Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bread of the Presence Conflict?

What is the Bread of the Presence?
Leviticus 24:5 "Take fine flour and bake twelve loaves of bread, using two-tenths of an ephah [a] for each loaf. 6 Set them in two rows, six in each row, on the table of pure gold before the LORD. 7 Along each row put some pure incense as a memorial portion to represent the bread and to be an offering made to the LORD by fire. 8 This bread is to be set out before the LORD regularly, Sabbath after Sabbath, on behalf of the Israelites, as a lasting covenant. 9 It belongs to Aaron and his sons, who are to eat it in a holy place, because it is a most holy part of their regular share of the offerings made to the LORD by fire."

I just wanted to point out something I found…that has been written about. You can research further,
1 Samuel 21: 1 David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech trembled when he met him, and asked, "Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?"
Apparent conflict;
Mark 2: 26 In the days of Abiathar the high priest, he (David) entered the house of God and ate the consecrated bread, which is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions."
The Mark passage is speaking of the incident when David went to the high priest asking for bread, and the only bread available was the Bread of the Presence. Mark speaks of Abiathar being the high priest, while 1 Samuel says tht Ahimelech is the high priest. Abiathar was Ahimelech’s son. Matthew and Luke both write about the same incident but clearly omit the name of the high priest in their account.
After becoming king, and Saul killed over 40 priests (of which Ahimelech was one) Abiathar became priest under David’s rule. So Mark’s verbage …. In the days of Abiathar, literally would have been correct, but this phrase would not commonly be used to describe ‘when David ate the Bread’.
Just something to chew on and research. Let me know what you have heard about this.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Undignified Worship

1 Samuel 19:23-24 So Saul went to Naioth at Ramah. But the Spirit of God came even upon him, and he walked along prophesying until he came to Naioth. He stripped off his robes and also prophesied in Samuel's presence. He lay that way all that day and night.

After Saul had sent 3 groups of men to get David, who was with Samuel at Ramah. They found David worshipping the Lord. As Saul’s men entered into the presence of the Almighty, the Spirit fell on them as well…and they worshipped. Then they returned to Saul empty handed.

This is why in verses 23-24 Saul went himself, to capture and kill David. What his men reported to him didn’t make sense. As he arrived “the Spirit of God came even on him” and he too…..worshipped.
The cool part is that he stripped off his robes…and worshipped. A kings robes were usually very ornamental, signifying greatness, royalty and majesty…and before the Lord….Saul (who previously wasn’t walking with the Lord) was compelled to remove the symbols of his own greatness and humble himself before God.
As God’s word tells us, “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.” Saul is a prime example of a knee bending, and a tongue confessing when he had no intent to do that.
Gentlemen, we need to strip away the things that we believe give us worth, status, glory (to man) and worship our Father who gives us life. Without him, we are, we have and we can do nothing.

In Matt Redman’s book, “The Unquenchable Worshipper”, the chapter call Undignified Worshipper, he tells of the Hebrew word “hallal”, where we get the word, Hallelujah! Hallal means to clamorously foolish or mad (crazy) before the Lord. Redman goes on to say….isn’t it time we saw a little more Holy ‘mayhem’ in our worship.
To answer the question of a little girl that came to church with us a few weeks ago….”why do you guys raise your hands when you sing?”….. it may be an undignified, foolish or crazy looking action…. But it’s the response some of us have when the Holy Spirit inhabits the praises of his people.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Slippery Slope

The Digression
8 Saul was very angry
9 And from that time on Saul kept a jealous eye on David.
10 The next day an evil spirit from God came forcefully upon Saul….he raved in the midst of the house (feigning prophecy)
11 Saul hurled the spear at David
12 Saul was afraid of David

You know, to see Saul’s digression is very real. In lesser forms it take place and manifests itself as jealousy or envy….but those too can become footholds for Satan. Satan fooled Saul into believing that the enemy wasn’t the Philistines, his own sin or Satan himself….but that the enemy was David.

I had a friend…who I saw this same pattern in. It’s very sad when there is someone who loves the Lord, who is in sin…and they no longer see their sin as the issue. They then will deflect the real issue (the sin) and now the source of all their pain and problems is someone else.

