Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Is the Bible still RELEVANT Today? (Part 1 of 2)

The beginning of a two part post:
Part 1 - Is the Bible still relevant today?  
Part 2 - As a Christian how should I look at/use the Bible?   

"What do you think about the Bible?"
It's a question I have asked several people in the last couple years, in which the 99% response rate is usually this..."I just don't really think it is relevant to today and the world we live in now"  (Something my wife Morgann would definitely admit to saying to me when we began dating eight years ago)

I will admit I struggled trying to find the answer to make the Bible seem relevant in a blog post.  However after doing tons of research to answer this question, I finally found it.  I didn't find it on the internet or in a book, but I found it my heart, so I am just going to give you "my" response to the question.  

I think the first thing that comes to everyone's mind is technology, it is changing/has changed this world so much so why shouldn't that be a reason why the Bible is irrelevant to today? But if I were to dig into deeper issues other than technology I begin to find out that the world of now and then really aren't too far apart.  Murders, Affairs, Drug Abuse, Wars... All in the Bible!  Isn't all that relevant to today?  The Bible can show direction and help decisions we face in every day/every year of the world we live in now.. What job should I take?  Where should I live?  What girl/guy should I or should I not date?  How do I deal with death of a loved one?  How do I handle family and friend relationships?  ... and many more questions that we all deal with on a day to day basis... it was all dealt with in the Bible!

Chances are very high you can find whatever situation you are dealing with right now, also happened in the Bible!  The diversity in the Bible can be seen for every person in any stage of life, no matter your age or situation.  In the Bible we can find every emotion, confession, conversation of philosophical debate, and Jesus confronting ALL of these issues, of life, and death, and showing us the eternity that is ahead for all of us.

A person that may say the Bible is not relevant to the world we live in today... is that just an excuse?  That is what I really wonder. If the Bible has never been a part of a persons life how can the Bible start to be now?  Not when they have been living without it for so many years.  I wonder if they may be scared about what reading the Bible could change about their life?... enjoying the drinking, enjoying the gambling, enjoying the excessive shopping for material items, enjoying lust... it is fun, brings instant happiness and gratification... "If I actually start reading the Bible won't I have to stop all of that and what will everyone that I hang out with now think of me then?"  The humbling experience, the thought of telling a friend that you may not have the same values anymore and you might need to go your separate ways... does that thought haunt those that don't read the Bible?  Is... "it is not relevant to today" an excuse to not have to go through that humbling experience really worth it?

For some I am sure it is time... time to find the PURPOSE in your life that the Bible can give.  As terrifying as it might be, how it would eat you up inside to open a Bible.  It might be time to deal with it!  

One great thing is the Bible will NOT leave you there sitting in your own regret! The Bible can take you from filling convicted to changing your heart, your ultimate goals in life,  and giving you PURPOSE! Now opening the Bible doesn't mean that God is just going to stand there and smile at you saying I haven't seen anything that has been going on in your life and now everything is going to be all good and happy in your life with all answers about life complete.  Definitely NOT!  In fact, what Jesus is really going to do is show how He has already stood up for you by taking your SIN upon HIMSELF, He took that pain we deserve. He literally hung on a cross FOR YOU!  And then he rose from the grave on the third day to show you how powerful God really is!  I say that to say... as a Christian... I find that RELEVANT to my life TODAY!  As a Christian, I have PURPOSE, my journey is not empty at all, and from opening the Bible I can find and read about how I can pursue a purpose that is greater than me and my selfish ways - (if you noticed above when I listed all the "decisions" we face everyday - they all had one word in all the statements ..."I"...)  Opening the Bible has done that for me, helped me face my day's in this life knowing this isn't about ME, it is about a PURPOSE MUCH GREATER than ME!

 It gets me pumped knowing that we ALL can find OUR role in God's design of His kingdom, and how OUR life has meaning by opening this book.

If we can fathom thinking about the end of our days here on earth, thinking about our death in the future, whether you are laying in a hospital bed or where ever we may be, what questions will you ask at that point in your life?  Where will you turn for the answers to your why questions.. why me, why now?  Will you wonder if there is a God or if the Bible is true/relevant at that point?

When you are about to actually die will the question of how relevant the Bible actually is fade away?  Will the comfort and hope embodied in the Bible suddenly become totally...

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Mission Possible - Your J O B

When Morgann and I moved and were searching for a new church to attend we both were looking for one that was very "missions" based, and after many weekends of seeing where God may lead us as far as a church we definitely feel like God has found that right spot for us.  

With that said...about a month ago Morgann and I were asked by friends at church to start praying about going on a mission trip with several people from church.  We have had the desire to do this since we got married, so we said we would pray about it and then let them know if we felt that this was the trip God was wanting us to go on. Well, after praying over it we both felt that God wasn't pulling us to this particular trip at this time.  (but will continue to pray for God to lead us to the right one)

But I say all of that to talk about the word "mission".  A lot like the word PURPOSE! Definitely through this time of thinking about this trip God put it on my mind to focus on the word "mission" and what that means to me right now and how I can live every day through my Purpose with a particular "mission."

Mission - a particular assignment carried out for a specific purpose!

So I came to the realization that as Christians we can really be on a "MISSION" every day if we are really living for a PURPOSE.  I have begun this week to take that a little farther to look at my job as a mission from God.  Sometimes our job that we do everyday can take control us - in a positive or negative way.  I feel like it is so easy to look at our job every day as something we feel like we have to go do whether we like or not or something we love to go do!   I have always been a person that looks at my job and says "that is not the most important thing in my life and I will make sure that it never is".  But then this week it hit me... (or I should say God hit me with)

What if my job is the exact "MISSION" that God wants me to be on?  

What I mean by that... What if God wants my job to be my "Mission Trip" that I take every day?  I had never looked at my job as a mission from God before this week, it was looked at from the standpoint of God gave me this ability and this opportunity but I will not make it first priority in my life over my faith, family, and friends.  But what if the one thing that I do every day, five days a week, is the very thing that God is calling me to be on a "Mission" for?

So this week on my ride to work I have started saying to myself -  "I am heading on a "Mission Trip" today!!!  So far it has changed my heart a little, and my attitude, and I think that is exactly what God wanted to happen. 

And he said  “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation." Mark 16:15