Sky Links, 6-4-14

Photo: Spacebridge by longobord CC 2.0
“Students are not greater than their teacher, and slaves are not greater than their master.  Students are to be like their teacher, and slaves are to be like their master. And since I, the master of the household, have been called the prince of demons, the members of my household will be called by even worse names!
-Matthew 10:24-5 (NLT)

The real Jesus is either hated or loved.  J.D. Greear wrote:
One of the ironies of our current culture is that most people today find Jesus rather boring. Most people don’t mind Jesus, but they don’t really love him or hate him either. This proves that which proves they haven’t actually met him.
No one in the Bible was ever bored with Jesus. The real Jesus was polarizing; people either loved him or hated him. The more attractive he grew to some, the more loathsome he grew to others. Certain people thronged to him, while others plotted his death.
Are we really letting Jesus take the lead in our families? Parents, are you teaching your kids to obey Jesus more than you? The Christian world is filled with parents who don’t want their kids to obey God and go on the mission field. And if they must defy you to obey God, then that’s what Jesus is asking. But do we really want our kids to obey God in spite of us?
 J. D. Greear, 4 Questions When Jesus Confronts Us.

Contract or Covenant?

Sometimes we treat God like we are in a contractual relationship where we expect things and we do strange things when we feel like we have been bad.  Christian marriage and being a Christian are both covenantal relationships based on love..  The dysfunctional dynamic of treating your spouse or God like a contractor (like a person that you are in a contract with)  is the topic that the guys at Family Room Media did a great podcast about:
Ever notice how we treat the Bible as a contract between God and us? "Now God, we do this, and you promise to do that...." Sound familiar? Who's ever read about prayer and faith in Bible passages and came away silently disappointed when it appears that God didn't honor his part of the deal? You might want to listen to this conversation.
It is the "Contract or Covenant? April 22, 2014", podcast, posted here.  A great concept to grasp!  Covenant.

Overt (mass) or Organic (personal) Evangelism

Gene Redlin wrote a piece titled, Is Overt Evangelism God's Plan?
I am becoming aware of our lack of understanding of what true evangelism is. What it

takes to reach those looking for an answer... As Peter did... "What must we do to be saved"? In fact if you consider much of the book of Acts you see very little overt evangelism. Most of it was organic. One to one.

Christians Live By The Grace of God

I heard a message by Aaron Budjen, titled The Grace of God.  I love this message and I noticed that Aaron has other messages on grace that you can find on youtube.  Here is a long quote.  Aaron said:
For the most part, people believe that the Christian life is a life of getting your flesh under control.  You are to live a life of reducing as much sin as possible:  That, that's the way we are to live.  We are to live in such a way that we say "no" to ungodliness, we say "no" to unrighteousness, and people believe that the way this is going to be accomplished is by following a set of rules, laws, or principles for daily life, so that a person can live in a certain way, so that they can have some degree of confidence that they will not sin.  That's what the Christian life is, to most of the people I have personally encountered.  They believe the goal of the Christian life is to stop sinning.  The goal of the Christian life is to get your flesh under control, and when you accomplish this, you will have achieved the goal of becoming a better person, conformed more to the image of Christ Jesus.  You can then say that you are a great Christian.

