The Joy of It All. Is this thought Biblical?

Is it Biblical to say “the Son brought the Father Joy even as He was dying on the cross, because it showed Jesus’ love for man was the same as the Fathers. And as we become like Christ, through obedience to the Holy Spirit, we to can bring the Father joy as we love the world like Christ.”

Message Notes  The Joy of It All

Following His Lead

I try to live my life with my eyes fixed on Jesus Christ.  Everyday I want Drink Deeper of God’s love.  Everyday I want His love to flow through me and touch the lives and hearts of those around me.   The past couple months have been so hard.  As I am seeking God, desiring to be closer to Him, I felt that He was leading me to a place that I have never been.  

Sometimes following God’s lead is not easy. It is especially hard when following His lead means hurting those you love.  The past 3 years I have had the privilege of serving God as the Director of Student Ministries at The Open Door Church.  I have built many great relationships, with some awesome people.    I have seen God do  incredible things.  I have watched God’s love flow through me and into the lives and hearts of other.

 Following God into a deeper relationship is never easy,  but it’s extremely difficult to do when God challenges you to move away from the relationships where you have seen His love flow through you to them.  
But today, I am saying “Where You Lead Me I Will Follow”.  Today, I am saying I want to fall deeper in love with you God, even if that means moving away from a group of people I love and care deeply about. Today I have told THE OPEN DOOR CHURCH that I am officially resigning from my position as the Director of Student Ministries.   January 14th will be my last day as a part of The Open Door Church Staff.  

God has challenged me to follow His lead to the City of York, PA.  Here I will be joining the PATHWAY Community Church as their YAYA Pastor.  I will be the Pastor for the Youth And Young Adults.  Nicole and I are excited to be joining Pathway Community Church and their leadership team, but it is so bitter sweet.   

We will greatly miss the students, leaders, and people of THE OPEN DOOR CHURCH. We pray that no matter what happens in your life, you will join us in Following HIS LEAD as you drink deep of His love and allow it to flow through you to others.      

View jeremy’s resignation statement

Think Politics

I want to link to some political things for you to think about.  Both come from relevant magazine.  The first one is the interviews done at Saddleback Community Church in August.  It includes both Obama and McCain.   Watch the interviews here.  

The other is a great article that was written by the founder of Relevant Magazine.   I highly agree with the position taken in this article.  Leading the Charge.

Rejecting God’s Purpose

Right now I am reading through the book of Luke and Chapter 7 verse 29-30 brings up an interesting thought. Check it out.  29 (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, 30 but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)

The one group of people declare God as just, HAVING OBEYED GOD, and the other group (the religious Experts) reject the Purposes of God, because they did not obey God. Interesting.

So have you rejected God’s purpose for yourself?  Are you living for self or God and His Glory.  I gotta tell you that sometimes it is real hard to obey God.  Sometimes I wanna do my own thing.  Sometime I struggle to be odedient to what I know God wants me to do.

Jesus Loved him

I have heard this story a lot, but today, (with everything else that I have been thinking about lately) this verse struck me.

The passage is Mark 10:17-31.  Here a rich man comes to Jesus and asks “what must I do to inherit eternal life”?  I dont know about you but I would love for someone to just come out and ask me that.  I would love to tell them all about the love of Jesus, the Cross, Resurrection, and the hipe of Heaven. At first it appears that Jesus skips the question because He was called the wrong name.  The man called Jesus “good teacher” and Jesus says no one is good.  (Yesterday I talked to a man who believes Jesus was seperating Himself from God here.  He believes Jesus was simply a prophet not God and he used this passage as his proof text.)

So the guy says to Jesus that he in fact has been good.  He has kept all the commands. “Teacher, all these I have kept since I was a boy.”   Here is what gets me.

“Jesus looked at him and loved him.”

Jesus know that this man was not ready to let go of everything to follow Him. Jesus know that this man would not “make a decision” to die to self and live for Christ.  But “Jesus looked at him and loved him”.

Wow!!!  You know as I was talking to this guy yesterday, who know all about the Bible, it was so hard to simply love him.  I wanted him to believe like I do.  He believed in Jesus, and that He died on the cross for mans sin, but he didnt think Jesus was God.  He was Gods son, but not God.