My friend no longer sought counsel from the one’s who loved him the most, he no longer prayed about his own areas of weakness and lastly he rejected the prayers of those who offered them.

I go back to Alex’s (Barney Fife’s) ‘nip it in the bud’ theology. You go back to the root, and there was a point in time, a decision that was made, that sin took hold. And much like a weed…you can’t just run over it with a lawnmower. There are roots. You must root out the sin.

I think Satan loves the little sins….its where he is ignored, glossed over, rationalized. More times that not though….the little sins lead to bigger sin. If you are called out on a little sin….pride (a sin) rears its head and a lie (to cover the little sin).

Friday, October 24, 2008

Mighty to Save

We’ve all heard the story of David and Goliath a million times, each time a pastor or teacher will come from a different angle;

Why was David’s brother angry with him when he heard him asking about the Giant? Was he jealous? Was he being protective?

Why did David pick up 5 stones? Did he not trust God? Was David just prepared in case God decided to use stone 2,3,4 or 5…why not 6?

When I think about David and Goliath…lately I think about the movie ‘Troy’, the opening scene. Except with less sex and drinking.

I also think about the song by Casting Crowns, Voice of Truth

Oh, what I would do
to have the kind of strength it takes
To stand before a giant
with just a sling and a stone
Surrounded by the sound
of a thousand warriors
shaking in their armor
Wishing they'd have had the strength to stand

But the giant's calling out
my name and he laughs at me
Reminding me of all the times
I've tried before and failed
The giant keeps on telling me
time and time again
"Boy you'll never win,
you'll never win."

But the voice of truth tells me a different story
the voice of truth says "do not be afraid!"
and the voice of truth says "this is for my glory"
Out of all the voices calling out to me
I will choose to listen and believe the voice of truth

But today I noticed…and I’m sure it’s been preached on, but like Brandon said yesterday…the thing that stands out like its in bold print to me… one line, not even a whole verse;

1 Samuel 17:47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves

What blows me away, is that the Israelites…time and time again, throughout scripture are reminded, that the Lord’s mighty arm can save, and He chooses to save, through faith not sword. Yet, they rejected Christ, who came to save, without ever raising a sword, or lifting a hand (other than to help and heal).
God may your people some day…come to know you…and put faith in Your ways. May it all make sense…. and in your timing, bring them back into your fold.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fill me

1 Samuel 16:14 Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him.
Did God send an evil spirit, as the passage says to torment Saul?
Believe it or not, this gives me comfort to think yes….God sent an evil spirit to torment Saul. Why? Because I know He is Lord over all.
Keeping in mind God’s Sovereignty, we must know, God rules over all, good and bad. He uses all of his world to carry out His will. This includes angels…and yes, even Satans minions. Remember in Mark 5, he had “Legion” cast out of the man there and forced “Legion” into the pigs.
When God removed his hand (Spirit) from Saul, he was subject to the whims of Satan. And in his Sovereignty, acted with authority over the evil spirit.

Psalm 81:8-12
8 "Hear, O my people, and I will warn you—if you would but listen to me, O Israel!
9 You shall have no foreign god among you; you shall not bow down to an alien god.
10 I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of Egypt. Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.
11 "But my people would not listen to me; Israel would not submit to me.
12 So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.

I think God wants to fill each and every one of us….he needs us to subject ourselves to Him. He does not forcefully take over. In David’s case, he was hand picked (elected) by God, and His Spirit came upon him. But there are still choices to make. As we know about David, he wrestles with God and his own flesh…..

God, continue to fill me with Your Spirit. Correct me before I am given over to my stubborn heart.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Murderous Sacrifice

After doing battle with the Amalekites, Saul is confronted by Samuel….who tells him, the Lord is removing his hand from his kingship….since he rejected the word of the Lord, and didn’t destroy every living thing….he kept the best of the sheep and cattle and kept the king of the Amalekites alive.

Saul’s weak argument was they would make sacrifices with the best of the plunder to which Samuel answered;
"Does the LORD delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the voice of the LORD ? 

As a parent, I would much rather have an obedient child than I would a repentant (or ‘sorry’) child.

God gives specific instructions for his glory…the need for sacrifice is reserved for times when we fall short.

At some point the offerings (like the “I’m sorry’s”) become not only meaningless, but detestable….

