Archive for May, 2012

Not to long ago my wife left a gallon of milk in our van for the afternoon.  So I did the obvious: I shot it!  The following link is a mini lesson about extreme living and includes video footage of an exploding milk jug.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8P5-jdT_3zc&feature=youtu.be

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Paul tells us that he learned to content in whatever state he was in.

What the Bible says…

The Bible has much to say about contentment both in the new and old testaments.  Yet the word is always used in the context of stuff; money, food, clothing, housing and things that are physical.

Scriptures examples:

In the Gospel of Luke we find John the Baptist engaging in a conversation with some soldiers and he tells them to be content with their pay (Luke 3.14).   Apparently their lack of contentment had caused them to abuse their positions and abuse others to use extortion as a means of padding their pockets.

In 1 Timothy 6.6-8 Paul instructs ministers to be content as long as they have food and covering.  He obviously is speaking of contentment in the physical realm.

Philippians 4 is where most people get their view of “Biblical contentment”.  The apostle Paul writes the following in verses 11-14: “Not that I speak from want, for I have learned to be content in whatever circumstances I am.  I know how to get along with humble means, and I also know how to live in prosperity; in any and every circumstance I have learned the secret of being filled and going hungry, both of having abundance and suffering need.  I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.  Nevertheless, you have done well to share with me in my affliction.”

Paul and Luke make it very clear that they are speaking in regards to physical states.  Not the spiritual.

How many people interpret that…

Unfortunately for most people they impose the Bible’s response to physical needs onto their own spiritual shortcomings.  Lack of effectiveness becomes, I need to be content with the 10 people that God sent to my church.  I need to be content that I have led 3 people to the Lord in my life.

Why that is wrong…

Spiritual effectiveness is largely dependent upon whether or not Christians are willing to get to work or whether they are sitting around bemoaning the fact that the world is not a better a place.  As long as there are people in your community dying and going to hell, you should not be content.  Jesus wept over His Jerusalem, when was the last time you wept over yours?  As long as sin is acceptable in your church, you should not be content.

As I have studied the western church I have come to the conclusion that it is suffering due to contentment.  Most churches are as effective as they want to be.  No, they will never admit this but their actions declare it.  Holy huddles do not reach the world.  Sunday mornings is not where Christians should do most of their ministry for the week.  Perhaps it is the fact that those of us who have been called to be spiritual leaders have failed.  We ask people to burn out in church programs that never go beyond our church walls while people outside our walls are hurting and dying.

So let me ask you a question that I often pose to myself: are you content with the state of your church?  If you answered no, do your actions declare yes?

A man by the name of John Hancock Field once stated, “All worthwhile men have good thoughts, good ideas, and good intentions, but precious few of them ever translate those into action.”  In other words, that age old adage, “it’s the thought that counts” is not true.

Too many people declare to the world that they are perfectly content with the world by their actions.  Yet with their lips, they declare quite another truth.  They teach their children to complain yet not how to work.

The former CEO of GE, Jack Welch, said, “There are times when a leader cannot be this thoughtful, in-the-corner-guru.  You cannot be a moderate, balanced, thoughtful, careful articulator of policy.  You’ve got to be on the lunatic fringe.”  Far to many people get stuck in the thinking phase and never move to the action phase.

A man name James wrote this in the New Testament of the Bible, “But someone may well say, ‘You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without works, and I will show you my faith by my works.'”  It is time we stop telling people what we believe and start showing them what we believe….

If we say Christ desires us to be compassionate then how are we showing compassion?

If we say Christ desires us to extend forgiveness then how are we extending forgiveness?

If we say Christ desires us to live a sacrificial life, then how are we living sacrificially?

If we say Christ desires us to boldly proclaim the Gospel message, then when is the last time we did?

 

It is time we stop talking about being Godly and stop talking about doing the right thing.  In the words of Nike, “Just Do It!!!”