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Archive for January, 2011

Consumer Jesus?

January 31, 2011 1 comment

So many people are trying to make money off of Jesus and they have a mindset of consumerism using Jesus as the selling piece. But is He for sale? Should they make money off of what they think Jesus is all about? What would Jesus Himself say about this?

I think you and I know what He would say…He would certainly disapprove because He wants people to KNOW Him not use Him for temporary riches (John 17:3).

We cannot domesticate Jesus. He was and is (since He’s still alive) a RADICAL. There is nothing tame or middle-class about Jesus!

Jesus said all kinds of things that ran people off quite frankly because they didn’t understand Who He was. That’s the key. If you don’t understand Who He is, then you will simply try to make money off of Him in this life and make Him into a consumer product. But if you KNOW Him and Who He is, then you know that this temporal life is not it and that there is a righteous Judge to Whom we will all give an account on judgment day (Revelation 20:11-15).

That Great White Throne of Judgment mentioned in Revelation 20:11 will wake up those who do not know Him but sadly, it will be too late.

-Mark (serving Jesus with fear and trembling knowing I am an unworthy servant of the Most High and King of Kings)

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“Jesus is my sponsor! He is my friend!”

January 28, 2011 1 comment

At self-help meetings, one is encouraged to get a sponsor which is someone to disciple them in the principles of the secular, self-help program. The problem is that a sponsor may not be a Christian. So how can someone learn about Christ from a person who is NOT a Christian? They cannot if the person is not following Christ!

So a good friend of mine came up with this slogan for those who need a sponsor in self-help meetings: “Jesus is my sponsor!”

John 15:13 reminds us that Jesus is the greatest friend we could ever have since He gave His life for us to forgive us of our sins: “Greater love has no one than this, that someone lays down his life for his friends.” (ESV)

Matthew 11:19 also reminds us that they accused Jesus of being a drunkard and a friend of sinners: “The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”

Jesus is a friend to repentant sinners! In fact, Jesus is my friend and my sponsor! I need Jesus to disciple me and He does through His Word and Spirit spoken through a committed believer and follower of Christ who is born again (John 3:3). In that way, “Jesus is my sponsor!”

We have a relationship with Jesus so this is not some corny, stupid saying. Jesus is my friend and advocate and most importantly, my Lord and Savior! He knows me and I know Him. We are very close. Therefore, I can say that “He alone is my sponsor!”

-Mark (loving my Savior, Lord, and sponsor, Jesus!)

“Mark is my comforter, counselor, and leader?” NO!

January 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Christians are so quick to seek comfort, counsel, and leadership from me BEFORE they turn to Christ. But they’ve got it backwards. Turn to Christ first and then to other people.

The Holy Spirit is your Comforter through another person so I understand that a human being often ministers the comfort of God. I don’t have a problem with that. My concern is that a person is turning to another human being rather than turning to Christ alone.

Remember it is “Jesus Only” month in January. Let’s turn to Him through prayer and reading His Word first!

-Mark (re-directing people who look to me to look to Him)

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Who is The Christian and Missionary Alliance?

January 23, 2011 Leave a comment

In our area, the denomination in which I am an ordained pastor is called The Christian and Missionary Alliance. The best known pastor in the denomination is A.W. Tozer, a mighty man of God. Read one of his books and it will challenge you to go deeper in your relationship with Christ!

I love the alliance which started as a movement in 1887 by A.B. Simpson. Dr. Simpson was sick of churchianity and the divisions in church so he started this movement to be an alliance (what a good word!) to unite people around the PERSON of Christ and the goal of making Him known to all the nations through the work of what most call “missions.” Dr. Simpson wanted Christians to fulfill the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) and to preach the Gospel to the entire world since their are parts of the world that do not have access to the Gospel!

Matthew 24:14 reminds us about the end times: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.”

In other words, we need to preach the gospel throughout the world to usher in the Second Coming of Christ. I am so ready for His return. Aren’t you? If so, then get busy spreading the Gospel.

So, I love the C&MA. Though it is not well known to many in our area (the South), the C&MA is well known in other countries and parts of the U.S. because of their focus on “Jesus Only.” That’s been the theme these past 2 years: JESUS ONLY!

What better theme can you have than Jesus Only?

-Mark (read for Jesus Only in the next life in eternity when I spend it with Him forever!)

NY Times article about the elimination of Narcissistic Personality Disorder

January 20, 2011 Leave a comment

So you think psychology is a unified, “scientific” field? Take a look at this article in the NY Times.

5 of 10 Personality Disorders are likely going to be eliminated from the DSM – Diagnostic Statistical Manual – the “bible” for psychiatric disorders. The most well-known one is NPD or Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Think about this for a moment: the world’s terminology is not working. Their labels are not accurately describing the so-called disorder. So, they re-name it and re-classify it. Meanwhile, all of the insurance companies and drug companies are depending upon these diagnoses for their very big businesses to thrive. What is a field like psychology to do without an absolute standard like God’s Word, the real Bible?

Does God’s Word change? Does God ever re-name or re-classify our pride, sin, or idolatry? No, never!

I think it’s sad that Christians rely upon the world to label problems rather than reading and relying upon God and His Word to tell us the truth.

Narcissists are prideful, self-absorbed sinners who are failing to love God and others (Matthew 22:37-40). Jesus addressed this problem quite often in His day and His solution remains the same today. God’s Word never changes.

The link information is:

Zanor, Charles, “A Fate That Narcissists will Hate:Being Ignored”, wwwnytimes.com/2010/11/30/health/views/30mind

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/30/health/views/30mind.html_r=1&scp=1&sq=narcissists&st=nyt

-Mark (only Jesus knows how to diagnose the heart of mankind)

Is God concerned about an organization’s reputation…or His?

January 19, 2011 1 comment

Is God concerned with the reputation of your church? Is He concerned even about your reputation or mine?

I don’t think so. Not a big deal to God. In fact, God gets blamed for so much that I would think He’s allowing us to see what it feels like to be wrongly blamed for all sorts of problems.

I know people who are what the Bible calls “people-pleasers” (Gal. 1:10, Eph. 6:6, Col. 3:22) and they are CONSUMED with their own reputations! It is MOST important to them! But what about God’s reputation, or as we say in Christianity, God’s glory? Are they CONSUMED with His reputation?

Because to me, that’s what separates the strong believers from the weak ones: a concern for God’s glory. Rather than want to be accepted, strong believers preach the Gospel and let the chips fall where they may. Pleasing God is most important to them as 2 Cor. 5:9 tells us: “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.” In other words, after we are saved, we must make it our goal to please Him, be most concerned about His glory and reputation, and emphasize Jesus Only!

We are to do all things unto the glory of God (I Cor. 10:31).

Am I concerned about Truth in Love’s reputation? Yes. Am I concerned about the reputation of The Lovelady Center? Yes. But am I more concerned about the reputation of Christ? YES!!!

-Mark (knowing the Lord is pleased with me and wanting to make Him known to others)

God is all about 1 thing…

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

God is all about His own glory.

Not your glory. Not my glory. Not your happiness. Not my happiness. God is about His glory in and through all things.

And He wants you and I to be all about His glory, too!

Jesus was all about God’s glory. John 12:28 reminds us of what Jesus said and how the Father responded (ESV): “Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”*

-Mark (are you about His glory?)

*The Holy Bible: English standard version. 2001 (Jn 12:28). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.