sins against us) to the point of forgiveness... we now demonstrate that love for others.

C. Loving others implies serving others.

1. This becomes a criteria for judgement: "The King will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' ... "He will reply, `I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' [Matthew 25:40, 45]

2. The Bible says, “If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, "Love your neighbor as yourself," you are doing right. ... What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him? [15] Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. [16] If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? [17] In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.” [James 2:8, 14 – 17]

(Illustrations from www.sermonillustrations.com unless noted otherwise.)

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Isaiah 8:11 – 12
“When Life is Out of Control”

I. Avoid the way of society [v 8]

A. We are prone to follow the crowd.

1. A common illustration of us in the Bible us “sheep.”

a. Sheep are very good at following, but not necessarily the right influence.

b. (ill) of 400+ sheep that followed another sheep over a cliff.

2. God warns Isaiah: “Don’t join the example!”

B. God instructs us.

1. Through the Bible.

2. Through the Holy Spirit.

C. God’s hand must be strong.

1. To get our attention.

a. Some of us have to be flat on our backs before we “look up.”

b. Some of us need the experience of the “heavy” presence of God to know when He is talking.

2. To restrain us.

a. We wear safety belts to restrain us... keep us safe.

b. Sometimes, God has to take strong measures to keep us safe for eternity.

D. Fear was the “buzzword” because fear is a CONTROLLING attitude.

1. Fear of men = out of control.

2. This is a contrast. Just like the fear of men controls (negatively) the fear of God should control (positively).

II. Look to God.

A. God is in control.

1. Reminded that God is the “Almighty” (which means He can do anything he wants to do, any time He wants to do it.)

2. Reminded that God is “holy” (which means pure and separate.)

B. Behave like we believe.

1. We do this, wether we admit it or not.

2. “IF” God is “Almighty,” is there anything that is impossible?

3. “IF” God is “holy,” will anything cause Him to behave improperly or irrationally?

C. The fear of the Lord brings peace.

1. [v 14] “Sanctuary” – a place of refuge.

2. [God] is not safe but He is good (from “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe), He is also secure.

3. Peace only comes from being in the presence of God.

***** This message was in context to the time the King has shut down the temple and was using it as a garbage dump. *****

III. Stand firm in God’s Word.

A. You have two choices:

1. God would be a sanctuary and you will be safe.

2. God would be a stone/snare and you will be hurt.

3. The difference is where you look.

B. Key idea: [v 16]

1. Bind and seal!

2. Strong, permanent handling of God’s Word.

IV. The servant’s response:

A. Wait!

1. Judah was not to make an alliance with Assyria.

2. They were not to panic and give in to fear.

3. God asks His people for “constructive waiting.”

a. Some times we need time to plan and prepare.

b. Do something positive: bind and seal...

c. Be ready.

B. Trust!

1. “Look to Him” [KJV]

a. Let God be God...

b. Let God work...

2. Our behavior:

a. When we do not trust, we do our own thing, we cause ourselves grief and pain.

b. When we trust God, life becomes clearer and easier...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

1 Corinthians 12:1 – 7
Gifts, Services, and Workings


I. The story of a dying church:

A. They had a lack of information.

1. Paul called it “ignorant.”

2. Ignorance occurs because people do not know or they do not want to know.

B. The ignorance led to confusion and division.

1. I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought. [11] My brothers, some from Chloe's household have informed me that there are quarrels among you. [12] What I mean is this: One of you says, "I follow Paul"; another, "I follow Apollos"; another, "I follow Cephas"; still another, "I follow Christ." [1 Corinthians 1:10 – 12]

2. In the first place, I hear that when you come together as a church, there are divisions among you, and to some extent I believe it. [1 Corinthians 11:18]

C. There was abuse.

1. The gifts became symbolic of spiritual standing.

2. 1 Corinthians 12:14 – 26 deals with the body as a whole and how ridiculous it is for the parts of the body to be at odds with one another.

D. The illustration of all this was “mute idols.”

1. Paul asks them to “remember when...”

2. They were easily influenced and led astray. And they had fallen back into those same behavior patterns! (The names were different but the situation was the same.)

II. God as a design for the church to follow.

(The church and spiritual gifts reflect the Holy Spirit at work.)

A. There are gifts (“charisma”).

1. A gift was a miraculous ability.

2. This is something that can not be done by an individual’s own ability.

B. There are services (“diakonia”).

1. These are offices or positions. The same gifts can be applied different ways.

2. And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues. [v 28]

3. It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers. [Ephesians 4:11]

C. There are works (“energeme”).

1. Literally these works are the EFFECT the work of the Holy Spirit has on the church and others. The same gifts can have different effects.

