"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." 1 Peter 3:15
Tag Archives: relationship
January 1, 2011Posted by on
Another new year is here. And like every New Year I began thinking about goals for the upcoming year. Most call this New Year’s resolutions. Some would balk at the idea of using that phrase because of the lackadaisical approach that it might apply. I however look at it as simply goals for next year. 2010 will be the year of incredible spiritual growth for me. I want this process to continue. This challenge will be a stretch for Christian’s of all ages and growth levels. Without furtherer due…
1. Read a non-fiction Christian book(s)
It can only help to get another view. When I read books like this, I immediately think of the movie Dead Poet’s Society – Specifically the scene where Robin Williams tells his students to stand on their desks to get a different perspective on things. The room just looks different when you see it from a different angle. Another person’s perspective may help change yours. A quick word of caution, be careful of the book you choose. For obvious reasons, we would not recommend books written by certain pastors that may have been mentioned previously in the “Are you a God” series. We would, however, recommend any of the following books:
- Servant Leadership
- More than a Carpenter
- Victory over the Darkness
- Families Where Grace is in Place
- The Unexpected Journey
We’d be happy to recommend other books/authors… just drop us a line!
2. Deeply study three books of the Bible.
Have you ever read something in the Bible, looked over at someone and said…”HAVE YOU READ THIS! IT IS INCREADIBLE!”, only to have them say “I have read the whole Bible”. There is a huge difference between reading, and digesting the Word of God. I would suggest that of the group of people that have read the Bible, that probably only 25% – 50% of the Bible was actually digested. By digested I mean, knowing the context of the books, why they were written, historicity behind them, spiritual impact of certain passages, etc… The point here is to understand and internalize these books.
3. Have a 90% attendance rate at church.
This should be probably number 1. If you are of the thought that you can have an effective relationship with God without attending a church you are wrong. The truth of the matter is that the church is critical for your personal development. Imagine learning how to become a computer programmer without going to school or doing programming work. The exact same thing applies here. You limit your growth potential in the body of Christ, by not attending church.
4. Volunteer for an event/function/job at church.
Now that you are attending church on a regular basis, it is time to volunteer. Serving is critical to our spiritual growth as well. Remember James 2:14-26. Faith without works is dead. This is the works part of the challenge.
5. Invite at least 12 people to your church.
Inviting people to church can open the door to being able to share your testimony. Your invite can include other functions such as church picnic’s, or small group. See number 3.
6. Have spiritual conversations that lead to you sharing your testimony and/or the Gospel with at least 6 people
Evangelism is a central part to being a Christian. There are a number of biblical passages that demonstrate that evangelism is asked but is required of all Christians…REQUIRED. That doesn’t mean maybe, or I’ll get to it later or it’s not my temperament. REQUIRED.
7. Sacrificially give to your local church.
We know that the economy is tough – it has been for your church too! Needless to say there is a biblical foundation for tithing (giving at least 10% of your gross income). God’s got a plan for your church that takes money to implement, and you should be a part of it. If you’ve never tithed before start small and grow throughout the year – Dave Ramsey calls it a giving snowball.
8. Pray for at least 2 minutes a day.
What do you do when you have problems? Pray. Anxiety? Pray. Need Help? Pray. Need guidance, wisdom, truth, or WHATEVER? PRAY! 2 minutes a day seems small in the amount of time you should devote to speaking with the Lord. I make it a point to talk to him as I would my father or wife. While he is God, he is still my Father. If you think that you shouldn’t talk to him in a normal way…read Psalms. That was the point of that book.
This is a yearlong challenge. And it should be just that…a challenge. No Apologizing will have your back though with posts about various biblical books, commentary on the books we have read, commentary on the spiritual conversations we’ve had, etc. If you have feedback that you want to share regarding the challenge you will be able to. A new page will be created on the blog specifically for this challenge. In the mean time, get those books ready. Have a great year. Be focused. Make no excuses! Remember only one person is in charge of their relationship with God…YOU! No one else can do it for you.
July 21, 2010Posted by on
Today I want to put out a word of encouragement to all my friends and readers… I’ve seen some discouragement and that makes my heart heavy… DON’T GIVE UP!!!
