Saturday, November 7, 2015

November Night: Center of The Universe

This past Monday night, I had the opportunity to be able to go and serve alongside those of my church, the homeless of Oklahoma City. This opportunity is usually not taken lightly. It comes as a privilege. Some would argue "It's just handing out food and clothes" as some have said before. However, it's much more than that.

What does "Serve" mean? For you and I, it is that. It's just doing something nice for someone or meeting a need somewhere or in someones life. We would meet that need and chalk that up as "Okay, I served. I've done my good deed for the week." and simply walk away. Should we serve the needy? Should we take care of the poor and less fortunate? Absolutely. I believe that this is the soul mission of the church of Jesus Christ. Well, three missions.

1. Soul winning (evangelism)
2. Taking care of poor people (Serving)
3. See first two missions (rinse and repeat)

Outside of those three things, our purpose is fulfilled. That's the only reason why we're here. The lost. Poor people. The work of the church.

What was the purpose of the life of Christ here on earth? Well, you may quickly answer "To die on the cross for our sins, of course!" Are you sure? Yes we, as Christians, know that the reason Christ came to this earth was to be the sinless, perfect, lamb (Isa. 53), redemptive plan for all humanity. That's an easy answer. But isn't there more to that?

During the Last Supper, before Jesus was arrested and taken to the cross, He prayed with His disciples. In His prayer, Jesus says, “I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do” (John 17:4). How could He say that He had completed the work God had given Him to do when He had not yet died on the cross and risen from the dead?

The answer? In His prayer, Jesus said that He had completed the work of making disciples. The disciples were ready to go and make disciples themselves; all they needed was the Holy Spirit. If Jesus had died on the cross for our sins but had not made disciples who could deliver the message, none of us would have heard the good news. Jesus completed the message: He died for us and rose from the grave. He also created a way for people even today to hear that message: by releasing His disciples to go and make disciples, who in turn were released to go and make disciples, and so on.

 How are you doing in that area? Do you live your life in such a way that you are so caught up with yourself, meaning you are the center of your own universe, and there just isn't enough room for anyone or anything else? When you're out and about in your daily routine, commute, and see someone you could reach out to, but choose to ignore it because you're just to busy? To much going on? Afraid you don't know what to do or say? Then that would mean that you're basically, so full of yourself that there's just no enough room for anything else.

My encouragement to you would be to get out of your comfort zone. This world is yours for the taking. Take it for the Gospel. Take it for Gods kingdom.

When it comes to serving, I am reminded of the quote from one of my favorite evangelists, Tony Miano:

If you feed a lost person, give him something cool to drink, put a roof over his head and give him the shirt off your back, but you fail to share the gospel with him, know this. If he dies after you’ve loving- ly served him, having never heard the gospel from your lips, he will be warmed and filled as he faces God’s judgment and eternity in hell. Serve people? Yes. But please share the gospel.

So when you "Serve" are you serving men or serving yourself? Let's focus on the task at hand, the Great Commission. There are souls on the line.

Light the darkness,

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

October Night: Persistent Spider

I had the opportunity to go and serve with my church family, into the community of Oklahoma City. On Monday nights, we get to serve the homeless of OKC. It's an honor and a privilege to be able to serve with my church and for this great community. Starting with food, something to drink, clothes to wear, toiletries, they are given many things to meet what needs they may have.

Afterwards, I have the chance to stand and proclaim the Gospel, and can give away some money, and some food gift cards from local eating establishments in the area.

This encounter last night was great because we had sixty-nine people (at most recent count) show up. About half of those was still around when I began to preach.

We ask that you pray for those that were in attendance, that God will open their hearts and they'll receive the Gospel and respond accordingly in faith in Christ. 


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

No Thanks, I Don't Do Orange.

     A few weeks ago, I was down in Rush Springs OK taking part in the festivities of the Annual Rush Springs Watermelon Festival. It's always a fun event. It's one that draws in thousands and thousands of people focusing on the food, crafts, carnival rides, and the long time history of watermelons. Did I mention seed spitting contests? Yeah, they have those. In the end, there's even a new Little Mr. & Mrs. Rush Springs and  Watermelon Queen are crowned for another year. The whole event is great and my family does their best to never miss. 

For those that are fit, and for those like me that are not, they have what's called the Watermelon 5K. This year was my second attempt in both starting, and finishing this race. Thankfully, I did finish and proudly held up the rear of all the runners. My whole goal, internally, was to not die (also my daily goal in life). No matter what, just get to the end with breath in my lungs and the cool morning wind behind me. 

At one point during the race I came to the corner of Rush and Blakely. For those that don't know, that's dead center in the middle of the city. That's the cross streets. As I looked over to my right I could see this massive monument that was standing tall. When I saw it, I realized that it was the 10 Commandments proudly being portrayed for all the city to see. It was at that moment that I paused, stopped running, and whispered a silent prayer thanking God that such a controversial piece was here on display. Today, so many people are angry about seeing this display anywhere throughout the United States. It's definitely a subject that causes a lot of discontent, disconnection, anger and strife. However, Rush Springs knows what's up. I'm thankful for that. I hope more cities are this bold in the near future. 

I think it's good that so many are wanting the removal of the Ten Commandments. It's reminding a sinful nation of the moral Law. I hope the secular press keeps reporting on the issue. What they mean for evil, will turn out to be for the good of the evangelistic endeavor for Christians. 

Today, October 6, 2015, the Ten Commandments statue that sat at the capital grounds in Oklahoma City were officially removed for good. People didn't like it because it's a "Religious symbol" on state property. Okay, whatever. 

People hate that law. They hate looking at it. They hate seeing it. But thankfully, it's written on their conscience (Rom. 2:15). They know it's wrong to lie. They know it's wrong to steal. They know full well with in their own conscience that it's wrong to murder another human being.

They remove them from the public sector in hopes that it will be "Outta sight, outta mind". Sadly, they are ignorant of the truth that they are going to be judged by God and they are going to be held accountable to that law.

They can be perfect as Creator is perfect, or they can recognize that they have indeed violated that law and repent and believe the Gospel. 

Hell is hot. Sin ain't right. Christ is coming. Righteousness will prevail. 

Time will tell. 

Thank you Rush Springs OK for taking your stance. May every soul that passes by this monument, found on private property by the way, be reminded of the law that we, as humanity, have violated, and point us back to the Cross, in which Jesus Christ paid for that penalty, and because of the Cross, His death, burial, and resurrection (He rose from the dead three days later),  we can have forgiveness through Christ. And ONLY Him. 

Until the nets are full,