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Retweeting Jesus “RT@JesusChrist #6”

But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice. –JC Luke 11:28(NLT)

Did you know that the word “Obey” is not in the Old Testament? You might find the words Obedience, Obedient, and Obey in our English translations, but there is no word ‘Obey’ in the Hebrew Old Testament original language and writing. We just translated it that way. Okay…okay…for you doubters, go ahead and get your study tools out and test what I am saying. The Bible does say “Test everything!” Go ahead and then come back. I highly recommend that you use a Hebrew Interlinear to discover this truth for yourself.

Crazy to think that in the Old Testament times they never would have heard the word “Obey” from anyone, not even from God.

There is a philosophy that exists that says this…if you have to say it, then you probably aren’t really doing a good job of it. Perry Noble, Pastor of New Spring Church in NC said recently on his blog… www.perrynoble.com

“Does Martha Stewart have to declare she is a good cook?
Does Drew Brees have to declare that he is a good quarterback?
Does Taylor Swift have to declare that she can sing?
Does Lebron James have to declare he can dunk a basketball?
Does B.B. King have to declare that he can play the blues?
Does John Grisham have to declare that he can write fiction really well?

Perry makes a good point in those questions above. It is my opinion that If you, your church, or your business are constantly declaring that you ARE something then I think its fair to say that you might be trying to convince your self. The reality is this, you aren’t who you are because of what you are declaring, but rather because of what you are doing. Anyone can declare that they can do something or be something. Jesus says in Matthew 11:19 that, “wisdom is shown to be right by its results.” I would translate that, “Talk is Cheap,” or “Action speaks louder than words.”

Ask yourself, “Am I doing a lot of talking in an area of my life, but in reality I have no proof that I’m actually doing what I’m continually saying?” I would encourage you to ask the people around you if you are saying a lot of something, but not actually doing it. Or, if you have the capability to actually measure the facts as to your success of what you are saying, then do the study and get the facts. I was recently a part of a group that said over and over that they were actually doing something and they even said publicly that they did it better than most. So I took the time to actually measure whether or not they were actually doing what they were saying. When the facts and the proof statistics came back to me. It was clear that my group was just saying this as a marketing tool, but actually weren’t doing very good at it at all. Are there areas in your life that the same thing is happening in your case? Are you saying something…a lot…but you’re really not putting it into practice or showing any results proving it?

“But even more blessed are all who hear the word of God and put it into practice.”

This tweet from Jesus was in response to a person that shouted at him from the crowd. The person who shouted said, “God Bless your mother, the womb from which you came, and the breasts that nursed you!” LOL. What a strange shout out. I have had many people shout some funny, cool, and even mean stuff from the crowd when I was preaching. But never anything like this one! Can you imagine? Jesus’ reply was simple. “But even more blessed are all who hear the Word of God and put it into practice!”

Practice Makes Permanent!

So back to my point…Instead of the word “OBEY” God had them use the word “LISTEN.” For the people of the Old Testament to “Hear” WAS to “Obey.” In the Hebrew culture, to hear the word of God or to listen to a person in authority automatically obligated you to do what the person of authority was saying.
TO HEAR was to OBEY. They didn’t have to use the word obey. If they heard it they were obligated to do it…thus their is no need for the word obey, because I think God knows that talk can be cheap. Hear = Do. It puts a new spin on the frequent phrase in the Old Testament, “Hear O Israel, the Lord is one!” Do you understand? There is a lot of meaning now in the phrase, “HEAR O Israel!”

We actually understand this in our Western Culture. If you are a parent and you tell your children to do something but they don’t actually do it. What do you typically say to them when you noticed they didn’t do what you asked of them? I’ll speak for myself here, but I actually say to my kids, “Why are you not LISTENING to me?” Or, “Did you not HEAR me?” I am guessing when I ask this of my kids they think to themselves… “I HEARD you, I just didn’t DO what you asked of me.” It’s rare to actually hear a parent ask of their kids. “Why didn’t you Obey me.” We usually ask, Why did you not listen to me?”

Knowing this…how might it change you? Do you understand now the importance of not just reading the Bible, but doing what we “hear” from it?

Jesus said some things about this…

“Why do you call me Lord, when you don’t do what I say?” Luke 6:46
“Not everyone who SAYS to me, ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father.” Matthew 7:21
James writes, “Do not merely listen to the Word of God and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” James 1:19

All Jesus and other spiritual authorities are saying here is “Talk is Cheap.”

