Archive for May, 2012

The Message

Posted in Scripture, Words on May 30, 2012 by nmpreach

Chances are you’ve heard it before.  Maybe you’ve said it yourself.  I heard it again this last weekend.  You ready for it?  It’s a phrase.  Simply words – but words with meaning.  I’ll share it with you in a sec, but think with me for a minute.

There are people in your life (unless your unteachable/prideful/arrogant etc.) whom you look up to.  These people are those who’ve invested in you. Considered you important enough to spend time with.  Poured good things into your life.  They’ve loved you.  You may or may not be close.  But they’ve said something or done something that made a tremendous impact upon your life.  Maybe you’ve been changed – FOREVER.

So here’s the phrase.  “…it’s like drinking water from a fire hydrant…”

Usually it’s prefaced with a short introduction such as, “Have you ever heard…Do you know…etc.”  Sometimes the phrase is followed by summaries like, “…I’ve been challenged…Wow!…you need to hear that…etc.”

So here’s my thought:  What made you or the person touched think this way?  In other words, is there something that changed within the speaker to move from “water hose power” to “fire hydrant power”?  Did they have particularly good information to share?  Maybe it was mediocre information but the way it was shared was special.  Maybe they were just “on” that day.  What was it?  This particular time the person described the phrase above as, “The things (teachings) he kept saying just came one after another after another.  It was tough to keep up.  So you find yourself taking notes and then going back to review later.”

Let me offer this: What if the difference was you?  What if the difference between a water hose and a fire hydrant was based upon you – your thoughts, your openness, your EXPECTATIONS?

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matt 5:6

I’ve often thought that those who hung on what Jesus had to say were expecting something.  They’d come to realize where Jesus was great things happened.  They expected.  They were open.  They were hungry and thirsty.

Might this be the difference in what impact the message has on you?  Pray that you continue to be hungry and thirsty.  Then see what God does.

“…all things to all men…”

Posted in Scripture on May 22, 2012 by nmpreach

To the weak I became weak, to win the weak, I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some. – 1 Cor 9:22 (NIV)

Paul did everything humanly possible to win people to Christ.  Whether they be Jews or people who didn’t know God’s Law (Gentiles), Paul met them where they were.  And yet the Gospel was never compromised.  To the Corinthian church, Paul offers his case and is confident that they will agree with the evidence.

I’m wondering what being “all things to all men” means today.  Webster’s defines “syncretism” as the attempted reconciliation or union of different or opposing principles, practices, or parties, as in philosophy or religion.  Think syncretism might be an issue for the Church today?  How can we do as Paul and at the same time not allow the Church to be infiltrated by the world?

Jesus said, You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled by men.” Matt 5:13 (NIV)  One of the benefits of salt in the Ancient Near East was preservation.  Jesus was speaking of preserving that which is good.  It’s when the salt becomes insipid that it’s not doing what it’s intended to do.  Scholar Craig Blomberg writes, “Jesus calls his disciples to arrest corruption and prevent moral decay in their world.

What does that look like in our culture?  Hasn’t the Church allowed the world to influence her already?  If so, what does the Bride of Christ need to do to be found spotless?  If not, what is your experience with syncretism between church/world?

How can we say “Amen” to what Paul says to the Corinthian church?