Today I’ve been thinking about “cruise control” spirituality versus “race car” spirituality (Jerry Bridges coined the terms). Most of us are on cruise control. We’re not living in “disobedience.” It’s just that we’re content to be “in the pack” and just keep up with everyone else so as not to feel out of place or inferior.
Race car Christians want to keep growing. They don’t care about how they compare to others but how they compare to Christ’s likeness.
Which am I? Which are you?
I love baptism! I know that’s an odd thing to say perhaps. But it is beautiful.
“Baptizo” from the Greek means to “dip,” or “immerse,” or “submerge.” Why did Jesus pick immersion as the initiation rite for becoming his follower?
Romans 6 makes it clear that one of the primary pictures Jesus had in mind was decomposition–baptism is actually a mock tomb.
When we are lowered into the water, it’s like being lowered into the grave. Being raised out of the water like our raising to a new life.
Through baptism, God is saying, “The whole journey is about death. Death to yourself. Death to the culture in which you live. Death to your ambitions, dreams, and wishes. But it’s also about life! My life within you.”
Seek first the Kingdom of God.
Revolutionary statement because we argue the opposite by the way we live. “I” must live. I… I… I… Always I. We don’t care that much about the Kingdom compared to how we fit into the world and what it can give us.
But here Jesus points out the utter folly of being so anxious about the world.
Our relationship to God should be the dominating concentration of our life and we need to be carefully careless about everything else in comparison.
Why do we get sandwiched by exhaustion and guilt? Exhaustion for doing too much and guilt for feeling like we’re not doing enough.
Jesus did not heal everyone nor raise all the dead. He knew His mission, and He stuck to it. He was very conscious about His boundaries.
Jacques Ellul once wrote,
The person who is plunged into doubt is not the unbeliever, but the person who has no other hope but hope.
Actually, an unbeliever doesn’t have to wrestle with doubt unless they doubt their unbelief! You can’t really doubt something you don’t believe in the first place. However, believers can easily fall into doubt because even while we believe in God, we don’t actually have all the proof. We’re living “by what we believe, not by what we see” (2 Corinthians 5:7).
If you believe, if you have faith, then you will always be susceptible to doubt.
Stop believing and you’ll stop doubting.
Stop believing and you won’t see any need to question God.
Here’s today’s set list of music at the Awakening Service at FCC. This will be linked to The Worship Community.com blog where other worship bloggers post their setlists.
Here’s what we did:
I Will Rise
Baptism of Robert Sunseri!
All the Earth Will Sing Your Praises
Message: Today You Will Be With Me In Paradise (We used 2 videos that we made…and on both we used the guitar work of our very own Tim Mize!)
Special Music: Testify To Love (our singers were incredible on this!)
(during communion) Sweetly Broken (Debbie doesn’t always lead on this song but she did this just right!)
Glorious Day (A new song for us by Casting Crowns. David Owen sounded awesome on this one. Looking forward to doing it again.)
Let God Arise
We did something different this week in that we used all of our singers on different songs rather than use our normal rotation. We’re blessed to have so many incredible singers.
All of our fears about the future are relieved because of what Jesus did 2,000 years ago. He didn’t just die for us (and our sins) on a Friday, He rose from the dead on a Sunday, thus conquering death and hell. And now that promise of eternal life in relationship to Him has been promised to us (those who trust in Him). Praise God! Have a happy Easter!
The character of the leader underlines the content of the message. If you want to be a leader, you have to first check your motives to be sure your desire isn’t driven by ego or personal gain…then live your message. Simple? Uh-uh. I have to continually ask myself, “Does my character complement my message?”
Sometimes I realize that I love God’s blessings more than God. Is it possible I just want what I think God can give me? One of the things I believe God is teaching me is that at times I want my dreams more than I want God. I want what God does for me instead of just God.
I’m not a fan of the word “Christian” to describe me or others in the Church. It’s too passive. It should describe what we do, like “disciple” or “follower of Christ.”
“Christian” appears only 3 times in the Bible. “Disciple?” 260!
It means “learner” or “pupil.” So we are to learn and obey Jesus. So a disciple is always growing; transformation should be the norm.
Disciples don’t just believe differently; they behave differently.