how do you know God?

Category : Bible thumping, bible, faith, living a life of faith, prayer

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How do you know God?

Do you know God just through a personal relationship?  Do you know God because you’ve been saved?  Do you know God because of what you hear on TV?  Or what your friends say?

For most of us, the way we know God is through rumor and gossip.  Are those words too strong?  I don’t think so.

Most of us have not spent any time working at our relationship with God.  We haven’t put in time reading the Bible.  Because of that we don’t really know God.  We might know about him.  But we don’t really know who he is.  We have to put time in with prayer.  I know that it sounds like work.  And there’s a reason for that.  It’s because it is work!

There is serious danger in not anchoring your faith by reading the Bible and through prayer.  Dan Edelen who writes Cerulean Sanctum (one of the blogs in my weekly reading list) points out, “I learned a great lesson that day. Every Christian wants to jump straight to the third heaven, everyone wants to move in power, everyone wants to be a great saint, but next to none want to lay the actual groundwork that will get them to that place.”

I believe that we don’t need a perfect theology or a perfect prayer life to know Jesus.  Bible thumping is not the point of all this.  But I’ve also learned that the only way I can really come to know Jesus is by reading about his life (the Bible) and talking to him (prayer).

If I don’t have those two things, along with my relationship, then I quickly find myself drifting away from God.  The world is too good at pulling you away from God to not have an anchor firmly attached to the Bible and prayer.

what i’m watching: RockTV

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Category : Bible thumping, feeding my brain, humor

   

Things have been pretty serious around R3 the last few weeks.  But God isn’t just about seriousness and contemplation.  He’s also about enjoying life and having fun.  He is the one who created pleasure after all!

Which is why I decided to watch one of my favorite “documentaries” on a “so-called” church.  It’s 7 minutes long, but it’s one of the funniest things I’ve seen on the internet.

So kick back, relax, and enjoy your weekend.

question of the day: talking about God

Category : Bible thumping, question of the day, sharing faith, taking action

    

“For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)

I understand this.  There is something that is hard to ‘contain’ when you’ve truly encountered God.  I get giddy (yes, not very manly…) and excited when I talk about God.  It’s hard for me to stop.  In fact, anytime I can talk about him I want to!  But how do you know when to bring up God to other people, especially when they don’t believe?  Can’t you come across as overbearing and turn people away from what you have to say?  Where is that line between enthusiasm, and letting things “slide”?  How about you?  If you’re a Christian, how do you share your faith with others?  Or if you’re not a Christian, how do you feel when someone starts talking about God to you?

unburdening the burdened

Category : Bible thumping, mission

   

 “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.” (Luke 11: 46)

As I searched to understand God, I started to read some blogs on the internet. Like all things in life, there are good blogs and bad blogs. But I have to admit, I was often surprised by the anger, bitterness, and argumentativeness with which so many Christian blogs are written. I almost always stop reading these blogs. “How can someone so angry teach me of God’s love?” I ask myself.

Before I started this blog, I gave a lot of consideration to what my motives were. Why was I writing? What was my purpose? Certainly I didn’t have anything to offer. After all, I’m not a Bible scholar, I’m not a brilliant theologian – I’m just a guy that wants to know who God is.

Of course being “just a guy” often means I’m no different than anyone else. I can be every bit as angry, bitter, and argumentative as the next guy. But Jesus wasn’t. Jesus was this guy who always knew the right way to handle the situation. He always knew when to get angry and when to act in love. Of course for him those two things went hand in hand.

As I thought about some of these “angry” blogs, I realized I would leave them feeling a huge sense of burden. I would feel the guilt of not trying hard enough, or feel bad about being a failure at living up to lofty standards. I never felt encouraged or “built into”. I felt weighed down.

But that’s not the impression I get of how Jesus left people. I think whenever someone encountered Jesus they knew they had met someone different, someone who made broken people whole. For certain he challenged everyone. But being challenged is entirely different than weighing people down with burdens.

Jesus frees us to pursue God by lifting our burdens and placing them on himself. That’s an amazing thing.

I don’t want R3 to be a place of burden. I want it to be a place of challenge for both you and for me. Sometimes hearing the truth can be difficult. Sometimes knowing we need to change our lives is hard. Sometimes doing the right thing feels impossible.

But I won’t run away if you won’t.