Undergroundchurch Blog

Preparing the Church for the future

  • UnderGroundChurch

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 16 other followers

  • Subscribe

  • Twitter

Day 85: Science of Persuasion

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 18, 2016


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

I was watching a YouTube video on the Science of Persuasion recently, and as I watched them define 6 shortcuts in being persuasive, I saw Jesus. These techniques were already used by Jesus during his ministry to influence others (specifically, in showing his followers how it’s done).

Watch the video below and then finish reading.

Science of Persuasion

The first shortcut to influencing others is Reciprocity. This means that people are more willing to give back that which they also receive.

How Jesus influences through Reciprocity

Jesus told us that there was no greater love than one shows when they lay their life down for another. He demonstrated this by dying on a cross for the sins of mankind.

Though we were yet still sinners, Jesus Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Since he showed us grace in this way, we are compelled to do the same for others.

The second principle is Scarcity People want more of what they can’t have.

How Jesus influenced through Scarcity

People do not have a lot of grace toward people that violate their particular rules. Jesus has rules, but has greater mercy. A woman caught in the act of adultery was brought to him because the law said she must die (so should the guy, but where was he?)

Jesus ignored them for a bit then asked, “You without sin cast the first stone”.

“Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

She said, “No on, Lord”

And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you’ go, and from now on sin no more” – John 8:10-11

The third principle is Authority.  People will follow the lead of credible and knowledgeable experts.

How Jesus influences through Authority

Jesus wowed the teachers of the law at 12 years of age. People marveled everywhere asking, “where did this man get so much wIslam and authority”.

With Authority, he commanded demons to flee, drove out money changers in the temple and preached the message of repentance.

The fourth principle is Consistency This is asking for small initial commitments that can be made.

How Jesus influences through Consistency

Jesus picked his disciples with one simple statement – “Follow me”

Jesus preached a simple message, “Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand”.

Jesus didn’t ask more than one thing from pexpel. It may have been a challenging thing, but it was always a call to a commitment to God and was doable. Salvation begins with a small request of commitment, “believe”.

The fifth principle is Liking. Simple put, people are more influenced by people they like.

How Jesus influences through Liking

The video shows three factors to people liking us:

  1. People who are similar – Jesus, who is God, became a man to dwell among us.
  2. People that give compliments – when someone responded in faith, Jesus would always compliment. Sure he also corrected those that lacked faith, but never missed an opportunity to encourage.
  3. People that cooperate – This is why Jesus didn’t get along with the leaders. He didn’t cooperate with their brand of religion. But when it came to people who brought people to Jesus to be blessed or healed, he never turned them away.

The Sixth principle is Consensus. People will look to the actions of others   To determine their own.

How Jesus influences through Consensus

As mentioned, Jesus exemplified the life we should lead, so all we need to do is emulate him.

However, he also takes this concept in reverse when dealing with others. He says,

Do for other that which you want them to do for you. – Matthew 7:12

Later, when the Church comes into fuller being, Paul talks of the followers of Christ as a “body”, working together for the common good. Unity is critical for all followers of Christ.

If Jesus influences us, we cannot be a follower in a vacuum. We must continue in the ways he showed us with others so that we can also influence in the way he did.

 

Posted in Daily Devotion - Scripture Nuggets, Jesus, The Church, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Day 84: Your World View

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 12, 2016


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

Accidental evolution or Intelligently designed Creation? What happens when we die? Is there a God? Is morality absolute or is it subjective?

Questions like these are more philosophical than driven by data. There is an element of faith involved and can be birthed through your home environments or a personal experience in life.

Answers to these questions will also tamper with the way you look at world events. For example, if you do not believe in God, you might make life decisions that focus solely on the here and now, and death might feel like the finish line. If you do believe in God, then you might look at death as a “speed bump” more than a “terminal situation”.

A world view also drives our sense of purpose. Again, if we believe in God, we tend to see life events through the lens of the divine and less to randomness.

