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Posts Tagged ‘inspiration’

Newton’s Law of Motion and Life’s Obstacles – Sinertia

Posted by undergroundchurch on January 9, 2010


I know – weird title, but the laws that govern our world tend to have a spiritual counterpart.

Newton’s had three laws of motion that can help us understand some of what happens to us on a daily basis. By tying these three examples to life’s obstacles, hopefully we can gain some understanding on how to deal with our daily circumstances.  Let’s look at the first law of motion.

The First Law of Motion – Inertia

The Law – An object in motion tends to stay in motion until an external force is applied to it.

If I throw a baseball while standing on earth, gravity, air molecules and eventually the ground itself all contribute to the baseball coming to a halt  in a 100 feet or so.  External forces fight against that baseball until it comes to a stop.

If I were floating in outer space and threw that same ball, it could theoretically travel forever as long as nothing interferes with it because there is no external force to stop its motion.

Sinertia

Life goes along usually pretty steady – almost routine, until that day when something happens.  All of a sudden, our life is interrupted and things come crashing down.  The first spiritual law of “sinertia” kicks in.  No, the things that happen to you do not have to happen to you because you sinned at that moment, but it does happen to you because there is sin in this world.

Until Adam and Eve violated God’s rule, life was perfect, and they never had problems.  When they spiritually left the heavens and became grounded through sin, everything began to have the capability of self-destructing.

Where they could walk through the garden and pick fruit from trees they did not plant, now they would have to plant food to eat and fight the elements, drought and thorns that came about because of sin.  The struggle of weeding the farm and the failed crops were not necessarily because they did additional sin, but disasters are now in the world because of the original sin.

Bad things happen to people when it seems that they don’t deserve it.  I hate seeing a child with cancer, a soldier lose and arm or a teen crippled for life because of a drunk driver.  That person that now has to suffer isn’t necessarily suffering because they sinned, they are suffering because sin exists and thrives in our world and nobody is immune to its impact. The impact of sin even killed Jesus causing him to suffer even though he was perfect and innocent.

Death, destruction, pain, hardship, and sickness are all byproducts of the sin seed planted through the leftover core of the fruit eaten in the garden of Eden.  It’s not God’s fault; it’s doesn’t seem fair; it hurts, and it is frustrating, but the reality is that life is full of problems.  The key is knowing how to overcome.

Overcoming Sinertia

The method of overcoming is to connect to a source that is more powerful than the force of sin that is against us.  God provided this source through His Son’s death via the power of the Holy Spirit in the believer’s life.  This power provides the means and the hope necessary to overcome all life’s problems.  It is not a guarantee of deliverance FROM the problems, but it is the hope of deliverance THROUGH any situation that arises.

The motive that keeps one pressing on in the face of trials is hope – Real Hope! This is not man’s hope that says, “Gee, I hope everything turns out alright.”  No!  It is the hope that says, “I know everything will be fine; for I know in whom I have put my trust, and I know that He is faithful, and I know that I will one day be with my God who loves me and will wipe every tear from my eye!”  It’s hope that “knows” not hope that “wishes”.

Sinertia is a powerful force in our lives, but no matter what comes your way, sinertia does not need to keep you down.  The power of the Holy Spirit given to every believer through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can lift you up and lead  you through any trial that comes your way.

Click HERE for the 2nd Law

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Some Thoughts on the End Times – Part 2

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 3, 2009


Prophecy is a finicky thing.  On the one hand, God uses it to reveal his plan, however cloaked it may appear.  On the other hand, when it comes to pass, you find out that the most sincere people got it wrong, and the people that shouldn’t have figured it out – did.

Take Jesus’ birth for example.  From Daniel’s prophecies and many others, the Jews knew the time period Jesus would be born, yet the only ones who actually figured it out were the people that didn’t even have the scriptures to go by. They were men from the East.  Those who were waiting, were looking for a king to be born in a castle, but those that weren’t supposed to know God very well, didn’t care where he was born, only that he was born.

This is a recurring theme in prophecy throughout the Bible.  The Jewish leaders were looking for a conquering king, but it was the fishermen in Galilee that found him because he came the first time as a suffering servant.

The interesting thing about God’s prophecies is that no matter the speculation before hand, when they do come to pass, little doubt is left.  This will be the case in the end times too.

I am always asking the question… “Why?”  I start with, “Why do I believe what I believe?” and end up with “Why does the Scripture say it this way or that?”  The Scriptures have shaken a lot of the beliefs I held to because when taken at face value, they tend to challenge my preconceived notions.

For example, when people interpret a scripture, they tend to drive it one way or another and usually build their interpretation on what they have heard others say.  This practice tends to breed a sense of dogma that can’t be broken, no matter how much scriptural proof is shown. The byproduct of having an exclusionary or extreme interpretation is that it alienates those that don’t believe as you do.