God, Himself, encourages us to, “Not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6)
I’ve had some conversations with people who have tried to take the G90X challenge with me and/or who have committed to reading through the Bible in 2010, but have fallen behind in their goals… They were bold enough to try and start something that will help them grow in their walk with Jesus, but have not been able to completely follow through with their original goal…
And do you know what? THAT’S OKAY!!! Seriously! We all fall short sometimes… There is nothing magic about ANY spiritual discipline in and of itself! Christianity is about a relationship with the God who created the universe, NOT about trying to work at doing better things or striving to be a good person!
Let me remind you of what Greg said in his original G90X post:
By the way, let’s not be legalistic with this. G90X is just an intensive spiritual workout to jumpstart our spiritual disciplines. Remember that those who choose to do it with me are not necessarily more spiritual than those who don’t. You can do all the disciplines in the world and if you are not controlled by the Spirit and fueled through God’s power in your motives it is all wood, hay and stubble… If you are choosing not to do it (which is totally fine) I challenge you to, at the least, amp up your spiritual disciplines.
Let me come at this from a different angle… Think about a person with whom you have a solid relationship… Got it? Okay… Now, how is it that you maintain that relationship? Love, right? And that Love is expressed by T-I-M-E… but that time isn’t spent in a ritualistic ridged manner is it? Relationships are fluid and we spend time with our friends and family in different ways… The same should be for our relationship with (worship of) God!! The point is to spend time with Him!!
Struggling reading so much of the Bible at one clip? That’s okay!!! Keep at it – Get back on the proverbial horse… but don’t beat yourself up over it… But realize also, that this isn’t the only way God wants us to spend time with Him… He wants us to pray… He wants us to sing to Him… He wants us to talk about Him to others… He wants us to spend time with other believers (at church AND other places)…
Do you get it? GOD wants to have a relationship with you!!! But He wants a REAL relationship not something manufactured or fake. If you struggle with some aspect of spending time with God be sure that you are supplementing it with other ways… but don’t grow weary of trying to make the weaker aspects of your walk better… If you don’t get a hold of a friend on the phone, what do you do? You call back, right? If that doesn’t work you txt or you swing by their house or maybe you try to get a hold of one of their friends/family to tell them you’re looking for them. God is trying to get a hold of you… He’s not hard to reach…
Go spend some time with Him today in a variety of ways!! You won’t regret it.
June 22, 2010Posted by on
So, yet again my internet at home was down yesterday… so the G90X is a day late again! Sorry… I’ve hopefully got that shored up (ATT said I needed a new modem, so I got one and installed it late last night)…
As promised, I wanted to talk about the prayer aspect of the G90X… But to do that, I’ve got to start with a confession. I didn’t get in the full 90 minutes last week… The first 2 weeks I did in spades, but last week, I let business creep in and rob me of my prayer time… Boy, could I tell the difference!
The best way I can explain how prayer works and changes me is by a personal analogy. I’ve got some VERY good friends who do not live in the same town as I do, but with whom I keep in close contact… I Facebook, or email or text them often (usually one or all of these multiple times a day)… These guys are two of my very best friends and they keep me sharp, on my toes… hold me accountable… listen to my joys, concerns and hurts and they encourage me – I value their friendship and their time VERY, VERY much! In fact, if I don’t get my daily “fix” (i.e. fellowship with these friends) my day is not quite as good as it would be otherwise… Oh, it can still be a great day, but regardless of how good it is, it is somewhat diminished by my not communicating with these important men.
It works the same with my Heavenly Father. The days I communicate intimately with Him (more than just a “drive by” or “rub-a-dub-dub thanks for the grub… Yea, God!” type prayer) are the days that I’m most encouraged, empowered, focused on what’s important and submitted to Him… These are the days I’m closest to Him and these are the days I’m most selfless and filled with compassion for other people! Like above, these days can still be horrible days (believe me!), but days are just somehow better when I’ve had my “Jesus fix”… THAT’s what I missed out on a little bit last week – I didn’t have as much fellowship as I should have or would have liked. My week was good, but how much better would it have been had I communed more with the God who not only created the universe, but who also loves me with a burning and passionate love?
If you don’t understand what I’m talking about because you’ve never experienced it let me encourage you to seriously consider John 3:16-18 and 1 John 4:9-10… Here’s what they have to say:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
“This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.”
If you HAVE experienced what I’m talking about let me encourage you to Love Him more and more and more… and express that love through time spent with Him through prayer… after all 1 Thessalonians 5:17 tells us to “Pray continually” – Our days would be so much better if we would!