Tonight I got a text message on my phone from a dear brother and friend. And i loved getting the message from him and i'm not tearing it down. But part of it got me to thinking.
I want to preface what i'm about to say by saying that I know that we need to understand that we are loved by God. Jesus showed that to us on the Cross. He willingly went on the cross to show the love of God to the world. But sometimes i have a hard time with how we present the gospel to the world. The Gospel means "Good News".
1. Greasy Grace: By this i mean that God just loves you and He doesn't care what you've done in the past and whatever you'll do in the future. Just receive Jesus and life will be all peaches and roses.
Ok, yes, part of this is cool. Let the past be the past. Jesus does wash all your sins away. And there is a process of sanctification and renewing the mind and there is grace for when you mess up. But i haven't found anywhere in the Bible where it says that the world will love you. Jesus actually said the exact opposite. The world will probably hate us because it hated Jesus first. This doesn't mean we go and be offensive for the sake of being offensive. But when your truly living your life by Biblical standards, there's a very high chance of your having your guts being hated by the world. I remember listening to a message by Leonard Ravenhill. In that message, he said 'How is it that the world couldn't get on w/ the holiest man that ever lived but that it can get on with you?" That phrase hit me like crazy! Where is the repentance message at? Where in our preaching is there the words of taking of your cross and following God?
2. By the Book! Then there is the camp that its just all rules and legalism. That if your not praying 30 hours a day and sharing your faith and doing all this stuff that there is something wrong. This is when it can get into a works mentality. We're saved by grace. It's good to know that its nothing that i can do, but its what Jesus has already done for me. And it's when i accept his forgiveness and love and mercy and grace and i have an understanding of what living a life for Jesus means that i can make an impact in this world.
In all of this, there is a line to be drawn. Ultimately i say, be intimate with God and for the most part other things will fall in line. Cherish His word and Cherish Him. And when you do that, you'll be ministering without even trying it. Because His presence will exude out of you.
Another thing that i was talking w/ some of my friends about tonight was about prophecy and the prophetic gifting. I love and appreciate the prophetic and i truly believe that it is for today. It's also in that i have a high preservation for it. There is a way to handle it and there is a way that you can totally miss it. A few tips is is that you don't prophecy mates, dates and babies (just like around me you don't tease a girl about her weight.. i big no no. the other week in church actually i scolded a younger brother about that. he knew i loved him and he took it well.) but i just have such a high preservation for things of the Spirit and the Holy Scriptures that i can't even watch certain things nowadays. It just seem hollow.