Archive for the ‘E-Messages’ Category

Bonsai “Faith”

10/13/2011
A Eurya (Eurya emarginata) bonsai on display a...

Image via Wikipedia

Completing our two-part message about typical “faiths“.

Most of us know what Bonsai Trees are. They are tiny little trees. They really are miraculous displays of how small nature can be, when it is contained. Contained, is the best word possible being that the reason Bonsai Trees grow as small as they do, is because they are originally grown in containers. That big tree in your yard, or neighborhood could have easily been a Bonsai Tree if it was grown in a small container.

Our first part of this message was about exercising only when at church. Your church is not a gym. And likewise the “church” is not a container, it is a body. A body that you are a part of, if you are a real Christian. A real disciple of Christ. Your spiritual growth is not meant to be “contained” in a building every week. It is meant to flourish. So ask yourself the following questions:

1- Do you only read the Bible on Sundays or when at church activities?

2- Do you only talk about God when at church or with church friends?

3- Do you practice your faith in your home life with your loved ones?

4- Do you pray on your own? Or with your family members?

 

If you answered no to those, then you are not on your way to being a California Redwood. You, my friend, are a Bonsai and unless you do what it takes to change those “no’s” into “yes'” you will always be a Bonsai.

 

Chris

Advertisements

Faking It

10/11/2011

Today closes the books on our series “Lose your faith in 5 easy steps”. And lastly, but certainly not the least of those steps is faking it.

How many people have left churches over what they called “hypocrisy” in the church or church leadership. My church is currently working on a fall campaign titled “Christian Atheist”. It is someone who behaves and claims to be a christian, but behaves and thinks as if God is not really there, or doesn’t do what he says he will.

My wife once had issues with a family member, and was told by another family member to “fake it, until you make it”. I can see how being in a situation where you are forced to work with a family member or be around one can make you grow more fond of them over time. Fungus does grow on you right?

All jokes aside, I love seeing her interact positively with that family member these days. They get along GREAT. So why is this a bad thing in church? Why is bad to be a fake christian until you become comfortable enough to be a REAL DISCIPLE?

That is simple. If Jesus himself doesn’t know when he will be sent back to Earth by the Father in Heaven to collect his children, they how can you possibly KNOW THAT, but act like you have all the time in the world to make the REAL and GENUINE transaction that will insure your eternal security?

Food for thought.

 

Chris

Loving The World

10/10/2011

Today we continue our formerly postponed series “Lose your faith in 5 easy steps”. Today is step 4, loving the world.

Loving the world isn’t the same as drifting away from Him like a boat floating from a dock. Loving the world is hopping in the driver’s seat, firing up the motor, and flying out to deep water.

1 John 2:15 tells us “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is no in him”. That makes it pretty cut and dry. You see, the world makes it so easy to love it. Many things seem to feel better when done the world’s way. Many equate this with material things, and being yourself. Not true, nothing is wrong with self-expression of having a few things here and there, the problem comes when we use those two things as justification for idolatry.

I know tons of “rich” and “blessed” people but from my experience with them, they don’t put those things above God. On the same token, I know those who do. I have been one of them. On both ends.

I have allowed my human “wants” to outweigh my spiritual “needs”. And if you are being honest with yourself, you have to.

How do we fix this and avoid step four? We keep God closer to our hearts than we do things of this Earth. Sounds easier than it is, but it is far greater to have the love of the Lord in our lives, than a love for cars, boats or houses.

 

God Bless,

Chris

Lose your faith in five easy steps!

09/20/2011

Today is the first in a five-part series I am titling “Lose your faith in 5 easy steps”. That probably sounds a little counterproductive to what we normal shoot for at I.M., but I think it is far past time we talk about the five main things that immediately kill our faith, and these things aren’t even the BIG things people normally think about, these are the small things, that eat away at our faith like a cancer slowly but surely over a long period of time. I was inspired for this series by reading the book Weird, which I recommend, Craig Groeschell is an awesome Christian author.

