Let’s Work Together

Anyone can change the world. Anyone can have a huge impact, just by joining forces with a lot of other people. If we work together, we can do anything.

A lot of people doing a little bit will do far more damage to this world’s injustices than one or two big corporations doing it all. A lot of people working together will produce a lot of energy. That’s more sustainable over the long run than trusting the work to a couple of large donors.

You know what else it is? It’s much more fulfilling! When you expect big corporations to shoulder the burdens of building the Kingdom, you quit. You say, “You know what? They have a lot of money, so I’ll just let them do it. And I’ll go on with my life.”

But when you do that, you don’t learn to understand why you’re here! When you leave it up to someone else, then you don’t learn to understand the purpose of the human race. You don’t learn to understand humanitarianism. You don’t learn to understand why Jesus came down the set the captives free. You don’t get the grace of Jesus Christ.

working together for the gospelJesus didn’t go to the biggest city He could find, teach its inhabitants to follow Him, and then say, “Now you change the world.” No. He left it to a small group of people. He left it up to them to go get more people. And then it was up to those people to go get more people, and then get more people. It was up to them to grow the church of Jesus Christ. That’s what Jesus did.

He didn’t want us to leave the Kingdom work to someone else. He wanted us to do it. If He didn’t want us to do it, then He probably would have just opened up the heavens so everybody could see God. He would have said, “Either follow Me or don’t, but now you know I’m real. You can see Me. I suggest you follow Me. Now that you see Me, you’re going to love Me now. You’re all going to do it.”

But that wouldn’t make any sense! If He did that, then what was the game? What was the journey for? What was the creation for? What was the reason for the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? What was the point of that?

The point is, you have to choose to love Him. He’s no dictator. Think about it: Jesus left the Gospel with twelve young men, and he said, figure it out! He left the Gospel with a prostitute and said, figure it out! He said, “Hey! I want twelve young men, a prostitute, and a couple of businessmen. You go put the Gospel into the world. You create the church of the Book of Acts.” That’s what He did! And the church grew!

That’s what He wants from us. He wants us to join together and build His Kingdom. Just a whole lot of people, doing a little bit each, and working together. You’d be amazed how much you can do!

See you Monday.

Teaching My Sons About Money

I don’t want to make all this money and die knowing that I did nothing with it.

And I really don’t want my sons to grow up thinking that life is all about money.

I don’t want to raise them to think that success is something we achieve only for our own sakes. I just don’t want them thinking that way. Continue reading

A Tough Habit to Break

Airlines basically try to re-create middle school society: a small clique of the privileged few envied by everyone on the outside. John Ortberg, Who Is This Man?

I wrote last time about the phenomenon of saving seats for the privileged few. In Rome, reserving special treatment for men of high status served to reinforce social class hierarchy. Jesus taught us not to do that. His brother, James, was very explicit in his instructions to treat everyone the same. But it’s a tough habit to break.

It even happens on airplanes! Continue reading

Bringing the Kingdom Part 3

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Last time I wrote about how believers respond to famine by bringing abundance. We bring the Kingdom the same way that Jesus fed the five thousand: with leftovers to spare! We bring it with abundance!

We don’t want to give food to hungry people and then just disappear. Once those kids finish the food we bring, we don’t just shrug and say, “Oh well, hope someone else helps.” When we host a Something to Eat event, we don’t give up.

With your help, our December 3rd Something to Eat even in Palo Alto will send 135,000 meals just like these to famine-stricken families in southern Ethiopia.

We want to give them food, but we also want to help make their communities healthy and sustainable. Continue reading

Bringing the Kingdom Part 2

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Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:12-14

Jesus said, “Greater works will you do when I leave than I have done.”  He said that because He’s expecting us to take the Gospel into the world.

He’s expecting us to live out the Gospel.  The Gospel is the Good News, the Good News.  It is not hellfire and brimstone.  The Gospel does not say, “I’m going to scare you to death.”  The Gospel is not the Judgmental News.  It is the Good News.  If we’re going to bring the Good News – the Gospel – to the world, we have to do what Jesus did. Continue reading

Bringing the Kingdom Part 1

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It’s really difficult to understand God’s purpose when we look at what’s happening in the horn of Africa. A combination of famine, escalating food prices, and war has put an estimated 2 million children at risk of starvation. What is God’s purpose for their lives?

That’s a very tough question. I don’t know if I have the answer, but one thing that helps me get through it is the Lord’s Prayer. Continue reading

Satisfy Your Soul

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We did not choose to be born in America. We could have been born in Uganda or Haiti. Imagine that! I respect that I was born in America.

But we weren’t born here because we’re lucky. We were born here because we are blessed.

We are blessed to be born in a country where we have freedom and prosperity. We are blessed to have the opportunities that freedom and prosperity make possible. I know some people think we’re not prosperous. We hear a lot of concern about the economic crisis. But unless you’re making less than four dollars a day, you’re making more than 90% of people in the world. Continue reading

Thy Kingdom Come

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I’ve been writing a lot lately about the causes of doubt in our own lives, be it doubt in God’s existence or His purpose for us. But that’s the doubt that comes from our own lives, when we struggle with failure or frustrated desires.

I concluded last time by recalling that God is everywhere, and not just in our own circumstances. We have to remember that, because there’s another kind of doubt, one that arises when we look beyond our own circumstances. What are we supposed to make of God’s purpose when a newborn baby starves to death? What plan could God have possibly had for that baby?

That’s a tough question, and I don’t claim to know the answer. If we wanted to end poverty, we could. There’s enough money in this world. But it’s not going to happen, because sin is in the world. Selfishness will always keep that from happening.

So I think about the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus taught us to pray, “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done.” As ambassadors of Christ, we are called to help bring the redemptive love of Jesus to the earth. That’s bringing the kingdom. “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.” That’s bringing the kingdom to earth.

I think He has a plan, a perfect plan, for how this is going to all work out. And there are so many ideas, so many talents, so many skill levels, so many different callings, and so many different passions among people that we are overflowing with opportunities to bring the kingdom. I don’t really know how much I can or cannot do. I know that I’m going to try to do as much as I can.

My biggest fear is that I’ll sit before the throne of God one day and He will say to me, “You gave me 90%. I needed one hundred.” I don’t want Him to say that. I want Him to say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

And I’m not working for my own salvation. That’s not what I’m doing. By the blood of Jesus, I am saved. No, what I’m trying to do is be a light. I’m trying to be a city on a hill. I don’t want to be one of those cities on a hill that didn’t light it up enough. I want to make sure that I’m hearing God correctly and that I’m doing what I need to do. My calling.

More on this next time. See you Friday.