You Can’t Change the World

39009419_sSometimes it seems that for all of our good intentions, we can get off track in our thinking. Consequently we think we are supposed to be doing something that we really are not.

Take, for instance, the idea of changing the world. That sounds like a really swell idea. How noble. How ambitious. But is it even right? Does God intend for us to change this world? Don’t get me wrong, yes—absolutely yes—we are supposed to have a very positive effect on this world as salt and light. But change it?

Jesus came into this dark world as light (Jn. 3:19). The world is still in darkness (Php. 2:15). The whole world still remains under “the power of the evil one” (1 Jn. 5:19).

Does this mean Jesus failed? Not at all. He didn’t come to change the world, He came to seek and save the lost in it (Luke 19:10). He came to provide a way of escape from it. “Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father” (Gal. 1:3-4).

Our purpose as God’s people is not to change this world but to be salt and light in it; that others can see the glory of God through us and know that there is hope beyond this world and this life.

Yes, lives are changed in the process, but the world continues on its path to the end to which its “god” leads it (2 Cor. 4:4).

Be salt and light? Be an influence for good and righteousness? Help lead as many others as we possibly can to all spiritual blessings in Christ?

Yes, yes, and yes!

But, change the world? No.

sig


I Don’t Look Like Jesus

5839424_sWhat makes one “like” Jesus? How does one know what to do in answering the question, “What would Jesus do?” What does it look like when Jesus is “formed in” us (Gal. 4:19)?  What does it mean to be “conformed to the image of His Son” (Rom. 8:29)?

I wish to be like Jesus, I really do. I want my life to look like Him. I pray that I am more like Him today than I have ever been. But I also know there are so many ways in which I am not like Him. I don’t look like Jesus when…

  • my response to humankind is anger or resentment or disgust instead of compassion (Lk. 7:13).
  • I cannot feel comfortable in the company of the irreligious (Mk. 2:15).
  • my only associations are other church people (Lk. 15:2).
  • people with wrecked and ruined lives do not feel comfortable around me (Matt. 9:36).
  • my own preferences and ideas carry more weight in the practice of my faith than does God’s own word (Jn. 4:34).
  • I do not possess an overwhelming sense of utter and complete dependence on God always (Jn. 5:30).
  • in helping serve people in need I fail to also point them to spiritual food and clothing and shelter (Jn. 6:27).
  • I isolate myself from the world (Lk. 13:22).
  • I think everyone will love me (Jn. 15:18).
  • protecting personal comforts prevent me from engaging the world (Lk. 9:58).
  • my family ties prevail over spiritual ties (Matt. 12:48-50).
  • I only preach to people and fail to serve them (Matt. 9:35).
  • prayer is only of marginal importance and infrequently practiced (Mk. 1:35).
  • tradition takes priority in my actions and practices over God’s own word (Mk. 7:8-9).
  • temptation cannot be met and defeated through the use of Scripture (Matt. 4:4,7).
  • I expect people to come to me and I am unwilling to go to them (Lk. 13:22).
  • if concern for the condition of lost souls is not the highest concern in my life (Lk. 19:10).

It appears that I don’t look much like Jesus.

Don’t get me wrong, it is NOT that our being accepted and received by God is based on our ability to emulate Christ. It isn’t as if He’ll love me more the better job I do of being Christ-like. That would put my standing with God on the basis of human merit and that is actually “contrary” to the gospel (Gal. 1:8).

Neither is this about heaping up guilt for our shortcomings. If it were, that wouldn’t be like Jesus either.

Instead, I need to know that growing up “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” is the objective (Eph. 4:13). And, no matter how far I’ve made it, I still have a long way to go. There is no place to stop, no time to look around and compare my progress with others, no reason to despair and give up. He is there every step of the way to help, to encourage, to restore, to heal, to forgive, and to guide.

The fact that I’m not like Jesus in so many ways motivates me. It’s like Paul said, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own” (Php. 3:12).

sig


ETL.021: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith Interview with Linda Shaffer; Forgiveness When Forgiving is So Hard

Play

forgive_sLet me set the stage for just a moment: a previous interview (actually a two-part interview) focused on the story of Chuck Shaffer, a former minister arrested in an internet sting operation and who served time in a federal penitentiary .  He lost his career, his reputation, his standing in the community and the church.  He also nearly lost his faith and his family.  Incredibly, he was able to rebuild that shattered life—see episodes 11 and 13 (click here for episode 11 and here for 13).

There’s an equally incredible story behind that story—it’s the one of the betrayed and forsaken wife.  In this interview Linda Shaffer shares her story of forgiveness; wanting to model a Christ-like spirit to her own children she knew she must forgive. Facing challenges and negative responses from surprising sources she struggled to forgive.  The process (and she emphasizes it’s been a long process) has brought great blessing and joy to her life.  In many ways so much more so than was previously true.

