Capacity for love

The more we love God,

the more we learn to love our Christian brothers,
the more we love God and our brothers,
the more capacity we have to love our lost friends,
the more we learn to love our lost friends,
the more capacity we have to love even strangers we have never met.
It all starts though with our love for God and builds from there!
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Body of Christ

The Church is on a mission with Christ, the head of the Church (not Pastor Bill, the elders, or lay leaders) i our world to carry out the Father’s redemptive kingdom purposes.

No one individual has the total vision of God’s will for a local church.
When the Church comes together, it is vital that the counsel of everyone is included.
God places members in the body as it pleases him. God made us mutually interdependent.
Apart from the body, I cannot know God’s will for my relationship to the body.
Every believer has direct access to God and the church comes to know God’s will when the whole church is on the same page and understands what Christ, the head of The Church is saying and asking. Not just what a pastor is saying.
A spiritual gift is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit at work in and through a person’s life for the common good of the body of Christ.
The Holy Spirit decides to give assignments and enables spiritual leaders to accomplish His work.
God puts spiritual leaders and members in the body where he wants them to be.
The body is not complete without all the spiritual leaders and members God has given the body.
Members of the body should have equal concern for one another.
Spiritual leaders and members of the body have different assignments from God for the good of the whole body.
Right relationships with God are far more important than anything else. God does not add members to the body by accident. He builds the body to match the assignments.

Every single person at Cross Pointe has a place in the church. Every single person at Cross Pointe has a spiritual gift that the Lord has given you through the Holy Spirit.
As a member at Cross Pointe, we love you and we need you at Cross Pointe. You are essential for the common good of the entire church, because together as a whole we can know the Lord’s will together if our relationships are right with God.
One body part cannot function properly away fro the rest of the body. An eye without a mouth or eyes is useless.
Similarly a body without an eye makes life incredibly difficult. That is why every member is so important. God puts each person in a local church for a mighty purpose to use the Gifts he has gifted each with.

Christian Isolation

It is true as McRaney states on page 198 that, “the highest level of motivation for evangelism is love for God.”

Unfortunately, this (along with many other statistics) shows that Christians in America lack the passion to be godly and love God as they should.

We have lost sight of proper priorities in life. God calls us to “love the Lord your God with all of our Heart, soul, and mind.” (mt. 22:37)

My personal problem is isolation… I am calling it a problem not a barrier, because it is my own fault. Labeling it a barrier, to me seems like pushing the blame on uncontrolables. I know better than that, because I know that I can do something in my life to address this problem.

I am glad and humbled that McRaney straight-forwardly calls me out by saying that Isolation is my selfishness. I am selfish and enjoy the fellowship of other believers. There is nothing wrong with that in of itself, but when we are blocking our own movement from growth it is a problem. We should spend some of this “fellowship” time together sharing the Gospel together, through servant evangelism, door-to-door evangelism, inviting non-Christians to join us in our fellowship at home or church…so that they see the love of Christ with us.

When I shelter myself from the world, I am disconnected. Some of the best experiences I have ever had with other Christians and with God have been the times of brokenness and challenge. Times when I had a passion to reach the lost and I was being challenged daily to share my faith with other Christians.

Accountability in evangelism is one the best tools to avoid isolation. Two or three guys or gals should meet together regularly not only for Bible study but also for sharing the Gospel. Talk about and pray for the oppurtunities in real life, but also make oppurtunities intentionally whether you are going door-to-door or if you simply just have a get-together at your home and invite your lost friends there.

We need a passion for God and a passion to be godly. Amen.

Keep your eyes open for God at work

I have been reading The Unexpected Journey by Thom Rainer. The book is about people from 12 different faith backgrounds came to find and know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

The testimonies and stories of faith are revealed via interviews conducted by Thom, his wife and occasionally other staff members.
The book is a fun read because the narratives. There are details about each faith and each persons story on how they found Jesus Christ.
My heart has really been humbled and yet excited by reading these stories. One key I have been reminded of by these stories is that God is always working! Even when we think that are neighbors or friends are lost causes, we should not give up on them.
Be on the look out for where God is at work. God placed Christians in each of these respective lives on purpose to share Christ’s love and the Good News.
Simply showing Christ’s love to a neighbor you know is in need by serving them with a gift, food, merely talking to them or even prayer if God is pushing you to serve. The simple love of service can really open the doors to the lost person’s heart and prepare them for the Gospel.

Scary statistics

Some upsetting statistics from my Seminary Evangelism class. I do not recall the exact source but I believe these numbers are from Barna Research Group and the Southern Baptist Convention :

USA total population increased 11% in last ten years; church membership declined 9.5%

Church attendance is declining 10% over the past 7 years

Evangelical Church failed to gain additional 2% of population in the past 50 years.

No county in America has a greater percentage of churched people since a decade ago.

Half of all churches in America last year did not add one new member via conversion.

Churches are closing their doors….

1900 -27 churches for every 10,000

1950- 17 to 10,000

2004- 11 for every 10,000

We lose 72 churches per week or 10.27 per day

Gain 24 churches a week, 3.4 a day

Net loss of 48 week and 6.85/ day

USA is the Largest post-Christian nation.

It is the 3rd largest unchurched nation.

USA Lead world in all crime categories

North America is only continent where Christianity is not growing, in fact other Countries have sent Christian missionaries to us, when we once sent Christian missionaries to them!

13th (some ranked us even as high as 4th) highest receptor of missions nation

Fastest growing affiliation is “not religious”

(Canada + US) is only 3 t o5% truly evangelical

Bill Easum-estimates that in American churches 60% median age of 60 or higher

personality or character

I made the mistake of assuming what some one’s character is liked based on thier personality. On my behalf I did not really know him (character or personality) at all, but first impressions lead me astray. It was wrong for me to assume anything about his character based on the first encounter (point of contact.) First impressions swayed me wrong, but the same was probably true of my first impressions upon him.

I was having a bad day at work and then I went to his area on the dock and he was hastling me and giving me a hard time and made one paticular comment that really hurt me so I assumed that this guy was a very negative man.
Turns out he is a nice man and even a Christian. I ran into him agian recently. He remembered our entour a few weeks ago and started giving me a hard time agian. I told him about that week and that I was having a bad day and I admitted that I made a few mistakes a few weeks back then he asked me if I was a college student…
The conversation turned quickly once he found out I was taking online classes with a Christian University. He told me he was a Christian too. We made both made new impressions upon each other.
He did admit that he enjoys giving people a hard time, especailly if they make a mistake. And I had errored that first time I met him. Still I was wrong for mistaking his rough personality with his character. These two are not the same.
This man mentioned above has developed a great relationship with me. We pray for each other and have fellowship at work!

sin is not a disease

We cannot “cure” sin with the Gospel or with any words we say.

To say that Jesus is the cure for sin is also limited and devaluing the actual thing that Christ did do.
Christ died for sin. Sin requires a rebirth not just a cure. Sin is the entire essence of who we are as 
we come into this world, spiritually dead. Sin required death of Chrsit. And His death gives us new 
life.