Serving Dinner to Jesus

January 4, 2011

I served dinner to Jesus tonight. Several peeps from MJLifeChurch.tv went with me tonight and served at the Nashville Rescue Mission. We serve there once a month. It’s always humbling to serve drinks and food to men who have no home and nothing to eat. It was an especially special experience handing out food, as about half of our group are on the Daniel Fast and were actually hungry themselves. I was proud of them. They were literally denying themselves and serving others.

Men's Mission 2

I have to go ahead and admit it. That chicken was looking pretty good in my eyes too. I was lusting for chicken for sure, but when you’re weak and you have Christian brothers and sisters with you supporting you, you can stay strong. I abstained and ate some fruit when I got home.

Matthew 25:35-40 says:
“ForI was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

Looking into the eyes of each man as he walked by me, looking for food, helps me remember how blessed I am. Many of the men that we fed haven’t shaven or taken a shower in a while. Some stared straight down, while others looked me in the eye and were very thankful. Some obviously had mental problems. Others have an addiction that has separated them from their home, parents, wives, and children. Looking into the eyes of each man was like looking into the eyes of Christ, the one who gave his all to me. He said that when we do it for one of the “least of these brothers and sisters, you did it for me.”

Christ’s words should compel us to treat each other in the same way that we would treat Christ if He were standing in front of us. That even means that neighbor that is a pain in the butt. It means the driver that cut us off at the intersection. And it means the guys at the Nashville Rescue Mission.

Why do we often forget to take the time to see and serve others the way Jesus wants us to see and serve them?

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I’ve spent most of my life talking to people about God and trying to point people to Him.  Even in my high school years, I lived for Him and I led devotions for my high school football team before games.  I’ve always cared what people thought about God.  I love Him and people’s attitudes towards Him have been important to me.

Those who know me, know that I’ve never claimed to be “Super Believer Guy” or anything like that.  I’m just a goofwad that is blown away that God loves me and I want to be used by God.God has answered prayer in my life and sometimes He has answered prayer in pretty dramatic fashion.   I’ll have to write about some of those sometime.  It just blows my mind still how he has come through in my life at times.

Even so, sometimes I have felt like I should “cover” for God just in case….  What if I ask Him for something and He doesn’t come through?  I remember a time or two that I did ask God for a miracle and it didn’t happen.  (Though, other times I have seen miracles.)  Another way that I’ve “covered” for God is by tacking on “if it be your will” at the end of a prayer.  That way, He has an “escape clause. “

Sometimes I think that if I ask God, especially in public, to do something that only He could do and He doesn’t do it, there are two possibilities that come to mind.

  1. God failed because He didn’t deliver what I asked and He looks bad.
  2. I look stupid myself because God didn’t deliver and I look bad.

Neither of these outcomes have seemed desirable to me so I’ve usually just asked things that I knew He would probably do.  Nothing too crazy or too public.  I mean…  I’ve got my reputation, right?   As a Christ-Follower, I’ve got to “protect” God’s reputation, right?

I am coming to realize that God is big enough.  He is big enough to do His will, no matter how BIG my request may be if it is in line with His will.  God is also big enough to take the “heat” or disappointment from anyone if He decides to say “no” or “later.”

I encourage you, whether you are participating in the Daniel Fast or not, to ask God for something that only He can do. Forget worrying about His reputation…  or yours.  Stick your neck out if you need to, but trust God.  Do you know what worrying about your reputation over having faith in God is called?  It’s called Pride.  Let it go.

I’ve spent most of my life talking to people about God and trying to point people to Him.  Even in my high school years, I lived for Him and I led devotions for my high school football team before games.  I’ve always cared what people thought about God.  I love Him and people’s attitudes towards Him have been important to me.

Those who know me, know that I’ve never claimed to be “Super Believer Guy” or anything like that.  I’m just a goofwad that is blown away that God loves me and I want to be used by God.

God has answered prayer in my life and sometimes He has answered prayer in pretty dramatic fashion.   I’ll have to write about some of those sometime.  It just blows my mind still how he has come through in my life at times.

Even so, sometimes I have felt like I should “cover” for God just in case….  What if I ask Him for something and He doesn’t come through?  I remember a time or two that I did ask God for a miracle and it didn’t happen.  (Though, other times I have seen miracles.)  Another way that I’ve “covered” for God is by tacking on “if it be your will” at the end of a prayer.  That way, He has an “escape clause. “

 

Sometimes I think that if I ask God, especially in public, to do something that only He could do and He doesn’t do it, there are two possibilities that come to mind.

  1. God failed because He didn’t deliver what I asked.
  2. I look stupid myself because God didn’t deliver

Neither of these outcomes have seemed desirable to me so I’ve usually just asked things that I knew He would probably do.  Nothing too crazy or too public.  I mean…  I’ve got my reputation, right?   As a Christ-Follower, I’ve got to “protect” God’s reputation, right?

I am coming to realize that God is big enough.  He is big enough to do His will, no matter how BIG my request may be if it is in line with His will.  God is also big enough to take the “heat” or disappointment from anyone if He decides to say “no” or “later.”

I encourage you, whether you are participating in the Daniel Fast or not, to ask God for something that only He can do.  Forget worrying about His reputation…  or yours.  Stick your neck out if you need to, but trust God.  Do you know what worrying about your reputation over having faith in God is called?  It’s called Pride.  Let it go.

