We are kingdom people and the kingdom of God should be on display daily in us and through us! Let us live out Matthew 5:14-16 which states; “You are the light of the world…let your light so shine before men, that they might see your good works (actions) and glorify your Father in heaven.” Please remember that the kingdom of God is not a matter of talk but of power! (1Cor. 4:20) The Apostle Paul made his intentions clear when he said; “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the power of God unto salvation for everyone who believes…” (Rom. 1:16)
Below is an actual challenge given by an atheist to those around him who claimed to be Christians yet their lives didn’t match their confession. Please read and ponder.
Challenge of an Atheist
Were I a religionist, did I truly, firmly, consistently, believe, as millions say they do, that the knowledge and practice of religion in this life influences destiny in another life, religion should be to me everything. I would cast aside earthly thoughts and feelings as less than vanity. Religion would be my first waking thought, and my last image when sleep sank me into unconsciousness. I would labor for her cause alone. I would not labor for meat that perishes, nor for treasure on earth, but only for a crown of glory in the heavenly regions, where treasures and happiness alike are beyond the reach of time and chance. I would take thought for the morrow of Eternity alone. I would esteem one soul gained to heaven worth a life of suffering. There shall not be worldly prudence, nor calculating circumspection in my engrossing zeal. Earthly consequences should never stay my hand nor seal my lips. I would speak to the imagination, awaken the feelings, stir up the passions, and arouse the fancy. Earth, its joys and its grief’s, should never occupy a moment of my thoughts, for these are the affairs of a portion of eternity so small that no language can express its comparatively infinite littleness. I should strive to look but on Eternity and on the immortal souls around me soon to be everlastingly miserable or everlastingly happy. I would deem all who thought merely of this world, merely seeking to increase temporal happiness, and laboring to obtain temporal goods, I would deem all such as purely mad men. I would go forth to the world and preach to it, in season and out of season, and my text should be, “what would it profit a man if he should gain the whole world and lose his own soul.” -Author Unknown
I hope that stirred you as it does me. A good reminder to live this life to the fullest, looking for the God opportunities to share the gospel with mankind! I will leave you with the words written in Philemon 6; “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.”
Be Blessed! PR
“Those who are planted in the house of the LORD Shall flourish in the courts of our God.” Psalm 92:13
When Cairn and I finished building our first house we began the daunting task of landscaping it. Cairn’s grandparents had a house about an hour away and they offered to give us this beautiful Red Japanese Maple tree that was planted in their backyard. We accepted the offer. A friend and I made the hour journey to their home with shovels, gloves, and a pick-up truck. We had never transplanted a tree…we had bought some before in a nursery (pre-packaged for easy planting) but never transplanted. We began to dig this tree out…we dug and dug and dug. Finally after a few hours of intense digging we were able to release the tree from the soil. It was an intense undertaking to separate that tree from the soil it was invested in. That tree was deeply rooted in that fertile soil!
Imagine local churches filled with congregants that are that invested in God’s house like that tree was invested in that soil. People who don’t just attend but are firmly planted in the house of God! Are you just attending church or are you planted?
There is a major difference between the two. One is casual (even if it’s weekly) the other is committed! One is interested the other is invested. We, “the Body of Christ”, must never be satisfied with mere attendance. The flourishing begins only when we are firmly planted in God’s house!
The scripture clearly implies two types of people in the afore quoted verse. Those who are planted (clearly stated) and those who are not (clearly implied). It also implies two indicators that determine which person we are. Those who are flourishing (planted) and those who are not flourishing (not planted).
When a tree is planted in soil the two come into a covenant together. The two begin to work together to produce what the other needs. If either one, the tree or the soil, do not operate in covenant or do not invest in the other, then the relationship and the ability to flourish will be poor at best. However, if the two begin to work together in covenant, investing in each other, the ability to flourish is unstoppable.
How do we become planted in God’s house? Great question. Being planted is in essence a deep investment that continues to grow deeper over time. One way to tell if you are invested (planted) is to ask what would it take to get me out of this church? How invested are you in the local church God has called you to? Do you tithe? Do you give above your tithe as the Lord directs? Do you volunteer? Are you moved to action when you see a need in the church or do you relegate it off to someone else? Are you using the gifts and talents God has given you to help the church expand the Kingdom of God? Are you in deep relationships with those around you in the church? Is your heart captured by the vision of your church? All these questions, answered honestly, hold the key to determining your investment level.
Get planted and watch as you begin to flourish, full bloom, in God’s house!