As you know if you are a long time reader of this blog, that I am a fan of the writings and teaching style of Francis Chan. It has been well published that earlier this year he left his position at the mega church he started because he felt it was becoming too much about him and not enough about the Christ he teaches.
Yesterday a good friend of mine pointed me to a Cnn.com article about Mr. Chan’s departure. I found it very odd that this article mentioned several times that there was no impropriety in his leaving. It was almost like the assumption would be that is someone stepped out of a ‘famous’ position there had to be some sort of badness behind the scenes, and that the motivation for such a move would be more about covering up darkness then exposing the light.
Take a read, and add Mr. Chan to the cloud of witnesses that are pushing you towards good works. I hope you find some encouragement in the way Mr. Chan has kept his focus and that it will help you in your own personal decisions and directions.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the safe little environment that I live in. Nice comfortable house, water coming from the faucets, a very nice place to work, good roads, internet connections, electricity, all those things that we come to expect, and things that don’t get me wrong are great blessings from God. However, I think some times they all with the other aspects of life can make us complacent all the way around.
So I have been thinking about taking risks. I don’t mean bungee jumping off the New River Bridge, or necessarily backing up and moving to the Sudan. I am thinking about things closer to home that will force me out of what can become the comfort zone of life. I am not sure what this means yet, but I think it may lead to a good thing. With those thoughts, I have two things to share today. One is a video that I shared a few years ago with several of you from Francis Chan. If you can’t see this on your work computer, as I know YouTube is blocked a lot, make sure you check this out at home.
The second is this guy named Ananias from the book of Acts. God told him to go and see this bad dude named Saul who was persecuted those who followed the Christ, and he after a little bit of hesitation, went. He took a risk and great things happened
10In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered.
11The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. 12In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.”
13“Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your saints in Jerusalem. 14And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.”
15But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to carry my name before the Gentiles and their kings and before the people of Israel. 16I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
17Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” 18Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized, 19and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Acts 9:10-18
What risks are sitting in front of you that you are hesitant to take. Trust in God and see where he leads you. Great things are ahead, if we dare!
Last night I was listening to some stuff from Francis Chan and is this particular piece he tells of a professor who once asked him “What are you doing today that requires faith”? That’s a stumper of a question, but one that we should consider.
And since today is Daniel Boone Day, I think its even more appropriate. Just think about Mr. Boone, heading off into the Transylvania wilderness (that is what he wanted to call Kentucky) way before the Interstate Highway System was even a sparkle in someone’s eye. That took some faith!
So to honor ol’ Daniel, lets get that good time pioneering feeling going today and step out there on faith. Don’t be held back by the fear of the unknown, and the thought of what might happen. But your faith in the creator of the universe to help you and get to it.
1-2The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd. (Hebrews 11:1-2, The Message)
1-3Do you see what this means—all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running—and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed—that exhilarating finish in and with God—he could put up with anything along the way: Cross, shame, whatever. And now he’s there, in the place of honor, right alongside God. When you find yourselves flagging in your faith, go over that story again, item by item, that long litany of hostility he plowed through. That will shoot adrenaline into your souls! (Hebrews 12:1-2, The Message)
Last night, I was listening to some clips from Francis Chan, and in this clip he mentions an idea on how to face the day. He suggests that instead of praying today for God to give you this or to help you to that, that you instead ask God. Ask God where he wants you today. Ask God to lead your where he wants you to go. Essentially instead of asking God to fit your agenda, adjust your agenda to Gods.
This is really a thought provoking way of looking at the day. So that’s really it today. Can you look at today and say, God, how do you want me to serve you today? How do you want me to glorify you.. with the next customer, the next conference call, the next problem ,the next child, the next class….?
Approach you day and realize he is with you.
9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10New International Version (NIV)