Posts Tagged ‘Summit Church’

Veiws on Calling and God’s Will

August 30, 2007

… A continued conversation from JD Greear’s Blog, Entry entitled “How Do You Know What You are ‘Called’ to as a Christian?”

I agree wholeheartedly with JD & yucko. This issue is very pervasive in college. Kids are asking all the time the question “what has God called me to?” There are constant fears of falling in line with “the one life trajectory that God has for us.” The more I think about it, the more that statement puts God in box, saying that basically we can so easily mess up God’s Will.

An analogy we encourage those making major life decisions is instead of asking, “What does God have for me to do,” ask, “What is God already doing in the world, and how has he gifted me to be a part of it.” We need to take the focus off ourselves and see our role in line with the big picture: It’s all about knowing God and making Him known. We give the challenge as JD does. There are pockets of people who don’t have access to the gospel (10,000 unreached people groups). We know God has said that he will redeem “panta ta ethne” (all the families/people groups of the world.) Why not be involved there?

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Going Cross-Cultural: Durham

April 19, 2007

So over the past two years the Lord has shown me ever increasingly how much he cares for people. Different personalities, colors, nations, he is just in love with his creation, and wants them to reciprocate that love back on Him. Hence we read in his word to go out and tell people all the amazing things He has done in our lives and wants to do in yours. Evangelism is easy. Tell some who looks like you, acts like you and speaks like you about Jesus and you can get your message across. Cross-cultural evangelism and then frontier missions (telling people who haven’t had an opportunity to hear) is hard.

The small group I am involved in is participating in Hope for Durham. We have decided to work in a halfway house in downtown that focuses on getting drug addicts to be full hearted submitters to Christ instead of the chains of the drug life. Thier director had asked us to come in and help them fill out applications and talk about interveiws. The first night, the four of us (Hoplers and Hoffmans) got our material and walked to the place, ready to impart our knowledge. When we got there, they were moving the girls house, so there would be no teaching tonight. So we did what thought natural and volunteered to help them move, thinking this would give us an opportunity to build relationships.

Through this cross-cultural experience, I was kicked in the face spiritually. I walked away with a changed attitude:

We are no better than they. Just because I look like I have things together doesn’t mean jack. I’m a sinner, their a sinner, God sees no difference. I walked in thinking that I was better than them, because I have a job, and I go to a church, and I look like I know what I am doing. Through them God brought out my fear, the desperateness at the bottom of my heart that I am in need of a savior. I thought I was going to teach them about how to apply for a job, they taught me about life.

I told one guy, “I love Durham”, citing the catchy phrase around the Summit Church. He laughed in my face. I was so offended, but he showed me I love Durham because I know the middle class Durham. Durham to me is my friends and my church. He, who has lived in Durham, in its ghettos for 45 years, told me all the stories I like to forget about: crime, drugs, violence. He told me how Durham is a trap that you can’t get out of. Durham is despair, darkness, sin.

I was humbled that night, and later excited. Durham is a hopeless place, without Christ. Durham is a dark and dirty place, without Christ. Durham redeemed under Christ looks a lot more like how Jesus described his kingdom. And He has called us to redeem Durham. This cross-cultural experience taught me to depend on God, and see these people I will share with as He sees them, no worse than me, but as people who need to know of Christ’s love.  I am excited to see what God will do. Though I have a little part in changing Durham, I serve a big God who wants it changed.

Wounds

March 12, 2007


Original Post from JD Greear’s website

This subject is amazingly deep. God can not heal those who aren’t wounded. Its in the midst of sufferings that God shows us his power and love.

Peter says the ultimate form of this happened on the cross “He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24). If God is not afraid of wounding his own son for his glory, than how much more will he need to wound us for us to become dependent on him.
Its amazing to see Christians suffer victoriously. It was at the site of Stephen’s execution that Paul saw Christ’s power and love before his own conversion. Tertullian says that “the blood of martyrs is seed for the church.” When Christians suffer victoriously to the point of death God is revealed in supernatural ways that cause those who watch to reflect on their own beliefs and some to question the claims of Christ.

I believe God may wound us for compound reasons. Its through common suffering that bonds and healing can be formed. When in a difficult situation you may believe you are all alone. By suffering in some of the same ways the world suffers, we as Christians can act as a bridge for someone to receive Christ. Someone going through death of a relative, divorced home, abuse, addiction, ect, is closed off to your advice unless you yourself has been there. Not to take Peter out of context, but to a lesser extent, by our wounds, our friends and family can see how we have been healed, and accept that healing for themselves.

The story of Job shows us yet another reason why God may wound or allow others to wound us. The story defies the idea that God only punishes the wicked, in case the testimony of Jesus nor Hebrews 12:7-8 doesn’t speak loudly enough. Job was a man considered righteous by God. God than allows Satan to destroy Job’s life. Satan takes his family, his earnings, his physical health, his friends; everything but his very life. What would be the purpose of wrecking a righteous man’s life. Through Job’s wounds, he proves that God by himself is enough to sustain him. Job never curses God but suffers victoriously.

For the glory of God, previous Judeo-Christian communities were demolished, so that other people would know that He was their God. Examples include the Israelites in captivity and exile being taken over so that the surrounding nations would have a chance to hear from God. Brutal wars in the old testament were fought for God’s glory. All those people died by the sword to destroy the God’s they worshiped and so that other nations would know that the God of the Israelites was the one true God. Jump past Christ’s life. The Barbarians took over the Romans, who were taken over by the Vikings all so that the conquering nation could have a chance to hear the gospel. These wars were fought by humans for earthly land and possessions. God allowed defeat and bloodshed, suffering and woundedness so that eventually more peoples would praise Him.

The crux of the whole issue is God being jealous for the glory He deserves. He will do anything He has to for personal relationship with His creation. He wounds us as individuals so that we may grow in our dependence towards Him, and others can watch with a strange awe. He may wound us as a people, as Americans so that the gospel will be carried to places who haven’t had an opportunity to hear of what He has done. When we go through these sufferings, their is comfort knowing that God’s purposes are holy and just, we know He is using us as His vessels to receive glory.