A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Most people who follow Christ that I know are very concerned with how they treat people who don’t know Christ. They have a genuine heart to make sure that they are doing everything they can to help people see the love and care of Christ in their lives.
All of those things are wonderful and can have a wonderful impact on people who don’t trust Jesus to lead their life, But I think there is something even greater that people outside the church expect and are waiting to see.
It is how believers in Christ treat EACH OTHER.
We say and do things to each other with the assumption that the things we say on earth to each other pretty much don’t matter because “we are all going to heaven anyways.”
Now that I am working outside of a single church it is very interesting to see the dynamic between churches and some ministries. It is almost like they are more concerned with the success of only their church and people knowing their names instead of the name of Jesus. These are things people outside of church look at and say, “Wow. If they can’t even love each other, how do they expect me to love their God.”
I think this can also be with some lead pastor’s and their staff. Acting towards each other with a kind of abuse mentally of even emotionally because it is all for the sake of a “higher calling” which is promotion of the Gospel. The problem is that staff is where love and honor needs to START and not just staff members being a means to an end.
This is not saying that we don’t need to identify sin when it is seen or exhibited, but that we operate out of a heart of love and concern for those in the church. It should break our heart when we hear about things that harm the body of Christ instead of the attitude, “Well, that was a long time coming. I mean, everyone knew that was going on and needed to be exposed.”
Each person who calls themselves a follower of Christ needs to first examine their own hearts and intentions, then their relationship to the church body and THEN the world around them. When we FULLY grasp the concept of people knowing we are disciples because of our love for one another, then the world will be so full of Christ they will be beating down the doors of the local church.
These changes start with one person. Let it be us who makes that decision to love more than ANYTHING else today. Have a great week!
I John 1:5 “This is the message we have heard from Him and declare to you: God is light; in Him there is no darkness at all.”
Once Light is introduced to a place, darkness is forced to leave. Light is always more powerful than darkness and more powerful IN darkness. One little match can light the darkest of caves so that you can at least see your path in front of you. You can’t add more darkness to a space and hope to extinguish a light. The only way there is no light is when darkness is allowed to prevail by either hiding or putting out the light.
Are there places that you are allowing to stay in darkness so that the light of Christ cannot expose? The thing that we need to accept is that Christ sees it anyway, so what we think we are hiding is seen by Christ because He is the light. Wouldn’t it be better to accept his freedom and forgiveness instead of expending energy to keep the thing hidden that he sees anyway?
God will not force people to receive His light; therefore darkness is allowed to continue. What is tragic is that so many who have glimpsed and embraced light choose to slide back into darkness.
I choose light! I want the light within me to grow that I may drive out the darkness wherever I am in the world.
One of the opportunities to spread the light is the work we do in Nepal with our girls and boys home. These are boys and girls who receive love and attention that reflects the light and love of Christ. For more information on how to pray or financially participate during this Christmas season, visit our website: www.ctnonline.com/nepal.html
22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror
24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
25 But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
26 Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.
The Bible is such an amazing book. This portion of scripture in James has so many great lessons in it focusing on our actions versus our words. Jesus was the ultimate example of “action” in the Bible and I love reading about his interaction with people who loved and followed him but also those who wanted to eventually betray and kill him. In this season of Thanksgiving and relationships that we have with friends and family, there are a few things we can glean from interactions that Jesus had with people along with these verses from James.
1. Jesus was a man of little words and lots of action
James 1:22 specifically says that we should not be a LISTENER but a DOER of the Word. I actually LOVE the climate of social media and the immense failure of trying to use words to convince people about what you believe. I think what it does is eliminate the focus on the WORDS of people who follow Christ and forces them to use ACTIONS to show God’s love. Jesus was always about actions and doing to show love rather than just talking a good game. This Thanksgiving season, ask God to give you opportunities to show his love through you.
2. You have to spend time with God. There is no substitute
This verse in James talks about blessings from doing what the Word says. The only way we can know the Bible is not by watching lots of Christian TV or going to church every week or listening to tons of podcasts, it is taking time out of our busy day and spending some time with God. This was something even modeled by Jesus throughout his time on the earth when it says He would get up early to go spend time with the Father. If it was important enough for Jesus to take time out of His day we need to follow that same pattern.
3. Jesus was never focused on what he saw in the physical realm, He was focused on God’s ultimate plan
We ALWAYS need to remember that God’s heart is that ALL people would come to a saving knowledge of Him in their lives. The best result of us following Christ is that we perfectly fulfill our destiny on this earth and that by our actions and words, that we would lead anyone we come in contact with to a better relationship with God. The loose tongue in James 1:26 works opposite of that ultimate goal because reactionary words will always cause more harm than good with our reputations and helping to change people’s opinions.
Thanksgiving can be a very stressful time to interact with family especially with such a contentious election season that just ended and divisions in our country even in families. We are praying for you all and your families this holiday season and believing for healing between families and friends and that God would give you all opportunities to not just share about how important Jesus is to you, but to act on that love. Jesus’ words drew people in but his actions proved what he was saying. We need to operate the same way and see lives authentically changed for the better.
Denver Rescue Mission's Annual turkey drive is in high gear!
