(HFJ) Hop For Jesus! (Just A Thought #24)

Did you hear the story about the Christians who had a prayer meeting? It appears that they had this meeting and the next thing you know brother Joe started talking about this vision he had and how everyone in the vision was hopping on one foot and whooping for Jesus.

Well at first the people thought this was crazy but then Brother Joe sited an obscure Scripture in Leviticus 11, which talked about hopping. (Yes, it’s in the American Standard Version, but it refers to which insects you can eat.) No one bothered to check and see if this verse was in the Bible, or even if the Scripture was taken in context or not. Seems another sister confirmed this vision when she said she hopped on one foot and was healed. Two weeks later the whole church had a foot hopping service. Then stories started rolling in of how people were being blessed by hopping. One guy got a promotion. Another guy found $20. A few weeks later a lady started writing hopping music. The Christian media picked up on it and before long the bookstores began selling hopping music. (Hip Hopping Hallelujah and Hopping Hymns were 2 bestsellers) Then Brother Joe, who introduced the joy of hopping, wrote a book which spent 22 weeks on the best sellers list. The Purpose of Hopping was followed by Holy Hopping and Secrets to a Hopping Life. Then the fist coffee cup in the shape of a foot was sold, followed by bracelets with HFJ (Hop For Jesus) was made. All the youth groups had to have them. The journals and pens got lost in the shuffle, but the Hopping Bible was a big seller. Eventually, as the movement wound down, someone had a vision of a man yodeling… .

Philippians 1:9-11 “And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”

Why do Christians follow fads and trends? Good question. We are called to be in the world but not of it. Yet it appears that whatever marketing or business trend is happening in the world is eventually duplicated in the church. Not to mention the extra-biblical themes being introduced into the body of Christ without as much as an eyebrow being raised. The specific trends aren’t important right now and I am not saying God can’t use these things, but I notice many people start talking about the emotional extras more than they talk about God. It seems our focus has shifted from Him to us! How are we feeling? What are we enjoying? This is how I was blessed. You should do such and such and you’ll prosper. I, Me, You! Self-Centered Christianity is not what God has called us to. He has called us to an uncompromising faith in Him. Our soul can truly only prosper when we delight in Him and His law. (Psalms 1:3, Prov. 16:20)

I believe God is calling His church back to the Himself. Uncompromised! Focused! Refreshed in Him; not relying on man-made extras to make things exciting. We need to get away from “emotional” Christianity and back to LIFE in Jesus Christ! There is Joy in Him. We don’t need the window dressing. We need Him! We don’t need an emotional high to have relationship with Him. We just need Him. It’s not about feelings it’s about fact. Jesus Christ crucified, risen, victorious. Galatians 6:14 says, “But far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world.” Jesus Only Jesus!


Lessons From Golf

I found out today something I already suspected. I am not a golfer! I am also very OK with that. I learned a valuable lesson today though. One is that if there is a tree I'll probably hit it with a golf ball, and the next one, and the next one!

The more valuable lesson though for me had spiritual implications. See no matter what club I used I could not get the ball to do what I wanted. No matter what way I faced I hit a tree. The hole was but an illusion. I did not seek advice beyond a question or two but kept plugging away expecting different results. Unfortunately the same things kept happening. I hit ball, ball hits tree, repeat. Finally after some frustration at my inability to do this seemingly simple task I gave up on the 15Th hole!

So what does this have to do with anything spiritual? Well on the drive home I was reminded how much of my life I spent trying to hit God's targets with my strength. No matter how hard I tried I kept missing the mark. I could not move in the right direction because I always thought I knew a better way. My own. All I did was frustrate myself though. Repeatedly God would show me what He wanted me to do and I would invariably take off in the opposite direction to try to achieve the result. I wore myself out going in circles to get back to the place God originally wanted me at to begin with.

I finally learned that I had to do what I did today on the golf course. Give up. I had to learn to surrender to God's will not my own. Only by listening to His plan, His directions, His goals could I achieve the target He had for me.

Sometimes I have to be reminded of that lesson. I know that only by following the Master can I hit the goals God has. I am glad God reminded me of that today because I am sure He has a reason...maybe tomorrow He will show me a target to aim for. I want to be ready to surrender before I start! Surrender to His will!


Sin Don't Touch!

I remember years ago participating in a skit called sin don’t touch. The idea behind the skit being that a chair represents sin and God points to the chair and says no one is to touch it. Of course man comes along and immediately touches it and gets stuck to the chair. It was a humorous little sketch used to illustrate a point.

What got me thinking about this skit?

I was up early on a Sun. morning and flipped on the TV to catch the weather. Across my screen came a televangelist. I don’t remember which one and it’s not real important. He was talking a lot about blessings. However he made it sound very cheap and easy to acquire and never mentioned sin, repentance, surrender, etc.

Now I believe fully God blesses His children. That’s not really the point.

I was just realizing that I never here sin talked about anymore. Now granted I haven’t been to every church in the world and your church may talk about sin and repentance. If so thank God! I rejoice with you.

However I notice many times I never here anything mentioned about sin, a need for a savior, repentance, anything. Just recently an article in a Canadian magazine even posed the thought that Jesus wasn’t needed in church today!

How sad. Are people being made aware they have a problem and that there is only ONE way out? God abundantly blesses His children but before we can have abundant blessings and become His children we need to have repentance. Before we can repent we have to know there is sin! It’s why I wear a t-shirt that says Sin is the leading cause of death! (Romans 6:23)

So let’s touch the topic of sin. Address it while we can and point people to the hope that is in Jesus Christ!


Bobcat Tales – Flee

Have you ever tried to bathe a bobcat? If not, I would HIGHLY recommend you not try it! See, I learned from experience that this is not a good idea. I remember one time in my teens my parents decided our pet bobcat needed a bath…in the bathtub! So my dad and I quickly gathered up the bobcat and went into the bathroom shutting the door behind us.

The bobcat went into the tub with no problem. Of course then we turned the water on and all of our best laid plans went out the window. For the bobcat it quickly turned into a fight for survival. She was having none of this bath stuff and away she went. The harder we tried to keep her in the tub the more she began tearing into our arms. As she repeatedly scratched at us, she eventually made it out of the tub and started climbing the walls.

Finally in resignation my Dad decided, wisely, that this wouldn’t work and we let her run free.

The bobcat knew how to flee when she was in perceived danger.

I wish I knew how to do the same thing.

I love the story of Joseph. In Genesis 39 we find the story of Joseph. Joseph had been abused roughly by his brothers and sold into slavery. Eventually God moved him into a position of authority. Then Potipher’s wife decided she wanted a little one on one time with Joseph. However Joseph resisted her charms. Finally one day she grabbed a hold of him and begged him to spend some alone time with her. Joseph, not unlike my bobcat, fled when he perceived the danger!

There are times in my life when I do this. I run like the wind when temptation, any temptation hits. Unfortunately, there are times where I linger and see what might develop. Bad news. Nothing ever good comes from flirting with temptation. I recognize my need to flee. Does this ever happen to you?

If so I encourage you to practice fleeing like a bobcat getting ready to be dunked, the next time a temptation to sin hits.

Just A Thought