Tuesday, July 22, 2014

"Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." -Jeremiah 1:5

Thoughts on Marriage

This week, maybe already this morning, your spouse will somehow probably disappoint you. It’s inevitable when two imperfect people spend enough time together. You can’t just erase those memories or hurts, but what you can do is decide not to hold it against him or her, to not keep those hurts and failures on a mental scoreboard.
If you decide to start putting all those hurts and disappointments and misunderstandings on a scoreboard of what you have done right and wrong versus what your spouse has done, nobody wins, because what will happen is that your love becomes conditional. You will withhold affection or respect until you feel he or she has “earned” it back, and because of our selective memories and skewed perspectives and baggage, once you start keeping score like that, your spouse will likely never catch up. On that scoreboard, there are just two losers because you have forgotten that YOU ARE ON THE SAME TEAM!
That’s why the apostle Paul warns against keeping score like that in your marriage:
1 Corinthians 13:4-5 (NIV) 4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
You may have a long way to go until you find happiness in your marriage and trust in your spouse, but I do know nothing will change until someone does the unexpected, and chooses to respond to a disappointment with unexpected, undeserved love.
-from Scott Franks on 728b Facebook page

Monday, July 21, 2014

What About Evangelism?

Evangelism has fallen on hard times. It has gone the way of the dinosaur. It is a lost art, a forgotten commandment, the gift no one wants. Looking back on the beginning of the church, we see explosive growth. Today, most are too timid to speak of their "private" religious beliefs. We have convinced ourselves that a gracious God couldn't send "good" people to hell. Few sermons mention sin and the need for repentance. We excuse ourselves of the need to share the good news of Jesus. Result? The church stops converting outsiders. An "us vs. them" mentality develops. Not only do we fail to convert our neighbors or coworkers, we can barely even convert our own children.
What can we do about it? We must rediscover the power of the gospel to change peoples' lives. We must speak a good word for Jesus wherever we go. We must live out our beliefs with consistency as the world watches. We must learn to tell our personal stories of the power of God. We must reshape evangelism from slick salesmanship and gimmicks to a genuine knowledge of God's Word and stories of its power.