In Isaiah 1:13 Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations— I cannot bear your evil assemblies. 14 Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts my soul hates. They have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. 15 When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide my eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood;

21 See how the faithful city has become a harlot! She once was full of justice; righteousness used to dwell in her—but now murderers!

Isaiah points out that sacrifice without repentance is murder! Now place Christ on that cross, and think about the times we have used that forgiveness without being repentant!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Shift of Power

1 Samuel 14:6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, "Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few."

I love the boldness and courage this move took, or maybe it just itch that Jonathon HAD to scratch. God had laid it on Jonathon’s heart to act on His behalf. This is total dependence on God, because Jonathon knew they were outnumbered, they were in an inferior position for battle (crawling up a mountain) yet Jonathon trusted the Lord to deliver.

Monday, October 20, 2008


Samuel just a few chapters ago told Saul;

1 Samuel 10:8 And thou shalt go down before me to Gilgal; and, behold, I will come down unto thee, to offer burnt offerings, and to sacrifice sacrifices of peace offerings: seven days shalt thou tarry, till I come to thee, and shew thee what thou shalt do.

Then when Samuel arrived;

1 Samual 13:11 "What have you done?" asked Samuel. 
 Saul replied, "When I saw that the men were scattering, and that you did not come at the set time, and that the Philistines were assembling at Micmash, 12 I thought, 'Now the Philistines will come down against me at Gilgal, and I have not sought the LORD's favor.' So I felt compelled to offer the burnt offering."

Though Samuel had given complete instruction, Saul went against what the Lord had commanded and did what at first glance seemed appropriate. He offered a sacrifice to the Lord, though he was neither a priest or a prophet. Old testament law stated that common people could bring a sacrifice to the Lord, yet only priest could perform the sacrifices.
Why would Saul do this? Why would he go against what the prophet Samuel had told him?
He was scared
He thought some sort of sacrifice would win him favor
He wanted to appear ‘religious’ for his followers to trust him.
Maybe Saul felt that if he could just ‘pull off’ this sacrifice, he would find favor with God, that God would somehow bless this mess he had created.

Matthew Henry’s commentary suggests “Men destitute of inward piety, often lay great stress on the outward performances of religion”

How many times have you (or someone you know) prayed that if God would just get him out of this really really bad situation, they would NEVER do it again. When was the last time they prayed? Or when was the last time they even showed up in church? Probably the last time they were in a jam….like God is some magical genie, who gives us wishes…when we show up at his house. MH nails it when he says those “destitute of piety” rely on “outward performance”. Destitute means; lacking the means to live; totally impoverished. I think the fact that we even try to earn favor…shows how destitute we really are. Its like when the Homeless Guys tell us, they will do something (anything) for those cheeseburgers….they have nothing to offer of real value…. Just words.

Lastly, the fact that the Israelites were fighting with farm implements all lay at the feet of Saul. He had ruled for 3 years now, and were still without blacksmiths. A small oversite for a king who has now wakend the Philistine army with Jonathon’s attack.

So much for Israel’s thought that a king would solve all of their problems.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Tangible Kingdom

I have always held the idea that growth meant discipleship and depth...when it really doens't. One of the stats I recently heard, was that 90% of church growth is 'transfer growth' (from other churches) and those people will stay until the next newest sanctuary opens...or next great program starts...we arent winning souls, because we dont care about our neighbors. Our hearts arent broken for them. If we truly loved our neighbors as ourselves....we would spend half of our money on them....right? WE dont, because we dont care...and the church doenst either.

The Kingdom of God---on earth isnt merely church programs, bible studies and megachurches. It isnt just a great worship service...I believe and have seen that the Kingdom happens when deeds are done. James 2:15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. 16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; (**or we have a bible study for you**) keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? 17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Jesus talks in Matthew .... Sheep and the where in there do i see a thing about bible study. God isnt impressed or weigh that for salvation....he wants to see the evidences of our salvation, did we love others, did we feed the homeless, clothe the naked, visit those in prison, care for the elderly, take in the sick.

