Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Cross, In Light Of The Law Of Grace

I get into a lot of theological discussions. Some of them are more fun loving and light-hearted; some not so much. Something I was thinking about last night and discussed it with a couple of my friends is the Law of Grace in regards to the cross of Jesus and His suffering and how we should then live. Something important to consider is how do we ride the straight and narrow without going to extremes on issues.

A term that gets thrown around jokingly at times is "Greasy Grace." Basically meaning you can do basically whatever you want and there will always be grace there... just repent and get on with life. The word 'repent' alone seems somewhat a taboo topic. You dare not say that to someone or you might be judging them! :: Gasp:: "Oh no brother, we believe in grace around here. You don't dare mention repent because it might offend someone.." Let me say this: as far as I know, the gospel message is going to be perhaps the most offensive message to some out there.

If you look at the law of Grace, it holds you to a higher standard than the Ten Commandments! It's saying "ok, there is something going on in your heart here that needs to be dealt with." It addresses the root cause moreso rather than just telling you not to do something. Hate your brother? In your heart, you already have done something wrong to him. Looked at someone of the opposite gender with a lustful thought? Guess what... no good there.

It's amazing what happens if you preached repentance in certain churches and/or groups nowadays... "oh my goodness, your a legalist!" "No, actually, I'm just following what the Bible says." Look at the woman caught in adultery in John 8. "Let him who has never sinned cast the first stone." Everyone leaves and then Jesus says "Go and sin no more." He didn't condone the sin but He said "sin no more." I've heard stories from friends of mine who minister in prisons that the harder you rail against sin in prisons, the more whoops and hollers of agreement you get. But it seems like a taboo thing to do in churches across America... that seems a little strange to me....

So what about discipline and grace? Let me put it really simply here: It shouldn't be "I can't go see that movie or participate in the event" but it should be more like "no, I don't want to because I wouldn't enjoy it." It goes from "can't" to "don't want to." Why is that? I think it has to do partly with its about a relationship that you have with someone. And you don't want to do something to that person that will hinder your relationship with them. I believe there is an awesome balance between the reverence of God and His grace. As a matter of fact, I think those two work hand in hand! When you live by grace, you're going to want to be reverent in His presence. That's not to say you always have to be stone cold serious, but in your heart you want to be careful when your in God's presence. You won't want to do something to grieve His Holy Spirit.

Muslims On The Mall

We left Concord just after 5am and headed towards Washington, DC. We had a couple vehicles go up. Our goal was to simply just walk up to the Muslims attending their prayer gathering in DC and give them a dvd called "More Than Dreams". (check out to see the dvd we were giving away). We separated into teams and we took up different areas. And I was soo proud of the whole team. Everyone did a wonderful job and just displayed the Love of Jesus soo effectively I think. Some of the teams were right on the Mall itself and others, such as mine, were positioned in areas around the mall. I was outside of Union Station in front of the fountain. That way, when the people were coming back from the Mall, they went right past me and into the train station.

My team consisted of myself, Brian Mitchell, Michael Bowman and Evan Smith. Brian got to pray with quite a few folks and we even witnessed some healings during the time. One Muslim guy that needed a cane to walk received prayer and no longer needs the cane (Praise the Lord!) We also gave him a dvd and he promised he'll watch it. There were many 'seeds' planted during this time and i'm just praying and trusting the Lord that our efforts won't be in vain. I've learned that God likes to pull surprises and do things that we never thought possible.

For different events, there are different methods of evangelism. Sometimes, there are times to get on the mike and set up speakers and do preaching like that. Other times, its the relational evangelism. Sometimes you mix them up. Ultimately, you have to ask the Lord what is the best way to do it. Take it on a case by case basis.

I know we had a lot of folks praying for us. Many who I know that they wanted to be there in person but weren't able to. Hey, when your praying for us, your still with us. And honestly, the Muslim community isn't something that is like on my heart and mind all the time. But they're people and Jesus loves them and died for them as well. So, because God wants to see them come to repentance and into right relationship with Him, I'll take time for this special event and do what I can and trust the Lord to bring in the harvest.

One kinda neat thing I witnessed while I was there was Vice President Biden's motorcade went by. We were right outside the Russell Senate Offices and all of a sudden, the cops shut down the road and we asked an officer who was coming and he paused for a second and just said "someone important". Well, about 2 minutes later, Biden's limo, under escort of course, went by. I got a slight quick glimpse of him but perhaps because I didn't vote for him, i was more interested in all the security that goes into protecting him. It did remind me of the movies with all the cops and the Secret Service... my tax dollars at work...

So, after about 14 hours of travel and a couple of hours of handing out dvd's and walking around Washington DC, we'll see what happens. I know I would love to go back up to Washington and play tourist. There is soo much history there and lots of activity.

Also, a friend of mine who was there with me had a few awesome testimonies of the Lord touching some people. I wanted to share them with you.

I prayed for a Muslim man who was really struggling to walk, he had a big brace on his right knee and was leaning heavily on a cane. As I prayed for him in the name of Jesus he said he was touched and felt better and started waving his cane around in the air and he was just carrying it after that, not using it. So Jesus touched him and brought healing to his leg, showing him the truth of who Jesus is.

Had a great witnessing encounter with a Hindu who come to find out lived only 10 minutes from me in Charlotte – talk about divine appointments, here I am 7 hours away from home and I meet someone that lives around the corner from me in Charlotte, so awesome. I gave him my information and one of the DVDs we were giving out and I am hoping to talk to him soon in Charlotte or Concord.

I prayed for another Muslim man who said his leg hurt and then had a great conversation with him about the Torah, the Psalms, New Testament and the Koran. They believe the first 3 are messages from God, but were corrupted by man, but the Koran has not been corrupted by man. I was able to get him to agree that the words of the Bible are true and accurate, but the interpretations of man of the Bible are sometimes inaccurate. Then I was able to get him to look at John 14:6, and how else could that verse be interpreted then Jesus is the only way to eternal life? He seemed to be a little lost at that point, but he really seemed to receive what I was saying and I am praying that he will come to the knowledge of the truth soon.
- Anonymous

Shawn here again... I was right close by as these events actually happened and they really encouraged me as I talked to other Muslims. It was soo awesome to see how the Lord moved while we were there. As we step out, the Lord comes through for us. He is such an awesome Savior!