Category Archives: Devos

How “awesome” is “awesome?” – God is awesome!!!

Awesome

It seems every generation has its own favorite way of describing something “over-the-top,” mind-boggling good,,, Something so great it boggles your mind!  For my generation, you’d just exclaim, “awesome!”  I remember a later generation using the term, “rad!”  A few have even adopted the old “Mary Poppins” movie term, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!.

I just wonder what term you’d use to describe the greatness and goodness of God expressed in Psalm 111?  Chime in – let me know.  (It was part of my Bible reading during “coffee with the Lord this morning.)

‘Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation!  Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.  Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever.  He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and merciful.  He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.  He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations.  The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness.  He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!”

Com’on, give me a word you’d use to describe the greatness and goodness of God…

Making disciples of Jesus is a big deal! Matthew 28:18-19

DisciplemakingDiscipleship is a big deal! Jesus commanded us to make more than mere “converts” – statistics we can report of people who responded to an “altar call” or prayed “a sinner’s prayer.” He commanded us to “make disciples” (Matthew 28:19-20). It’s in what we refer to as “the Great Commission.” Pretty important, wouldn’t you say?

So what is discipleship? Here’s the definition I use…

The intentional development of those who respond in faith to the Gospel so that they become devoted, obedient followers of Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives through…
 Accountability and loving relationships within the Church (the community of “Christ-followers”)
 Study and personal application of the Bible
 Participation in prayer, worship, ministry, stewardship, and evangelism

So during my time of “coffee with the Lord” this morning I read this passage written by Apostle Paul to the churches in ancient Asia [Note: I’ve added a few explanatory note or two for clarification in brackets]…

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles [the unconverted – those in broader pagan culture] do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed. That, however, is not the way of life you learned [“manthano” – a Greek verb drawn from, and related to the noun translated “disciple” in Scripture… i.e. “You were not “discipled” to live that way!”] when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness!” (Ephesians 4:17–24 NIV)

So it seems to me, this is our challenge… Believers today must be discipled in such a way that they exhibit distinctive lives – different from the broader pagan culture! It is intolerable, biblically, for Christ followers to live like a lost world – with no difference between those who claim to be redeemed and the broader culture. Minus legalism, those who have begun to follow Christ, must be discipled to live a new life – different from the world around them in practical matters (see verses 25-32 of the same passage).

As a spiritual leader I cannot be satisfied after I have taught the truth or proclaimed God’s word with just compliments (like “Wow! What a blessing!” or “How uplifting or inspiring!”) I must be satisfied with nothing less than changed lives, and do everything in my power to help facilitate that!

Persecuting Christians has always caused the gospel to spread!

sparks flyingI learned something fighting a brush fire as a boy in Montana… Sometimes beating the flames and the coals of a brush fire with a wet gunny sack, does not put the fire out – instead it spreads the fire elsewhere!

Here is that reality applied to the spreading of the gospel…
“Jesus called ‘the Twelve’ together and gave them power and authority to drive out demons and to cure diseases, and He sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and heal the sick… So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere…

“Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. He was perplexed, because some were saying that John and been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. But Herod said, ‘I beheaded John! Who, then, is this I hear such things about?’

I can almost hear Herod’s response… “What is going on? I thought I put a stop to it! I killed John! Now it’s popping up everywhere!”

Persecution has never stamped out the gospel – It’s always resulted in the spreading of the gospel! Here it is from another location in Scripture… “And there arose on that day a great persecution against the church in Jerusalem, and they were all scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, except the apostles… Now those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.” (Acts 8:1-4)

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