Crossroads Fellowship

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Times of Deep Despair

As we sat in our small group last night studying Experiencing God we were looking at the crisis of belief. Not the crisis of belief when we initially come to faith in Jesus Christ, but that crisis of belief that happens each time God calls us to do something that is God-sized, that we can not do without him showing up and taking over. As we talked about this we all kind of came to a place where we were talking about the times when we just feel like it is all so pointless. Where we ask ourselves why should there be so much suffering, why do things have to go bad sometimes, why are things not always just better and better for us. We ALL admitted that there had been times in our walk with the Lord where we had went through deep moments of despair, where we faced a real crisis of belief.

That is when the Lord brought to mind the Colossians 3:1,2 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

As we pondered this the Lord brought this to mind. Two simple questions that are so profound that they just might knock your socks off. Things that if our mindset changed to reflect the truths contained therein that those moments of despair might vanish in an instant.

1. When you originally came to Christ did you come to him to fix your broken life.....or your broken eternity? Your broken life with all its problems is an earthly thing, your broken eternity is a thing above where your life, after Christ, is hid with Christ in God. (Col 3:3) If it is about your broken life and not your broken eternity isn't your focus in the wrong place?

2. If this is all Christ has for you, meaning if where you are at in life right now, with the people you are with, serving God the way you are currently serving him, if that is all he has for you....can you be content and rest in it?

The bottom line is that we must be faithful with the small things that God has given us, for Jesus said he who is faithful in little will be faithful in much, and likewise with the faithless. When we are faithful with those things, content in serving the Lord, then and only then, can we be entrusted with ever more of the riches of the Kingdom.

Please don't comment on this post immediately, but instead give it time to sink in and just meditate on those scriptures from Colossians.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

You want me to do what!?!?!

What is growing in Christ all about? We think as we grow up to "spiritual maturity" that we will continue to have more and more responsibility in the church. We think that the longer we have walked with Jesus, the more trusted we are in the Christian community. I think that all of this is right, but I think that perhaps we perceive what it should actually look like a little wrong. All too often we think that "being more spiritually mature" means that we will have special privilege and benefits in the church, never realizing that those special benefits and privileges really amount to us being the servant of everyone else in the church. Special privilege means you get the cruddy job that no one else wants, and sometimes it doesn't feel so special. Don't believe me? Ask Jesus then.

Matthew 20:20-28
Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came up to him with her sons, and kneeling before him she asked him for something. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Say that these two sons of mine are to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?" They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." And when the ten heard it, they were indignant at the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

You see being "great" in the Kingdom of God means being the humble submissive servant to everyone else. What better way can we learn that lesson than from what happened this past Sunday after church here at Crossroads Fellowship. After service we were having lunch getting ready to go to a Christian Rock concert when one of my kids came in and told me that there was raw sewage pouring out of a pipe in back of the church. Frustrated I went out side and sure enough feces, used feminine hygiene products, urine, and all sorts of nastiness was flowing out of a sewage cleanout into the yard. So I get tools and get to work. But you know this story isn't about me, it is about one of the teenagers at the church. So anyway there I am trying to get it flowing again. Eventually I get it working somewhat and notice that someone has thrown a metal bar down the cleanout. I measure down with a stick and figure out my arm is just long enough to reach it. So as nasty as it is I stick my arm in the hole, and BAM it won't go in past my forearm. So now other men are offering to stick their arms in, but they all have arms like me. What we need is someone with a skinny arm, but long like mine. Where are we gonna find that?

Then it dawns on me. Our teenagers might work for the job. As we survey the teens left at church it comes down to only one choice - - - Jessica! Jessica is the only one with long enough arms that are skinny enough. So I ask this 15 year old girly girl. AND SHE SAYS YES! So here is Jessica laying with face mere inches away from raw sewage, arm shoved in the sewer pipe trying to get this bar. And she just barely can not reach it. So she tries with pliers to extend her reach, but can't get that to work. So we cut some of the pipe off, which gets to move her face even closer to the raw sewage on the ground, and eventually she fishes it out. Is this what Jesus meant by being a servant to everyone, and a slave of all? You be the judge.