Not only does the Rescue Mission feed individuals and families, but they also contribute to 100 different agencies across Metro Denver.
Frozen turkeys weighing 12 pounds or more can be donated at the following locations:
Turkey Donation Sites:
Lawrence Street Shelter (SE corner of Park Avenue West and Lawrence Street) 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
The Crossing (Smith Road & Holly) 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
Ministry Outreach Center (Holly & 39th) 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday
There is also a Donation Site on November 18th & 19th at:
Mike Ward Infiniti- 1900 Lucent Ct. in Highlands Ranch (10am - 6pm)
Financial Contributions can be made online at www.DenverRescueMission.org/turkey
or call 303.313.2403
Dutch Sheets Ministries has a great free prayer app called Give Him 15.
What would happen if 50 million people were praying the same prayer declaring God’s promises together every day? Wow! That is a powerful thought!
This app will provide you with a devotional, a scripture, and a prayer tool to get you started in spending 15 minutes (or more) with God.
Let’s be the body of Christ praying together in one accord.
(Matthew 18:19 & 20)
You can also go to the website for more information: http://givehim15.com/
Here is a "sneak peak" at a quick non-traditional Thanksgiving spot that will go into broadcast rotation later this week! God bless you and your family this holiday season and KNOW that God is for you and NOT against you!
Many things were going through my head the past few weeks as I watched the election season unfold and even the past few hours after the election. Here are a few things to consider for us as a country and as individuals.
1. Social Media has been a great litmus test as to depth of friendships
I can remember a time in life where Facebook, Twitter and other social media platforms didn’t exist. I have really appreciated the ability to stay connected and reconnect with old friends and make new ones. It is awesome to be able to share my life with people and for me to feel like I am physically around them more than I actually am. That is about where the appreciation stops for me. The problem is that we create relationships with people online that are “an inch deep and a mile wide.” I can remember getting into arguments when I was younger and I would always know who was a true friend and was not by the outcome and spending time with them to know their heart.
I believe we have allowed our connections on social media to make us shallow with one another instead of really knowing and loving each other regardless of our differences. We need to take a look inside and the things that would cause us not to be friends with someone. They may be legitimate because it is a toxic relationship, but we need to be careful with things that offend us. Just because someone disagrees with you doesn’t mean they hate you.
2. Wikileaks has taught us something; if you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it
No matter where you are on the subject of the hacked emails and the ethics of Wikileaks, we are becoming an increasingly transparent world. I was searching for cool looking backgrounds for my iPhone a few years ago and found an image that said “If you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it – Chinese Proverb” There is so much truth in that little statement. The entire Wikileaks situation gave an example of thinking first before you do something illegal or something that you will regret. This is not a Democratic thing or a Republican thing or even an American thing. It is a HUMAN thing to evaluate your actions and words and how they will affect yourself and others around you. That is the reason why I read the Bible and ask God for guidance everyday; to help me make the best decision for myself and be the best for everyone around me.
3. Donald J Trump is not the new Messiah of America
Even though I think the election was a move in the right direction and against the political establishment, electing Donald Trump for President is not the single answer for America. The ONLY answer is followers of Christ reflecting Biblical principles in their speech, actions and love. Each person who calls Jesus the leader of their life has a RESPONSIBILTY to not only love God with their heart but to share that love with others in meaningful ways. Some would see George W. Bush or maybe Barak Obama as the issue for the situations we see ourselves in but the truth is that the people we elect for President are a direct reflection of the hearts of the people. The point I am making is that we need to be focusing more on the HEARTS of people more than the VOTES of people.
We need to be a healer of hearts and brokenness with the people God puts in our path. If people say, “That Christian is a reflection of the love, heart and Godly correction of Jesus” then we have done our job on this earth.
For those of you who supported and voted for President Elect Donald Trump, please be VERY careful of your words right now on social media and with each other. Remember that Jesus was ALL about being a PEACEMAKER and not a CRAP-STIRRER when it came to interaction with each other.
I am praying not only for America but my part in helping bring healing to a divided country that needs Jesus more than they realize. I understand the responsibility of being in media to tell stories that make people want to make Jesus the leader of their lives but also to help bring us together as a divided country. Today, ask yourself what is YOUR part to help bring healing and what are you doing to make those things a reality to the people you interact with this week.
1 My heart, O God, is steadfast;
I will sing and make music with all my soul.
2 Awake, harp and lyre!
I will awaken the dawn.
3 I will praise you, Lord, among the nations;
I will sing of you among the peoples.
4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens;
your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
5 Be exalted, O God, above the heavens;
let your glory be over all the earth.
The word steadfast is the Hebrew word emunah, which means firmness, steadiness, faithful. Is your heart firm in Christ, are you steady to His ways, are you faithful to your Savior? Has your heart veered in distraction? Then praise the Lord-Sing those favorite worship songs with all your heart. Eyes on the Lord! May our prayer be “Let your glory be over all the earth”!
At Rocky Mountain CTN our mission is focused on empowering viewers to discover a fulfilled life by providing relevant media that connects people to God and community to change our culture. This blog is made up of thoughts to start that change.
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