I do a decent amount of work on computers. Whether it's fixing them up for friends or just using them, they can tend to have problems from time to time. And there are quite a few factors that go into that. Such as if they're well maintained or not. Today in talking with a friend of mine, we were talking about just sharing life and what exactly does it mean to be a Christian, or someone who is hopefully 'Christ-like'. But what does that even mean?
The Bible covers a lot of different issues. There are wars and battles, romance, hatred, love and many other things. One thing I noticed is that God doesn't use folks who have it all together necessarily. A lot of the main folks of the Bible had issues. Some of them were murderers or adulterers or had other various forms of problems. And yet, God still used them. (Sweet, there is still hope for me yet :) ).
Some of the buzz words that fly around me a lot are things like revival, prayer, fasting, Bible reading, community, authenticity, life, Holy Spirit ... just to name a few. I have been in more 'church services' in the past few years than some have been in in their life! Sometimes, i just get burned out on meetings, and I just want to spend time with folks. Luckily, it's very Biblical to eat together with food (a lot of times, we call it 'breaking bread' which is just another term for eating together.
I've also done some street witnessing/evangelizing. The idea is is to go out and tell people about Jesus. Usually we'll go to the malls and look for our victi.. I mean people to talk to. I've found a couple things out in my day.
1. Oddly enough, this kind of evangelizing isn't my strong point. I prefer the small group or one on one and discussing issues and really digging into people's lives.
2. There is a right way of doing this and a very wrong way. Some people prefer the all out hell fire brimstone type of preaching, usually done with a bull horn and saying things like "everyone who doesn't believe in Jesus is going to hell", which is a very true statement. This is called the 'turn or burn' approach. But just because it's a good idea, doesn't mean it's a God idea. There is a difference.
I've had it said to me that some people speak or preach in such a way that it sounds like they WANT you to end up in the fiery pit.
So what am I getting at? What I'm getting at is that there is a search going on in many people's lives for truth, love, satisfaction, fulfillment and over all general purpose. People are looking for love. People want to connect with other people. We are made for relationships. Christianity is about relationships. God wants to reconcile us, His Children, to Himself through Jesus. Even the atheist knows John 3:16. God loved us first. (I'm His favorite by the way.) He started it.
Have you ever been in a crowded room and felt very alone? There is nothing quite like being in a crowded room with music blaring and trying to have a nice conversation with someone. Nothing like telling your life story to someone a foot away from you while loosing your voice in the process. Sometimes, I just feel burned out on church meetings. Today I had an AWESOME afternoon talking with a friend from my church body. We talked for probably a couple hours straight I think. We just shared life! Unfortunately, there wasn't food involved (I know, that's breaking the Mennonite 11th commandment). But it was still just sooo very life giving!
Nowadays, there is a lot of talking about what kind of church bodies there are out there. We have bodies that are thousands strong (mega churches) and then there are some that are many a dozen or so (house churches or micro churches) and there are some that are maybe just a couple hundred strong (a typical community fellowship). And there is the difference between church growth and church transfer. But it's about you growing spiritually that makes the difference.
I don't know about anyone else, but I'm looking for the Life of God to be brought out. Sometimes I feel like I have spiritual ADD or ADHD. I just can't sit still for the life of me! You could glue me down to a chair and I'd probably end up just carrying that chair with me as I pray for folks. I can't sit still at times!
Some of my current favorite scriptures are John 14-17, Romans 8, Psa. 42:1-2 and Psa. 84. Just to name a few. I don't know about you, but I'm on this search for authentic Christianity. I'm looking and searching for authentic life in Jesus. You may be messed up as all get out but desiring a change. You may be thinking "yeah, I've got issues to work through, but I'm gonna look to Jesus for the real change." Hop on board and we'll figure this thing out yet. God's looking for open and willing hearts.