King Solomon, regarded by many as a pretty wise ruler, wrote an entire Book on the meaning of life. He starts his discussion…

Vanity of vanities, says teh Preacher, vanity of vanities! All is vanity. What does a man gain by all the toil at which he toils under the sun?  A generation goes, and a generation comes, but the earth remains forever. – Ecclesiastes 1:1-3

He spends quite a bit of time basically saying that if your world view is that there is no God, then there is no purpose and why does any of this matter. But if there is a God, then there is a reckoning or final judgement one day and everyone will need to give account.

If we are wrong about there not being a God, then end the end we lose everything. If we are wrong about there being a God then we lose nothing because everything would have been meaningless anyway.

So as Solomon concludes,

The end of the matter; all has been heard. Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of the man. For God will bring every deed into judgement, with every secret thing, whether good or evil. – Ecclesiastes 12:13-14

Posted in Faith, Hope and Love, Heaven and Hell | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Day 83: World View

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 5, 2016


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

Which weighs the most, 16 oz of feathers or 1 pound of solid lead?

Before I answer the question, let’s talk world views. World views are the framework you use when evaluating everything you encounter. They are the glasses you see the world through. 

World views have a tendency to taint our objectivity and keep us from adopting new ideas that operate outside our particular world view. We tend to bias our thoughts toward our particular viewpoint. 

Everybody has world views, and for many of us, we have no idea where they came from, why we have a particular one or, even worse, how to prove them.  When something comes up so powerful that we can’t deny it in the face of our world view, our “world”, as it were, can come crashing down. Everything we thought was real is called into question.

Our world view also tends to polarize our thoughts. Something is one way or another way, but we have a very hard time thinking that it could be both or a combination thereof.

World views have other names too like perspective, point of view, stance, intuition, and theories. When groups of people form them we call them conventional wisdom or political correctness. We will often spend time taking in only the data that supports our particular point and ignore the data that tells a different story. The main danger to world views is the inability to get to truth. In fact, the “main barrier to truth is our presumption we already have it” – Chuck Missler.

So back to my question. Which weighs the most? If your world view sees numbers like 16 being larger than 1, or you don’t know the different between oz and pounds, you may have said the feathers weigh the most. If you think in pictures, then you probably see the lead and the feathers and say, it has to be the lead. Still, if you are skeptical, you are probably thinking that this is a trick question. Still some of you have seen something like this before and you know the answer because of your world view experience.

The truth is that both weigh the most because they weigh exactly the same. So how did your world view influence your?

We’ll look more at world views tomorrow.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Day 82: The Paradigm of the Body and Bride

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 4, 2016


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

Believers on earth are the Body of Christ. Each of us is a member, with different functions, makeup and design so that we can edify and build each other up and carry out the mission of Christ in the earth.

Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. – 1 Corinthians 12:27

We function today as the Body of Christ doing what Jesus would have us do – ministering to people, seeking out the lost, growing in unity and love. We are building the “ONE” body of Christ. There aren’t different bodies, just one.

Though we are the Body today, we are also becoming a bride to be united with Christ. I split hair a little on the timing of the when we are the Bride, but i base it on Revelation.

Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. – Revelation 21:2

Jesus tells us that he is the Bridegroom (what we know today as a groom) John 3:29. We will be presented as the Bride on the Day the new Jerusalem is revealed. Today we are carrying out the work of Christ as his Body, one day we will enter into his rest and be fully united with Christ as the Bride.

It is a subtle difference in regards to who we are, but a big difference in regards to position. Today we function as the Body of Christ, serve as the Slave of the Master, Live as the Child of God, but we enter eternity as the Bride of Christ with an end to all suffering.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Day 81: Paradigm of Suffering

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 1, 2016


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

“For I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

What would you say if God saved you only to tell you, “Oh, and you will suffer a lot for me”?  Suffering is probably the highest calling one can have in the Kingdom of God. It emulates what Jesus did for us.

So they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. – Acts 5:41

The early church understood that suffering for Jesus was something to rejoice about. Today, we rejoice when we are blessed with a new car or extra cash. This is upside down from the original intent. Suffering brings us closer to Jesus. People that suffer together have a special bond.

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. Rom 8:16,17

It is “almost” a guarantee that we will suffer. Suffering is a step toward being glorified with Christ. It produces in us patience and that produces character, which produces hope, and hope in Christ doesn’t disappoint. Romans 5:3-5. Do not be caught up in teachings that equate the blessings of God with success, prosperity or worldly accolades.

