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[Joshua's Journal] - Daily Devotion!

Discussion in 'Non-denominational' started by Joshuas Journal, Jan 15, 2002.

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  1. Joshuas Journal

    Joshuas Journal Guest

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    Water Cooler Chit-Chat
    Mon- Jan. 14, 2001

    "...I have become all things to all men so that
    by all possible means I might save some."
    ~ I Cor 9:22

    What are the most common topics in coffee house conversations these days? What do people talk about around the water cooler at work? What are the kids talking about around the lunch tables of our school cafeterias? You might think I've gone a little screwy on you for asking these questions... You MIGHT think, "who cares...?". Well let me tell you a little story about a man in ancient Greece who asked himself just these sorts of questions. And by asking himself these questions, and being aware of the answers... the kingdom of God went forth throughout the world.

    The man was the Apostle Paul, one of the most successful "gospel-spreaders" the world has ever known. And you know how he did it... ? Was he a pastor of a church? Yes... in several places at various times. Did he have status among people? Yes... to a certain extent. He was a Roman citizen, which carried a status of it's own. But he didn't need either of these in order to spread the gospel of Christ in the powerful way he did.

    Paul's ministry was focused heavily on meeting people on their OWN turf... relating the gospel message to their OWN lives. The Athens of Paul's day was tough territory for any preacher. It was a city given over to idols and Paul's spirit was "provoked within him" because of it. Yet... did he turn his back on the idolaters? Did he run as far away as he could from the cussing around the water cooler? Did he stay as far away as he could get from the street corners where the druggies hung out? NO! He RELATED to them... He went to their marketplaces. He went to Mars Hill where the elite of Athens hung out to discuss the latest fads and fashions. In fact... when he spoke to them, he quoted one of their own poets!... And then he related the divine wisdom revealed in their OWN culture to the truth of the gospel! Don't believe me? Check out Acts 17:17-34 and see for yourself!

    And so I wonder... are we running away from the very opportunities that Paul used to advance the gospel of Christ? Paul used these opportunities... the outlets of the culture, to relate to people... to show them the relevance of Christ in their lives in a way that they understood; by meeting them on their own terms, rather than expecting them to just amazingly show up for church one morning. I wonder... if Paul was around today... which of our many poets would he quote to the people or our time? Alanis Morrisette... Beck... Public Enemy... Jennifer Lopez... Sarah McLachlan? Maybe even Kid Rock or Puff Daddy? Or maybe even... ::shudder:: ... Marilyn Manson??? Paul knew that he had to reach them where they were... Meet them on their own turf. We have to relate the gospel to their own understanding, if it is to have any relevance to them at all. Paul related to a world that needed Christ on their own terms... and the gospel went forth. I wonder, are we doing the same?

    "...I have become all things to all men so that
    by all possible means I might save some."
    ~ I Corinthians 9:22

    In Christ Jesus,
    ~ Joshua
    www.christianity.com/joshuas_journal
     
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  2. Joshuas Journal

    Joshuas Journal Guest

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    "When Joshua was old and well advanced in years,
    the Lord said to him, 'Your are very old, and there
    are still very large areas of land to be taken over."
    ~ Joshua 13:1


    God is in the kingdom conquering business. And we are his conquerors! Romans 8:37 is that famous verse... "No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us." God is in the kingdom conquering business... and we are His co-conquerors!

    There is an article on my website called "Transcending Kingdom", and that is exactly what God's kingdom is... a Transcending Kingdom! No matter what "earthly" kingdom you may be a part of... no matter what "earthly" country you may be a citizen of... no matter what "earthly" cultural group you may be a part of... God's HEAVENLY Kingdom cuts across all boundaries made by man! May I make mention of denominational boundaries as well... ? No matter what DENOMINATIONAL group you are a part of... God's Kingdom cuts across ALL earthly boundaries! It knows no limits! It cannot be hedged in! And it cannot be exclusively claimed by any one denomination! There is ONE biblical denomination, and that is the Body of Christ!

    Satan has devised many schemes, (with much help from man I might add...) to divide and fragment the Kingdom of God. And it might appear that the evil one has made progress... But today I tell you otherwise. Though Satan may try to chip away at the Kingdom of God bit by bit... The Kingdom of God is un-chipable! The Kingdom of God is indivisible! It cannot be divided and conquerored as many would like to see happen! And for all of you who have become, by grace through faith, part of this indivisible kingdom, I tell you what Paul told the believers in Corinth... "We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed." And with this same spirit, the Lord spoke to Joshua in his old age... "You are very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over."

    Many of us have strived forward for the Kingdom of God through trials and persecution and attacks from all sides... And we look and see what appears to be a splintering Kingdom. I tell you there is NO weakness in the Kingdom of God! I tell you that the devil's schemes to make even the smallest dent in the Kingdom of God cannot stand against the power of God that works through us!... "That power is like the working of His mighty strength, which He exerted in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in this present age but also in the one to come." Get that??? Not only is God's Kingdom above all other kingdoms... But His Kingdom has the ability to conquer all other kingdoms! He is the "Kingdom Conqueror"! He has broken down all the barriers! No wall can stand against His mighty power that works through us... the SAME power that raised Jesus from the dead and seated Him at the Father's right hand in the heavenlies! No boundary devised by evil can stand against the unleashed and unrestrained power of the Holy Spirit working through us... the body of Christ! And through Christ we are truly, "Kingdom Conquerors"!

    "For He Himself is our peace, Who has made the two one
    and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility..."
    ~ Ephesians 2:14

    In Christ Jesus,
    ~ Joshua
    www.christianity.com/joshuas_journal
     
  3. Joshuas Journal

    Joshuas Journal Guest

    +0
    "The Lord is my shepherd..."
    ~ Psalm 23:1


    As I made my way to the airport outside of Tirana, thoughts of the last 4 months filled my mind like a slide show. But as we neared the small Albanian airport existing of one runway and one terminal, something caught my eye at the end of the runway. Three burned out and tumbled heaps of twisted metal lay at the end of the runway. I knew from past visits to the small airport that the planes lay where they had fallen, blown from the sky on attempted take-off during Albania's recent civil unrest.

    But when I made mention of the bombed out planes, my taxi driver shook his head and pointed to the nearest plane. "That one not shot down," he said raising his eyebrows. "I saw it happen... lots of airspeed, but no direction."

    Apparently, this plane had not been blown out of the sky by rebel anti-aircraft fire. Instead... there had been a malfunction with one of the wing flaps that kept the pilot from being able to steer the plane where it needed to go- straight. So although the plane had ample airspeed for take-off... though it had all the power it needed to get off the ground... it couldn't maintain direction. And so it veered sharply to the left as soon as it left the ground and exploded into a fiery ball of flames, fueled by hundreds of pounds of jet fuel.

    Lots of airspeed... but no direction. Sound familiar? When I first came to Christ I was on fire in a way that's indescribable, as so many recently-saved souls are. I had the power of God pouring out of me, yet I had no direction. Yes, God was guiding me... but soon I would try to take the wheel myself and try my hand at steering. Bad mistake. I imagine what that pilot felt like on that doomed Albanian plane as he felt the power of those jet engines roaring under him... taking him skyward... but suddenly realizing that he had no way of controlling that power. He had lots of airspeed... but no direction. And the results were catastrophic.

    We have alot of Christians with alot of airspeed... but no direction. Alot of aspirations and desires to serve their Lord... but we often forget that our seat is marked "passenger", and not "pilot". We aren't flying this plane anymore than we're providing the power for it to stay in flight. God is doing both. And He'll do both jobs with supreme skill and wisdom if we'll only let Him. So take a glance at the seatbelt sign of your Christian life, my friend. And if you find it blinking like I bet it is... sit down... buckle up... have something to drink and some peanuts and lean towards the window. Let the Pilot do the flying for once. You my friend... relax, knowing that your Heavenly Pilot is in control. Relax and take a glimpse out the window... Enjoy the flight! Ever seen the Italian Alps from 30,000 feet?...

    "He makes me lie down in green pastures, He leads me
    beside quiet waters, He restores my soul. He guides
    me in paths of righteousness for His Name's sake."
    ~ Psalm 23:2-3

    In Christ Jesus,
    ~ Joshua
    www.christianity.com/joshuas_journal
     
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