Why I Haven’t Blogged Since Monday

This will be just a quick update for everyone who has been checking back for the follow up post to Our Death and Life in Christ as a Historical Fact: Part 1 that was posted Monday. I apologize for the delay of the post coming up. My grandpa died this week so we had the showing Wednesday and the funeral was yesterday. Liz and I spent time with family and took a little time to relax as well as I was off of work. However, the funeral was good and God was glorified in what often seems to many people to be an awful and depressing event. I even learned things about my grandpa that I never knew, which was very cool and comforting.The man who led the funeral service is a close family friend and someone who truly loves and wants to glorify Christ. He spoke about how believers should handle death differently than the rest of the world because we have the hope of glory in Christ. He quoted Paul in saying that “to be absent from the body is to be present with Christ”, I fully believe this to be true.

Death is hard for some people to handle, but it’s not an end to a long or short life. Death is the doorway to eternity, it’s a completely new beginning that will never end.

In closing, I hope to have the follow up post to Monday’s blog up soon. It may be up this afternoon, but if not I may even try to do a Saturday post. Thanks again for all your interest in this blog, I can’t wait to talk with everyone some more.

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Jesus Manifesto: A Book Review

So I have been meaning to start doing book reviews on here for a while now, and of course sometimes I can be a procrastinator….even about things I care about. But anyway, this will be my first book review on this blog, with hopefully more to come in the future.

When I first saw that Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet were going to be writing a book together after releasing their joint essay, I got pretty excited. The essay itself was a kick back on track for many believers, showing us that Christ is all and in all. Of course I was already a fan and beneficiary of both Viola and Sweet’s writings, so the fact that they were collaborating was a plus as well.

First, this book does not exist to give us a step by step guide for living a better Christian life such as many mainstream books these days. Instead, it gives us a glimpse of the beautiful, all encompassing Christ that we so often lose sight of. If there’s one thing that I know I walked away from this book with was the realization of how we all so easily lose sight Christ, the true Jesus that is, not the Santa Jesus, or the Civil Rights Jesus, or the Moral Teacher Jesus, but the one true Son of God, the life giving spirit, the Christ in whom all things are summed up.

This book doesn’t just give us more theology and more doctrine, but it shows that Christ is far too immense to be locked into a systematic theology. So many believers might say “I understand Jesus, but it’s time to move onto deeper things.” Point: You cannot graduate beyond Christ while in this life. Viola and Sweet show us that Christ is the one “thing” we seek, any other spiritual “thing” trembles in comparison to Christ, even good things. Jesus Manifesto proves that all spiritual things are found only in Him alone, and they can never be detached from Him.

Jesus Manifesto calls out the types and aspects of Jesus that so many believers get caught up in, the “things” that are in Christ, as opposed to the one true Jesus, and they reveal them for what they are. I believe that this is a very important book not only for our generation, but for for generations to come. We have to see Jesus Christ for who He really is and experience His life for what it really is. We have to obsess over this Christ, Jesus Himself, so that “…in all things He might have the supremacy.”

Frank Viola and Leonard Sweet have sounded forth a decree to the Body of Christ to return to its first love. Jesus Manifesto contains a heart cry that will speak for years to come, and yet it’s merely a glimpse of the vastness of Christ and His riches.

There are few books that I believe should be read by every Christ follower, and this book is one of them.

God doesn’t want to visit us…

Yes, the title statement is true…it’s not just an attention getter 🙂

God does not want a place where He can visit, He wants a home to dwell in.

I can remember times when I was involved in a worship band and other various ministries and we would all pray before an event or meeting or service. We would ask God’s presence to meet with us, and we would ask for Him to visit. We would proceed with our ministry and lead other believers into the presence of God.

Now, I believe at that time we were all genuine in what we were doing and truly wanted to glorify Jesus Christ and fellowship with Him, but I now understand that in many ways, though our hearts were right, our minds were wrong. And I believe this a very common misunderstanding within the Body of Christ, in both individual and corporate life. The mindset that God visits us is basically saying that God is a distant being who doesn’t dwell inside of us, yes, in the old covenant God dwelt in one place only and only one person per year could go into His presence. But are no longer under the old covenant, Jesus did away with this and He now (literally, not just theoretically) dwells in you and I both corporately and individually.

We like to feels things, if we can feel something and see something then we know it’s real, but God’s presence is there (wherever we are) regardless of how we “feel”. You don’t need to go to a special building anymore, for “God will no longer dwell in temples built by man”. We are the temple and we are His body, Jesus is living and active in us. How much longer will we waste our time begging to meet with us? Please realize who you! In our flesh we’re unworthy to have 24/7 access to the God of all creation…BUT WE’RE NOT IN OUR FLESH IF WE ARE IN CHRIST! And if we are in Christ, He is in us. Please take this before God, this a huge and very unnoticed issue in the Body, and we are all guilty of this mindset I believe at one time or another.Christ must be our life, not just part of it.

God does not want a place where He can visit, He wants a home to dwell in.

God’s antidote for His Church

whenever there is a departure from Divine thoughts, whenever there is a loss of the original revelation of God, whenever the heavenliness, the spirituality, the Divine power of that which is of God ceases to operate in the midst of His people, and whenever the glory departs, the Lord’s reaction to such a state of things is to bring His Son anew into view”
-T. Austin Sparks

Recently I’ve been reading a book called “The School of Christ” by T. Austin Sparks. In it he mentions that John’s gospel was one of the last pieces of New Testament scripture written. What struck me as more interesting was that it was written at a time where the Church had gone astray and lost it’s vision, or purpose, and needed Christ freshly revealed to them again…

After all else had been written, after all the wisdom God showed through His work in Paul, Peter and the other apostles, after all the miraculous works that took place and the communities that were planted, John states…

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God..”

This is where it all begins, and this is what John had to say to these people who had been believers for years.

I’ve seen first hand the dangers of losing sight of Christ, I’ve experienced focusing more on music, on organization, on institutions made by man, on various gifts of the Spirit, all sorts of things that may be good or bad, and losing sight of Christ. “But I’m doing this FOR God” some might say, and they, as I was, are truly sincere in their hearts, but that’s not what God asks for. Jesus said OUR righteousness is as filthy rags, how can we expect to give something to God of our own? We can do nothing apart from Christ, meaning anything that we do (even things for God) apart from Christ (which is all too possible and common) is worth nothing, because what pleases God is His Son. We can try all we want to implement new ideas and new programs, but they ultimately fail, what we need to implement is Christ and His eternal purpose.

In recent months God has shown and revealed His son to me in new and fresh ways, in simple ways. The Church as a whole, though often sincere, is deceived into not focusing on Christ, recognizing His Lordship but not recognizing His Headship. I believe the Body of Christ needs a simple, fresh presentation of Christ and His eternal purpose. We don’t need new direction or other revelation, we need Christ, at all moments, in all situations, for in Him all the fullness of God dwells.