Sunday, January 07, 2007

a new year is scary

So everyone always talks about what they will do for the New Year that is upon us.  All of the plans they have, dreams, hopes, desires.  The whole entourage.  I was getting ready New Year's Eve for our party and knew I would be cooking oysters, so I put on an old t-shirt.  I realized as I was slipping my long sleeve Cheersport t-shirt on that I had just put this shirt on the same day the year before.  I mean it seemed that the year just was gone.  It really just scared me.  I feel like I am going to wake up one day, I'm 40, and still doing the same thing.  Lately, I've really had this desire to make my life count.  I waste so much time without even meaning to waste time.  It's weird.  I feel like I've learned to make better use of my time because with work, I have less of it.  I've kinda learned in the past year that it's easy for life to drive over you.  You really have to work hard at keeping a biblical perspective on everything to keep the wheels of life from crushing.  I'm not saying I had a bad year, I've had an awesome year, but I have learned that life happens fast and you need a plan.  Anywho, enough about that, I'm going on...

I want to be consistent. The problem with being consistent is I've never really had a plan.  I don't really like plans and my personality is spontaneous.  I like to just up and go, it makes life interesting.  But in Christianity, you need a plan.  I just want to do something crazy in this life for Jesus.  I have this feeling always lingering that I am supposed to be doing something crazy, but I really don't have a clue what right now.  I felt the Lord call me to ministry almost 6 years ago and I'm still a working man.  I know I am called to full time ministry but really have no clue when that will come to be.  I do know that lately I have very much felt the tugging towards really preaching and encouraging preachers and evangelists.  I was listening to a message by Mark Driscoll tonight on my way to pick up Tavaras and I was glad I missed my road and could take the long way.  He was speaking about preaching and the joys of it and things he has found beneficial.  I got to listen to a few extra minutes before I picked him up.  Just amazing message.  I have just felt a call to really study the Bible and understand it.  My problem is I'm not consistent and want to improve.  I feel like there is so much story telling in American churches today and no real Bible knowing preachers.  One pastor of a huge church out west spoke for 1/2 and hour, never mentioning Jesus, then gives an altar call explaining for people to give their lives to Jesus, that he could make their life better?  WHAT????  This church has thousands of people and to give a altar call for people to "know Jesus" without explaining Jesus, sin, the cross, THIS IS SAD and SCARY.  A friend of mine gave me an excerpt from a Piper book.  Piper was talking about the importance of knowing the Biblical languages and really understanding the texts.  He writes that if a pastor does not study the Bible in Greek and Hebrew, "they and their churches with them tend to become second-handers."  Basically he was saying that we result to reading books about the BOOK instead of just knowing the Bible.  I find myself getting scared of becoming this because I LOVE to listen to online sermons.  I listen to at least 5 per week and could literally sit all day and listen to guys like Mark Driscoll, Todd Friel, James Macdonald.  I don't want these guys to substitute my own studying and my own reading.  It's a lot easier to let them do the hard work and me benefit from it.  Another thing about expository preaching that Driscoll points out is that it doesn't leave you room to leave anything out.  Going verse by verse makes sure you cover every scripture, even the tough ones!  There is a lot of differences on preaching styles and many might say that Jesus didn't preach expository.  Jesus was the Word.  He was the Word in flesh.  We don't necessarily have the complete sermons that he gave so we don't really know if He preached like that or not.  Either way, He was the Bible with feet on.  He was God with human skin wrapped around.  He was a walking and talking Bible.  Either way or either church we choose to be apart of, there must be a place where we get fed in a deep way.  There is no way that you can be past the spiritual milk that Paul talks about if you are listening to a topical sermon every week.  There has to be a place where you can dig deep into the scriptures or you will remain a baby Christian your entire life, never having any meat, always drinking milk.  When people mention sin in most churches, people get wigged out.  In the day of Spurgeon and Edwards etc, this was a common term that people heard, and they had a clear understanding of sin.  People like Joel Olsteen who focus on God's best life for you and forsake preaching on sin and even going as far as to not want to mention the word have gone astray.  Pastors and leaders have a responsibility to protect people from wolves and bad doctrine.  I am not calling Joel Olsteen a wolf, I don't know him personally.  Although his public talks and his Larry King interview says it all, he's off the rocker scripturally.  He has one of the biggest churches in America!  This should scare you.  We are called to give our best defense for the Gospel.  We are called to be aware of false doctrines and we should know the Bible well enough to know when someone says something crazy. 

Writing this, I feel conviction to go and ready my own Bible.  Please pray for me if you will, I want to have a consistent desire to know and study the Word.  I feel like I filll my spiritual tank up and live off it then go back for more.  I need help from above. 

Either way, to start this new year off, tell people what they mean to you, they might not be there tomorrow. 






5 comments:

erin said...

i so wish the messages from passion were still up because this is exactly what francis chan talked about one night. he gave an amazing illustration about how his daughter offered him pez out of the wrapper. and he thought it was dumb and didn't want any. a few minutes later she came back with the pez in a dispenser and he immediately wanted one. he compared that to our desire for the word. the word is the pez. we don't want it then....but if beth moore or john piper is the pez dispenser dishing it out we are all about it. it was a really funny illustration but piercing and true. i really feel like God was speaking that same thing to me. i consistently turn to books by sinful man rather than the holy inspired infallible word of God. so God is speaking that same thing to me my friend. so im praying for you about it and let's check up on each other.

Walter said...

Mark Driscolls lecture about preaching and teaching from scripture is one of the best analysis of preaching I have ever read or heard.

I am assuming thats what you were talking about in the post.

erin said...

the messages are up until friday...jan. 12...which is one day after i turn 25:) listen to it! http://www.268generation.com/passion07/live/index.htm..click on watch it!

Bad Andy said...

AMEN Justin!!! Preach on. I like it!!! I totally agree 100%.

ame said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! I blogged a little about this yesterday. I'll be eating a 10 course meal and somehow will resort back to baby formula. Let's give it up and grow up! 1 Peter 2