Tag Archive: god of abraham


winter fieldFarming is a major analogy in the bible. Seeding, growing, and harvesting. The harvest is what farming is all about. In the Church harvesting is seen as people responding to the Gospel and believing in the work Christ has done for us. In farming the harvest is what brings the food to the table. The harvest for the Church is what brings people to the great feast in heaven.

Where is the harvest?

Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.” (Matthew 9:37, 38). This idea of harvest has been miss placed and misinterpreted in the Church today. Where was Jesus when he harvested? Where were the disciples? The Bible tells us clearly where the field is that needs to be harvested. We have many promises that working the field will bring a plentiful harvest. “Those who work their land will have abundant food, but those who chase fantasies have no sense” (Proverbs 12:11).

Where should we be if we are looking to be a worker in the plentiful harvest?

In the church?

Not all, but a majority of Christians today do not look at the harvest. Is the harvest meant to be an altar call at the end of a church service or some event that you brought a friend to? Today we, pulling the log out of my own eye, tend to be dependent on these alter calls and crusades to reach out dumping the harvest on our pastors and those brave enough to say that evangelism is one of their gifts, but is this what Jesus was meaning?

Seeker sensitive churches come at the expense of discipleship and in an effort to make the Gospel understandable we lose theological understanding. Instead of being driven by our understanding of who God is we become driven to just increase our numbers or serve physical worldly needs.

These are good things, but we have become reliant on the “church” to do all the harvesting instead of the way God has chosen to use us all and send us out into the field. “The  Lord  had said to Abram, ‘Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you” (Genesis 12:1). God calls us into the field, so where is the field?

The Field!

The synagogue is not typically the scene of the harvest. We are called to action, to serve those around us, and as we go to make disciples. Interestingly Matthew 9:37-38 is sandwiched between Jesus being out in public and him sending his disciples out into the area villages. When he is talking about the harvest he is not in a church but in the world. He is where the sick are and he is among them seeking them out (Romans 3.11) and being the great healer. You look at the story of Zacchaeus and see a similar thing. “Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through.  A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy…  For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:1, 2, 10). Christ was there to seek and to save. He does not sit on the sidelines waiting for people to seek him out for he knows that they cannot. And if we call ourselves Christ’s disciples then we must follow him into the field.

We must be willing and able to share the Gospel with the people we meet Monday to Saturday, with the people we spend 40 hours a week with, the parents who we see every practice, the kids we play with at recess. The key is to be open about what you believe. Acknowledge the tragedies of this life, big and small, it all starts with the brokenness we all share.

Where are you?

The church is a great place to grow and can serve as a place to harvest, however the bible clearly calls us to get out into the world around us. We must leave our homes and seek out the sick. “Then Jesus came to them and said,  “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:18, 19). While we are going are we harvesting?

So Abram went, as the  Lord  had told him; and Lot went with him… Genesis 12:4

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Saved From or Saved For?

As a believer in Christ we know we are saved from hell, our judgment is washed by the blood of Christ and our sins are forgiven correcting our relationship with God, but these things do not answer the question of purpose and the reason for our creation in the first place. These are the issues we tend to look at when we are reaching out to people and are understood but what are we saved for? Why does God care so much that none should parish (2 Peter 3.9)?

Our small group is currently doing a study called Operation Worldview which deals with exactly this, what are we saved for? God did not create because he needed us to do things for Him. Creation is about worship and glorifying God (Luke 19.40).  Romans 1.20-21 tells us “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him…” Creation reveals His glory so no one is with excuse. As God’s people our purpose is to reveal His glory by preaching the Gospel so others will see His glory and join us in glorifying the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Trinity?).

We are not simply saved from being judged by our own works but we are also saved for something we were created for, glorifying God. Until one is saved one cannot fulfill that purpose as we are separated eternally from God. This purpose is where our hope should lay knowing that God alone is worthy of our glory.

Will you fulfill your purpose?

Am I a Christian Deist?

Where is God? This is a question that I fight with. The role God plays in this world is not a simple one but it addresses a fundamental need we have in understanding it. Is God continually active in this world? Does he care about who I am? Does he care about the state of this world? These questions must be viewed in light of scripture.

Scripture says:

Murillo, Bartolomé Esteban Perez / Angel Gabriel’s Annunciation to Mary / 1655-1660 / Oil on canvas / source: Wikipedia

There was a man sent from God whose name was John.
John 1.6
 
Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.
John 3.14-15
 
We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4.19
 
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.
John 14.26
 
But very truly I tell you, it is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.  
John 16.7
 
“In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.”
Proverbs 16:9
 
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?” 
God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”
God also said to Moses, “Say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.
Exodus 3.13-15
 
God has a plan for the future – Jeremiah 29.11Matthew 24.1-51
God is in control even when it doesn’t look like it –  Job
 
An advocate is active in pleading your case; they stand up for you and defend you. God’s story is filled with examples of how he has future plans for individuals as well as all creation. These are just a few direct verses that talk about God actively working in our world. The world he created despite man’s inability to live up to his greatness. Over the course of human existence we have proven our inability to raise ourselves up to God yet he continues to come down to us. Despite falling short of the glory of God, he cares for us so much that he comes to us, “and they will call him Immanuel” (Matthew 1.23). 

Today it is popular in Christian writing to look at fixing ourselves and how to overcome our shortcomings. More often than not they talk about how we must not judge others because it hurts them, or they look at how true faith is serving the less fortunate, or they examine how to have a better you. These ideas push Christ out and raise man up. They fail to look at the fact that “I once was lost but now am found” for it is only through his amazing grace that a wretch like me is saved.  They fail in seeing that Christ came to save the lost. Christian Deism is the belief that Christ is merely a good moral teacher and it rejects his divinity as well as the need for a saviour. Claiming to be Christian but relying on our own “goodness” contradicts the very nature of what it is to be a follower of Christ. Am I a Christian deist? In my wretchedness I am, however, it is not God who is distant but me. I often choose to reject his active presence in transforming my life and settle for his good teachings. It is only by God’s active saving work in this world that hope, faith, and love can be seen (Galatians 5.13-26).

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