Trust God.

Go ahead.

Dream.

ASK!

Ask him for something that only He can do if it is going to happen.

Have you ever felt like you had to cover for God?  What have you been asking God for lately?  Am I the only one that has had thoughts like this?

Trust God.

Go ahead.

Dream.

ASK!

Ask him for something that only He can do if it is going to happen.

Have you ever felt like you had to cover for God?  What have you been asking God for lately?  Am I the only one that has had thoughts like this?

Burn The Ships

January 2, 2011

The 21 day Daniel Fast starts tomorrow. I went out and destroyed a few chicken wings in preparation today since there will be no meat for 21 days.  That’s scary just writing it to me.  I could easily live without veggies or fruit, but without meat is going to be tough for me. I’m far from a Vegetarian!  LOL

I was reading in Daniel in preparation for the fast and this struck me.  I thought I’d share it with you and get your thoughts.

Daniel 1:8 says:

“But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way.”

 

Daniel decided, IN ADVANCE, that he would not go against the convictions that God had put in his heart about eating from the King’s table. He didn’t wait until the food was set before him. That’s basically what I’m doing. I’m deciding in advance that I won’t eat anything for the next 21 days except fruit, veggies, or nuts. I will not be drinking anything but water.

This reminds me of certain sins that seem to plague us. Satan knows our weaknesses and he knows where and when to hit us. It seems to me that the key is to decide IN ADVANCE that you will stand up, in Christ, to the temptation. Don’t wait until the temptation that plagues you is looking you in the face. Pray about it, confess your weakness to a trusted believer friend, and if possible, remove the stumbling block completely when you are strong.

When Cortez landed in Mexico, he feared that his men would grow tired of the journey and want to return home. Maybe they would turn against his leadership and force a return. As soon as they set foot on Mexican soil, he ordered then to “Burn the ships!” There would be no way to turn back now.

Regarding the fast, there’s no turning back either. If twinkies are your weakness, feed them to your dog. Give them to your neighbor. Throw them away. Whatever it takes, just get them out of the house. Don’t make it easy for you to eat one in a moment of weakness.

The same principle with sin applies. If you are prone to a specific sin, the time to “burn the ships” is when you are strong. Do whatever it takes to remove the barrier that is harming your relationship with God. When you “burn the ships,” God can speak to you because you are more prone to listen to Him. Maybe that means confessing to a brother or sister. Maybe you have to get rid of something that no one knows about except you and God. Maybe there is a relationship that you need to end. You know what it is that God wants you to do if you belong to Him.

Remember, John 8:47 says, “He who belongs to God hears what God says.” If you belong to God and there is something between you and Him in your life, there may be only one thing that He has been saying to you for some time. You ask Him things like, “God, what’s your will for my life?” “God, where should I work?” Whatever you ask Him, He keeps pointing to that one thing, saying “Burn The Ships.” It’s time to light the fire. Once you do, perhaps through this fast, God will then tell you something else. Decide NOW to

Burn it to the Ground, then go for it. Let’s do this!

Have you ever felt God telling you to “Burn The Ships”?

Daniel Fast

January 1, 2011

“To get unreasonable results, you have to do unreasonable things.” -Craig Groeshel

 

It’s a New Year and it’s time for those resolutions that we make every year.  Many times as believers we say we want to grow closer to God in this next year.  If we want to make changes or really know God better, we need to do something radical.  Andy Stanley says, “The system that you’ve been using is perfectly designed to get you the results that you’ve been getting.” What are you going to do that is radical that will jolt your life into the direction that you know that you need to be going?

MJLifeChurch.tv is participating with LifeChurch.tv in the Daniel Fast for 21 days. Fasting is a great way to push aside ourselves and our wants and focus on God. It reminds us that it’s not all about us. Fasting has the potential to draw us closer to God and helps us refocus on Him. If you have been at a spiritual standstill or you simply want to grow in your relationship with Christ, I hope you’ll join us for these 21 days.

In the “Daniel Fast,” the idea is to limit what we eat to the things that Daniel ate when he requested to stay with the diet that he learned when he was home serving God before he was taken captive.  Basically, he only ate veggies, fruit, and nuts. He avoided all meats and drink, other than water.  You can research more on the Daniel Fast at and the allowed foods here:

http://danielfast.wordpress.com/daniel-fast-food-list/

Daniel could have had the best food from the King’s table but he felt like that would get in the way of his relationship with God. God blessed his devotion, dedication, and heart.

The key to fasting for spiritual growth is not simply going without food. If that’s all we do, we’re simply starving ourselves.  We also need to intentionally draw to God during this time through prayer, meditation, and Bible reading. Otherwise all we accomplish is maybe loosing a little weight.  I hope you’re goal is more than shedding a pound or two, though some of us could definitely benefit from that too!

In the above quote, Craig Groeschel said, “To get unreasonable results, you have to do unreasonable things.”  If your relationship with God has grown stale.   If need some answers or you feel like you need to trust God more.  If you just want to grow in your faith, join us beginning on January 3rd, with the Daniel Fast.  Ask God for something BIG that only He can do through you.  Let me know how it goes for you!