Filed under: Relevant Rants, River Happenings | Tags: baptism, change, real
This past Sunday was absolutely invigorating (check out the podcast here if you missed it).
I could really sense the spirit of God in the auditorium. What. Whoa. Don’t think I’m talking about a hard-to-understand “churchey” concept. It may sound strange, but it’s true. God was there. There can be no other way to explain how the elements we plan for a Sunday come together the way they do.
Let’s take baptisms for example.
They were UNBELIEVABLE. I shared a last month my regret about not finding a way to allow people who decide spontaneously to get baptized. Well, we made arrangements and people responded to the call. They responded to the prompting from God.
That’s just cool. People are being obedient to what God and the Bible says.
Mark 16:16: Anyone who believes and is baptized will be saved.
It’s about letting people know externally, what’s happening internally. Baptism makes it so fresh, alive, real and emotional. It’s simply real people talking about a real god, making real changes in life.
I don’t care who you are…. if you’re far away from God or close to God. When genuine people share about what a real God is doing in their lives, it’s so impactful. I love it.
This entire series led up to this point from loving God and making the proper impression on those around you, but talking about the RIGHT things. To tying reminders on each other’s wrists to remind us how we should be living. To weaving together with God through a commitment like baptism.
Wow. It was an honor to be a part of it!
What about you? Do you need to respond to a nudge from God?
Michigan is feeling a bit … uh… unpredictable with the weather this week.
Part of the beautify of this season in particular is it helps us appreciate the warmth of the spring and summer (though someone will complain about the heat too!).
While we’re on a wild weather ride, and we have to take advantage of it. Similarly, we have to take EVERY opportunity to use what’s happening in front of us to evaluate our lives. If not, people can become cold, disconnected, blame others instead of looking at ourselves.
I will NEVER get tired of seeing lives change as a result of this kind of evaluation. I love to see couples going through difficult times make tough decisions and come together. I’ll never get tired of seeing a person leave poor destructive behavior and begin a new life.
As a church it’s not about disseminating knowledge, its about being made aware of the life changing message of Christ and all of us – me included – responding.
Life change. Seasonal change. I’ll never get tired of it… even though it may be difficult, in my life too.
Filed under: Relevant Rants, River Happenings | Tags: challenge, change, River
As a result, I began to think about who I am and who God wants me to be. When it comes down to it, because of my nature of wanting to see people grow and believe it or not with my extrovert-ish personality, I just want people to like me.
There I said it, whew!
When God is moving a person to change, it can be uncomfortable. When God is nudging me to think more about what I am in his reflection than in others… that can be uneasy.
Similarly, I think we’re that kind of church at The River on 59. We’re a change, challenge kind of church. People who don’t want to will feel uncomfortable around me and at The River. It’s not the place to stare at your navel and pick out the lint… because let’s be honest, gross.
We celebrate Christ and the great things we’re seeing as a result.
Change isn’t easy… some people don’t want to change. I can’t convince anyone to change. It’s an act of will. It’s God speaking to them. If someone feels the nudge of change and hides from it… it’s sad to me.
Change can be a pain! But I can’t ask and encourage other people to change if I’m not willing to do so myself.
As we grow at The River, for example, I have to be more focused on planning ahead. For some, the change in me may not be quick enough. Sometimes I fight change and want to do things my way.
That’s self centered! Change in Christ always creates a better person.
What change is God speaking to you about in your life?
… but this message won’t self destruct. In fact, the message is the challenge.
I’ve been offering up challenges from the stage for a while now. Why?
It’s because of the people behind the feedback I receive. I got a note just this morning from an individual who said:
“I’m taking the challenges of the week and reading God’s word. It’s helping in a way I never thought as possible.”
Why is that? God’s word changes people. It’s changing me. Every time I read scripture I get something new out of it; even if I’ve read the same chapter 100 times. If you mull over the word you can’t help but be changed.
Are you reading Mark 9 this week?
I’ve been on a lot of planes lately. As you know, I just got back from Africa and now I’m driving through the mountains of North Carolina.
It’s going to happen. We’re all going to go through tough times. The issue is how you traverse it or get through it. The answer is to do it with God.
What we need today is people who stop giving into the temptations of life with its ebbs and flow. Are you prepared to be one of those people? You do it by living with and for Christ.
The constant in your life needs to be life not the circumstances of life. The way we deal with the ebbs and flows is to keep Christ central and keep the focus on him and only him.
Regardless of if we’re up or down there’s somewhere in you an enthusiasm of knowing we can get through it. How about you?