Sunday, April 29, 2012

So Walk

Colossians 2:6-8

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in him, rooted and built up in him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ

Paul has been talking here how although he had not been to Colossi he wanted them to succeed. As a pastor my biggest concern is for my flock to succeed in their walk with Christ. In my younger days I was more concerned with growth in numbers instead of the people that attended personal growth. God was able to change my outlook and it was a freeing experience. No longer does the number matter. Now I want to see growth in the ones who attend.
In these three short verses Paul gives us guidance on how we should walk. Four simple but very important points that will help us if we focus on them.

Rooted - cause to take root, become permanently fixed. The Greek here has action. It doesn't just mean to have roots, it means to cause to have roots. There are times in all of our lives that we have to do things to help us perform a certain way. Right now in my life I work as a contractor teaching the operators at Watts Bar Nuclear Plant. As a contractor I am just filling a gap till they get enough experienced operators to fill the instructor positions. When I first started working, I was not sure how much ownership I should take in what the operators learned in my classes. This is my first contractor job and it was all new to me. After a few weeks I felt I needed to be more rooted at Watts Bar. I did a simple thing that I had no ideal would help. I took a picture of my grandchildren to work with me for my office. Now the new place I was at seems like home. This one action helped me become rooted at Watts Bar. Are they some minor things you can do to help you become rooted where God has placed you? Yes try these:
-Take a job in the work where God has put you. Doesn't have to be a big job. Doesn't have to take a lot of time.
-Take interest in the people God has put you with. After church ask for more information about prayer request.
-Show up for a work day. Sweat seems to help grow roots.

Built up - Word suggest growth. If you are not growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ you need to change your walk. We all started out as babies and grew through toddler, yard ape, teen ager and young adult. The problem is some have been a Christian for 30 years and are still a babe in Christ.
-Study the word
-Pray with a hacking prayer

Established in faith - You are not born with the ability to have faith. I tell people don't let the first thing you trust God with be the life of your child. You must trust God with daily things, and work your way up to the life of a child. When do you have faith? If you are hurting and you ask God to heal you, does your faith start when the pain stops? No, you must believe when you ask, even if the pain is still present. Establish means make it happen. Faith is a choice.

Ways to be held Captive - In order to walk (move) we must not be held captive. Short list from these verses on ways this world will try to stop us from walking:
Philosophy (mans)
Human Tradition
Elemental Spirits

Sunday, April 22, 2012

What kind of mind should we have?

Philippians 2:1-10

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father

Paul instructs us to have one mind in these verses. The reason he gives is that we would be in full accord. You don't have to attend a church very long today to find out it is not in full accord. At least I have never attended one that was. Fairview Worship Center where I pastor nor is about as close as I have seen, but still once in a while discord will raise it ugly head. The things that cause trouble are the smallest most insunificant things. In then 5th verse Paul tells us how to have one mind. He said the one mind we should have is ours in Christ. In other words we all should think like Christ. As we look at a few points I want to give and I want you to think about to see a clear picture of the mind of Christ. We need to be car full to rightly devide the word of truth. Jesus was not simple minded, neither should we be simple minded. I would like to think our mind should be 8 lanes wide. We have to make sure we are in the right lane at all times. Let's look at three points concerning the mind of Christ, try to identify the outside lanes so we can make sure we are on the right freeway.

1. Jesus was not concerned about mans traditions.
----Women's position in Jesus's ministry
----Samaritans (good samaritan, women at well)
----Sinners (publican, tax collector)
2. Jesus keep all of God's traditions
----Dot and tittal of the law
----Atended service's at the Temple

1. Jesus understood the necessity of it
----Render to Caesar what is Caesar
----The deciples keep a money bag
2. Jesus understood God's economy was different.
----Cattle of 1000 hills
----Fed 5000 with a little boys lunch

1. Accepted the cross
2. King of Kings ( if you knew who you are talking to)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The First Year of Jesus's Ministery

Here is a chart form a book called "Jesus Christ The Greatest Life".

Notice the relationship between the Roman calendar and the Jewish calendar.
Let's look at John 2:13-22
In this passage Jesus clears the temple the first time. The clearing discussed in Mark 11:15-19 is believed to occured just before the crucifixion.
It had become custom for sellers to be at the temple, providing animals to be sacrificed. During the passover Jews would travel in from long distances and instead of bring in the unblemished of their floc. They would buy an animal to sacrifice. I'm sure they felt this was simpler than transporting an animal. Was this a violation of the law?
I remember a supervisor I had one time, that told me for important things if you have to ask the question is it right. You where wasting your time answering it.
How many things about Christianity do we try to simplify? I am all for keeping our walk with God fresh, but is it suppose to be easy?
Then there is the question of the money changers. Is it right to make a profit off of Gods work? I was watching one of the Holy channels the other day and a famous preacher was talking about a airport he built on his ranch to land his plane so he would not have to land at the local airport and drive home. I'am not going to answer this question here I want you to read this and you answer the question. I believe the man of God should be taken care of. That does not have to be by $ all the time. At my church people take care of things so I can "make tents" and have time for my family. I am well taken care of without $ changing hands. I would be afraid to make a vast profit from Gods work. If you make a profit form doing God's work I am not telling you that it is wrong. You need to decide for yourself.

Jesus words here is do not make my fathers house a house of trade. I have seen some go to an extreme and tell singers they could not sell CD's in the church, but would let them sell them in the parking lot. I'm not sure how that is different. Seems legalistic to me. This passage should make you think. This is one I will just raise the questions and let the Holy Spirit lead you.

The Bish

Sunday, April 15, 2012

When things are going wrong

Read James 4:1-10
When things are not going our way we tend to start complaining. What we should do is start exaiming ourself. Here James gives us five imperative verbs to help us do that very thing. If we would at these five areas our problems may not disappear, but they will get much easier to deal with. Here are the verbs with a definition:
Summit-accept or yield to a superior force; subject to a process; agree to refer to another for a decision. Verse 7 tells us to summit to God. Again if things are not going your way let God start making some decisions. You may be amazed  at the results.
Resist- to be in oppostition too; set oneself against. Again verse 7 tells us to resist the Devil. Man fell to sin in the garden. Because of that we all have fallen from the place God made us to sit at and have fellowship with him. Here James is telling us when Satan comes at us with that temptation we desire because of our fallen state to resist. Don't happily join in as we sometimes have done.
Draw- to move in space in reference to a known point; to make near. The uses of the greek here inply slowly as opposed to quickly.
Verse 8 tells us to draw near to God. The two easy ways to do that is Bible study and prayer. Daily Bible study has to start with reading the Bible daily. I have found daily reading will lead to daily study. The scripture tells us to pray continually. The greek there is the same word we get our word hacking from. Like in hacking cough. We should learn to pray about every thing like that hacking cough will not stop we need to not stop praying.
Cleanse- make clean; innocent
Verse 8 tells us to cleanse our hands. The innocent part of the definition struck me. If we can just keep our hands innocent our life would get better very quick.
Purify-to consecrate; to sanctify; ceremonial washing
Verse 8 tells us to purify our heart. We need to ask God to show us the things inside us we need to change. It is the work of sanctification, we all need it to improve our life's.
 Things just not going well for you. These five verbs will help.