But, I do not believe that this is the goal of the Christian life.  I do not believe, at all, that the goal of the Christian life is to figure out some way to get your flesh under control.  I do believe that a person should expect to experience a change, a transformation, within their being, to the extent that there will be a noticeable reduction of sin in their lives.  I do believe that.  I just don't believe that it is the goal.  I believe that is the side-effect, but not the goal.  
This is something that sets me apart from the most people, unfortunately, because the Christian world is consumed with sin, trying get the flesh under control, and consumed with trying to get people to stop sinning.  One of the reasons why, is because there is also a sincere belief that people have, that there is no way that God is going to have a personal relationship with an individual, until they get their flesh under control.  In addition to that, there are many people who believe that there is no way he is going to bless a person, until they get their flesh under control; or that he will intervene in their lives in a positive way, until they get their flesh under control; that there is no way that they can understand who their God is, until they get their flesh under control....
...I believe that the goal of the Christian life is really about learning to trust our God.  Trust him, as in, believe what he has already said, believe in what he has already accomplished.  
You know, when a person starts their Christian life,  on the basis of law; by default, what they are saying is that God still holds their sins against them.  That's what they believe.  Now of course, the Gospel has nothing to do with that.  
The Gospel has to do with the fact that our sins have been forgiven, and he doesn't hold our sins against us anymore, so where do people get this idea that he still holds our sin against us, that he still relates to us on the basis of our sin?  They get it from each other...  But, it does contradict what they will also say about the Gospel...  This becomes difficult, especially for new believers.
But, if he doesn't hold our sin against us any more, then there is no law that he holds against us an more, or that he utilizes in order to condemn us, judges us, or to determine whether he is going to bless us, or not; or whether he is going to participate in our lives or not.  
He set us free from the law, so that we could walk in a newness of life, based on trusting in what he has accomplished; trusting and believing in his forgiveness.  
Now, there are two ways to go with this.  One way of course, is to just simply rejoice and say, "well then, let's just go out and sin, and indulge our flesh!".  And certainly, there are people who do that, I understand that.  But, that's not the only response that a person can have.  
There is another way to view this.  Now that we've been set free, we can now be loved by our God.  We can now be accepted by our God.  We can now trust in and rest in the grace of God.  
I have confronted and asked many pastors and church leaders, "how do we disciple new believers in Christ Jesus?", ...and to summarize the answers, the answer most often given, is that we should teach them how to be holy... teach them about good an evil; in other words, we need to get their flesh under control.  That's what people believe.  That's what people hear.  
So, when I suggest that we are not to be led by the law, but we are to be led by the grace of God, people will be very concerned.  They are very concerned when I mention that, because they say things like, "well then, what is going to keep people from sinning?"  Well, of course, nothing kept people from sinning to begin with, that doesn't help either.  
But people will say, "you are giving people a licence to sin or the right to sin: the ability to sin without regard to the consequences they might experience.  Well, of course people are going to experience consequences for sin, and they don't need God's intervention for that.  But, that does not have to be the response.  While many people will respond that way, I understand that, to me, that is not an excuse, not to continue to tell the truth.  
The truth is that this provides us with another way of life and I believe that we should continue to tell the truth about the forgiveness of sins, freedom from the law; knowing full well, that there are many people that will use it as an excuse to indulge their flesh.  In my opinion, it is worth it, when you consider the few, who will follow through, with what the Lord has now provided in the light of that truth.  What he has provided is an opportunity to be loved by him, accepted by him, in a way that he never could, unless he no longer held our sins against us.  

The whole message is here.  A huge mistake that has been taught to Christians today is that we are still under the law.  The great fear is that if we are not under the the law, or some of the law; that we will go wild as libertines and sin like crazy, saying, "it's grace!"  Some people will do that and freedom allows that.  We are free to sin, but sin is still sin.

He set us free from sin and from living under law, so that we can walk with him and let Christ live through us.  We are set free from the law, but we are now under and in Christ, who is above the law and who's standards for right living are higher than the law, and only he, in our lives can fulfill.

Aaron Budjen answers the charge and question of Antinomianism here.

Why We Homeschool

Nicole Mc Ghee wrote:
My homeschooling adventure with my sons is far less about the curriculum I choose and
infinitely more about the relationship I have with them.
D. Kevin Brown, wrote down these four points from Todd Wilson's keynote address at the NC Homeschool Conference:
#1 Home is the best place on earth.
#2 Parents are the best teachers of their children.
#3 Each child is a masterpiece and
#4 Relationships with our kids come first.
My notes:

  • Relationship.  
  • God, through Christ, by the Spirit; to us.  
  • Relationship with each other.  
  • Relationship with our children.  
  • Home.  
  • Each child is designed by God uniquely.  
  • Partnering, in relationship with God, to let God's design for your child bloom.