I have begun reading books (along with daily scripture) that come from a different perspective than mine...and I have a short list of books that all people/believers should read;
Irresistible Revolution-Shane Claiborne (wrecked my ideas of church)
They Love Jesus Not the Church (shifted some paradigms)
unchristian (broke my heart)
Tangible Kingdom (turned the way we do church on its ear)

Jesus wasnt scared of sin or sinners, so why then are we (the church)scared? We dont associate with sinners, have them for dinner, go to school with them, love them, hang out with Jesus did. Why do we play defense when we should be on offense....the gates are around hell....not the Kingdom of God. Gates are the defensive posture...we should Conspiring, collaborating and create (with other believers)opportunities to attack the gates of hell. More times than not...we retreat (a defensive word) with other believers, we 'hide' God's word, or 'defend' our faith. We have gone from a people who proclaim their people who protect themselves.

The Kingdom of God is the Good News that the reign of Christ is breaking into the world, starting to restore all of his creation, so that it will be on it is in heaven.
I have started to think, what does the Kingdom look like to;
Homeless guys
Gay men and women
Wealthy men
High School Kids
Drug Addicts
and Single moms needing diapers

it may be a hamburger and a place to stay, unconditional love, a place to use your gifts and money, somewhere fun and challenging, free counseling or an HEB card. It looks different to different people. As a church we are trying to empower our people to engage others. To walk around like there is no crisis....doenst make the crisis any less real. We want to Expose our people to the CRISIS, let them EXPERIENCE the crisis...then they will ENGAGE.

In the Book 'Tangible Kingdom' there is a line...that i cant shake and I'll leave you with this,
go to Africa and hang out with a village of starving children, you'll get a heart for starving African children. If you hang out with the mentally ill, you'll get a heart for the emotionally imbalanced. If you want a heart for people outside the've got to be with them. As they grab your heart, your posture will change, your angle of approach will change, and the kingdom of God will be a little more tangible.

Friday, October 17, 2008


1 Samuel 12: 21 Do not turn away after useless idols. They can do you no good, nor can they rescue you, because they are useless.

Wheat harvest was a time of year that there usually was no rain. So Samuel calling upon the Lord and Him producing rain was an awesome thing. Samuel made the point that the same God who you people (Israel) just slighted…and demanded a fleshly king, is the one who controls the weather the rain…and no earthly king can do this.

He is basically warning them, that the king they just crowned is far less powerful and useless than the God who continually bails them out, when they have repented, as a people in the past. The Israelites wanted a king so bad…that the possibility of raising him up and worshiping him was great.

I was left wondering what useless idols I have in my life. What things do I rely on more than God……what things make him jealous? What do I spend more of my time doing that I do worshipping God? What or who do I trust more than God? I have to be honest…. God may be jealous of my reliance on Brandon. I trust Brandon, I have even said…”I don’t know that I would have followed anyone else into ministry”…and although those are heartfelt….. God wants my reliance on him. Brandon, a great pastor, a great leader, and a great friend….did not breathe life into me, nor has he saved me. So perspective is maybe the point here. God doesn’t want all of our affections…he just wants ALL of our worship. (where is the line?)

God forgive me for misplaced worship. Whether its things, money, or people… I want to love you more, rely on you more and trust you more. Teach me, through your word how to do that.

Brandon, you are not a useless idol…..but you get it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Different Person

1 Samuel 10:6 The Spirit of the LORD will come upon you in power, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person.
1 Samuel 11:6 When Saul heard their words, the Spirit of God came upon him in power, and he burned with anger.
Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

As I walked through these chapters this a.m., I was struck that the Spirit of God, came upon Saul. Not that I didn’t think that Holy Spirit was an old testament thing, but that I had never drawn the correlation between the above scriptures.

I like the fact that 1 Samuel 10 says that you will become a different person.

This is really true. The leanings and promptings of the Spirit, aren’t necessarily the ‘things’ the old you would do, in our flesh. I really think that we open ourselves more to the Holy Spirit, as we seek his Kingdom in service, others, and His Word.

I cannot think of a scenario when I would give another person, group or whatever, a car (or van). But the Holy Spirit prompted Pete, a friend of Brandon’s and mine, to do just that for ANC. The crazy thing about it is…..Pete was so in tuned with the Holy Spirit, that he bought the van without a good reason, sensing God was telling him to do it.
Brandon and I have been talking for months about a van, and how cool it would be to pick up homeless guys and bring them to church. Brandon one day emailed Pete to get his phone number, and Pete told me later that he wondered as he read the email….”I wonder if Brandon needs a 15 passenger van”.

