Will God answer your prayer to make life easier?

Only 2 times in New Testament (that I know of) did someone ask God to make life easier…both times God said NO!

The first and primary example is of Jesus. Matthew 26:39 “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.” The Lord Jesus Christ asks God the Father if there is another way to fulfill His Will right before he is betrayed by Judas and captured to be crucified for our sins. There was no other way. The cup would not pass from Christ.

The second example is of Paul. In 2 Cor. 12, Paul explains how he asked God to remove a thorn from his side three times. Yet, God said no. God said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.”

In American culture we are determined to get what we want when we want it. We are determined to pray for our the easiest life possible. This is not always what God wants.

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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.

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

Men: Dominating what mattters

Men:
Let us Dominate what matters!

We have become so good at dominating what does not matter:
1. Video games
2. Being lazy
3. Eating a lot of food
4. Showing off our “guns”
5. Beating each other up

But like I said none of this stuff really matters

What would it look like if we took control over the stuff that does matter:

Let’s Dominate:
1. Our Spiritual lives
2. Assertiveness
3. Showing true Romance to our loved ones
4. Chores
5. Showing Real Love of Jesus

Something to think about
ALEX

Blurb from Love your God with all your Mind

“We should have good reasons for thinking that Christianity is true before dedicating our entire lives to it. We should have solid evidence that our understanding of a passage is correct before applying it to our lives. we should be training other Christians on how to think carefully about their faith. Apologetics should be a regular part of discipleship.”

This is a paraphrase of JP Moreland from Love your God with all your Mind

What sticks out to me is the difficulty and just how uncommon this concept is.
I wish that apologetics were a normal part of training. Moreland shares a story and explains how we apply passages to our lives based on vague feelings and not by doing the hard work of study.

explanatory power

Christians…
if we believe we have the answers (which we really do), then we have explanatory power…
If we have explanatory power, then why are we not using it?

One of the big problems is ignorance. Many “Christians” are not well versed, taught enough. They do not understand their faith completely.

Another problem is lack of faith. Some believes just do not believe that we have all the answers.

Maybe another problem is the lack of effort. Some Christians know that we have God on our side and know that we have the answers. They trust God and all, but they are not disciplined enough or serious enough about studying the Word of God and being ready at any moment to answer such questions.