Archive for October, 2010
One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. Psalm 145:4
Today’s WOTD offers a command followed by a call.
THE COMMAND: “To declare the mighty acts of God to the next generation of men.” I know that God has done mighty things in my life and the lives of the men of Engage. If you don’t believe that God is mighty or moving, just ask.
THE CALL: Heed the command and mentor a student from the undergrad. This is your chance to speak the mighty acts of God to the coming generation. There are over a dozen mentees already waiting for a graduate student mentor. You don’t need all the answers, nor do you need any excuses, you simply need a heart for Jesus and a heart for younger guys who need strong Godly men to show them the way. The requirement for convocation credit is 4 meetings per semester, each meeting lasting 40-60 minutes.
Please don’t underestimate the ability you have to impact these guys lives or overestimate the seriousness with which God calls us to speak his mighty deeds to the next generation.
To be a mentor TAKE ACTION NOW:
First: fill out a short application HERE.
Second: complete the training HERE.
Third: E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to get yourself a.
You can read more about the program HERE.
Love Strong, Lead Strong, Chris
1 Peter 3:14-17 (New International Version)
14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear[a]; do not be frightened.”[b] 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
I was reminded of this verse this morning when we were talking about sticking out, and it happens to be my favorite set of verses in the Bible. While I think it’s easy to glance at it and see the blatant challenge to embrace suffering, there’s so much more there. How often are we wondering how to stick out, what to do to be different in culture, and contemplating ministry, while living sheepishly in the “normal” things that make us different. My favorite part is the simple command to be ready to give an answer when people ask us why we’re different, with the qualification of keeping gentleness and respect. This verse is really a very concise philosophy of ministry that anyone can understand. I don’t think it’s inherently a pragmatic, philosophical, or moral focus, but just simply God asking us bearing witness when we’re in a situation where people are interested and willing to talk.
Here’s a verse I have been stewing over for the past two weeks:
“The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said: ‘The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he will reign for ever and ever.’” Rev 11:15
I love this verse as a simple proclamation of the truth of our Father’s total victory and Jesus’ lordship over the earth. Sometimes, I need something this short and direct to remind me what’s true, and what’s most important. As those of you who are 1Ls will discover at finals (and those of you who aren’t can attest to), playing for keeps in grad school (test time) quickly becomes all consuming (hence my failure to send out he word of the day until now!). In the face of such pressure, I think it helps to try and maintain focus on simple and direct truths that help forge eternal perspective.
- Ephesians 5:2 -
This verse in particular stood out to me because it’s not only a call to challenge ourselves but a challenge of something of which may not be our strong suit. Growing up in my household, the way my Father would express his love to his three boys was to put them through physical pain. He never missed an opportunity to playfully punch or attempt to wrestle. Even at his age today (55) and though I could probably give him a stroke, he continues this sort of behavior. Though every once and a while, and more frequently as time has gone by, I will exchange the words “I love you.”
I think as guys it is particularly difficult to express appreciation and love to one another. For most of us, it may be something that is not innate or instinctive to do. This semester with giving “words of encouragement” at the end of each Engage meeting, I think it has instilled in us a practice to do these things. Let’s continue to do these things but expand it to our daily lives. When I was young, getting a kiss on the cheek or hug from my mother (especially my father) when I was dropped off from school had to go down as one of the more embarrassing moments of my youth. Yet the irony of it is that it is probably the most memorable habits of my childhood. You mature and realize that being tough and having a “cool” outward appearance amounts to nothing in retrospect.
Matt. 26:74 – Peter loved his Lord and followed Him after He was taken at Gethsemane. Peter was anxious to see what would be done with Jesus. But when he was accused of being one of His disciples, fear for his own safety led him to declare that he did not know Jesus. A second time they questioned him and a second time he denied His Lord. The third time that he was asked, Peter went to great lengths to convince his accusers that he was not a follower of Christ. He did this with cursing and swearing. The disciples were noted for the purity of their language. Being fishermen, I’m sure this was quite the change from their previous habits or from the practice of other fishermen. So, in order to give his accusers overwhelming evidence, Peter denied the charge the third time with cursing and swearing so that they would know that he was not a follower of God.
The story made me wonder, how often do we curse and swear when we are upset or offended? Even worse, we thoughtlessly use curse words during casual conversations with our friends!!! When we use such words are we alerting others that we are followers of Christ? Are we drawing the hearer’s mind to our love for our Savior? Or are we, by those words, inadvertently denying our Lord and portraying to the world that we don’t know Him? In order to be “Metal Men” and to be known as “Metal Men,” we should ”keep our tongues from evil” and guard the words that we say, because, unlike Peter at that point in his life, we are unashamed of being associated with Christ.
This last weekend my wife and I got a chance to spend a few extra hours of time together and talked about the things that had had been on our hearts. It was amazingly refreshing to expose my heart to her and be seen for who I am rather than be evaluated only on the quality of my most recent brief or the results of my last interview. In eNgage we have been talking about defining ourselves as who we are rather than what we do; I feel one of the first big steps in that sort of living is sharing with others the things God has put in your heart.
My brother-in-law is a pastor at a pretty amazing church in Hollywood called Ecclesia. http://www.churchinhollywood.com While teaching through Romans he asserted that “sin is not failure, sin is rebellion.” Sharing our hearts with each other is critical to our growth individually and in our relationships together, but it is even more vital that we share our hearts with God. Rather than seeing our faith as another exam, another test, another outward measure of what we ‘should’ do or recently failed to do, we are able to open our hearts to relate as sons- rather than insurgents. Today, what I want you to consider is not if you read your bible this week or if your thoughts could not find their way out of the gutter. Think about how God has been stirring or moving in your heart this week and share those emotions and passions with someone- today. Take a step in transforming the way in which you measure yourself from outward actions to inward passions and help someone else see you for who you are by letting them see your heart.