I think the Holy Spirit also opens our eyes, both physically and spiritually. I have been aware of the homeless populations existence, but not aware of the crisis. Now, it seems, God places these folks in my way….and I am constantly stretched to help, aid and love these people.

Benjamin, walked up to me at Starbucks in Corpus last week…..and made his crisis known. The Holy Spirit led me to meet a couple of practical needs and I spent a couple of hours (I had not scheduled) hanging out with, buying prescriptions for, and making phone calls and getting him to the best shelter.

I pray the Holy Spirit continues to make into a new person. I want to be the guy who hears the Spirit and responds. The person I am today, is different from the person who came to Austin a year ago….and I know it’s all about the journey…and what a journey it is!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Scattered Asses

1 Samuel 9:3b So Kish said to his son Saul, "Take now with you one of the servants, and arise, go search for the donkeys."

6He said to him, "Behold now, there is a man of God in this city, and the man is held in honor; all that he says surely comes true Now let us go there, perhaps he can tell us about our journey on which we have set out."

8The servant answered Saul again and said, "Behold, I have in my hand a fourth of a shekel of silver; I will give it to the man of God and he will tell us our way."

God’s plan and provision left to chance? Saul could select ANY one of the servants, yet he selected this one, this servant who knew of the ‘seer’, this servant who knew to ask the seer for direction, and this servant who had an offering.

I laughed this morning at the plan of God unfolding. Samuel was told to look for a man, the man’s physical characteristics, where he would be, and what he would be looking for. It clearly wasn’t Samuels plan unfolding, and the fact that he was a prophet had little to do with the fact that God scattered donkeys to make this appointment happen.

Samuel didn’t feel that Israel needed a king, yet when directed by God, he set out to find God’s man, treat him to a party, and give him the direction and word God wanted to have.

Scattered Donkeys, Servant Leader, Seer, Offering = King

Brandon reminded us of this verse on Sunday…..but I think it fits here as well…..For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Does My Deed Line up with My Creed?

1 Samuel 8:1 When Samuel grew old, he appointed his sons as judges for Israel. 2 The name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second was Abijah, and they served at Beersheba. 3 But his sons did not walk in his ways. They turned aside after dishonest gain and accepted bribes and perverted justice.

Guys, I couldn’t get past the first few verses. As dads, we are trying to live the life God has called us to….but this is a reminder that we only have one shot with our sons. Unfortunately, we cannot instill our faith in them. They must eventually live their own faith. I know Samuel wanted his sons to embrace his faith. Joels name means “The Lord is God” and Abijah means “My Father is the Lord”.
No doubt Samuel taught and trained his boys according to Proverbs 23:6, “Train a child in the way he should go.” But we must remember, we are accountable for our own walks. Romans 14:10-12 says “… For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. It is written: ‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, ‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.’ So, then, each of us will give an account of himself to God.”

I have seen too many times, Godly men, who lose touch with their boys….either from their selfishness, ambition, or just plain ignorance. The charge to me this morning is simple, let my deed line up with my creed… so that my son (and daughter) sees that my faith is real… and worth putting faith in, what I put faith in.

And when all else fails pray.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

1 Samuel 1-7 (Catching up)

This is just an amazing story of recognition of the Lord’s provision. Hannah, was a woman who was so loved by her husband that even though she could not have children, he loved her even more. He honestly didn’t care whether she could have children or not. Hannah’s desire to provide her husband with a son, was secondary to her desire to have a son that served the Lord.
She continued to seek God…she didn’t grow hard, or mad, or worry….she just kept seeking God, and praying. She begged God for a son…to serve in the temple. She devoted him to service even before his birth.
When the Lord finally gave her a son, she didn’t forget her promise
1 Samuel 1:27 I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him. 28 So now I give him to the LORD. For his whole life he will be given over to the LORD." And he worshiped the LORD there.

