Wednesday, February 20, 2013


What's it mean to "make disciples of all the nations?"

A disciple, defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is "one who accepts and assists in spreading the doctrines of another."

So, in that light, think of what it means to "make disciple of all the nations." It's not merely spreading the Word of God, spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ (the power for salvation unto the Gentiles), and leading others to Christ; it's teaching others to teach others. It means our faith should be viral.
A disciple is not merely a follower, but also a leader; a disciple leads others to Christ. Be a disciple, and make disciples of all the nations. Teach them not just to follow Christ, but to do as you do; teach them to spread the Gospel as well.

I've recently ordered a book and have high expectations for it. It's called "Multiply: Disciples Making Disciples," and it's by Francis Chan.
Hopefully it will live up to my hope.
Regardless, i know it's not about the size of any ministry i may be a part of, but my heart and motivation. If it's for personal glory, i have already failed--however, if it's for God's glory, to know Him better, to be able to relate to Him as a friend in this very room, then i am succeeding. If i touch His heart, and if He touches mine, if my life is as Christ and i am abundant in life and my death would be as personal gain, then i am succeeding.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Miracles . . .

In Matthew 12, Jesus heals a man who was blind, mute, and possessed by demons. It doesn't say how long it took this man to recover sight, but i'm assuming it was rather instant.

In Matthew 15, crowds brought the lame, crippled, blind, etc., and set them at Jesus' feet. It says He healed them. It doesn't say how long, it merely says that He healed them.

In John 9, however, there's a variation. People thought this particular man or his parents had sinned, as he was born blind. Jesus said “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him." This man was born blind for the purpose of becoming an example of God's ability to heal later in his life.
Not only this, there was action, though minor, required by this man. He had to go to a certain pool and wash his eyes. After that, he was healed. This strikes me as an act of faith; he could've just touched this man, said "be healed" and it be done. But no. The blind man had to keep the mud in his eyes and wash it out in that specific pool. If i were blind and someone spit in some dirt and put the mud from it in my eyes, i'd probably think they were crazy and wipe it off as soon as possible. But this required a demonstration of faith.

In Luke 18:35-43, He heals one such man who was a beggar. He told the man “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” It also says the man received his sight immediately.
"Receive your sight," He said. This man's faith in Jesus healed him. But the way Jesus commanded him, it was as though the man had sight within his grasp, he merely had to take hold of it. And Jesus told him to, so he did, and he could see that very moment.

There's a woman mentioned in Luke 8 who had a discharge of blood for 12 years. She'd spent all her money on trying to be healed by doctors, but none could help her. She approached Jesus and told herself, “If I touch even his garments, I will be made well.”
She had enough faith in Jesus that she believed touching His very clothes would be enough to heal her when every physician she could ever afford had been unable to. And her faith was fulfilled, seeing as she was healed the moment she touched his garment.
This is what i find interesting; Jesus had people swarming Him, and the NIV even says "the crowds almost crushed Him." He wasn't merely surrounded, He was being mobbed; people pressing against Him and crowding Him. When she did touch His garment, He asked who touched Him. Peter responded with “Master, the crowds surround you and are pressing in on you!”
If you were the reason a crowd had formed, and people "almost crushed [you]," it'd be pretty hard to discern one single contact of your shirt. And Peter knew that. But Jesus said this: “Someone touched me, for I perceive that power has gone out from me.”
He felt this woman's faith.
After she had fessed up to it, knowing it was she He was speaking of because her malady had been immediately healed, Jesus said “Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace.”
When this happened, it was actually while He was going to heal a dying girl, the only daughter of a man named Jairus (a ruler of the synagogue). Before Jesus had made His way to Jairus' house, the girl had died. He told them she wasn't dead, but sleeping. He took her hand, told her to rise, and her spirit returned, and she woke up.

There may be scientific explanations for many of the miracles He performed, such as maybe His saliva reacting with a mineral in that one specific pool that caused the blind man to see, maybe the woman's issue was working out and it just so happened that it stopped the moment she touched His cloak, maybe the girl was temporarily comatose and woke when He took her by the hand . . . I honestly believe most miracles to be scientifically explainable, but i don't really care if they are or not.
Just because we know the science of a child being formed in the womb doesn't mean it's any less of a miracle. Just because we breath in and know how the oxygen is dispersed into our bloodstream, that doesn't make it less miraculous. Just because there may have been a particular barometric phenomenon causing a cloud to be in front of the Israelites during the day and a fire by night, that doesn't mean it was less of a miracle. Just because we can explain how capillaries burst doesn't mean that Jesus sweating blood in Gethsemane couldn't be supernatural.
I'm not exactly the kind to have the reasoning of a child, as in unquestioning faith. I require proof in most instances. Sometimes there are scientific explanations of how things happen. Sometimes there is none. That doesn't mean they're any less wondrous or miraculous because we can understand them.

When God has the wind gathered into His fists, who am i to ask for explanation of His methods? Yet here i am . . . To quote the NKJV of Proverbs 30:2, "Surely I am more stupid than any man, And do not have the understanding of a man."

Friday, February 8, 2013

Taken For Granted

We can pray and pray and pray with no effect. Maybe to save a friend or family member's life, maybe for financial stability, for a new job, for a relationship, for a new car, etc., and we may get no answer.
God's ears are never closed to the prayers of His children. He hears your cries in the dark of night, He sees your hands raised in surrender, He knows the desires of your heart, He feels the pain you feel . . . And yet He doesn't answer. Why?
He's all powerful and merciful, and He hears every prayer, so why do some go unanswered?

We take for granted He's going to answer because He's merciful and He can.
Do you go up to someone who has thousands of dollars and helped you out before, and say "You know, you gave me $10 before, so can you give me $5 now?" and get upset if they say no? Or would the proper response be to be thankful for the $10 you got in the first place?
The key is with us taking God for granted. We don't see Him as our God, our Savior, our Redeemer, our Hope, our Friend. We see Him as one we can ask and receive from.
We've gotten to where we perceive Him to be a wishing well; throw a penny at it and make a silent wish, and hope for the best.
Instead of being upset about things He hasn't given you, be thankful for the things He's given you with expectation of nothing but thanks in return. And thank Him.
Focus more on thanking Him than making requests, and notice how your perception changes; it becomes easier to concentrate -and stay focused- on good things, reasons to be joyful, and hope in general.

Stop counting unanswered prayers, and start counting blessings you've not had to ask for . . . Like that breath you just took.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

If we're comfortable with our humanity, if we've come to terms with our nature, if we are okay being here and in this world, we're not going about this life correctly.
The seed (soul) is oppressed by the weed (human nature), and when the seed thinks it's thriving intertwined with the roots and under the shade of the weed, it's only because the seed has never been anywhere else.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The Pale Blue Dot

This picture was taken by the Voyager 1 probe from over 3,500,000,000 (three and a half BILLION) miles away as it was leaving our solar system. That little bitty speck (the "Pale Blue Dot") in the golden band to the right is Earth. That's me, you, everyone you've ever known or seen or talked to, all contained in about an eighth of a pixel (.12 px).

Humbling, ain't it?

And to think, our sun is but a "Pale Blue Dot" from another point in this galaxy. Our galaxy but a "Pale Blue Dot" from another, unseeable from farther galaxies . . .

And that speck, that fraction of a pixel; that's where God sent His Son. That's not even a grain of sand on all the beaches in comparison, and it's our home. It's where you and i, God's children, have been placed for this time, this day, this purpose: to change that dot.