Getting refocused!

Posted by Ron on April 23, 2011 in

Hebrews 12:2, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (NIV)

The idea that we are to “fix our eyes” on Jesus is a very intense and exclusive phrase in the language of the New Testament.  It means that we are to “strictly look away from something in order to give attention to one thing, at the exclusion of all else.”  It means, “to look with undivided attention” at Jesus.

In effect, the writer of Hebrews is telling us to get a ruthlessly narrow focus in our lives– to look away from all other things in order to give our undivided attention to Jesus Christ.  Since Jesus is the beginning and end of all things Christian, it only makes sense that He always remains the exclusive vision of our lives!  Look away from everything else…stop being distracted by lesser things!  Fix your undivided attention, affection, and devotion on to Jesus!  Let nothing take your eyes off of him for even a moment!

 

Einstein was so right!

Posted by Ron on January 31, 2011 in

Einstein was right when he said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.” So why do we think that doing the same approaches to church over and over will suddenly produce  different results?  Probably for a mix of reasons:

1. Perhaps someone convinced us that what we’re doing should work for us, and so we just keep doing the same thing expecting better results.  What adds to the insanity is that we might have seen it work in a different place, and so the assumption is that it should work here too!

2.  Perhaps what we’re doing used to work for us, and so it makes sense to us that we just must be doing something wrong or it would work for us once again.  What further clutters our thinking is that we might be able to point out how our model (that used to work for us) is now working down the street, and so it’s perplexing to us why it doesn’t work now for us!

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How do we get past all of the cracked pots?

Posted by Ron on June 10, 2010 in

I often chuckle when I read Paul’s words, “But we have this treasure in jars of clay…” (2 Cor. 4:7). I laugh because jars of clay sounds so elegant, but are actually the cheapest clay pots made in Paul’s day! Now he isn’t saying that human beings are cheap; but he is acknowledging that we really aren’t all that impressive on the outside. In fact, our outsides might even be ugly! The amazing thing is that God has chosen to contain His transcendent glory (God Himself) in fragile, unimpressive, even flawed and cracked human earthenware containers.

We could say that God (though omnipresent) has chosen to contain Himself and set up His address inside of fragile human beings. This is the truth about what we carry inside of us—it’s just easy to miss because our outsides are just so…distracting! In many ways we could say that the looks of a Christian are quite deceiving—what we see on the outside is not a fair representation of what we really are—we carry the transcendent glory of God Himself within us! We are just simply not what we appear to be. So how do we get past the distraction of the clay pot to see the glory within? It is really a matter of getting heaven’s perspective of things!

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Is the Church really God’s best plan?

Posted by Ron on May 18, 2010 in

As imperfect as it may be, the local church really is God’s best plan for reaching this planet for Christ!  In fact, planting New Testament communities of faith in new places is the most effective form of evangelism that exists.  The church exists as God’s chosen instrument for fulfilling His purposes on the earth and  is the center of His redemptive purposes on earth.  Christ calls us out of our sinful independence and isolation in order to baptize us into His Body, the Church (1 Cor. 12:13).  His plan is to transplant us from being alone, to being immersed into the people of God (Acts 2:42 & 47).  It is within the context of committed meaningful relationships in a local church that the fullness of Christ is revealed and we are brought to a place of maturity and service.  Thus, when it comes right down to it, there is no Christianity apart from life in the local church. What do you think about that statement?  Can you have Christ without His Community and His Cause?

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