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Turning The World Upside-Down For Jesus

In light of the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage, this post is more relevant than ever.  This was posted originally on April 8, 2014.

But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world Surrenderupside down have come here too.  —  Acts 17:6

This was a complaint against Paul and those working with him made by the Jews when Paul came to Thessalonica.  The Jews were not happy because Paul was upsetting the status quo and many Jewish followers were instead following Jesus in every city that Paul visited.  The Jewish complaint was, in fact, a complaint against Paul’s overwhelming success in persuading people to follow Jesus.

Paul’s success as an evangelist is undeniable, and “turning the world upside-down” seems a proper description of what Paul accomplished.

So, as I look at the Church today, I don’t see nearly the intensity that I see recounted in the Bible.  In fact, in the Western World at least, I see the Church as being ineffectual for the most part, and I wonder why.  And in wondering, I think I have some idea why we are so ineffective.

So lets look at the average Western believer for a minute.  He, or she, is likely married, working and with children, supporting a mortgage payment, two or more cars, looking to get ahead in their career, and looking for ways to make life a little easier and more comfortable.  More likely than not, these people came to Jesus by praying a simple prayer and were told that if they were sincere in their prayer, then their eternal destiny is safe in Jesus.

Okay, done.  They will go to Church when they get tje chance, maybe even put a few dollars in the offering plate.  But their eternal destiny is secure, so they don’t need to let any religious exercise get in the way of pursuing their next raise or a better car or even a bigger house.

And that, to a large extent describes the Church and the average believer.

But lets look at Paul and see if we can see why he was able to turn the world upside down for Jesus.  I think if you compare Paul’s life to the life of the average believer today, you would say that the reason that Paul was so effective is that Paul lived an upside-down life.  Living upside-down would be taking all of the commonly accepted behaviors, things that we might consider to be our top priorities, and turning upside-down, making a top priority a bottom priority instead.

We might like to live in security, knowing that we have a roof over our head, a car in the garage, and a steady income so we can always count on our next meal.  Paul, on the other hand, might have considered it a good day if he was not both stoned and shipwrecked in the same day.

We are happy that we are saved and know it because we prayed a little prayer one time.    Paul said:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  —  Galatians 2:20

We may find ourselves flirting with sin from time to time, but Paul was dead to sin:

Likewise also reckon yourselves to be truly dead unto sin, but alive unto God in Christ, Jesus, our Lord.  —  Romans 6:11

Sin had no place in Paul’s life, rather, he presented his body to God:

Neither present your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin, but present yourselves unto God as those that are alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.  —  Romans 6:13

And finally, Paul took very seriously the words of Jesus:

And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.  —  Luke 9:23

Jesus was not part of Paul’s life, not even the most important part.  Jesus was Paul’s life!  Paul’s life was upside-down from we we consider normal and acceptable, and as a result, Paul, along with the other Apostles and early believers, was able to turn his world upside-down.

Will you join me in praying for an army of upside-down believers to dramatically change the direction of the Church in North America and Europe?

 

 

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July 6, 2015 Posted by | Evangelism, Follow Jesus, God's Word, Great Commission, Same Sex Marriage | , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Just a Thought

Truth in Palmyra

We will all meet Jesus. The only question is: Will we meet Him as Savior or will we meet Him as Judge?

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April 26, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

That’s What Faith Can Do

Enjoy this wonderful song of worship and hope.

April 25, 2015 Posted by | Christian, Faith, God's Grace | , , | Leave a comment

He Is… The Names of Jesus

Here are all the names of Jesus, from Genesis 1 to Revelation 22.  This is truly inspiring!

April 11, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Are We Truly Followers of Jesus Christ?

(Originally posted of 3/30/2012)

I am reading the book, “Not A Fan: Becoming A Completely Committed Follower Of Jesus”, by Kyle Idleman.

The first section of the book is devoted to distinguishing between the fans and followers of Christ.

Fans tend to want Jesus as part of their lives, but only to the extent that they are not too inconvenienced by His presence.  For example, fans want what Jesus offers, as long as they don’t have to give more financially than they are comfortable with.  Fans want Jesus, but are not willing to give up that favorite sin, whether that sin be drinking or drugs, sexual immorality, lying, coveting, etc.  Fans want Jesus, Continue reading

March 16, 2015 Posted by | Faith, Follow Jesus | | 5 Comments

The Essence Of Christianity In Just Four Words

Here is the essence of Christianity in just four words:FollowMe

Jesus commands:  “Follow Me”

And we respond:  “Yes Lord”

These words are a paraphrase of Evangelist David Tran in our morning Church service on March 15, 2015.

There are two things that impressed me, first about our Lord’s command, and second, about our expected response.

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March 15, 2015 Posted by | Faith, Revival | , , | Leave a comment

Just a Thought

Truth in Palmyra

If any one is in Christ, they ARE a new creature. This is not a possibility or an option; it is an inevitable consequence of real, saving faith.

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March 14, 2015 Posted by | Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A New Journey – Trusting His Word

I met with an old friend and co-worker today to discuss the possibilities of doing contract work, which is new to me.  Up until now I have only worked full-time.  He was able to share many insights and to get me thinking about thing I have not considered before.  I am sure his comments will be valuable as my job search gets underway in earnest.

 

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August 27, 2014 Posted by | Christian, Faith, God's Grace, God's Word | , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

A New Journey – Tongues, Really?

Holy-Spirit-Fire-in-RedAs I write in this journal, I guess that I should try to define what this journey is all about.  Where is it headed, for instance?

 

But that’s just it, I don’t know exactly where it is headed, but I do know Who is directing it, my Lord, Jesus.  Literally, the only one I would trust with the direction of my life.

 

I see this journey, and what I hope to journal, as being split into two areas.  First, there is the physical aspect, which began last Thursday when I worked my last day on my job and will continue at least until I find other employment or learn of the Lord’s purpose otherwise.  But then there is the spiritual aspect which began earlier, even before my salvation, and will continue until the day I meet the Lord face to face.

 

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August 21, 2014 Posted by | Baptism, Christian, Holy Spirit | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A True Love

An amazing story of true selfless giving along with insights by the author that will make you think.

Karina's Thought

True Love -Karina's Thought- Paul Militaru (2)

I begin this post with an old inspiring and touching story from China. There was an old grandfather named Bai Fang Li. He was living in Tianjin, China. What is interesting thing from this old man? The most interesting thing from him is even though he was live in shortage, he had has very rich heart. Poverty was not being a reason for him to keep giving to others. He was called to give donations to schools and universities in Tianjin city to help more than 300 poor children in order to able obtain an education for their future. Many years he was pedaling his rickshaw to get money in order to increase amount of his contributions.

He lived in an old and rusty hut in a slum area of the city where many rickshaw operators and garbage collectors live and he also lived without thinking of his own needs…

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August 19, 2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment