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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

How Social Media Can Cause You To Lose Your Reward

We live in a day where you can't go to the bathroom without social media.  I mean literally people Instagram and Twitter pic from the restroom.  People's lives have become consume by this social media frenzy.  To the point that you really have to wonder where it will end?  One of my favorite post was when someone said, "Praise the Lord I got new I-phone 5 # God is Good."   Really?  Is God an accessory who is only good when we get what we want?  Does God really care you got the I-phone 5?  Okay enough of that but you catch my drift. 

From what I can see social media has taken boasting to a whole new level!  Sad to report that has infiltrated the church as well.  Last I check the Bible says, give your gifts in private, and your Father, who sees everything, will reward you (Matthew 6:4 NLT).   First thing Jesus says as chapter 6 begins is be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by then.   However if you look at social media all you see is the exact opposite people cannot wait to tell you what they doing for others, how many people joining their church, etc. 

Maybe it's just me and maybe I am bugging out.  However through the lens I see the gospel narrative it is clear that social media could be causing many to lose their reward!  I am sure I will get some push back on this one.

Scripture Reference: Matthew 6

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Now That The Pressure Is Off.

The gospel frees us from the pressure of trying to earn our way into heaven!  Hallelujah!  This means that we can now focus on living the gospel (implications).   True understanding of the gospel gives us the gift of gratefulness.  Truth is we deserved to die and the penalty for the sins we have committed, are committing, and will commit is death.  Jesus paid the price for our sins and the proper response is gratitude!  Here are three characteristics of a grateful heart:
  1.  A grateful heart is a willing heart.
  2.  A grateful heart is a loving heart.
  3.  A grateful heart is a serving heart.
The question becomes what does that look like in my day to day life?  For today we will take a quick look at doing the unexpected.  As I study the gospel I discover a Jesus that did the unexpected.  For example the children of Israel expected a militant and conquering Jesus (Messiah) instead they got a loving, compassionate, and serving Jesus (Messiah).  This means for you and I that we are to do the same. Here are a few tangible examples of how you can do the unexpected:

  1. You can call someone who you never called but have their number and give them an encouraging word.
  2. You can buy someone a meal who doesn't have the ability to pay you back.
  3. You can visit someone who has no else to visit them.
Simple things like that can make a major impact on the lives of individuals and when we do those sort of things the gospel goes from being a set of beliefs about Jesus The Christ to power of God in our daily lives.

Scripture Reference:  Deuteronomy 6:5

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Pressure Is Off!

Happy New Year.  I have been debating back in forth whether to continue writing.  Life after seminary has been pretty frustrating but I will save that for another rant.   Today I want to focus on the redemptive work of Jesus Christ.  Often times we feel as if we have to do something to please God. Church can make you religous but not pleasing to God.  I suggest to you that this feeling comes from your desire to please other people.  However God is not like people.  JD Greear in his book "Gospel"  offers what is called the gospel prayer which goes as follows:

In Christ there nothing I can do to make you love me more
 and there is nothing I have done that makes you love me less
Your presence and approval
is all I need for everlasting joy
As you have been to me so will I be to others
I will measure your compassion by the cross
And your power by the resurrection

In essence what he is saying is the pressure is off.  You can't do anything to make God love you more in Christ because God's love for Christ is perfect.  So instead of trying do things you think will please God focus on the primary command.  Love the Lord your God with all your mind, heart, and soul and thy neighbor as thyself.  That is to say live your life as a grateful response to the love that God demonstrated on the cross.  The same power that raised Christ from the dead is the same power that will allow you to live a life of gratitude to the God who love you enough to take your place. 

You see Christ did for us what we couldn't do for ourselves.  Therefore is we focus and saturate our lives with the gospel (life, death, burial, and resurrection) of Jesus Christ we see his love in action.   Gospel is not something you believe to get saved but the Gospel is what keeps you saved daily (sanctification). 

So the pressure is off just focus on loving God first and once you see how God has loved you then you love others in the same capacity.  So simple a child could understand.  

Scripture Reference:  John 19:30

God bless,
Bondservant Hollis