This guy knocked on my door (he was looking for my neighbor) and then we stood in my drive way as he shared with me his beliefs.  I simply asked questions.  It was so hard to stand there and love.  I wanted to convince him what I believe.  Then I go into the house and read that “Jesus looked at him and loved him.”

Meeting their physical needs

I am still thinking about some of the thoughts I was challenged with from the book UnChristian. The fact that many people on the outside of “Christianity” feel that Christians really don’t love and care for them is eating me up. Partner that with the stuff I am reading in the Bible and it really hits my heart hard.

Let me start by saying, yesterday I went to visit two students that work at a inner city type of ministry here in Chambersburg. As I was visiting my heart broke for these kids. These kids, right here in our own back yard, are no different from the kids I met this summer in the Projects of Washington DC. They have the exact same issues. As I watched these kids interact with each other and the adults I began thinking:

How the heck is The Church going to reach these kids for Christ?
Many people inside The Church (Including Me) don’t have a clue how to make a difference in these kids lives.
What are these kids going to be like when they are teenagers?
Is there really hope for these kids?
How do the workers of Network Ministries do this day in and day out?

Then something great happened.  Later, I went out to my hammock to spend some time with God and do a little studying for upcoming messages. I sat a read Mark 7.  Let me say I have not studied this I was simply reading the story.

Jesus enters a house and there is a women there who’s daughter is demon possessed.   The women ask that Jesus drive out the demon.  Jesus responds “First let the children eat all they want…..”.

I simply stopped there and began to think about the Children from down town.  I believe sometimes the best way to show them the love of Jesus is to simply meet some of their physical needs. If they are hungry feed them.  If they are thirsty give them a drink.  If they need help with home work, help them.  If their parents need help learning English, teach them.

Maybe we focus too much of our time and attention on the Spiritual needs (which are real and need to be addressed), but forget to actually love and care for the people and their physical needs.  When Jesus sent out the 12 in Mark 6:12-13 they were to take care of both the Spiritual and the Physical needs.

I know some students that have been helping to feed the poor at a Church down town and they say that it is the highlight of their week.   Maybe we are missing it.  Maybe its time that we find ways to join with the ministries that are meeting peoples physical needs as well as their spiritual needs.
So what do you think?  Am I way off base here?  Is this passage talking about something totally different?  Would Jesus simply have them pray a pray and then leave them to struggle through life?

Living it

God is doing some real cool stuff right now in my own heart and I am stoked about it.  I just finished Matthew and now I am into Mark.  The stories of Jesus are amazing.  I have been trying to think a little deeper than surface level stuff in these stories.  The way Jesus responds to people.  The way he simply left the crowds to spend time alone.  And to think about the fact that Jesus after preaching the truth simply let those who did not want to beleive walk away.   I have enjoyed it.   

I also just finished reading UnChristian and man is my head spinning over that one.  If you combine reading UnChristian with the Gospels and the way Jesus lived, it really makes you think about the way you live out the Christian life.  

So after finishing UnChristian I was deciding between “IT” and “Living the Resurrection” and I decided to go with “Living the Resurrection”.  I really enjoy reading the writing of Eugene Peterson.  When I graduated High School I was not really into reading the Bible until I got ahold of Eugene Petersons translation “THE MESSAGE”.  It changed my life as I finally began to understand how the stories of the Bible related to my life in Christ.  I actually began to live it because I was falling in love with Him and His word.  

So….food for thought from  “Living the Resurrection”.

 Without wonder, we approach spiritual formation as a self-help project.  We employ techniques.  We analyze gifts and potentialities.  We set goals.  We assess progress.  Spiritual formation is reduced to cosmetics…..

Spiritual formation is distorted into moral workaholism or pious athleticism.”  

When we were children, we were in a constant state of wonder…
But gradually the sense of wonder gets squeesed out of us….
….when it does, it turns out that we have not so much been worshipping God as enlisting him as a trusted and valuable assistant.   

OUCH!!!  I want to live it.  I want to live out my love relationship with God.  I want Him to be the Center and Focus of my life not just some assistant or Santa Clause who I go to for WHAT I WANT.   

God help my lifestyle to be YOUR GLORY!!!