If there is one thing in this life that I attempt to avoid, it's pain and persecution. I don't know anyone that enjoys it.  Unlike many in this world, we as the American Church find ourselves fairly sheltered from it.  This concerns me.  I am often haunted by the words of 2 Timothy 3:12, "In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted."

Listen to John Piper's words and consider your life of sacrifice.

To live a radical life of sacrifice for Christ is both our highest calling as well as the highest honor we can ever achieve.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Matthew 5:10

HT to Adam.

Colors of Fall

I know it happens every year, yet each Fall I am blown away by the beautiful colors of the season.  Whom ever it was that planned Woodhaven, our neighborhood, they really knew what they were doing when they planted the trees!  And for the One that created the trees ... Wow, He really knew what He was doing!

Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so.  The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.  Genesis 1:11-12.   Good it is!

Like Jesus

I have been thinking a lot lately about what it really means, and what it really looks like, to be a follower of Jesus. Is it going to church? Is it having a quiet time every day? Is it praying a certain amount of time each day? Is it tithing to your church? Is it living in America? What is it?

I hear a lot about how America is a Christian nation, or at least used to be. I have to ask ... Really? What makes us such? Is it because our money says, "In God we trust?" I tire of the forwards I receive in my inbox bemoaning the fact/rumor that our government wants to remove that phrase from our money. Does it really matter? Is it that important that our money contains that phrase, or are we merely paying lip service to God with it, because we really don't fully trust Him and live as Him?

1 John 2:16 gives us that answer. "Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did." May we as the Church not just admire Jesus from afar, or like Him for who He was, or pay lip service to Him, but may we truly walk as Jesus did.

Francis Chan said it well. Check this out ...

May we not just like Jesus but rather may we walk like Jesus.