I know this, you know this, and so does everybody else.

“But even more blessed are those who hear the Word of God and put it into practice.”

Keep “Listening!”

Is your gut telling you something right now that you have been saying, but need to start doing.

Just Do It.


My Trip To Africa!

I’m waiting at Sky Harbor Airport to head to Portland and then to Amsterdam and then to Entebbe Uganda! I have 20 plus hours of flying ahead of me. The lady behind the counter with Delta got me an exit seat to Portland and I pray for the same as I fly the 10 hour flight to Amsterdam.
I am excited about the trip. I am curious what set of emotions I will experience as I arrive in such a mysterious and mystical place. Will I be disgusted at the unjustifiable poverty I find in Africa? Will I be frustrated at what is a lack of gratefulness and thankfulness of the quality of life we have in America. I wish I could pack up the whole “Occupy whatever town” in America and drop them in a 3rd world country so they could learn to count their blessings instead of cry out with entitlement mentalities.

I am asking God on this trip to make it clear to me if I am to dedicate the rest of my life to missions work or if I am to step back into a Lead Pastor Role of the Church. When did we ever separate the words Missions and Church? What a travesty. They are the same thing!

Anyway…time to go check in and get “comfy” on the plane. I ask for your prayers that I may return home with an expanded mind and experience in life.

I am honored that you are reading this post and the future ones to come. You matter to me and I want the very best for your life. Stay tuned!


Invest and Invite

The material you are about to read through is a copy and paste. My brother-in-Law, Chris Reed, executive pastor of Christ’s Church of Flagstaff wrote this and its too good to just read and put away. I hope you enjoy it and are challenged by it…
Invest and Invite
Right up front, I have to let you know I did not come up w/ this phrase. Someone else did. Those of us who are Disciples of Jesus Christ realize there is a Gap between our current level of evangelism and the level we want to operate our lives at. Following Jesus requires that we share him with others who are far from Him. We know that and we also know that we aren’t very good at it. We have a Gap.
Here is the task I gave during a recent sermon, go to a local bank in which you don’t have any money deposited. Give the teller your ID and ask for your money. The confused look on her face after a few seconds of searching her computer screen will be quite humorous. When she tells you that you don’t have any money at that bank say, “Ok, I didn’t think so, but I thought I’d try anyway.”
That is exactly what you and I do when we walk across the street to our neighbors and invite them to church at Easter or Christmas. You may even think, “Ok, I didn’t think so, but I thought I’d try anyway.”
We understand investment in regards to money, but we don’t often apply the same principles to investing in people. We know that if we want to invest wisely with our money we must set aside (save) a portion of it on a regular basis. We have to sacrifice our wants and desires today for a payoff tomorrow. That makes sense. We don’t all do it, but it makes sense.
Your neighbor who is far from God is no different. You have to display consistency and sacrifice to truly invest in his or her life. You have to set aside (save) a portion of your time to invest in people who are far from Christ. To do that requires a sacrifice that most of us are not willing to make. We have to have time to give; we have to say no to something that we are currently doing with our time. We may have to stop taking our kids to dance classes or soccer practice 4 nights a week. We may have to stop playing so much golf or only DVR 4 shows a week instead of 8. To save money on a monthly basis means that you can’t spend all the money you get each month. To invest time in your neighbor means you can’t spend all the time you get each month.
Once you and I start to consistently and sacrificially give our neighbors time we can then begin to think and pray about the process of inviting them to an event or service where they can encounter Christ. How will you know its time to make an invitation to a church service? Look at your investment with a particular person, if you ask them to church and they aren’t receptive, do you have enough invested that they know you will still be their friend if they don’t accept the invitation?
How do you get started? That’s the hardest part. Start planning a night a month in which you are going to invite several neighbors over for a potluck dinner. Make a decision ahead of time that Sundays from 2-3 you are going to be outside each week and strike up conversations with anyone that comes across your path. Turn off the phone and music during your child’s practice and talk to the other parents. Remember investments take time to mature and pay a dividend. Not all of your relationships will lead the other person to a salvation experience, but your life and the life of your family will be richer when you invest in the lives of others.
Give me some more ideas, how can we all invest in the lives of others?