I wish you a Happy New Year from Budapest. It’s time to look back for just a moment to see what we could have done differently to honor God better. It’s also time to be reminded that following Jesus is all about fresh starts, that’s what Grace is. I’m NOT into resolutions but I am into starting afresh every day with the One who made me and helps me make fresh starts. To help us start each day I suggest turning the Greatest Commandment into four questions about the heart, soul, mind and strength.
Monthly Archives: December 2010
For the next 10 or so days we are going to be having some family time here in Budapest. So, the postings may slow down…
Relationships are hard work… every relationship is hard work… especially our relationship with God. Statistics about about people in God’s service failing to spend time with God. I recently read a book what told of a survey that most pastors are so busy that the only time they are in the Bible is when they prepare for preaching. In my travels I ask people about his and I find that more often than not, it is true that we are not investing time. One of my friends does not like to talk on the phone, if you want to talk to him, you must schedule a time to sit down with him to have a talk. Now, this is a bit extreme, but there is an important thing we can learn from this guy, to schedule a time to go for coffee indicates how serious you are about the relationship. Making a quick phone call to see how someone is or ask them for something is fine, but as I think about it, I realize that there needs to be much more if there is to be a good relationship. We need to make time to build relationships.
I know from my own experience that my relationship with God is like this. I can spend my day throwing up quick prayers of need for help or even of thanks, but if I want a relationship with God where I hear from Him, I need to make a time to go for coffee with Him, where He is the sole focus of my attention. This is tough to do sometimes, but the result will be a deeper relationship that will bring peace to our heart. I’m not suggesting that the phone calls are bad, its that they are not enough. So, go for coffee, have a long talk with the Being that knows you best and really does have your best interest in mind.
I was talking to a friend today about my weekend in Serbia. We talked about how some folks in ministry talk about numbers a lot, some organizations base their “success” on how many people they baptize. It occurred to me that in the last three Sundays I spoke to about 500 people then about a hundred and then to 6. It’s hard to gauge a crowd in the hundreds, hard even so see what fifty people are doing with what is being taught, but with six, you can kinda tell if the word is getting to the heart. So, for those who are sitting with a dozen (like the man from Nazareth focused on) you will have an advantage over the guy standing on a platform looking out to a sea of faces, as you teach those dozen or 6 or whatever, you can see their eyes and see if they are tracking with you. How many should you have in your group? No more than you can shepherd. And remember please that shepherding requires conversations.
collaboration is a good thing… on Saturday I was with about 25 saints from three countries who had gathered for some worship, some teaching and great fellowship around a 2 hour lunch (which was AMAZING)… anyway for the collaboration… it had to do with the translation of my talk… the brother who was translating was having a bit of trouble, others in the room would help him and then they would translate to a second language… again helping one another to make clear the meaning of each sentence… it was really a work of God to help us communicate from one language into two… the body of Christ at work together… it was a beautiful thing to watch.