The preacher finished his sermon and before closing the service asked the people before him “Do you want to be with Jesus right now? – Raise your hand if you are.” The multitude raise their hands, except for one man at the back row. The preacher was slightly concerned, so he decided he’d repeat the question. The result was the same. Odd, he thought, maybe the man didn’t hear the question. So he asked a third time, even louder – Do you want to be with Jesus right now? That didn’t do it either.
So after the service was finished he struggled through the crowd to find the man who didn’t raise his hand and ask him what was stopping him from wanting to be with Jesus. When he finally asked, the reply was “Oh, I do want to be with Jesus! But I don’t want to go there right now, I quite like it out here.”
It’s an example I recently heard in a sermon and it bewildered me. So I took a note of it in my mind and gave it some further thought in the days after that. Today, as I think about it again it scares me – because it’s so true. read more
Update: Apparently God decided to surprise me yet again. The sermon was a refreshing lesson for me both while preparing the last bits and seeing the whole thing, and also while preaching it. The feedback from the congregation was very encouraging as well. I have never had such a powerful feedback on a sermon I’ve preached, so it was a very humbling experience on top of all else. I think they believed my message. I actually think I came to believe more than when I started preparing for the sermon and all the questions started popping up.
In the past few weeks I’ve been working on a sermon about God’s mission and our part in it. It’s been a really refreshing thing for me. Especially because in the last several years the direction of my faith has been downwards. More like rolling down a hill actually…
In the midst of all the excitement around that sermon the following thought came about “Will they believe my message if I don’t believe it myself?” It actually led me to reflecting on the way we, Christians, tend to “testify” to the world today… When Christ called us to go and teach the world about Him and make disciples he pointed out two most important details: 1) all authority is given to Him (and that’s all as in ALL), and 2) He is with us as we’re going after this mission.
I know that I myself have very often been the scared Christian, or the too-careful-one. I’ve often decided to keep quiet rather than speak out the truth. I’ve often decided to pray silently, rather than disturb the secular enjoyment of others around me and show what I actually care about. I suppose this won’t change over-night either, but at the moment I’m thinking too much about it and couldn’t keep from sharing it with you all.
So, I’m preparing this sermon which is supposed to challenge the lives of young and old people and help them embrace God’s mission to share the Gospel with non-believers, love Him, and love the other people around. And I keep coming to one key moment – in order for us to carry out the mission successfully we ought to be fearless, full of faith, and entirely determined. read more
Indescribable. Irresistible. Impossible. The One who loved me like no other. The One who awakened me to life. The One who is always with me. My God also appears to be the One who is above all others and all else… able to provide at all times, able to comfort all tears, able to sustain all pain, so that I can go on. Yet, I have stopped trusting Him. No, it’s not like I’ve lost my faith or somethin’… not at all. I just don’t trust Him.
Ok, by now you should be interested.
A new thought occurred to me a few days ago and hasn’t left my mind ever since. It’s the thought of on-my-own type of Christian life. See, I was initially wondering on the topic of miracles and why they seem to not happen as much nowadays, yet we claim God has not changed. Sometimes we go so far, that we actually are satisfied with less – “Oh, I feel this is the miracle”… when God actually hasn’t even started. read more