Posts Tagged ‘Authentic’

“Wow, that was a very powerful message, what a Godly person they are.” We have probably said this in referring to a speaker we heard at a conference or some other meeting. But we may be mistaken. It may have been a powerful message but if we know the person only by acquaintance, we don’t know if their life represents what they just said.

Consider 1 Samuel 16:7 “I don’t look at the same stuff you do-the image, the voice, the perfect teeth. I look at the inside stuff, and I’m not talking about the lining of his designer jacket: I’m talking about character.” The Word on the Street

Or take Matthew 23:27 where Jesus speaks about religious types. “…people look at you and think you’re saints, but beneath the skin you’re total frauds.” The Message

There really is no power without the reality in our life. We really should only speak to people when the evidence is in our life. Someone told me a long time ago “never speak an inch beyond your experience” and I constantly remind myself of that. Not only do we have to examine our life but keep it in mind when we read a “great” book or listen to a great message. If you listen to a great speaker, see if you can get coffee or lunch and listen and ask good questions. If you read a book you may not have that opportunity, but you can make sure you speak only what is in your life.

If you are discipling someone, make sure you allow that person to see you not just in the Bible study but on the basketball court, painting someone’s house, with some non-believers…in other words, in real life. They will have the opportunity to validate your words. If someone is discipling you, make sure to see them in some real situations.

I only know one person who knows what “Chrome Shoes” means. Everyone else might make a guess but would probably be wrong. People explaining Christianity sometimes use words that a person who hasn’t checked out a church for most of their life might have that “blank stare” and have no idea what was just spoken. Think for a minute about “Are you washed in the blood?” Those of us who know Jesus get this, but an outsider might immediately leave concluding “that’s not real talk.”

2 Timothy 3:16 and 17 makes it clear that the Bible is useful for everything we deal with in life. Acts 2:37 indicates that when people understand the Word (and Christianity), it goes straight to their heart. It makes sense and connects with them.

So, when is Christianity meaningful? It is always meaningful, but when does it come alive and make sense to those outside of the faith? That happens when it connects with them, when it makes sense, when it relates to what they deal with at work, or in their relationships, and helps them understand their emotions. Then and only then is it worthwhile and relevant for them.

Practice sharing your story with someone and see if it connects or whether the “blank stare” makes an appearance on their face. How can you develop the ability to speak to people’s heart with words that impact and cause them to be curious and think about what you shared with them?

Chrome Shoes-chrome rims on a car or truck.

English: Dictionary indents. Français : Marque...

English: Dictionary indents. Français : Marques-pages dans un dictionnaire. Deutsch: Daumenregister eines Wörterbuches. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I had a dream last night that woke me up. Not unusual you might say but for whatever reason this one stuck in my mind. I was with a bunch of people in a yard who were yelling at a guy in another yard. The volume kept increasing until one guy screamed “we’re gonna win.” Standing next to this guy I said “define win.” I felt like it was important to elaborate on just what “win” meant. Everyone got quiet and one gal even gave me the finger. I walked away and then woke up.

A lot of life seems to consist of repeating various mantra that neither we nor others have really checked out the validity or source of whatever we are repeating. We just keep on saying it over and over and most of our closer friends believe the same thing anyway. How could anyone have the audacity to suggest something different that would make our definition wrong?

Jesus was the top dog at challenging people’s reasons for belief, ways of living, and whatever he knew violated God’s intention for us. He did it not to show off but because he really did love every person on the planet and wanted them to live life to the max-God’s way. A look at Matthew 22:29 and John 10:10 show this.

So, one of the huge issues today is “church.” What is it? Who’s right? Many are yelling their opinion. Here’s one more. A church is a church when disciples are making disciples (disciple must be defined correctly), as it is challenging that part of the culture that is taking away from God’s purposes, when a framework or network is being developed where people can be real, and when it seen as a journey of people banded together committed to doing life God’s way rather than just showing up at an event. I believe Matthew 5:13-16 and Acts 5:42 capture some of what Jesus was looking for in our doing church.

Doing or being church is simple but unbelievable challenging.

What comes to your mind when you think of these words? Interesting, strange, trapped might be a few. What about alternative reality? Are these guys real and is there really a hotel like this? Without getting too “out there” with this just consider that most people live in a reality that defines life in a way from which there is no escape, is very repetitive, is hard to make sense of, and usually ends in depressing conclusions that frustrate the fire out of them.

What does this have to do with Jesus? In a word-everything. The deal is however, he has decided to let you and I live and reveal an alternative reality to people trapped in mindless trivia issues that never go anywhere. 

When we live lives where we genuinely care, extend grace without condition, raise curiosity by going the second mile, love them when we know they have differing views about gun issues than us…(you can add to this), they realize we live according to an alternative reality that really does offer freedom from everything that traps them every day. Anyway, they are really more concerned about life before death than after it.

Think through Matthew 5:38-48; 2 Corinthians 10:12; Colossians 4:5 & 6 and 1 Thess. 1:2-9 and see how you can communicate this life to them. By the way if they only see this in you, they might conclude you are just an exception. But if they see this in several of us, they are going to want it. This really is church.

Oh, No! It's Devo

Oh, No! It’s Devo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)