For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake – Philippians 1:29

Paul looks at suffering as a gift granted on behalf of Christ. Don’t be fooled into thinking that God wants you to be happy. God is more interested in your Character than your comfort. He wants you to be full of Joy, which comes through peace with God in Christ Jesus.

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.- 2 Timothy 3:12

The less sin, the more suffering from persecution. Your friends, family and Satan himself wants to draw you down into the sin they struggle with – pride, selfish ambition and the lusts after this world. So as you walk away from them, you will definitely hear it from those still drowning in it.

For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps:- 1 Peter 2:20, 21

When you suffer AND your are in the wrong, it is no profit to you, but suffering for doing good is a crown…

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. 1 Peter 3:14

… and a blessing

Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God. – 1 Peter 4:1,2

The greatest harm to the understanding of suffering is the American mentality. If we look people doing Church without the trappings of a prosperous nation, we will see more clearly. For example, according to Francis Chan, the 5 characteristics of the underground church in China are:

  • Prayer
  • Reading the Word
  • Missional Mindset
  • Regular Expectation of the Supernatural
  • Embraced suffering for the Glory of Christ

Posted in Daily Devotion - Scripture Nuggets, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Day 80: The Paradigm of a Child

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 31, 2015


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

 

There are many models that illustrate our relationship with God.

Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:4

Children, especially young ones, are very trusting, dependent and full of faith. To a 5 year old, anything is possible. A stick can become a light-saber, a box becomes a rocket ship. I know of Fortune 500 companies that bring in 2-5 year olds to help them think outside the box when they want an innovative solution.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14

God is very serious when it comes to children. He held nations accountable for not taking care of the widows and the orphans. He charged his church with this very task too calling it “pure religion” (James 1:27)

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name – John 1:12

We are made children of God when we receive Christ. This paradigm means that like Christ, who was made the Son of God, we are also sons and daughters of God who will one day take part in the same inheritance that Jesus has been given. (Romans 8:16,17)

We are called to be obedient children and reflect the light of Christ in and through our lives.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Day 79: The Paradigm of a Sheep

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 30, 2015


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

There are many models or paradigms in the Bible the illustrate our relationship with God.

Sheep are dumb.

This may seem a bit strong, but it perfectly illustrates us. The wisest wisdom of man can even match the foolish thoughts of God. (1 Cor 1:25).

We are the sheep in the picture throughout the Bible. They get lost, they need a leader that is not another sheep. They need help finding food and water, keeping their hair trimmed.

Sheep need a leader that’s not another sheep

If left to their own devices and follow a sheep-leader, sheep will wander until they all fall off a cliff or get eaten by a wolf. Sheep need a shepherd. Shepherds are a different class of animal that can intercede, protect, shear, feed and house sheep.

Sheep are highly dependent on a shepherd. King David even wrote Psalm 23 about the relationship a sheep has with a “good” shepherd.

A PSALM OF DAVID. Sheep are dependent upon a Good Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever. — Ps 23

The Good Shepherd

Jesus tells us that He is the only Good shepherd and that he loves his sheep and his sheep hear his voice. The Good shepherd laid his life down for his sheep. It’s awesome to trust in a shepherd who loves us like that.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Day 78: Advocacy

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 29, 2015


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

30 years ago I stood before a judge in a traffic court. The court appointed attorney suggested that I just plead “no contest”, which he said was not the same as guilty, but since the evidence was overwhelming against me, I shouldn’t plead “not guilty” and potentially raise the penalty. Some have suggested I should have pleaded not guilty by reasons of insanity since I could have proved that much easier.

My counsel was not the best advocate for my side. He didn’t really fight for me or defend me or even speak for me. He just suggested a course of action and left it to me to say the words.

We all make mistakes, and often times, those mistakes are sins. John wrote a letter to his people that says,

My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father (that is the judge), Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation (that is appeasement, which produces favor) for our sin, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. – 1 John 2:2,3

Wow! What an advocate. He isn’t just sitting there recommending that you plead no contest or not guilty by reason of insanity, but he actually stands in your place and gaims favor with the judge. He has all the influence needed to plead your case as “not guilty” and then win the argument.

