I Have Decided To Follow Jesus (Just A Thought #28)

I love the New Testament. I particularly love the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. However when recently reading through the Gospels I noticed something quite disturbing.

I didn't recognize Jesus.

Jesus in the New Testament walked with sinners. He hung out with them at weddings and other celebrations. He ate with them. He even talked alone to a woman in what, for the times, would have been seen as scandalous because she was not a "good" woman or the right type! Jesus was not a conformist. He didn't hang out with the rich and powerful. He didn't embrace the wealthy and neglect the poor. He did not court the politicians.

Jesus did not chase after the latest fad. He acted in ways considered "Unbecoming" by the church of the day. He did things on the Sabbath....which was a Saturday by the way....He broke the rules. He stirred things up to the point that people sought His death.

After He rose from the dead, His disciples followed His lead. They went to the unloved, unwanted and uncared for. They stirred the pot. They spoke out, not so much against sin, but for Jesus Christ. They followed His example and pointed people to the Father. They focused on relationship.

Now lets look at we in the church, today. We have it easy. We sit in our pews and watch the world pass by out of our stained-glass windows. Oh, many will reach out to the hurting, but too many will not. Christianity has embraced politics and Christians try to legislate morality. We spend more time talking about what we are against than Who we are for. We seek the latest "Christian fad" rather than the heart of the Father. If we are honest, truly honest....we would rather sit and watch TV than sit among the dirty, the drunks, the sinners. I personally would rather be entertained than entertain someone when it would inconvenience me. We would rather protest outside of an event we disagree with morally than to go out for coffee with the "sinner".


I want to see the Jesus of the Bible reflected in my life! I want to see the Living God living in me. I want to see we in the church get off our backside and into the streets, reflecting the heart of Jesus. It'll mean sacrifice. It'll mean we might be spit on, persecuted and ignored. However once the church does that to us, then whatever the world throws at us will be easy!

Let's take it to the streets. Let's truly follow Jesus.


Dog Gone Pig!

So I had this dog as a kid. A cute little Collie, German Shepard mix. The dog was born next to a pig pen. When we got to the little farm there were all these pigs running around and off to the side was a dog with puppies. We selected our dog and then loaded up the van to drive home. Then we heard it. The dog was making pig noises. Born near the pen and being exposed to pigs it was making pig sounds. The dog was not embracing it's identity. In a short time though, with a new environment, the dog began acting like a dog!

Too bad it's not that easy for us humans. Gal.2:20 talks about how we are crucified with Christ, we no longer live but Christ lives in us. Our identity, when we accept Jesus Christ into our heart as Lord and Savior, is in Christ. Yet too many of His children still act like we are living in the pig pen. We are no longer in the world. We are a new Creation! New! (2 Cor. 5:17)

As a new creation I don't have to live a life according to the world. I can live one that is pleasing to God. One that is filled with peace in the midst of turmoil. One that is filled with hope for a future with Him.

I can live out the fruit of the Spirit because I won't be trying to do it myself.

So embrace your identity!



As you have probably noticed I have been thinking quite a bit about church lately. We just started a church plant in Smithers, BC called Main Street Christian Fellowship. It is a small non-denominational fellowship group.

The whole idea and concept of church has been rattling through my head. As we look at various traditions I find myself asking why? Why do we do this or that? What is the purpose? Is it filled with the Life of Christ or do we do it out of habit?

I am asking questions. Not only of others but of God. I can't say I have had any major breakthroughs but asking questions is good. It is stimulating. It is also eye-opening to see how others deal with these same questions.



Yesterday I spoke on Lazarus. The idea was given to me by my 10 year old and as soon as she suggested it all the tumblers in my head clicked and the message spread out before me.

I noticed 2 things when reading John Ch. 11. The first thing is that Jesus came to give life. So often today, believers are depressed, anxious, worried and discouraged. There is no joy and no Life. No vibrancy. It's sad. I have been there myself. Life is hard yet God can sustain us. He came to give us life more abundantly. (John 10:10) Jesus went to Bethany and raised Lazarus back to life. What an awesome miracle.

The other thing that stood out to me was John 11:35, "Jesus Wept". He knew that He was getting ready to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew the end result, the miracle that was getting ready to happen and yet He wept when Mary said He could have prevented Lazarus from dying. Why?

I believe it had to do with relationship. Jesus wants us to have relationship with Him. I think Jesus was feeling the pain of His friends. Pure and simple He cared! Relationships and Life are two themes that I see God weaving through my life right now. He wants me to have relationship with Him and with others. To share the Life He has given me with others.

Jesus truly is Lord, Life and Liberator!


I Met A Real Christian

Last night I met a real Christian. I'm talking about a genuine, walking, talking man of God. I am still amazed.

This man has been through the ringer. He has been at death's door. He took a physical hit that is still affecting him daily.

Yet in all of this, he told me last night he can still say God is good!

God is good. Wow. I would like to think I could and would do the same thing. However I had to stop last night and think....would I? If a life-threatening disease ravaged my body and I was not being healed, would I be able to say God is good? If my loved ones died or my house was destroyed and God did not solve the problem could I still say His ways are higher than mine and that He is good?

We all want God to solve our problems. We all need relief at times. Sometimes God does this in a miraculous way. Sometimes He holds back from moving. Is He unfair? Does He care?

God absolutely cares.

Let me share a story.......I have asthma....there are days when it is hard to breathe. To me that is a scary feeling. Yet once I went 3 years without problems and I know God had set me free. Then I developed bronchitis and asthma has returned. So is God good? Absolutely. Why did this happen though? I don't know. What I do know though is I pray more now than I did when I could breathe. I pray more for others and I talk to God more than I did before.

God is good!