Basically, what I am saying here is that when it comes to end time prophecy, avoid the temptation to be dogmatic.  That’s what the first century Jews did and they ended up killing their own Messiah because he didn’t fit that preconceived mold.  They simple wouldn’t believe any other way.

When it comes to prophecy, expect the unexpected.

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Some Thoughts on the End Times – Part 1

Posted by undergroundchurch on October 1, 2009


I might as well do what everybody else seems to do and give a quick thought [teaching] on the End Times.

However, you probably won’t find this quite is comfortable sounding as the Sunday morning version.

Most End Time teaching basically follow this format.

  • The End Comes
  • The Church is Raptured
  • All chaos errupts
  • Jesus comes with all the believers and reigns a 1000 years
  • Final judgement
  • Everyone designated for Hell go there, those designated for Heaven, go there

I may have left out some detail, but you get the gist.

The biggest problem I personally have with this format is that

  1. It isn’t exactly a healthy and accurate assessement and
  2. It gives a false sense that the Church is not going to experience trouble

I call this Sunday morning approach the “Escapist Syndrome

Basically, the Book of Revelation is approached as a letter for those who are left behind.  What I find strange about that is that a large portion of the church teaching that I hear around the nation is on a subject that, according to the syndrome, doesn’t even apply to them.

2 Thessalonian 2:3 and 1 Timothy 4:1 along with other scriptures, speak of a “falling away” in the last days. This has to be about believers, because non-believers can’t fall away by definition. I have always thought that apathy would be the culprit, which may still be the case.  But I fear that there is going to be another unintended consequence to current teaching that will cause many to flee the faith.

There is a phobia, I believe, in pulpits to talk about bad things.  Blessings and prosperity, God’s best for your life, God loves you, all have their place, but we are inundated by an unhealthy amount of rose petal teaching. Even roses, though, have thorns, and the teachings of Jesus, Paul, James, and John do a much better job painting reality and have a much more balanced approach to understanding the end times than we American Christians pocesses.

The Right Balance

Others, like seed sown on rocky places, hear the word and at once receive it with joy. But since they have no root, they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.” – Mark 4:16 and 17

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:35-40

Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me. At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people. Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.” – Matthew 24:9-13

Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. – John 15:20

And I could go on and on.

I think that church leaders fear that if the truth of persecution, the reality of hard times, and the fate of being hated as Jesus was hated were preached from a pulpit, they wouldn’t fill the chairs on a Sunday morning, but I think that the greater disservice is not telling followers of Christ the truth.  Tough times are coming! The church in America will be one day like the church in China and North Korea having to hide their $10,000 signs and abandon the $20 million buildings.  It is only a matter of time.

But in it all, no matter what happens, Jesus prepared us for this inevitable outcome.  All the prayer in the world, though it may delay it, will not stop it because it is part of the Plan of God.

I will end this part with what I consider to be the problem facing the future church because of the methodology of church teaching today.

The falling away will most likely come from Christians who have succumbed to the escapism syndrome and when the persecution in American and other “free nations” comes, they will ask the question,

Why? Why didn’t you tell me?  Why did you get my hopes up?  Why didn’t you prepare me?”

And they simply won’t have the strength to stand up under the pressure because they will feel betrayed and misled.  They will think that Jesus is not ever coming back because they never thought they’d be thrown into a prison in America just because they gathered with like believers.  The concerns of their world will outweigh their perceived need for a savior.

They thought is was all about prosperity and glory, but will find that the reality of the coming of the Son of Man will be like the birth of a child.  It will be painful while the child prepares to arrive, but the joy for those that endure to the end will be like holding that little baby in the arms.  All the pain in the birthing process will quickly fade in the joy of a new life with Christ forever.

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Four Thoughts on Worship – Part 1 of 4

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 28, 2009


Worship is the most important thing a believer can do…. Period!

Yes, there are other important tasks, lifestyles, commitments, and the like, but there is no more important matter in a believer’s life than to Love the Lord God through worship.

When Jesus tells us that the most important command is to “Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Matthew 22:37, c.f. Deuteronomy 6:5), He only places one verb in the sentence – “Love“.

Love is a Verb

You cannot love God by simply saying, “I love you God”. That would be like me telling my wife, “I love you”, but never doing anything to demonstrate that love.

How do you show God love?

There are two basic ways of showing God love – Worship and Obedience.  Each has a different purpose and significance, but of the two, the more powerful, albeit equally important one, is Worship .

