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Day 85: Science of Persuasion

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 18, 2016


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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.

 

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Day 81: Paradigm of Suffering

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 1, 2016


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‚ÄúFor I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.‚ÄĚ

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‚ÄĒheirs 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

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Day 78: Advocacy

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 29, 2015


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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.

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Day 77: The Paradigm of Slavery

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 28, 2015


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Forced Slavery is a horrid practice. It has taken so many forms through the centuries, but has a basic objective Рstrip 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.

 

 

 

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Day 76: Sin of the Heart

Posted by undergroundchurch on March 7, 2014


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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.

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Day 71: Think Lean

Posted by undergroundchurch on February 17, 2014


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I’ve taken a couple years off from blogging as I’ve finished my MBA and enhanced training at work. Now I’m back, so I’m starting slow and easy.

There are three words to help you with any process you are working through – STABILIZE, SIMPLIFY AND STANDARDIZE ( in that order). Let’s look at the first.

High variability in any process is the sign of unstable processes. Until that is resolved, no other improvements will stick or truly be effective.

Maybe you’ve heard this story. Poor planning has led to a project that comes across your desk. It is due in a week. It will take two weeks of work to get it done. You drop everything else and work overtime and through the weekend to get it done.

Once it’s done, you might even be congratulated with the team on a job well done. The next week, another urgent project hits your desk because you did such a great job with the last one.

The process is a mess and you are being rewarded for working around the bad process. You are trapped in an endless game with no hope in sight unless someone FIXES THE BAD PROCESS.

Doesn’t that also sound like life? We are constantly rearranging everything for the constant unplanned emergencies – very legitimate ones might I add.

Ants aren’t a strong species, yet they prepare their food in the summer. РProverbs 30:25

Who knows what tomorrow brings. Ants don’t know, and yet they have a plan. We might actually be able to mitigate some of the “emergencies” if we make a plan for the best and worst case scenarios. The other option is to live a life of constant reactions to the present circumstances.

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Day 70: The Power of Abstinence

Posted by undergroundchurch on February 8, 2014


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The Post Office is in financial trouble because people don’t want to waste the time sending “snail mail” when “e-mail” and “texting” is so much faster.

We live in a culture born in hyperspace with the hyper drives fully engaged. We are constantly looking for faster and faster ways of doing what we do so that we can fit in more stuff to do.

You would think that if we freed up time, we’d take the time to rest, but it just isn’t the case. We have such an¬†addiction¬†to speed and busyness that we are killing any chance to make room in life for things that really matter.

Who has time to play with their kids, read books, sit on a porch swing, pray, quietly meditate upon God, look at the stars when we have all this “stuff” going on in our lives.

Not only are we busy, but even when we slow down, we have TVs and radios going on in the background because we just can’t do the silence. ¬†We just can’t seem to break the “busyness habit”.

This is where the power of abstinence comes in.  We just simply need to go cold-turkey, and stop some of the things that bring useless clutter, vain noise and non-value added busyness to our lives.  Here are just a few of the myriad of ways we can bring some calm back into our lives and give room to celebrate those things that really matter:

  • Use your phone only to call people
  • stop the use of (at least for a time) Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and other “social networking” apps
  • Keep the TV off
  • Keep the radio off if just using it to fill the quiet, especially in the car
  • Try praying or singing to the Lord (no music) while driving instead of¬†blaring¬†the radio and yelling at other drivers

I hope you get the point. ¬†Abstain from things for a season that create “noise” in your life, and don’t fill the void with more noise that is meaningless. Take that new found freedom and read God’s word; spend quality time with the kids listening to them; pray and worship God like He matters to you.

Begin a process of resetting your life. It will not be easy at first, but it will be rewarding as you discover that you are not as busy as you once thought.

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Day 69: The Power of Abstinence

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 18, 2011


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The Post Office is in financial trouble because people don’t want to waste the time sending “snail mail” when “e-mail” and “texting” is so much faster.

We live in a culture born in hyperspace with the hyper drives fully engaged. We are constantly looking for faster and faster ways of doing what we do so that we can fit in more stuff to do.

You would think that if we freed up time, we’d take the time to rest, but it just isn’t the case. We have such an¬†addiction¬†to speed and busyness that we are killing any chance to make room in life for things that really matter.

Who has time to play with their kids, read books, sit on a porch swing, pray, quietly meditate upon God, look at the stars when we have all this “stuff” going on in our lives.