Posted in Daily Devotion - Scripture Nuggets, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Day 77: The Paradigm of Slavery

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 28, 2015


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

Forced Slavery is a horrid practice. It has taken so many forms through the centuries, but has a basic objective – strip another of their rights, make them obey your every command, restrict their every move and force them to depend upon the master.

Whether sLavern is a result of an invading army’s action or a government’s will or by a kidnapper’s hand, forced slavery is cruel, evil demeaning and tyrannical. There is never an excuse for it.

Notice the verbs “Strip, Make, restrict, force”. These are verbs void of love, compassion and mercy. But what if I take those verbs and transform them, “Freely give up my rights. Willingly obey your every command. Lovingly surrender my will. Trust and depend on my master.” This transforms the concept from something that man has corrupted into something that God has designed.

In the Bible, there is no word to differentiate between slave and servant. It is the same word and is the word literally translated “slave”. It is the most all encompassing word to describe a Christian.

In Bible times, slaves often were endentured and the result of a debt or some other obligation that put them in a “temporary” position that required them to become a slave. Some masters, though, actually were good people and treated their slaves with kindness. At the end of their slave’s term, the slave had two options – leave or stay. If they did choose to stay, they would take an awl and hammer and stand at the doorpost where the master would punch a hole in their ear indicating that they were no longer and endentured slave, but a servant bound by love. A willing slave. It is this picture that God uses to present himself to to us.

Everyone of us is born into slavery – Slavery to sin and this world and its ways. And no matter what we do, we will always serve somebody. But God offers us the opportunity to willingly change masters to one that loves you so much that he was willing to die that we might be free. That we could come into his house, surrender our selfish will to his perfect will. Release our cares upon him, trust in his love, hope in an eternity with him and allow him to be our shelter, strength and strong tower.

He won’t force us. It is completely our free will to choose him as master or remain an endentured slave to this world. But to be a slave of God, we must give up all of our rights. In fact, a true follower of Christ has no rights of their own.

Yes, I am a slave, no longer to this world, but a willing slave to a loving God. I am truly blessed to be a servant household of a loving God.

 

 

 

Posted in Daily Devotion - Scripture Nuggets, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Day 76: Sin of the Heart

Posted by undergroundchurch on March 7, 2014


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

Few “religious” words raise the hairs on the ones head quite like the word “sin”.

The basic definition of sin is to “miss the mark”, that is, to fall short of the standard God has set.

Paul, in his definitive work known as the letter to the Romans, explains that we have all sinned, or missed God’s mark, and fall short of God’s glory. (Romans 3:23). Sin started with one man, Adam, failing to live up to one rule and it has been with us ever since. We can’t even live up to our own standards. In a few days, many of us will profess to go to the gym or eat healthy, but will begin failing after a few weeks or even days. We have an inherit condition that makes sin – natural.

And sin is not just an act, it is a heart condition. It is not even possible to always tell when someone is sinning because it starts before it ever appears on the surface.

Take the 10th commandment, “Do not covet”. This command can only be seen by God and you. Nobody will ever know you are wanting what they have. Nobody is being hurt. Nobody is impacted, and yet, this is the final command in God’s short list.

But why?

Sin manifests because we are selfish and want what we want. Coveting is the avenue for most manifested sin. People steal because they want what someone else has, they kill because they want to take away what someone has, they lie so nobody can take what they have, and they cheat to get glory that belongs to someone else.

The standard is God, not other people We cannot compare ourselves to someone else and say, “I’m not as bad of a sinner as that person” and think that we are alright. Anything short of perfect is not good enough.

There is only one solution to sin, and He was born 2,000 years ago with the mission to pay the price for each and every person’s sin. For Paul goes on to tell us that the price for our sin is death, (Romans 6:23) that is, total separation from God – forever. But the gift of God is in Jesus Christ who paid the price through a cruel death at the hands of God so that in Him, we can all have forgiveness of sin, life everlasting and become free from the power of sin.

Posted in Daily Devotion - Scripture Nuggets, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »