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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Thing about Faithfulness

John 20:2-4
2 And so she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple whom Jesus loved, and said to them, "They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him."
3 Peter therefore went forth, and the other disciple, and they were going to the tomb.
4 And the two were running together; and the other disciple ran ahead faster than Peter, and came to the tomb first;

I woke early one morning with this thought, “Why was it important for John to note he won the race with Peter to the tomb?”

Was it the competitive spirit that drove both he and Peter? Was it a dig at Peter that he was better? Or, was it, as I suppose it is a spiritual point John wants to make.

He calls himself the disciple Jesus loved. That is important to note. Later, in one of his letters to the church, he says of God, “We love because He first loved us.” During his walk with Jesus, John learned about love. And he got it. He understood the message. That is why he called himself the disciple Jesus loved. He isn’t saying Jesus loved him more than the others. He wasn’t laying claim to being better or special. He was saying what he had revelation of. Jesus loved this disciple. And because He first loved John, John was able to love Jesus.

I find it incredible that the Apostle who was given the privilege in revealing Jesus, the risen Warrior King, was first the disciple Jesus loved. I also notice John was the only one who made it to the cross. All others had scattered when Judas brought officers to arrest Jesus. Peter made it as far as the court of the high priest and then ran away after denying Him. But John followed Jesus all the way to the cross with the women who followed Jesus. And when one of those women came and told him and Peter that Jesus had raised, they raced to the one they both loved. John ran faster. Why?

Could it be that he was not laden with guilt and shame to slow him down? Could it be that his faithfulness put wings on his feet? Is it possible his understanding of God’s love would have allowed him to run that much faster to a forgiving Master even if he had sinned?

When we sin, it is harder to face the one we have sinned against. When we have given our best friend our back, it is hard to give him our face again. We cower away from him. Adam and Eve hid from God who had done nothing less than love them, because of the shame of sin. They would not have had to do that if they’d been faithful. John did not carry shame. The disciple Jesus loved got to the tomb first.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Church Planting - to do or not to do?

When you think of planting a church, what do you picture?

I have a desire to teach people to love God, love one another and to unite to love the world to Jesus. Sound like many other churches already out there? Who needs another, right?

Well, I think we do need another one. I still see generations who have not heard the gospel or seen it lived before them. I see young adults who are like me when I was their age, never been to church and those that have weren't taught how to have a relationship with God. I want to affect those as I have been affected by people who had relationship with Him who is Love.

Planting a church is not easy. To gather leaders to help you, you have to pull from other churches. That is an idea not easily received by many.

I am praying about this. I want to do what God desires.