Not only are we busy, but even when we slow down, we have TVs and radios going on in the background because we just can’t do the silence. ¬†We just can’t seem to break the “busyness habit”.

This is where the power of abstinence comes in.  We just simply need to go cold-turkey, and stop some of the things that bring useless clutter, vain noise and non-value added busyness to our lives.  Here are just a few of the myriad of ways we can bring some calm back into our lives and give room to celebrate those things that really matter:

  • Use your phone only to call people
  • Eliminate (at least for a time) Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler and other “social networking” apps
  • Keep the TV off
  • Keep the radio off if just using it to fill the quiet, especially in the car
  • Try praying or singing to the Lord (no music) while driving instead of¬†blaring¬†the radio and yelling at other drivers

I hope you get the point. ¬†Abstain from things for a season that create “noise” in your life, and don’t fill the void with more noise that is meaningless. Take that new found freedom and read God’s word; spend quality time with the kids listening to them; pray and worship God like He matters to you.

Begin a process of resetting your life. It will not be easy at first, but it will be rewarding as you discover that you are not as busy as you once thought.

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Day 68: Worship Lite Syndrome

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 17, 2011


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Ask yourself a few questions:

  • When was the last time you lifted your hands in worship in a public setting? or even a private setting?
  • When was the last time you were speechless because of the presence of God?
  • When was the last time you cried before the Lord, not because you needed something, but just because you couldn’t find the words to show how much you loved him?
  • When was the last time you danced before the Lord?
  • When was the last time you sang to the Lord without a tape, CD or song leader?
  • When was the last time you fell down prostrate before the Lord?

If you have not done any of the above in a while or have never done some or any of them, you could be suffering from a syndrome known as “Worship Lite”.

You know, the primary words we translate as “worship” in Scripture mean to fall down prostrate, to bow, to kiss the hand, to fear, to tremble, to confess, to profess, to exalt, to lift up, to abase oneself, and to bless.

Worship Lite Syndrome is diagnosed through its symptoms. Thoughts like, “I’m content with my worship experience”, “I don’t want people to think I’m weird”, “Lifting hands is something kids do”, “My worship experience is limited to the 20 minutes we sing on a Sunday morning” are all early signs the the syndrome is taking hold.

Worship is always a “verb”. ¬†It reflects your understanding, attitude, feelings and emotions in the presence of an awesome God. ¬†Worship has no limits. The worship experience never ceases. It is only bound by the limitations of our pride.

Treatments for Worship Lite Syndrome are available through “times set aside each day for worship”, “singing to the Lord in the shower”, “lifting those sweaty hands in a Sunday morning service”, “falling on your face before God because he is God and we are not”. Understanding who He is and what we are in comparison to Him is the first step to a cure.

So go ahead and take a leap. Stretch your worship experience into more than a 20 minute orchestrated experience on a Sunday morning. Break out of the old habits and break into unabridged worship. ¬†You might just find the cure you aren’t even aware you need.

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Day 67: Buildings and God

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 16, 2011


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For years, I have been very perplexed at what we spend money on in the church.  Over the years, I have been very forthcoming to people that if they want to give to an organization that helps the poor, the widows and the orphans, they should give to another organization other than the church that specializes in those areas.

What bothers me most is, “Why is this the case?”

We actually have a direct calling in the scriptures, both OT and NT to take care of the windows and orphans (Deut 14:29-31¬†and¬†1 Tim 5:3. In fact, we have one definition for “religion” in the Bible and this is it…

James 1:27
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

So I direct this question to church leaders, elders, deac0ns and pastors alike, “How much money do you spend on widows and orphans versus the money you spend on your buildings?”

No place in the NT will you find a call to build buildings. ¬†You will especially not find a single passage that says, “Spend 60, 70 or 80% of your budget on buildings, grounds keeping,¬†maintenance, utilities, cleaning services, fire hydrant fees, church steeples, stained glass, projectors, 5” thick padded chairs and laser lights.

As Stephen cried out just before the religious people of his day stoned him, “The Most High does not live in houses made by human hands. (Acts 7:48)”

God’s temple is in the heart of men and women, but we all know this, so why then do we invest so much in something that is going to burn up, does not save people, does not make disciples, does not go to live with Christ for eternity, but does keep eating our resources day after day taking money away from reaching the lost, feeding the poor and helping the widows and orphans?

I’m just asking.

 

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