We all must learn to forgive and Linda has great insights to share as one who come to forgive when forgiving was so very hard.

 

Pics:

Linda and daughter, Makayla

Linda and daughter, Makayla

 

Linda’s favorite Scriptures:

Philippians 2:5-11

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.  And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Proverbs 16:3-4

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.  The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

Romans 10:11

“For the Scripture says, ‘Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.’”

 

To get Reassembled

with Linda’s chapter “Why I Chose to Forgive”
Send an email requesting the book to: cbs@rlcbusiness.com
The only expense to you will be for shipping.

 

David’s Interview

To listen to David’s interview on The Jenkins Institute Podcast with Dale and Jeff Jenkins CLICK HERE

 

Sign Up!

Be sure to sign up for the Enjoy True Living email update list.  The sign up form is at the upper right hand section of this website homepage.  Just give us your name and email address to  received updates on released podcasts, blog posts, and other important information.

 

Submit a Bible question

These questions will be answered in an upcoming podcast. Send an email to:
feedback@enjoytrueliving.com

 

Click below to subscribe to this podcast via:

iTunes

 

Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast. Come back again to listen soon!

God bless!

sig


ETL.020: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith Interview with Michael and Connie Rader; When Your Young Son Has a Malignant Brain Tumor

Play

Who could know that one routine evening of getting the kids ready for bed with a seemingly innocuous complaint of a hurting head would lead to screams in the night, followed by an ER visit, and finally the shocking news of a tumor located at the base of 5-year-old Blake’s brain?  A tumor that just six months previous had not been there!

Michael and Connie Rader’s world was turned upside down, to say the least.  The determination that the tumor was malignant was followed by a very lengthy surgery to remove it, which in turn was followed by treatments to attempt to eradicate or at the least slow the cancer.  Those treatments themselves have left lasting consequences for Blake which continued therapies are attempting to correct.

The courage and faith of these young parents is remarkable. They serve as a great example of taking the worst life has to throw at you and emerging stronger and better.  You’ll be greatly blessed to hear the Rader’s moving story.

 

Pics:

Blake (the Jedi!)

Blake (the Jedi!)

Left MRI image--the tumor at the base of Blake's brain Right image--post op with tumor removed

Left MRI image: the tumor at the base of Blake’s brain.   Right image: post op with tumor removed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Rader Family: Michael, Connier, Blake and Juliet

The Rader Family: Michael, Connie, Blake and Juliet

Michael and Connie’s favorite Scriptures:

  • Romans 8:28–And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
  • Proverbs 3:5–Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
  • Philippians 4:6-7–Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

 

The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation

Michael and Connie highly recommend The Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation as a tremendous resource for anyone needing help, information, and resources for a family with a child with a brain tumor.

Telephone: 1-800-253-6530

Website: www.curethekids.org

Sign Up!

Be sure to sign up for the Enjoy True Living email update list.  The sign up form is at the upper right hand section of this website homepage.  Just give us your name and email address to  received updates on released podcasts, blog posts, and other important information.

 

Submit a Bible question

These questions will be answered in an upcoming podcast. Send an email to:
feedback@enjoytrueliving.com

 

Click below to subscribe to this podcast via:
 iTunes

 

Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast. Come back again to listen soon!

God bless!

sig


ETL.019: Ordinary People, Extraordinary Faith Interview with Gilbert Howe; An Enthused Life From a Wheelchair

Play

691726How does a nineteen year old react to a life changing injury?  One that leaves you a triplegic (with the use of only one arm)?  How does one keep a positive, enthusiastic attitude while living life with so many physical limitations?

Gilbert Howe shares his fascinating story of how so much more of his mind and personality were able to emerge following his accident, how carrying Christians lovingly shared Jesus with him and how that changed everything for him.

Just listening to Gilbert with his enthusiasm for life and for the Lord is infectious!

 

Pics:

Gilbert

Gilbert

Gilbert at home

Gilbert at home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beautiful Turner Falls (Davis, OK); the area where Gilbert's accident happened.

Beautiful Turner Falls (Davis, OK); the area where Gilbert’s accident happened.

 

Gilbert’s Favorite Scriptures:

Gilbert’s “Trio of 8’s” from Romans 8

  • v. 18—For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
  • v. 28—For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.
  • vv. 38-39—For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Sign Up!

Be sure to sign up for the Enjoy True Living email update list.  The sign up form is at the upper right hand section of this web page.  Just give us your name and email address to receive updates on released podcasts, blog posts, and other important information.

 

Submit a Bible question

These questions will be answered in an upcoming podcast. Send an email to:
feedback@enjoytrueliving.com

 

To Subscribe to the podcast via iTunes CLICK HERE

 

Thank you for checking out this episode of The Enjoy True Living Podcast. Come back again to listen soon!

 

God bless!

sig


« Previous Entries

Copyright 2013, Good Enterprises, LLC | All rights reserved