Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Cross

From The Valley of Vision

May the cross be to me
as the tree that sweetens my bitter Marahs,
as the rod that blossoms with life and beauty,
as the brazen serpent that calls forth the look of faith.

By thy cross crucify my every sin;
Use it to increase my intimacy with thyself;
Make it the ground of all my comfort,
the liveliness of all my duties,
the sum of all thy gospel promises,
the comfort of all my afflictions,
the vigour of my love, thankfulness, and graces,
the very essence of my religion;

And by it give me that rest without rest,
the rest of ceaseless praise.

Time, part 2 - Role of a Disciple

This is the second installment of a series on time. Today, we are exploring the role of disciple. As a Christian, my primary allegiance is to Jesus. I believe it is this allegiance and loyalty that defines the parameters for all the other roles.

The word "disciple" means learner. It begins by hearing and heeding the call of Jesus to "follow him"  (Luke 9:23-26).

Therefore, part of the time investment is "learning" from Jesus and about Jesus so that we live like Jesus - following his example as the one who lived in complete communion with the Father. It is time listening to him and learning from him (Luke 10:38-42).

John 15:1-8 is a significant passage that helps us understand the value of time invested in listening to Jesus as his follower. One of the main phrases in this section is "abide in" Christ. It is remaining in him - consciously and intentionally being mindful of our identity as one of his disciples and being faithful to his teaching, mission, and example.

It is the abiding in Christ, walking in the Spirit, and being filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) that informs and instructs the investment of our time, particularly as we prioritize listening to Jesus and obeying his leading through the Word and the Spirit as it permeates all parts of our life.

In what ways are we listening to Jesus, sitting at his feet, learning and then following?

I heard one report claim that 40% of those who claim to be born again do not read their bibles between Sundays---I guess expecting "one meal" on Sunday to last them all week. How's our spiritual diet?

My time invested in "listening to Jesus" affects the other roles that God has given to me as husband, father, and pastor. Though Jesus was a very busy man in 3 and 1/2 years of ministry, he "always" listened to his Father. In fact, that was his food; doing the Father's will. He was never out of sync because he was always in sync with His Father.

Next up: role as husband

Friday, March 16, 2012


I am always one who is looking for tools and tricks to help me be a better steward of my time ---- to help me invest my time more wisely and not waste my time. I like to find ways to integrate technology of all kinds into being a better steward----hopefully something simple and easy to use. I try to stay away from anything that looks complicated.

I want to be effective at doing the right things---not efficient at doing the wrong things. My aim is faithful stewardship within the roles that God has given to me.

Therefore, I like routine and habit. I'm sure some of my affinity for those things comes from my four years as a structured math teacher.

Ephesians 5:15-17

So, what are my roles?

I believe they are four:
1. Disciple
2. Husband
3. Father
4. Pastor/teacher (I know that really isn't a title, but a calling within my call as a disciple of Jesus)

Over the next four posts, I want to explore each of these within the framework of faithful stewardship.
What roles has God given you? How do you fit into the every member ministry of your local congregation of Christians?

I pray that you will explore this with me as we all seek to be faithful stewards.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


In preparing for Sunday's gathering with the church, I came across this quote:

"The church is never a place, but always a people; never a fold but always a flock; never a sacred building but always a believing assembly. The church is you who pray, not where you pray. A structure of brick or marble can no more be a church than your clothes of serge or satin can be you."

Wow! A call back to the NT...

Monday, March 5, 2012

3 Ds of a Christian

Yesterday with the church, we examined Luke 9:23 as we began a series of "Following Jesus to the Cross." We looked at the 3 Ds of what it means to be a Christian, a follower of Jesus.

First, there is denial - "let him deny himself" - this is a deliberate turning away from a self-centered orientation to living

Second, there is death - "take up his cross daily" - death to ourselves, our sins, our pride, our kingdoms, our ambitions

Third, there is devotion - "and follow me" - allegiance, loyalty, singleness of heart

Everyone who is born again will have an inclination for and a disposition toward this kind of discipleship. This is what saving, radically transforming grace does in the conversion of a person from death unto life.

And, in the words of Kyle Idleman, are you a fan or a follower?