Obedience is submissive Love. When you obey God, you are telling Him that His will is more important than your own.  This is the breaking time in your journey with God.  You cannot expect God’s best for your life if you are unwilling to let go of what you think is your best for your life.  Obedience is the root of Jesus sacrifice and is demonstrated in His prayer before His death on the Cross:

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. – Luke 22:42

Submission to God’s will is a choice you make to follow God’s rule and not your own.  It is rooted in the “fear of God”.  Fearing God is the beginning of wisdom (Psalm 111:10).  It is a fundemental and often forgotten key to establishing a strong relationship with God.

Worship differs from obedience because it is your choice to love God apart from any rule.  It is the step in your journey that demonstrates to God and yourself, that you love God because you love God not because you fear Him!

The Worship / Obedience Balancing Act

Many Christians focus on the worship aspect of God without a true commitment to the Obedience factor. They love God, but don’t really fear God.  They are bold before Him, but really haven’t grasped the fact that He is untamable. This is not good balance and will lead you to an inaccurate understanding of who God is.

Others focus more on the obedience factor and even worship him more out of duty than love.  It’s not to say they don’t love God, but comparing it to the marriage – it is like saying, “Honey, I love you.” and then demonstrating it by patting her on her head.  It isn’t very convincing. There is no passion in it.

You have to understand that God is a passionate God first…. why else would He wipe out mankind after Adam’s sin?  He passionately chased after man even to the point of giving up His Son to die in man’s stead.

Yes, we worship God in anything we do that gives him glory. However, what is the depth of that demonstration. It is very important that I tell my wife that I love her, but it is more important that I show her – clean the house, cook a meal, do her shopping, bring her flowers, give her hugs, listen to her (guys, notice which one I left out).  These are all indicators that I love her.  In and of themselves, I don’t get a lot of satisfaction from these things, but I know that they bless her.

If the only demonstration of my love for my wife is sex, then I only demonstrate to her that I want to feel the love while giving the love.  That’s not going to fly with her, and it doesn’t fly with God. Once you understand this, your marriage will be better off, and once you apply this same concept to your relationship with God, you will have a whole new experience that will blow your mind!

Next Article, we will look at what worship is not.

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Spiritual Power Tools – The Tongue

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 14, 2009


Previous post

You know what the most powerful tool in the possession of the human is? It’s the tongue.

I don’t think it is a coincidence that the tongue, pound for pound is the strongest muscle in the body. God is very concerned that we learn to control it, because he calls it the least controllable part of the human body.

Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.

7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. (James 3:5-10)

Can’t really add much more to James’ statement. The tongue is a powerful force to be controlled for sure.

The tongue can also be a powerful force of good.  It is a spiritual weapon that makes a connection from you to the spirit world.  Think about it.  With the tongue, you speak words of prayer and talk with the creator of the universe.  It is your direct connect to God.

Beyond prayer though, the tongue can be a power force of victory in your life.

The Tongue Used as a Source of blessing.

Blessing is a spiritual force that is activated through the power of the tongue.  The blessing is so powerful in fact, that the list of people in Hebrews 11 with “great faith” contains two people only recorded because they blessed their children (Issac and Jacob).

In fact, after the flood, Noah blessed two sons and cursed one and the power of those blessings and curses lives on today.

The Tongue Used in the Power of Confession

Confession is the power of release.  When you confess your sins at salvation, you are freed from sin.  When you confess your sins to one another, you free yourself of guilt and chains of bondage and restore relationships.

Confession to one another does three things:

  1. It opens up an avenue of accountability to one another.
  2. It brings into the light sins that are hidden.  (Satan works in the dark, and when you expose your sin, it can’t fester as well.)
  3. It heals.  When you confess a sin you committed against someone to that person, you work toward rebuilding that relationship.

Remember though, that only God can forgive sins.  Only the person you sin against has the power to forgive you of that sin.  Only God can forgive sins against him.

There are many evils that come from the power of the tongue – gossip, slander, malice, cursing, hate, envy, etc.  They are all powerful and must be contained.  So instead of allowing the tongue to destroy, learn how to use it for good through confession and blessing, through prayer and worship, through teaching and loving.

Most of our problems begin and end with the tongue.  It might just prove best if they never start there in the first place.

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Prayer the Nehemiah Way – Part 8 of 8

Posted by undergroundchurch on September 8, 2009


See Part 7

Here we are at the final prayer of Nehemiah, and it is truly the final prayer recorded.

Remember me with favor, O my God – Nehemiah 13:31

Once again, we look at the motives of Nehemiah.  This seems like a selfish prayer at first glance, but it is the first time he actually prays simply for himself, and given his job performance, I’d say it’s about time.

This is the last verse in the book, and he has fought a hard fight; he has finished strong; he has run his race.  He has poured his heart and soul into the restoration of Jerusalem and now he prays to God, “Remember me”.

