Sunday, February 24, 2008

Sunday Morning Spiritual Thoughts

Passion. Its easy to be a Christian but not easy to become a Disciple. For over 30 years, I had the passion to study God and wanted to be part of God's missions. I had the passion but I didn't have the commitment of what it means to be a disciple.

However, I am born with my sinful nature, I still have to deal with my issue with pride because pride can lead me to think, “Look what I've accomplished.” If I seek God from my self-centered desire rather than God-centered desire, God will give me an answer I will not like. I must be careful of what I ask for.

Therefore, I am not perfect, but I thank God and my Lord Jesus Christ that I am done with the past and I do now trust in my Savior for full deliverance from all my sins. Can God use me despite my sinful past? I have found that God uses unqualified people to accomplish God’s spiritual purposes. Here are the following God’s chosen and called unqualified people to serve Him.
1. Lot got drunk and committed incest.
2. Abraham doubted God and committed adultery.
3. Jacob deceived his father.
4. Moses murdered.
5. David murdered and committed adultery.
6. Jonah got angry with God (in a sinful way)
7. Paul (Saul) murdered Christians
8. All 12 of Jesus disciples were not qualified to be the Apostles however Jesus called them.

I love this quote:
"To put the matter at its simplest, Jesus Christ came to make bad men good."
James Denney, Scottish Theologian

God will use ordinary good people as well as ordinary very sinful people to accomplish great things. Through out the history (in the past 2,000 years), God uses people of limitless backgrounds who can do great things.

When I thought of my own flaws and look at God's grace, I repented. He not only forgave my sins but rebuilded my lives from where I was and I am today. I know that God's love hopes all things (1 Corinth 13). I undestand that God's Grace with love refuses to take human failure as final. With Christ in me, my human failures are never final. He is not finished with me yet. As Apostle Paul was explaining in his letters that we need to put the past behind us, accept the forgiveness of Christ and serve and praise Him in the days remaining on this earth. Because, Paul who murdered Christians before he became a Christian knows and understand this. He was humbled by God and accepted His Grace. I sin because I am a sinner. God looks into my heart for my spiritual obedience towards Him rather than working on my perfection. I will never be perfect as long as I live in my body which is why God's grace is more than sufficient. In order for me to understand God's grace, I need to understand God's Grace that will make me understand God's holiness.

Being a Christian, I understand that God is graceful, holy and loving; that I am a sinner, I was made in the image of God through Adam; that Christ's death was the substitute payment for my sin; and that because of Jesus' payment, I am granted access to the heart of God. I can still sin by accident because this is part of my sinful nature.

One of the greatest examples I have learn is from Lot's wife. Lot's wife died when she looked back. Looking back means I relied on my flesh's desires more than God's desires. Being a Christian means to focus my energies on this one thing, "Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Jesus Christ, is calling us to heaven." (Phillippians 3:13-14 NLT). “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom. 8:27).

My spiritual education and background are:
*Took several courses (correspondence and on-site) Moody Bible Institute through a local Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
*Took courses at a local Fellowship of Grace Brethren Churches
*Dallas Theological Seminary: Developing Lay Leadership (correspondence courses were related to Church Government, Church Leadership, Church Administration and Basic Doctrines).
* On my own time, I have studied may topics and I have many books. I have read so many books that I want to read them again.

What is stopping me? That's the real question that I have been asking myself for years. I think I know why and I have been afraid to acknowledge this. I just don't know how to deal with it. I am not even attending a church faithfully even though my wife and I are looking for a new "home Church" to be part of. The writer of Hebrews 10:24-25 commands every believer to be a part of such a local body and reveals why this is necessary. "And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

So why? I can't get along with men. I don't even have a male friend that I can count on. In the past, I have seen Churches that were looking for better methods when they are forgetting that God is looking for better men who leads. We have to remember that we are not alone and that our spiritual lives that we will always face both negatives and positives. Men simply cannot reveal their weaknesses like women do. Spiritual growth requires Christian men learn from our mistakes that while examining our mistakes, we must be careful to avoid two opposite errors: the first is being too easy on ourselves and the second is being too hard. There was no real commitment to each other. Local Churches needs to have a strong conscious of making “relationships” as their goal and not the “program” of men's groups. We need to have men connecting with other men. I can't connect with other men. I can connect women easily but not men. Men's ministry is very tough because if it were easy, more churches would be successful at it.

Jesus gave us one great example. Jesus had 12 men for 3 years and He kept challenging them at the core to reach out to other men to help them get connected. This is called discipleship.

So anyway, I will just wait and see until my wife and I find a new home church. We are looking for a church that have communion every Sunday.


whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I wish you luck in your search.

My Life with Bipolar Disorder said...

Hi Jim,

I have been reading your comments on Marja and Merelyme's blogs and I really enjoyed your writings. You wrote very well. I too went to a Bible College in Singapore. I love to study the Bible and God's Words have been a great guidance and comfort to me. I pray God will lead you to a Bible believing and warmth church where you can worship Him with people who loves Him and you can enjoy the warmth of Christian fellowship with likeminded brethren. It is not easy to find a suitable church. I have been with several churches over some 20 years but thank God that I am now settled in a reforming church in Singapore. God has blessed me with very encouraging messages every Lord's day and the love of people who accepts me in my struggles with bipolar disorder. I will keep you and your wife in my prayers and hope to come back and read more of your postings. Take care.

In Christ,

marja said...

I've heard that complaint from other men. They find it hard to form intimate relationships with other men the way women do with other women. That's really too bad. I know my husband tends to be a bit jealous about the close friendships I have. My friend's husband feels the same way.

I hope you and your wife will soon find the kind of church you want and need. A good church home is so very important. I don't know what I'd without mine. My church friends have helped me grow spiritually and emotionally. I love them dearly. They are family.

I pray you will be able to find such a church for yourself as well.