1 Samuel 3:7 Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD : The word of the LORD had not yet been revealed to him.
I was thinking about the message Jen gave about the sheep knowing the shepherds voice. Each shepherd had a call that was VERY recognizable to the sheep….even individual sheep would have a certain call, that was specific to them. Samuel who had been serving in the temple, had not yet heard the voice of God or known what it would sound like because;
1 Samuel 1:1b In those days the word of the LORD was rare; there were not many visions.
But because of his faithfulness with the word of God….
1 Samuel 3:21 The LORD continued to appear at Shiloh, and there he revealed himself to Samuel through his word.

In chapter 4 Eli’s sons were killed in battle, as the lord had told Samuel, Eli died because he was heavy and old and he fell off his chair when he heard that the Ark had been captured by the Philistines.

The Philistines places the Ark (where God dwelled) in Dagons temple. Dagon was the god of choice for the Philistines. They came to pay homage to him.
1 Samuel 5:3 When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4 But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained.

Eventually after being assed from tribe to tribe…the Philistines decided it would be better to return the Ark to the Israelites than to risk being killed by the God of the Israelites.

1 Samuel 7:12 Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, "Thus far has the LORD helped us." 13 So the Philistines were subdued and did not invade Israelite territory again.

This verse was captured in a Hymn (Come thou Fount) we sing from time to time.
Here I raise my Ebenezer;

Here by Thy great help I’ve come;

And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,

Safely to arrive at home.

Ebenezer was known, or named this because it was the stone of help. It memorialized God helping the Israelites, and literally means, “thus far, God has led us”.
When we sing the old hymn, we should understand we are acknowledging God help in our own lives.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Missio Intensive

Just got back from Denver yesterday from the Missio Intensive Conference. These are the guys that wrote the book, Tangible Kingdom. I came back with a few new perspectives on the church...and figured I better write them down before I forget them.

Lots of people in the pews who go to church...but dont know why. We need to move them from that position to;
I'm willing to lay down my life for the Kingdom of God.

Offense vs. Defense
As a church culture, we have largely become defensive in the way we do church. The way we 'defend' our faith, or 'hide' the word in our hearts. Not to mention 'home school' and the "Christian Bubble' (which really does exist).
Why do we circle the wagons and try to keep sin out of church, out of our homes, and out of our school environments. Jesus was never scared or put off by a matter of fact, he ate with sinners, partied with sinners, and was friends and teacher to sinners. Yet we have closed off our world to them.
We know, that the gates of Hell will not overcome the Kingdom of why do we act like they are. What have gates EVER overcome...nothing, they are defensive.
Offensive- Conspire (against the gates of Hell), Collaborate, and Create (means by which to have victories over hell)

Our generation is crying for relief from the system we have created.

4 Paradigm shifts
How to vs Want to- people dont share there lives and ultimately Christ, because they dont want to. Its inconvenient, its messy, it involves being selfless instead of selfish.
Coming to Going- we've always just opened the door and people came to church. But we are a sent people. We need to be going.
Protection to Proclamation- see above Offense vs.Defense
Relevance to Influence- use our relevance to influence people.

Church people are different than kingdom people- see the 80-20 rule.

3 E's
Expose- to the crisis via seeing, testimony and participation
Experience-getting hands dirty
Engage-once we've been exposed to and experienced the need...we are more likely to become engaged and even champion a cause.

As a church, ANC has been and will continue to push the 3 E's. There are needs and crisis all around us, we just need to need to know where to look, know that it is okay to help, and just be willing to jump in and try...even if that means failing.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Great Lineage

Ruth4:17 The women living there said, "Naomi has a son." And they named him Obed. He was the father of Jesse, the father of David.

It’s amazing yet not surprising that God intertwined these people of great character, and from the end (or the beginning), created the lineage of David and in turn Jesus. I think it’s a great reminder of God’s Sovereignty. God took a man, Boaz….and thrust him into the lineage of Jesus, because he did the ‘right’ thing.

I read that Ruth being a Moabite was under a curse; Deut.23:3 No Ammonite or Moabite or any of his descendants may enter the assembly of the LORD, even down to the tenth generation.
And that the ‘unnamed redeemer’ was powerless to save Ruth. He represents the LAW. And the ten witnesses represent the 10 commandments.

Ruth was basically redeemed by Grace. Isn’t it amazing the continuing theme of Grace that runs through the entire bible and points again and again to Jesus and His plan of ultimate redemption.