Spoken Word artist Janette..ikz addresses a topic that I think a lot of Christians maybe struggle with, or at least wonder about. Dating, Relationships, and making sure we don’t settle just because we want Someone even if they aren’t who we know really want.
Are you waiting for the one, or trying to convince yourself that he/she might be the one when you really know better?Advertisements
Isn’t it awful when the almost the only time you get on Twitter and something dealing with prayer, The Gospel, or Jesus is when one of the following has happened: a.)Death/Tragedy b.)Christmas/Easter
Today we see #PrayForNewton as the top trending topic. It is so sad that things such as this happen in todays world. My heart is truly with those associated with the tragedy. When thinking about what happened today something came to mind.
Warning: I’m not trying to take away from the situation or call anyone a ruthless sinner because that’s exactly what I am. And please don’t think I’m saying that the trend is all for not or is for show, because I know that the people directly and indirectly involve need all the prayer that can be offered and I pray that God hears the prayer of all those praying.
My guess is that many people who are praying today haven’t prayed in the last month, let alone today, that is until news broke of the tragedy in Newton. That’s how we as followers of Christ live our life, as ours instead of His. We wait until something disastrous happens before realizing we need God, when the truth is that we need Him every second of everyday. We wait until we think things are out of our hands(even though everything is.) The truth is, our very existence relies in dependency on the Lord. I started reading the book Crazy Love by Francis Chan this week, and a couple lines from chapter two come to me.
Francis writes, “For example, your kidneys. The only people who really think about their kidneys are people whose kidneys don’t work correctly.”
Alot of times we treat God like our kidneys. But the amazing thing is, He loves us and cares about us constantly with this exuberant and unfailing love, even though we are sinners who a lot of times forget about Him. God wants a relationship with us, not a coffee date once a month.
Chances are that you are either a fan of Time Tebow or critic of his undisciplined and “sloppy” play. There are many topics that can be debated about Tebow’s ability to play quarterback in the National Football League. I’m not here to make statements about that. I’m here to say that Tim Tebow is a man of God that realizes God has given Him the ability to play football and furthermore a platform through that.
Tebow has done something more than realize what he’s been blessed with. Many of us realize that God has given us all things good in life, any ability we have comes from Him. (James 1:17) But how often do we (especially including myself) keep that realization to ourselves? More often than not I’m afraid. Tim has gone beyond simply realizing that God has given him talents and a platform. Time Tebow uses the platform God has given him to share the Gospel of Christ, at every opportunity he has.
An excerpt from an article posted in December 2011 that includes Tim Tebow being called outabout sharing his faith, as well as his response:
Former Broncos quarterback Jake Plummer said recently that he wished Tebow would “just shut up after a game. . . . I think that when he accepts the fact that we know that he loves Jesus Christ, then I think I’ll like him a little better. I don’t hate him because of that, I just would rather not have to hear that every time he takes a good snap or makes a good handoff.”
Tebow, though, has so far defended his actions. Responding directly to Plummer’s words, he said:
“Well, first I’d say, thank you for the compliment of calling me a winner and then I‘d also say if you’re married and you’re a husband is it good enough to only say you love her on the day you get married or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and have an opportunity?
And that’s how I feel about my relationship with Jesus Christ. It is the most important thing in my life so anytime I get an opportunity to tell Him that I love Him or give Him an opportunity to shout Him out on national TV, I’m gonna take that opportunity. So I look at that as a relationship that I have with Him that I want to give Him honor and glory anytime I have the opportunity and then right after I give Him honor and glory, then I want to try and give my teammates honor and glory and that’s how it works because Christ comes first in my life. Then my family, and then my teammates.
So I respect Jake’s opinion and I really appreciate his compliment of calling me a winner but I feel like anytime I get the opportunity to give the Lord some praise, He is due for it because of what He did for me and what he did for us on the cross for all of us.”
This reminds me of Paul throughout the second half of the book of Acts. Paul, who was up until Acts 13 is called Saul, was a man who persecuted christians, allowing believers to be stoned to death and taking others prisoner. In Acts chapter 9 however, as Saul is spoken to by Jesus and is transformed so in the next few days that he proclaims Jesus as Messiah. Not only claims this to himself and the Lord but all the people around. Most of Acts from here on out tells of Peter and Paul spreading the Gospel. After his transformation, Paul traveled thousands of miles proclaiming the Jesus as Messiah to as many people as he could. Paul was persecuted for sharing the Gospel just as he had previously persecuted others, even being arrested and jailed. Paul sets an example to generations as ourselves who follow behind his, he sets the example of sharing the Gospel, even when it’s not easy.