I don’t want this statement to be misconstrued, but you can unselfishly ask for blessing when your lifestyle isn’t built on being blessed; however, if you live for blessing, you might want to look hard at your motives.

Nehemiah sacrified. David sacrificed. Moses sacrificed.  Many in the scriptures gave all they had in their journey with God.  When they spoke of being blessed by God, their hearts were already in the mindset of serving God without self-interest.  The mission was all about God’s plan.  There is no shame in asking for blessing, especially when your life is devoted to the cause of God.

God loves to bless, but He is not frivolous about it either.  He doesn’t just aimlessly toss about blessings.  Blessings have a positive short-term effect, but if the one being blessed is not grounded properly in Christ, then the blessing will dry up and the one being blessed will not grow, but become dependent on receiving blessings in order to maintain their spiritual walk.

Blessing from God is always good, but if we are ill equiped to handle the blessing, then we can become prideful, selfsh, greedy, and simply unchanged.  Blessings actually have very little imact on our spiritual outcome.

I have often wondered why so many believers have so many struggles, so many heart aches, and so much pain.  I know this doesn’t preach well (as they might say), but it might be that the only way God can get us to the point of talking with him is when we are afflicted.

You know that I’m right; you just are having a hard time admitting it.  When is it tougher to get on your face before God in humility, when things are going great or when things are terrible?  The Bible tells us plainly that Suffering produced Perseverance and Perseverance produces Character and Character produces Hope! (Romans 5:3-5)  The path to hope begins with the fundamental understanding of suffering.

Paul understood this all too well.  In fact, he is the only person I know that was called by Jesus with these words, “I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.” (Acts 9:16) Tell the truth, would you become a Christian if Jesus said that to you?

Paul understood, as Nehemiah understood, because he said, “I want to know Jesus in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his suffering”.

If you don’t hear anything I say, hear this, “You will never know Jesus fully until you know him in his suffering.”

Christianity is not meant to be pretty, it is a battle – a bloody battle that started with the battle wounds Jesus bore on the Cross.  We struggle and fight everyday, and we win battles everyday, and that is the point.  In winning a battle, we grow.  We struggle and train hard for this race.  We fall down, but we get back up.  We fight knowing that we will be the victors in the end.  It is the actual struggle that God uses to make us stronger.  Deliverance out of struggle never made any Christian stronger.

Too many preach a message of Christianity that gives the listener enough head knowledge to be dangerous, especially to themselves, but they aren’t taught that the Christian walk is not a cake walk. For when they find that the battle gets hot, they struggle and fail because they weren’t told ahead of time that while Jesus may have promised roses, he also promised thorns on those very roses.

Don’t be afraid of the struggle; dive right in.  Know that your successful journey gives you every right and privilege to pray as many have prayed in the past, “Remember me with favor, O God!”

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Some Great Old Routines

Posted by undergroundchurch on July 11, 2009


I grew up listening to a group called Isaac Air Freight.  They had some great routines.  I since lost the albums, but I found the routines on Youtube the other day.  They are only audio, but that was how they were intended. They are good, even today. Hope you enjoy.

You can see more at the source in Youtube by clicking HERE.

Blessings

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What is Your Purpose Statement?

Posted by undergroundchurch on May 26, 2009


One of the goal setting techniques “self-improvement” instructors tell their students is to set goals. When setting goals, don’t set them too high, too far out or too unrealistic. Set your goals in phases – short-term and long-term. Set limits (very important), and establish general timeframes.

I’m not a huge fan of “self-improvement” thinking, but I will say that setting a “Purpose Statement” for your life is a good one because… well, God established it first.

Today’s Biblegateway scripture is John 3:17

“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

This scripture is very important for us now because it is the current goal God set for Jesus. We know that there are other tasks and goals that have been achieved and will be achieved by Jesus, but for now, this is His purpose statement.

Look at some of Jesus’ past and current goals

  • Creation of the universe and specifically, the earth and man
  • Establishment of a tabernacle that pre-figured his coming ministry on earth
  • Fulfillment of hundreds of prophetic statements while on earth
  • His successful journey to the cross
  • His establishment as the savior
  • Obtaining a name above all names with power and dominion

These are all important, but are in no way the end. He has some long-term goals that are yet to come to pass.

  • He will return with a sword in judgment of the world. In other words, he will one day come to condemn the world; He didn’t do it the first time He came because He had to first come as savior king.
  • He will rule with an iron scepter.
  • He will destroy and rebuild heaven and earth.
  • He will establish a kingdom that will never end from the New Jerusalem.

These goals are yet to be accomplished, but if His track record is any indication, there is no doubt that He will be successful.

So what about you? What goals have you set – both long and short term?

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