Tag Archives: zeal

Why Me Lord?

For the record, I’ve never ask that about the heart attack. I know full well why that happened. I like bacon. And all the other things in life that taste oh so good, but are the world’s worst choice. But I do quite often question God as to why He chooses me to be a part of His plan, why He tolerates my disobedience and stupidity and allows me to have such a wonderful life. Yes, heart attack and all, it’s wonderful. There are countless other people He could choose, and yet I’m among the 1 out of 12 that He chooses to use.

I don’t know if that’s a correct percentage but it sounded good. It’s not the 1 in 12 of humankind, it’s the 1 in 12 of the church. Which as I can see in previous experience is the bulk of most church people who serve. Although my home church Victory Baptist probably is blessed with a higher percentage than that. Studies show it’s 10% of the church that does 90% of the work. And there’s an abundance of work that nobody is doing at all. But off of that bad news let’s talk about why me, why you? Why does God continue to tolerate us?

Matthew 16:13-20 is where I got the 1 in 12 analogy.

When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.  And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then charged he his disciples that they should tell no man that he was Jesus the Christ.

Emanuel’s eleven

When Jesus asked the question of the 12, “Who do men say that I am?” Eleven of His own men, who believed He was God, gave the world’s reasoning. “Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets.” But when it came down to the question of who they say Christ is, none of the eleven responded. It wasn’t that God wasn’t using them in the ministry, that He didn’t have a plan for them. And this is only one glimpse of their story which is far greater than any story I’ll likely have. But I believe it is a glimpse of the church.

In most cases 11 out of 12 in any given congregation are willing to repeat what they’re told, but few are willing to go out on the limb and experience Christ for themselves. They love being spoon fed the word on Sunday morning, but few pick it up any other time throughout the week to experience the power of God in their life and hear what truth He would reveal if they’d but just step out of their comfort zone.

The disciples knew Jesus was God. Emanuel. In the flesh. They were saved! But Jesus, in the person of Christ is a depth of knowledge that can only be known by those willing to search past the world’s reasoning of faith. That’s where it often stops for me too at times, if I’m honest. I love the miracles! Shoot fire, I am one! But when it comes to the true life that Christ lived, His reasoning for coming; I’d rather go back and talk about the fun stuff. The disciples knew that the world didn’t get who Jesus was, but they hadn’t gotten it either. God’s plan was so much bigger than what the disciples had understood thus far.

Christ’s One

Peter. Oh I can relate with him on so many levels. Mainly just his failures. But I can also relate with his zeal. He was the one that when Christ ask “Who He was,” Peter quickly answered “Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Whew and Glory! That ought to make you shout. Peter got it. He was Jesus’ star student for the day.

When I first got saved, and still yet today, I would seek men of God to listen and study and try to find the unmeasurable, unattainable depth of Jesus. He’s fun! I think of Peter like that. He wanted to experience all he could with his time with Christ. When God said get out of the boat, Peter jumped, and it was Peter who said “I’ll never deny you!” and I’m sure he meant it, but he did. Just like I do. I fail miserably. But this day Peter didn’t fail, and God gave Peter the most incredible gifts because he was willing to search deeper. He gave him a ministry, and He gave him the power to bind on earth and loose in Heaven!

We too can have that. But not without searching for the wisdom of Christ to go with it.

I can’t look at a Krispy Kreme donut and bind its power on earth without understanding that God’s got a sweeter treat for me in Heaven. Silly analogy but truth none the less. I have to look past the world’s reasoning and get a hold of Heaven. You do too. I’m glad you’re along for the journey, else you’d not take the time to read this chick’s blog.

I’m on the mend and hope to be on the road soon, singing and speaking for the cause of Christ. If you’d like me to come and share the Lord’s word, hit the message button and let’s talk!

Zealot’s and Drunkards, a trip to Church

John 2:17 –  And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

Several years ago I sat in a meeting with some people of great authority in the organization I worked with. Although a few of them that I had worked closely with knew my stand in faith, several of the others likely assumed that I also treated Sunday as a “different” kind of day. When Monday came it was time get to work with the matters at hand and turn off “religion.” I agree. Hallelujah I never turned it on. But at this particular meeting our conversation went from “How great church was on Sunday to joking about how bad their hangovers were from Saturday and how very little they got from the service.” My face was red enough to light a cigarette off of or ashen white, I don’t recall, I just remember there was a color change.

This story came to mind this morning as I read the story of Jesus overturning the table and cleansing the temple. His disciples remembered that zeal from Psalm 69:9 where David had written the prophetic statement “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me.” The priest was forcing Jews to replace their good offe(rings by purchasing sacrificial animals from his own market. And now you may ask “What does that have to do with a bunch of drunk setting in a meeting on Monday?”

The people that I sat with in that meeting were not only people of authority in the organization I worked for, they were also people of authority in their church. And as they joked about their drunken state of mind I wanted to overturn their table. Their church was a newly built one that I passed every day and loved! It looked like a Thomas Kinkade painting… that’s kind of ironic from the way that Kinkade’s life ended. But it was and is a beautiful church. But one thing that strikes me as odd as I pass this church is the sign out front lists only a Sunday a.m. service. No Sunday p.m. service or Wednesday night, Just Sunday and I want to shout at it every time I pass “Where is your zeal people?”

It’s not just that church, its churches across America. And it’s not the church I’m concerned with, it’s the people outside the church. The final sacrifice has been made for us, Jesus Christ. There is no longer a priest making atonement for our sins, Jesus did that once and for all. And we (those who are saved) are now priests. (1 Peter 2:5) It is our responsibility to make sure the Word of God goes forth in our communities and that the Name of Christ is lifted high and we’re allowing nitwits like those I mentioned to drag His precious name through the mud and make a mockery of His house. The leadership of the church is attesting the lack of importance God plays in their life by making His house a Sunday morning token of their time. And the worlds says… “Why bother?”

Is it any wonder that Christ turned the table over and drove them out with a whip? What kind of heart would the people who had come to worship have when the priest was a crook? It makes me want to puke and I wasn’t even there.

I realize that those who read this blog are likely committed Christians, else you’d probably not bother. So why do I bother writing this. It’s a call to prayer. It’s a call to self-examination. Are we eaten up with zeal, or is the world eating us up?

In the story of Thomas Kinkade’s death his brother reported “that years of mean-spirited personal attacks on the painter and a split from his wife and four daughters wore Kinkade down. That led to his battle with alcoholism over the past four to five years.” The world we live in is a mean place, and it’s easy to lose our zeal for life. How a man like Kinkade, who inspired millions, could end on such a note is beyond my comprehension. And yet when I see the defeated lives of Christians everywhere I can understand how they can go from the church pew to the board room without any change, because so few churches now expect it.

They need to see us. We need to turn over a few tables and make it known that we expect a difference in our houses of worship. Amen?