Monday, April 25, 2011

What Now?

Do you ever wonder what happened with the disciples after Jesus rose from the dead? Not right after the resurrection because we see that they interacted with the risen Christ in different ways and places (I Corinthians 15:3-7; Matthew 28:16-20; Luke 24; John 20 & 21). Not 50 days later as Pentecost occured because we have that incredible and exciting story in Acts 2 (and the growth of the early church through the rest of the book of Acts). I mean with each man and women that just experienced following Jesus as teacher and leader and now having witnessed, experienced,.... and being thrown head-long into... the death and resurrection of Jesus!
What were they feeling as they went to bed at night? What were their emotions as they contemplated what it meant to "wait for the promise", "go into all the world", or "feed my sheep"?
Did Thomas have little doubts come up in this interim period between resurrection visits and Holy Spirit filling? Did Peter kick himself for denying Jesus with the benefit of hindsight? Did John build on a mother-in-law suite for Mary in obedience to Jesus request to care for His mother?
Have you had those moments where you have just experienced something incredible from God but you can't quite fully explain it? Have you just celebrated the risen savior but you find yourself back in your cubicle of life wondering how this all fits together?
Well, we have the benefit of the disciples hindsight. We know what happens as the story unfolds. Because we have this insight we can deal with the "day after" in victory. We have the benefit of knowing how to live this resurrected life that extends beyond an annual trek to church and family lunches and egg hunts.
Today, the day after "the big day", resolve to live the resurrected Christ through every thing you do and say. This is a commitment to living out Romans 10:9 "...confess with you mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, and you will be saved." This is not a single isolated event but an ongoing confessing from our mouth, an ongoing making Him Lord, an ongoing believing that God became man and died for our sins and has risen from the dead! This is Monday morning stuff!
What about you? do you have Easter Celebration hangover? Do you feel like you are in the "interim" between Resurrection and Pentecost? How do you confess and believe 24/7/365 rather than just once a year or even just on Sundays?

*A tool that may help you live this resurrected life are the daily devotions based on the Sermons at Orange Friends Church. You can find these at

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Am I Connected or Disconnected?

"No man is an Island".... how many times have you heard that?
Well, the truth in that statement hits home more times than not in our lives. I cannot tell you how many times I have tried to launch out on my own to find that I really need people and, ultimately, I need God.
I cannot sing with Frank that "I did it my way!" and feel good about the results. I would rather chime in with "I did it with others" and "I did it God's way".
We were made for connecting with others and with God. We were given this "relationship gene" that drives us towards one another. We have a God shaped hole in our lives that only He can fill.
What about you? Have you experienced this longing for genuine and authentic relationships? Have you considered what it must be like to have a true relational connection with God that transcends "religious" activity or just being a "good" person?

Let me know what you are thinking.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

No Turning Back

Sticking by your choices can be a challenge. We all “waffle” in different decisions in life. Especially big choices like where to go out to eat when with your spouse. “Where do you want to go?” ,“Oh I don’t know where do you want to go?” , “No, really, where do you want to go?”, and on and on it goes. Well, actually, there are bigger choices.

There is a classic song, “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”, that affirms a solid choice. This is the most important decision of your life. The chorus ends with “no turning back, no turning back”. Have you turned back? Either consciously or unconsciously. How have you stayed focused on the path ahead?

Consider a life of “no turning back”:

• Daily renew your path towards Jesus. This includes a deliberate conversation with God that says, “Today is Your day, Oh, God”

• Balance your time between other followers of Jesus and those who have yet to choose this path. Being around other disciples will help with encouragement and accountability. Being around those who are not yet will allow you to be salt and light like others were for you before you became a Christ follower.

• Restore your love for Scripture. If you never had a true love for scripture, plead with God until you get this passionate abandon for His Word.

• Worship daily. Fully engage in Corporate Worship. No turning back is the act of running to God even if you see things that will trip you up on the path. Run, and Run hard after Him in worship.

• Live as Jesus did. Love as Jesus does. Hope for things Jesus will do in the future.

What do you think? How do you follow Jesus with a “no turning back” attitude? What else would you add to the list above?

“No turning back” with you,

Pastor David