I think that it is fair to say that Tim Tebow has grasped the concept of sharing the Gospel. I’m not putting him on a pedestal and saying that we need to model our lives after him, because that is not the case, we are called to model Christ.
Ephesians 5:1: Imitate God, therefore, because you are His children
However, it is important to look at and learn from other believers, and I think that we can all learn from what Tim has done. In the excerpt above He stated that his relationship with Christ is the most important thing in his life and that anytime he can give credit to God publicly he is going to do so because saying it once just isn’t enough.
How many times do we hear guys who are interviewed after a big performance, “Gotta thank the man up above?” It’s soo much more than that, and Tyler Wilson has previously addressed this topic in He’s Not Just Some “Man Up Above” Pt. 2. With Tebow it’s different, with Paul, it was different, with us it should be different. These are two men that we can clearly see whose focus is on sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul traveled all over spreading the Good News, he was persecuted for it, but, did he lead people to Christ? Yes. Tim Tebow plays football and proclaims with passion what Christ has done in his life and gives Him the glory for any kind of success each and every time someone sticks a microphone in his face. He faces persecution, no he doesn’t get stoned or thrown in jail, but he is constantly called out and mocked for his proclamation of Christ. But, has he impacted lives and helped people, especially young people to take a look at what Jesus can do in their lives? I strongly believe so.
Now, what have we done? I know that I don’t publicly give God the credit that He so much deserves every time I have the chance. I know that I fail at honoring Him daily. But I also know that if God’s plan for Paul, someone who persecuted Christians, was to bring people to Christ and to share the Gospel, then you and I can do the same thing with the platforms we have been given. We are going to be persecuted, that’s a given. Are we going to let the persecution of the world stop us from sharing the message of the One who has overcome the world? I think not. God wants to work through us to broaden His Kingdom, but if we the Gospel to ourselves, thats impossible. That is why it is important to declare His greatness each time we have the chance, to shine the Glory on Christ and to lead people to the Kingdom of God.
Proclaim Christ. Every chance you get.
Galatians 1:10: For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.
As Christians, a lot of times I think we get caught up in trying to serve, serve, serve. Don’t get me wrong, it is great to serve. That’s what we are called to do, just as Jesus told the 12 disciples. (Mark 9:35) However, all our service is for not if we are serving for the wrong reasons. We’ve all done it before, serving when we know that we will benefit from our acts. Just think on it a moment then try to tell me you don’t ever serve so that you’ll receive recognition for it or get the approval of others. For me, National Honor Society (NHS) hours come to mind. Each semester we had to get so many service hours to meet club requirements. This usually meant being a server at banquets, doing community service, working concession stands, or something of the sort. You could say that honoring God was definitely not the reason I did any of these services, rather because at the end of the day being in NHS was going to look good on my scholarship application, and that the people who look at applications would “approve” of me, hopefully enough to give me a little money. Now I’m not saying that service like this is bad, what I am saying is I completely missed the point. Yes, it is okay to do things to serve others, to outwardly look good for something such as a scholarship, but deeper down, we should already be doing these acts because we love to serve the God who loves and cares about us.
Sadly, we all serve for the benefit of ourself. What’s even more sad is that when we seek recognition and approval for our acts of service, we are dimming God’s light in us. When we take credit for our service, we are inevitably stealing God glory. We are supposed to serve so that people may notice God through us, not notice us. (Matthew 5:14-16) This doesn’t mean we need to be selective about or limit our service to big genuine acts and say “God bless” every time we do something for someone. It means we need to change the motive of our service. Turn the switch from serving to glorify ourselves and trying to get noticed for our own good, to simply serving to shine the light of Christ and bring glory to our Father.
Something that I’ve pondered over multiple times while studying this topic is, Can the people I am serving really tell whether I am serving them just to serve them and gain their approval, or if I am serving them to serving God as well? To be completely honest, I don’t have an answer to that. I assume that many people just see it as a nice deed. But, if we are diligent in service (Which over time becomes natural as we realize how much more of a joy it is to serve man for God rather than ourselves.) people start to notice that there is something different about you, creating an opportunity to evangelize to them and further God’s kingdom. Jesus brought glory to God by washing peoples’ feet, I think that we can step up and switch the motive of our service from glorifying ourselves to glorifying Christ with our everyday service.