2. “And now I will show you the most excellent way.” [v 31b]

3. “Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” [1 Corinthians 13:8]

D. There is the manifestation (“phanerosis”).

1. The manifestation (singular) is the expression of the Holy Spirit at work!

2. The gifts, the services, and the works are for the “common good”

3 The common good is contrasted to the confusion, division, and abuse found in the church.

III. People will always have an excuse.

A. Someone will suggest it is easier to ignore the gifts, services, and works than it is risk abuses.

1. Ignorance and its abuses have ALWAYS been a dividing factor in the church.

2. It happened in the first century church in the Roman empire and it happened in the early 20th century in America.

B. Some will question, with all the abuse, how we are to know for certain what is real.

1. Judgement is a matter of control. [Both positive and negative.]

2. When we sit in judgement on one another, we are in serious danger.

C. Some will argue that the gifts will end.

1. Yes, they seem to be situational. I Corinthians 13:10 seems to indicate that maturity will end the necessity for these gifts.

2. Problem: is a dying, stifled church mature?

3. Reality: the church in America is desperate for the gifts, services, and works of the Holy Spirit!

IV. How do we process all this?

A. The normal outcome of becoming a new creation is:

1. The individual is possessed by the Holy Spirit.

a. “Indwelling” is based on faith, at conversion, it is a one time event.

b. “Filling” changes behavior and is a CONTROLLING POWER.

c. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” [Ephesians 5:18]

d. Constant renewal.

2. The individual is empowered for service and used by God.

a. This is the manifestation of the Holy Spirit: the individual at work for the glory of God.

b. This empowerment becomes the CONTROLLING PASSION.

c. Filling gives power but sin weakens.

B. Maybe there is a problem that runs deeper than ignorance or an excuse.

1. Could it be that some are “converted” (changed their mind) but not regenerated (“born again” become a “new creation”)?

2. Could it be that some are convinced (mind) but not transformed (“heart of flesh”)?

3. Could it be that some are carnal (controlled by the sinful nature, “deeper man” – Gordon M.) and consecrated (and filled)?

4. Since God will take total control by permission only, could it be that we are trying to keep control?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

1 Corinthians 12:7 – 11, 14 – 26
Understanding the body

I. Leadership (modern American concept)

"the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organizations of which they are members" (House, R. J. 2004: page 15)

House, R. J. (2004) Culture, Leadership, and Organizations: The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies, SAGE Publications, Thousand Oaks, 2004

A. Skill (things to do and not do)

1. Passion, changing the “collective emotion” (“Ripple effect”)

The ripple effect: emotional contagion and its influence on group behavior
Administrative Science Quarterly, Dec, 2002 by Sigal G. Barsade

2. Direction, changing the group mind-set. (Burnsian model: shared vision. The measure of leader is the ability to influence, especially in creating group values.)

3. Not necessarily details... which can ultimately create frustration.

B. Personality (type of person, personality test, “trait theory”)

1. Charisma (uncanny charm, likeableness, persuasiveness)

2. The ability to work with people (the ability to get people to do what you want them to do, and make it think it is their idea).

C. Behavior traits.

1. Hierarchy that is imposed by position, experience, or knowledge.

2. To be a leader, one must have followers... (those who are deferent toward the leader) (Typically how we evaluate a leader... By that standard Hitler was an effective leader.)

3. Results oriented (Blake, R. & Mouton, J. (1964) The Managerial Grid: The Key to Leadership Excellence. Houston: Gulf Publishing Co., contend that concern for people and concern for production are different axises, on a graf, that are contradictory. In other words, a results oriented person is seldom a people person and vice versa.)

****** All Western theories are based on leadership being the key element in change. The necessity of change is based on “liberal modernism” which says that man is the measure of all things and that the traditional must be discarded. Any attempt to maintain traditional beliefs or practices is often labeled in negative terms. *****

There is a danger, or as Gordon MacDonald put it: “The very drive that propels some leaders toward extraordinary levels of achievement is a drive that often keeps expanding even after reasonable goals and objectives have been achieved. Like a river that breaks its levy, that drive often strays into areas of excitement and risk that can be dangerous and destructive.” (Gordon MacDonald, “Out of Ur” Nov. 5, 2006)

The entrepreneurial spirit has been suggested as one of the contributing factors to the fall of Ted Haggard: “Some of the highest achievements of contemporary evangelicalism can be credited to our entrepreneurial energy.... This entrepreneurial spirit, however, has also has been the cause of organizational chaos, a characteristic of our movement. Even worse, it has repeatedly provided the occasion for abusive staff relations, sexual or fiscal immorality, and pride-fueled cults of personality...

That starts with relearning what it means to be the body of Christ—where we are mutually dependent on one another – and not just a dynamic movement led by gifted leaders.” (Christianity Today editorial, “Entrepreneurs R Us” http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2006/december/10.22.html)

II. Biblical view.

A. There are a variety of positions/responsibilities (Ephesians 4:11).

“It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, [12] to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up [13] until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” [Ephesians 4:11 – 13]

1. Notice it is God who chooses not the individual or the organization.

2. Notice that these “leadership” offices are given for a purpose: “to prepare God's people for works of service.”

3. How many times do we hire someone to do the work for us? (Fix food, fix our car, fix our lives, fix our plumbing, fix our church....)

