Friday, December 16, 2005

Don't Waste Your Life

I'm currently reading a book by John Piper called "don't waste your life" and in the 1st chapter he's talking about how C.S. Lewis' book "Mere Christianity" heavily influenced him. Here is a paragraph from his book.

"He ahs made me wary of chronological snobbery. That is, he showed me that newness is no virtue and oldness is no vice. Truth and beauty and goodness are not determined by when they exist. Nothing is inferior for being old, and nothing is valuable for being modern. This has freed me from the tyranny of novelty and opened for me the wisdom of the ages. To this day I get most of my soul-food from centuries ago. I thank God for Lewis' compelling demonstration of the obvious."

That paragraph goes against everything we practice today in society, both in the business world and in the church. Cutting edge is the ticket, who can come up with the "cool" new thing. There's an old saying that goes something like this: "Today you're in the paper, tomorrow that same paper is wrapping fish." The message is that what may seem like a big deal right now will soon be forgotton.

Why then as the body of Christ do we fight to be so cutting edge, and trendy so that we can be culturally relavant? What we should be doing is looking at the things that have lasted over centuries and are time tested and haven't passed away. Christ is the best example. People aren't attracted to Him because He's new, novel, or cutting edge. They're attracted to Him because He's faithful, and never changes. He's always relevant and His words can speak to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Now am I knocking contextualizing the gospel to fit culture? No, I most certainly am not. The Jesuits did a great job of spreading the gospel because they conformed to cultural norms like clothing, food, manners, speach and all other things that may allow them to reach the people without comprimising the gospel message in any way. What I am saying though can best be summed up by a quote from my friend and co-worker Jim Wimmenauer's pastor when he said "Whatever it costs to bring them in, it will cost more to get them to stay". You give a mouse a cookie, it'll want milk. If we are using things that will quickly pass away to bring people in, they are eventually going to want more. That's human nature. However, if Jesus is what brings them in, then they'll never want to leave as Paul B. correctly replied to the above quote.

So this begs the question. Why are you going to church? If we're honest with ourselves, we may find that it's not always Jesus.
This begs the next question. As church leaders, if people are not coming and staying because of their captivation with Christ, then we are doing something tragically wrong. A church is nothing but a building filled with white washed tombs if the center of our hearts isn't focused entirely on the glorification of God. And if that's where our hearts are as a body, God will be there and I can garauntee that we won't need to going fishing for the fish, they'll jump right into the boat.

Where is your heart looking?

God forgive me for letting my heart constantly put it's gaze on other hopes, dreams, ambitions, and people. Those things are all baggage that I carry, help me to let them all go so I can once again focus on You. If I'm focused on you, I won't need to go looking for action, because the action will come to me. The lost will more clearly see You in my life and once they've experienced You, will never want anything else again. I praise Your Holy Name.


Luke said...

That's awesome bro.

How's the new job going?

David Killough said...

As I learn more about what it entails and all the finer details of it, things get better, but it's amazing how stressful it is. One minute, someone's your friend, the next minute you have to make a decision that turns them against you

Sheeztrue said...

Good word David. Makes me think of my friend Jez and his wife Amy who I believe will one day come to our church...they are moving into Gilbert from Phx.
Lord help us be ready to be salt and light to them now and always.
Help us be Jesus.

Sojourner said...

Amen, David. Your prayer echoes my heart. Recently I have been looking too much to my own hopes, ambitions and other people. Looking too much into tomorrow.

I know that if I would keep my heart focused, there would be so many opporturnities to share Him with those that don't know Him. There would be less wasted moments in my life.

Lord, help us to be cross-eyed, Christ focused. Keeping our hearts on those things You see as important for today, that we won't be distracted from the work You have for us. In this place, Father, we will be able to see through Your eyes the needs surrounding us and in response be available to supply for that need, Your love, faithfulness, word or physical provisions, pointing each person to You.