It’s September 1, and I’m super excited about Jon Acuff’s latest 30-day challenge called SeptemberJanuary. I started it this morning, and it gave me even more hope for what I’m trying to do with my business. After my daughter’s cross country meet yesterday we were waiting on a table at a restaurant, and I found myself thinking about a book I want to write while watching the workers bustle about working hard to provide food for the customers. It was inspiring. I love the marketplace. I enjoyed the brief time after college in the pastorate, and I’m still active in local church work, but the marketplace really makes me come alive even when I’m alone cleaning a house. I think it stems from the inspiration I received from a man named Landon years ago as he shared his experiences at a men’s retreat I went with my dad about sharing Christ outside the walls of a church building. The name of the retreat was God’s Man In The Marketplace, and I wore out those cassette tapes in my little Toyota. Landon Saunders as you know is one of my heros who embodies Jesus Christ in powerful ways.
The church and the marketplace have always been close to my heart. My friend Rob Touchstone is also someone I admire when it comes to this connection. He is one of the founders to The Well Coffeehouse, and he was recently a powerful presence of Jesus to me in a weak moment.
I realize that there might be an occasional person who crosses this blog who is what we as Christians call an “unbeliever.” I mean no disrespect by this title, but the Bible is clear about believers and unbelievers, and what that means is that the believer believes in Jesus as God coming to this earth through a virgin, living, dying on a Roman cross and being raised from the dead on the third day. Many unbelievers believe in Jesus as a great man, but they do not see him as the savior of the world as talked about in John 3.16. We believers actively try to practice the teachings of Jesus to convince unbelievers to accept Jesus as God and Savior of the world. I personally have made Jesus look bad because as you know I fight a mental illness called depression, and as a human being I am a sinner whose sin separates me and others from a sinless God. This grieves me and others, and I continually confess my sins to God and others when I sin. Thankfully I was saved over 2000 years ago when Jesus shed his blood on that Roman cross, and his work against sin and Satan’s present work is what saves me from perishing as talked about in John 3.16. I don’t go to church, pray and read the Bible to be saved. I’ve already been saved. I do those things to keep me near my Father, and Satan is trying to separate me from my blessed Father so He can destroy me the way an African predator separates its prey to devour it. When I’m “alone” I am more susceptible to the power that destroys, and we should never scoff or mock that power because it is more powerful than we are. But it is not more powerful than God.
Satan and his network of evil angels are doing one hell of a job separating us from each other and our Father, but there are people and churches rising up against the evil in our world uniting and reuniting people to God.
Theology and doctrine matter, but there is a greater common denominator than those things. It’s called Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and what we do with the Godhead day in and day out is more important than what we do with theology and doctrine. Find a local church you can trust. Find a place where Christ is preached, and they are reaching out to a broken world in desperate need of Jesus Christ. When you find a place like this, get involved. Confess your sins to people you can trust. Pray for the Holy Spirit to connect you with the people she wants you to be with and that need to be with you. Church is not a place where you go looking for the cool kids table. Leave that in high school. John 3.16 says God loves the world. He doesn’t just love the cool kids and nerds. He loves the whole damn world, but it doesn’t stay damned because our LORD and Savior is actively pursuing every man, woman and child to conform to His image. Love is at the top of this image, and if we say we have love, but hate pours out from us than we make Him out to be a “liar.” There’s a lot to hate and be angry about, but love covers over a multitude of sins that draw us near the Father. His presence is what we seek. We don’t seek the things He gives, but when we seek Him for Him than as my church family says, “Anything Is Possible.”
These posts are funny to me because I don’t ever come here to write knowing how I am going to close out a post because I don’t really know what I’m going to write. I have an idea how to start it, but it evolves. That’s just how my brain works. There are many writers out there who are much more organized than me. That’s okay because the main reason behind this blog is that it’s therapeutic in my battle with depression, and many of you are helped by my drivel. Thank you for your encouragement.
Grace and peace dear ones.