Thursday, March 26, 2015

Independent Jesus

As I was studying for Sunday out of Joshua 7, I was reminded of how much God views His Church as a whole.  Americans are bad about entitlement and selfishness that creeps its way into the Christianity and the Church.  It begins with a salvation message that is individually based.  Do you realize there is no place in scripture that emphasizes an individuals salvation.  I'm not saying that individuals don't make a personal choice to receive Jesus. But into what are you born?

The book of Ephesians (which is the go-to book on the establishment of the church) is all about being born into a family that together makes up an habitation for the Lord.  Without the Body fitly framed together there is no meaning to the Bible, the plan or commission of God.  This is the reason for so many shallow Christians that see no need to read the scriptures or pray or walk by faith.  The truth is these things don't matter in a self-centered life.  

We must be diligent to teach the young Christians that it is not all about them and what they can get from God, but rather the joy that comes from forming a vehicle in which the Lord can move and accomplish His will and plan for Himself and for your life. Take the journey with God.  Get in the vehicle and hold on for the ride of your life. The the pages of the bible will come alive to you.  You will need to pray and walk by faith.  And God will be pleased.

One of our core values at Reliant is "God Pleasers"  By faith we will please God and trust him with our lives.  Let it be one of your core values as well.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Life to Life

I often remember the verse in Acts 8 when Philip was called out to meet the Ethiopian eunuch on the road.  As he approached he saw the man reading his Bible and said, "Do you understand what you're reading?"  The eunuch replied, "How can I except some man would guide me?"  Everyone needs some guidance in their lives especially in the area of spiritual matters.

When Jesus called his disciples he didn't call them to serve, he called them to "follow."  Jesus taught the men by hands on revelation as they walked together for the next 3+ years.  As the situations of life would arise Jesus taught them how to live by faith, how to pray, and how to minister to others.  They did what the master did.

This art of discipleship is all but lost today in our crazy, busy, fast-paced world.  Mentoring has become a website, article, blog, or sermon.  If you want to know how to walk with the Lord, find someone that is walking with Jesus and walk with them.  Paul said, "follow me as I follow Christ."  Find a mentor.  Be a mentor.  And watch real life to life change take place.   

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Three Keys to Discipleship: Accountability

Over the past few blogs we have been discussing the necessity for three key components to any good discipleship process.  Many churches talk about discipleship but fail to see the reality of the lives of their people truly being conformed to that of Christ's. As in everything, stability is bound in 3's and so it is in discipleship.

First, you must build an intimate relationship with God.  This is more than just saying the prayer of salvation or even being "born again." John 10:27, "My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."  I love the simplicity and the intimacy of this verse.  An intimate relationship is a constant interaction with God that is real and personal.  (Experiencing God, Blackaby)

Second, The Bible must be the final authority for all life and practice.  If we don't hold the Bible as the standard then people will make it up as they go.  Isaiah 55:8, "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD."  There must be a shift in the mind in which a person humbles themselves under the authority of God's Word and trust what He says to be right and true.  When this happens you begin to see real life change as the individual begins a life long journey of change and adjustment.

Third, one must be held accountable by the body of Christ. There are many levels of accountability and a necessity for all levels.  According to Matthew 18:15-18 accountability begins with peer-to-peer.  We have the responsibility to help our brothers and sisters in Christ if we see they are going astray or if they have offended us in some way.  If peer-to-peer is ineffective then there should be a peer-to-group accountability where truth is established and encouraged.  If the person is still walking contrary to the scriptures after the group accountability then Jesus says to take the matter to the Church.  This is outlined very clearly in 1 Corinthians 5.  If the person will still not repent from their sin they are to be removed from the Church in order to protect the integrity of the whole.  Once a person has repented of the sin and are walking according to the Bible they should be fully restored to fellowship and service in the Body of Christ. (Galatians 6:1-2).  Although in today's world this might sound harsh, people practice this same thing in families, schools, jobs, and sports.  Why is it that we would guard the name of Christ more than we would these other areas.

My heart is broken over the lack of true discipleship going on in Churches today.  Until we as Christians are willing to take the time to invest in others there will not be the radical life change that Christ can and should bring.  As we start our new Church Plant I am excited to call the church body to a real life changing gospel that will change the course of many generations to come.  What is Christianity without these three keys.  It amounts to new born babes unwilling to take care of themselves and surely unable to take care of others.  

If you are searching for the changed life, if you know you need this kind of discipleship, email me at and I will direct you to a church in your area that will lead you in the ways of God.

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Monday, March 2, 2015

Three Keys to Discipleship: Authority of God's Word Part 3

After understanding the mindset of where we have come from, it is easy to see how so many people look at organized religion as a failed institution.  This translates to a lack of authority from the Church and ultimately from the Word of God.  With all the craziness that goes on in the name of Jesus, it is no wonder that people are seeking guidance from other places.  But the truth is, God's Word has never changed and the old saying still stands, "Truth is always truth."

God has established his word above even his own name according to Psalm 138:2.  Which means even God himself is bound by the truth he has written there in.  The Word of God is an everlasting bond between God and man and will last for all eternity.  This is why we can bank our lives on the truths that are found within it's pages.

The blessing of understanding God's Word as the final authority in the church is two fold.  First, the church will not be molded into the preferences of any man.  The truths of the Bible supersede any culture or people group and therefore stands the test of time.  The second, is the unity that one set of truths bring to the body of believers.  When we are all in agreement that the word of God is our final authority we can all function in the truth that is found within. This removes the authority from men and places it where it belongs, on God.

I see many churches that want a good discipleship process but they spend no time establishing the Word of God in the lives of their parishioners.  Thus leaving them to their best judgement of what is right and what is wrong.  This only lends to confusion and compromise as people are faced with life changing decisions.

Next we will discuss the last key of discipleship which is accountability.  Comments and discussion are welcome.

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