Wednesday, April 27, 2011
5. Or it could be a gift or talent that God has given us. If we use it properly it is sweet and it blesses others. If we just let it sit and never use it then it becomes hard and useless. No one is ever blessed by it. (Mt 25:14-30)
6. Also there is the representation that the marshmallow is a lost soul. It was hidden away behind that tree for four months and no one knew it was there. It was lost until someone reached out to it and brought it out to a place where it could be found. We need to reach out to the lost and bring the gospel to a lost and dying world. Only God’s love can break through the hardness to rescue a lost soul. (Luke 15)
Posted by PJ at 11:16 PM
Friday, April 22, 2011
Saturday, April 16, 2011
OK, so I’m a little late with this one. Had a few other things take priority this week. For those of you that missed it we had an awesome time last night at the From and To Event. Now on to the Random Blog. Last Wednesday night we had some really good discussion that focused mostly on what really matters to us. There were a few other introductory questions that we’ll deal with first.
Satan and Sin:
We had three questions in this category: 1. Can you sin in hell? 2. Could Satan be forgiven? 3. Could Satan ever defeat God?
Can you sin in hell?
In the process of our conversation someone asked about tithing. They asked if you could give your tithe to missions. So I said I would put some scriptures in this blog about tithing. So here it is. Malachi 3 has a great discourse on tithing. The tithe is 1/10 of our income and it belongs to God. It is not an option. It’s not an offering. It is our responsibility to give it. Some say it’s an Old Testament principle that we don’t have to do anymore. Jesus said to the Pharisees that they should be doing more important things that they are leaving out, but He didn’t tell them not to tithe. He said they should tithe, but also pay attention to the more important things (Mt 23:23; Lk 11:42). I think Jesus saw tithing as a basic principle that should be a given for the Christian life. It’s one of the elementary principles.
It all boils down to what really matters. If pleasing God really matters to you, you won’t give out of an obligation or a law you will cheerfully give (2 Cor 9:7). Tithing won’t be an issue because that will be the base and you’ll go above and beyond to support the cause of Christ all over the world.
Posted by PJ at 8:53 PM
Friday, April 8, 2011
This week I'm doing something a little different. The following is an article from Christianity Today. It answers the questions we discussed so perfectly. It does a much better job than I could. Next week we'll return with a normal post. Thanks for checking it out.
How Do I Know God's Will?
Four big questions we all ask.
Four big questions we all ask.
How do I make good decisions? What does God really want from me? Does God care about every little choice I make? The big question behind all of these questions, of course, is this: What's God's will for my life? We decided to explore the sometimes confusing issue of God's will with four spiritual leaders from Christian college campuses.
Do my decisions really matter to God?
God cares about what's going on in our hearts. In any decision we have the opportunity to choose who we will worship. Will we worship God or will we worship ourselves? God desires to be the highest priority in every part of our lives.
In some areas of life it's clear that there are right decisions and wrong decisions—like the choice of whether to cheat on an exam. In other areas, we need to make choices between two good things—like making a decision between two great colleges. It's quite possible God would be present in and honored by either decision. Other times the choice may have to do with a gray area—something that's not necessarily right or wrong. These are opportunities to practice wisdom. For example, spending a lot of time talking on the phone or texting friends may be a good thing. But if there's never any time when we are just quiet and still, it can be harder for us to be aware of God's presence. Being wise might mean turning the phone off from time to time to quiet your heart so you can be more attentive to the presence of God in everyday life.
Sometimes when we make decisions, it can seem like we're trying to work God into our life story. But really, we are part of God's story and God is delighted by our desire to live with that focus in mind.
—Dr. Jamie Noling Associate Campus Pastor at
Azusa Pacific University ( ) California
How do I discover God's will?
First, you have to make sure you're seeking to obey what God has already revealed in Scripture. This includes things like obeying your parents. That's a clear instruction from God. It doesn't really work to ignore God's revealed will but yet expect God to answer specific questions like where you should go to college.
As you study God's Word and spend time in prayer, your relationship with God grows and you begin to understand God's character. You will then be in the right place to hear God's instruction for other areas of your life. In addition to Bible study and prayer, be willing to seek godly counsel from a mentor, pastor, or your parents.
If we're serious about following God's will, we have to recognize that it's not about getting what we want, but doing what God asks. We must trust that he is faithful and good, and that his will is what's best for us.
—Dr. Jeff Gangel Director of Spiritual Formation at
Toccoa Falls College ( ) Georgia
Will God ask me to do stuff I don't want to do?
God may call us to do things that don't feel natural to us at first. But as we listen and respond to the call of God, we get connected to our deeper desires. After all, the things God calls us to do are things that he created us to do. Many of us have habits that we find comfortable or that we enjoy. In the long run, though, those things may not meet our deeper spiritual needs. For example, we may have a habit of seeking acceptance by conforming, following the crowd. This is easy and can make us feel like we are accepted, but actually this habit can prevent us from being who we really are meant to be. It's scary to take the risk of letting your true self be known, but God calls us to do that.
This process makes me think of a cross-country runner. Getting to the point where it's enjoyable to run requires the runner to work and do things that may not be easy. But when the runner is in great shape, it is a true joy to run. Likewise, once we start down the path of doing the work God calls us to do, we find great joy in doing it.
—Dr. Greg Carmer Dean of Chapel at
Gordon College ( ) Massachusetts
What if I miss God's will?
Making a poor decision doesn't mean we're forever out of God's will. That's part of the beauty of Scripture: It has story after story of people who make bad decisions, but God still uses them mightily. Just look at Abraham and David. They both did some things that were clearly wrong, but God worked through them to accomplish great things. God can use all of our decisions, whether they're right, wrong, or neutral.
Also, we need to remember God is our Father. God is not here to condemn us, but to help us become more like Christ. If we are focused on Jesus, and on holiness, some of those other things will fall into place. God is not a cosmic trickster who only gives us one shot to get things right.
—Dr. Shawn Holtgren Dean of Leadership and Spiritual Development at
Bethel College ( ) Indiana
Copyright © 2009 by the author or Christianity Today International/Ignite Your Faith magazine.