Have you ever found a piece of glass on the beach? Probably not, but trust me, they are there. The thing about glass shards dropped on beaches is that over time, the elements smooth the rough edges, grind the piece down, and eventually, it just looks like another smooth-sided pebble on the beach. We have a choice to avoid becoming like very other pebble on that beach by resisting these five things.

First on the list is our title for today, BLAMING GOD. We will be getting in to that tomorrow in our audio section, stay tuned!!

Prayer that goes beyond blessings

09/13/2011

I have recently finished reading Pastor Craig Groeschel’s book titled “Weird: Because Normal Isn’t Working”. It is a life changing book if you take it to heart, because it makes you look yourself eye-to-eye and see the real you. Not the you that everyone else see’s, the REAL you. There is a prayer in his book that I wanted to share with you all today, as opposed to our usual format. I pray you enjoy, print, and continuously take the steps in your life to be weird also.

“Years ago someone wrote this prayer for all of us who long for more than just the gratification of normal blessings:”

“May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half-truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace. May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, and starvation, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. And may God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. May God bless you with the weirdest blessing possible—his divine burden.”

When many people pray for blessings, they pray for financial needs to be met, their kids college grades to come back higher than last semester, their local (or favorite) sports team to win the big game, their health or the health of others. Praying for the health of others is probably the noblest of those listed above. But what about praying for the ability to feed the hungry, take care of widows and orphans, teach the gospel, or lead people to Christ? I pray you ask God to place a divine burden on your heart today. A divine burden to do more, to help more, to serve more, to aid wherever it is needed in His work.

 

God bless,

 

Chris

 

Three distict titles of Jesus

09/02/2011

We already know that Jesus inherited a name superior to all other names. But he also received countless titles throughout the ages. Today we are going to go over the three primarily distinct titles given to Jesus Christ.

1.) The Son of God.

Mark didn’t pull any punches when he started his gospel by saying “The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God”. John didn’t either when he wrote in chapter twenty “But these miraculous signs are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name”. This title finds itself in the top three for two reasons. First, because of the relationship it implies that Jesus has with God, the Father. And second, because of the authority it grants him on behalf of God the Father. As you study the life of Christ in the gospels, those two elements, relationship to the Father, and authority from the Father constantly appear.

2.) The Son of Man.

This particular title was used the most by Jesus himself for primarily three reasons. First, in the Old Testament it was a generic title for prophets. By calling himself the Son of Man, Jesus was laying claim to his long prophetic heritage and prediction. Second, Son of Man is a Bible term for humans in general. Jesus was essentially declaring his own humanity, for fulfillment of prophecy. And lastly, by calling himself this, Jesus directly associated himself with prophecies about him. For example, Daniel said “one like a son of man, coming on the clouds of heaven”, then Matthew wrote later “they will see the son of man coming on the clouds of the sky”.

3.) The Messiah

This was a title that Jesus avoided entirely because of its militant implications. You see, the Jews had long been waiting (and some ignorantly still are) for their long promised Messiah to arrive and deliver them and save them vanquishing all their enemies. Jesus did come to do all of those things, but not necessarily in the time frame that their religious leaders taught. Jesus did not bring a message or brutal and gruesome violence or war, he brought a message of peace, grace, and love. Don’t get me wrong friends, the wars will come, and his enemies will be mutilated as predicted by the prophets. Just not when the Jews wanted it to happen.

While Jesus has other titles, “Alpha and Omega“, “Son of David“, and “Immanuel” for instance, the above three carry the most water. Ultimately, Jesus answered all questions and removed all doubt when he goaded the following answer from Peter when he posed the question “Who do you say I am”, Peter answered “You are the Christ the son of the living God”.

God Bless

Chris

(Just a reminder, there will not be any posts next week. Inspired Ministries is taking its first vacation of it’s first year. See you the following week!)

Friends and enemies.

08/25/2011

Listen to Episode 16 by CLICKING HERE

Leading by example.

08/24/2011

Listen to Episode 15 of Inspired Audio by CLICKING HERE

Who do you say I am?

08/23/2011

Listen to Episode 14 of Inspired Audio by CLICKING HERE

Mary’s Song

08/22/2011

Listen to Episode 13 of Inspired Audio by CLICKING HERE