B. There are a variety of gifts/responsibilities (Romans 12:5 – 8).

“For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you. [4] Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, [5] so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. [6] We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man's gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. [7] If it is serving, let him serve; if it is teaching, let him teach; [8] if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously; if it is leadership, let him govern diligently; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.” [Romans 12:3 – 8]

1. Notice that the church is a “body” with “many members.”

a. The members differ in “function” but belong to one another.

b. In other words, it is not yours to decide if and how you will contribute to the body.

2. The gifts are different “according to grace.”

a. These are not given according to rank, skill, talent, training, or standing.

b. There is no room for boasting or elevating, only humility.

3. The gifts are exercised in proper attitude

a.The key expression is; “let him (or her).” In other words, if you have it, us it! [BTW, “let him” is not in the Greek text, it is added to give us the sense of a command.]

b. Other attitudes like “generously, diligently, cheerfully”

C. This variety is controlled by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7 – 11).

1. [v 11] “He gives them to each one, just as He determines.”

a. Our problem is control... We want it, no matter what it costs ourselves or others.

b. Control issues ultimately boil down to trust. When we do not give God control we are giving away that we do not trust Him (probably including for our salvation).

2. [v 7] The “manifestations” (commonly known as gifts) are given “for the common good.”

a. In other words, it builds up the body not the individual. Our problem is that we are very individualistic... we want or make everything to be about us (as individuals).

b. We feel the group exists to support the individual. (Which is backwards to what the Bible says.)

III. Problems:

A. There is only one model of biblical leadership...

MK 10:41 When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. [42] Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. [43] Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, [44] and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. [45] For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

1. Jesus is the model.

2. Jesus model is one of sacrifice and service.

3. Addressing the issue of “exercising authority,” Jesus said, “not so with you.”

a. Jesus specifically said, the church was to be different.

b. The world’s view of leadership (“exercising authority”) is much different than Jesus view of leadership (“whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” [Greek, two very different words... possibly classifications of servants/slaves.]

B. Our concept of leadership is nowhere near the biblical concept.

1. We lead by position and skill not by supernatural means.

2. We lead by personality not by calling.

3. We lead as individuals not as functioning as part of the body under the headship of Jesus.

4. We lead to build up/benefit the individual not the body. [Ill. A body builder that works on one arm to massive proportions while everything else is neglected.]

5. As a result following has become “commercial”... we shop around, compare, and judge. Root cause is the American inability to trust (God).

C. When we do not full fill our function the body (church) is severally disabled. (1 Corinthians 12:14 – 26)

1. No part is indispensable.

2. No part is unnecessary.

3. No part can continue to exist apart from the whole.

4. No part is in absolute control because we are a body... Jesus is the head!

IV. How do we reconcile the differences?

A. Understand, if it is not biblical, it is wrong at best and evil at worst.

1. In the “Holiness Manifesto” we (Free Methodist and others) confessed our sin of becoming “indistinguishable from the culture.”

“... The power and zeal of churches has been drained by the incessant search for a better method, a more effective fad, a newer and bigger program to yield growth. In the process of trying to find the magic method for growing healthy vibrant churches, our people have become largely ineffective and fallen prey to a generic Christianity that results in congregations that are indistinguishable from the culture around them. ...

Further, we are awash with leaders of churches who have become hostages to the success mentality of numeric and programmatic influence. They have become so concerned about 'how' they do church that they have neglected the weightier matter of 'what' the church declares. We have inundated the 'market' with methodological efforts to grow the church. In the process, our leaders have lost the ability to lead. They cannot lead because they have no compelling message to give, no compelling vision of God, no transformational understanding of God's otherness. They know it and long to find the centering power of a message that makes a difference. Now more than ever, they long to soak up a deep understanding of God's call to holiness—transformed living.”

2. The pull to the American definition of success is too strong for us to resist.

a. Pastors who do well get to keep their jobs. Pastors who do better get recognized, rewarded, and asked to write books and speak at mega-gatherings.

3. Thus, the temptation to sell our souls to the devil’s tools to accomplish a “greater good.”

B. Focus on who you are in Christ:

1. Parts of the body fulfill function and purpose.

a. This will mean we will have to surrender the selfishness. (E.g. “This church is not meeting MY needs.” “I need someplace where...”

b. This means we will have to surrender the individualism. The church, our exercise of the faith is about something that will last for eternity. It is about someone who loves us so much He died for us. It is about the desperate (and often unacknowledged) problem those who do NOT have a saving faith.

2. One part that hurts, shuts down, envy/rejects another, or tries to take control over from the head (like Satan did when he fell) damages the whole.

3. No one or no role is insignificant or unimportant.

a. If we were honest with ourselves, we would see that evangelism is a “group effort.”

b. The “group image” influences how attractive Jesus is to others.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

I have been on vacation the last two weeks. I will post next week. On a personal note, please pray for my son and I... we have a nasty flu.

Here are some things for you to consider until then.

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/january/12.20.html

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/january/13.27.html

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2007/january/14.72.html

http://www.christianitytoday.com/books/features/bccorner/061204.html

http://www.opendoorsusa.org/Display.asp?Page=home