Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A Lukewarm Generation

"So because you are lukewarm- neither hot nor cold- I am about to spit you out of my mouth."  Revelation 3:16

If we are not living life according to Christ where He is first, then we are living a lukewarm life.  Just look at Revelation 3:16- what does Jesus say to the church of Laodicea for being lukewarm?

How many of us would fall into that same category?  We need to grow up spiritually... not being more religious but following Christ with every ounce of our being.  Every day needs to be growing closer to Christ.  Building that relationship... living love to all we meet according to His definition of love (see 1 Corinthians 13)

You may be wondering what it looks like to be lukewarm...  here is how Francis Chan describes being lukewarm in the book "Crazy Love".
  • Lukewarm people attend church fairly regularly.  It is what is expected of them, what they believe "good Christians" do, so they go.   (Isa. 29:13)
  • Lukewarm people give money to charity and the church... as long as it doesn't impinge on their standard of living.  If they have a little extra and it is easy and safe to give, they do so.  After all, God loves a cheerful giver, right? (1 Chron. 21:24, Luke 21:1-4)
  • Lukewarm people tend to choose what is popular over what is right when they are in conflict.  They desire to fit in both at church and outside the church; they care more about what people think of their actions (like church attendance and giving) than what God thinks of their hearts and lives. (Matt 23:5-7, Rev 3:1, Luke 6:26)
  • Lukewarm people don't really want to be saved from their sins; they want only to be saved from the penalty of their sin.  They don't genuinely hate sin and aren't truly sorry for it; they're merely sorry because God is going to punish them.  Lukewarm people don't really believe that this new life Jesus offers is better than the old sinful one. (John 10:10, Romans 6:1-2)
  • Lukewarm people are moved by stories about people who do radical things for Christ, yet they do not act.  They assume such action is for "extreme" Christians, not averae ones.  Lukewarm people call "radical" what Jesus expected of all His followers. (James 1:22, James 4:17, Matt 21:28-31)
  • Lukewarm people rarely share their faith with their neighbors, coworkers, or friends.  They do not want to be rejected, nor do they want to make people uncomfortable by talking about private issues like religion. (Matt 10:32-33)
  • Lukewarm people gauge their morality or "goodness" by comparing themselves to the secular world.  They feel satisfied that while they aren't as hard core for Jesus as so-and-so, they are nowhere as horrible as the guy down the street. (Luke 18:11-12)
  • Lukewarm people say they love Jesus, and He is, indeed, a part of their lives.  But only a part.  They give Him a section of their time, their money, and their thoughts, but He isn't allowed to control their lives.  (Luke 9:57-62)
  • Lukewarm people love God, but they do not love Him with all their heart, soul, and strength.  They would be quick to assure you that they try to love God that much, but that sort of total devotion isn't really possible for the average person; it's only for pastors and missionaries and radicals. (Matt 22:37-38)
Any one else feeling convicted???  Chan's list is a little more thorough than what I listed and God's word is very thorough.  I will make it clear that we all fall short of the glory of God but Christ is looking at the heart of each person not our burnt offering (or act of service). 

It is not about us and what we can do for Him.  He has done everything for us... all he asks of us is to take up our cross daily and follow Him.  He uses us despite us but how many times do we get wrapped up in "look at me and what I can do."  God calls us to be hot or cold not lukewarm.  Can you just imagine walking before the Lord one day being lukewarm where He vomits you out of His prescence???  He wants all of us or nothing at all.  But like I said earlier we all do fall short on a daily basis and therein lies his grace and mercy. 

So my friend... let us not be known as the lukewarm generation.  Let's raise our children to God's standard not the world's.  Let's be known by His love... you know the love that is patient, kind, longsuffering, etc.  Let us raise up a standard against the enemy that the world looks at and says is CRAZY.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Catching up

Well I am officially on fall break and after a late afternoon nap... I am not tired and it is nearly midnight.  So I have decided to catch up on my neglected blog.  So much has been going on but time just hasn't allowed me to put my thoughts down... so here goes...

School:  First quarter of school ended Friday with a trip to Molokai's first pumpkin patch.  I am not sure who enjoyed it more the adults or the children but fun was had by all.  The largest pumpkin weighed in at over 200 pounds.

Hula:  One of the highlights of living in Hawaii is being able to learn hula and dance in worship before the Lord.  This is our halau before we danced at church last Sunday to "Who Am I".  We also had the pleasure of dancing today for the Beth Moore Simulcast.

Labor day:  Some friends and I went camping Labor Day weekend...
Great friends...
 God's beauty...

 Ono food!  (A Hawaiian Smore... graham, peanut butter, brownie, toasted (or burnt) marshmellow and chocolate)

 And what is camping with out some wildlife and a practical joke... Josh decided to put bread outside of Rachel and my tent.  This attracted the wild turkeys that woke us up at 7am on Monday morning. 

When I got home from camping, my neighbors were coming in from catching lobster... so they blessed me with this critter which was taken to school the next day for my little ones to check out and then he was boiled for lunch! 

"I'm Running to your arms"

Most of my inspiration for blogs come from lyrics to songs... recently I heard Hillsongs newest song ..."Forever Reign".  It has a catchy worshipful tune but oh my... the lyrics are so powerful...

You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see

You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
Whom my fear in crippling
You are true, You are true
Ever in my wandering

You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life
In You death has lost its sting

Oh, I'm running to Your arms
I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the World forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim

You are here, You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

Hallelujah, forever
All the glory, forever
All the praise to you

My heart will sing
No other name
Jesus, Jesus

My heart is just overflowing in worship to my Lord and Savior.  It seems that about a week ago I was really struggling with some anxiety issues.  You know what I mean... the kind that wake you up at night...  things that I have really no control over but that the enemy wants to distract me with.  Anyway after two or three nights of only sleeping a couple of hours, I was emotionally about ready to lose it.  Even though each of those nights I was spending hours in the Word, in prayer, and in worship, I was still having anxiety.  By the end of the week I went to talk with Pastor Randy about what was going on and as we were talking I realized how much "I" was trying to do.  I can do nothing without Christ.  He is still good even when there is no good in me... He is peace even when I am struggling with anxiety and fear...He is truth even when the lies of the enemy are deceiving me.  After a few reminders and running into my Savior's open arms, sleep has been a glorious blessing.

I truly believe that if we never had trials we wouldn't see all of the daily blessings that the Lord so freely pours out on us.  Hallelujah that the King of kings loves us despite us!