Do you need God?
Posted: Feb 28, 2011 in Uncategorized | 1 Comment |

We as Christians have our own language.  There are certain words or phrases we say that those who are not Christ followers simply don’t understand.  Words or phrases like sanctification, you need to get saved and I have a case of the Holy Ghost goose bumps.  A phrase that many Christians say quite often is the phrase, “I need God to show up.”

That phrase sounds well and good.  I have said it many times and have meant it from the bottom of my heart.  Being a Christ follower is both simple and complicated at the same time.  It is simple because it’s all about grace.  We can’t earn forgiveness.  Christ paid for that on the cross.  All we need to do is ask Jesus to come into our heart and when we do that, the Bible says that He is faithful and just to forgive us from EVERY sin.  Being a Christ follower is complicated when we get into the dying to ourselves portion of Christianity.

Jesus had some pretty harsh words for his disciples in regards to this subject.  If you are a Christ follower today, he was talking just as much to you as he was the disciples when He said in Luke 9:23:

“Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.”

What that means in a nutshell is that my life is no longer my own.  Grace is free, but truly following Christ will cost you everything.  Jesus may not speak to your heart tonight to sell everything that you own and give it to some missionary in Uganda.  But what if He does?  Are we so dedicated to serving God that no matter what He asks us to do, we will do it?  I am convinced that a large portion of the Christian population today is not taking up their cross and following Christ as it was intended.  Sure we all have burdens to bear.  The problem is we can’t call paying our bills, getting along with our in-laws, getting yelled at by our boss, dealing with a problem child or paying $3.48 a gallon for gas taking up our cross. Why you may ask?  Because everyone, not just Christ followers have those burdens to bear.

If you want Jesus to have a nice little cozy part of your life that doesn’t cost you a whole lot, you don’t need God to show up in order to accomplish that.  You don’t need God to show up in your life if all you want to get out of Christianity is the sense of feeling better about yourself by showing up to church once a week.  I know that sounds a bit harsh. To be honest, there are people that live those kinds of lives that we will probably see in Heaven.  They asked Christ to forgive them.  They prayed the prayer.  They give.  They serve the church.  But isn’t being a Christ follower supposed to be more than that?  Isn’t it my duty every single day as a follower of Christ to be submitted more to His Lordship instead of my own feelings?

If you dedicate your life to serving Jesus wholeheartedly, you definitely need God to show up for that one.  Why you may ask?  Because you don’t possess the ability to accomplish that by yourself.  Only the Holy Spirit can give you the ability to be more like Christ every day.  I want to be the kind of man that can authentically say “I want to be more like Christ today than I was yesterday.”   And if I want to be more like Christ, that means I need to be less like Corey.  Yes, God has given me a unique personality that he wants to use for His glory.  But He wants to add His super to my very natural to see supernatural things happen.

Just something to think about………

With Expectancy!

Corey

corey@firstassemblywest.com


K.I.S.S.
Posted: Feb 8, 2011 in Uncategorized | No Comments |

First of all, my sincere apologies for my lack of blogging recently.  It recently occurred to me that the last time I blogged was the day before President Reagan said to Mikhail Gorbachev “Tear down this wall.”  I promise to get better at updating with more regularity!

This blog post has nothing to do with the band KISS.  It also has nothing to do with what a man gets to do to his wife upon being announced as husband and wife.  One of the sayings that I try and stick to every week as I prepare a message to speak to our group at West is taken from the acronym k.i.s.s. which stands for keep it simple stupid.  Now I am not an advocate for calling anyone stupid aside from myself of course.

I think we in Christian circles have made being a Christian WAY to complicated.  It is said that Jesus, apart from being an incredible man was also the most gifted teacher to ever walk this Earth.  He was not flamboyant or flashy.  He was practical.  He was simple.  One of the things that you are taught as a communicator is that in general, if your message is not able to be understood by someone with a 3rd grade education level, it will probably be difficult to understand.  Jesus used birds, flowers, and coins.  He drew in the sand, spit in mud and played with fishing nets.  Jesus spent the majority of His time with simple people.  And the message of those simple people transformed the world.  The message of Christianity is very elementary.

We are sinners and need a savior.  Christ came to be that savior for us.  Our message as Christians is to figure out how to tell that story in the simplest, most easy way to understand possible.  I have absolutely nothing against doctorate degrees and learning the original Greek and Hebrew.  I think all of us should endeavor every day to learn more about God and what He wants to teach us on that particular day.  But the BILLIONS of people in the world today who need to hear about the gospel are waiting for someone to explain the gospel to them in a way they can understand.

I am not a rocket scientist.  I don’t have a Master’s degree in theology.  I usually can’t watch jeopardy and get more than one or two questions right.  But I know that Jesus saved me.  I know that He is real.  I know that He is the answer that people are looking for.  I know that He has given me a mission to tell the world about Him.  Following God is very simple.  He told us what to do in His word.  He said we are to love Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and love our neighbor as ourselves.  If we in Christian circles would focus on that command, our churches would be exploding.  Maybe the answer we are looking for in churches is not as complicated as some may think.  Let’s keep it simple and make a difference for the kingdom.

With Expectancy!

Corey

corey@firstassemblywest.com