Saturday, October 26, 2013

Lord's Name in Vain: More than OMG?

Thou shall not take the Lord's name in vain. A simple command given from God to Moses. It is the only command that God will not hold us guiltless. (gulp!)
So next time you utter Oh my... watch yourself! Now, because of Jesus we are not bound to the Old Testament Law, but have you thought that taking God's name in vain is more than omg/jc/gd etc. Now, I do my best to never utter those words and warn those who chose to. Why would you curse the only one who can save you? Or curse who created you?
Now back to the "more than" part. Saying those swears obviously takes His name in vain. But what about false preaching, lying, intentionally misinterpreting scripture seem to be things that take God's name in vain. Example: a false teacher/preacher is one who claims to speak for God yet is false in their doctrine, would that qualify? I think so. Example: Westbro and their "God hates fags" slogan. Or attempting to speak for God when you really aren't. (again, Westbro. Or any false teacher, cult etc)
Misinterpretation of Scripture, sure if it's accidental and you straighten out your theology (repent) yeah! But if you go throwing random verses and completely miss the point on them. God's name is disrespected is it not?
Any way that we misuse God's name is sinful and should be stopped. Let God be God. Not only is this sinful, it is extremely disrespectful. Sure we say the "substitute" phrases like oh my goodness and oh my. God's name is not uttered wrongly but is that our intention? I sure hope not. (I say goodness.. but never mean to utter God's name unless I read His word or witness, talk about Him etc). Rant over.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Act Like Men

Last weekend I attended the Act Like Men Conference in Hamilton. The main speakers were James MacDonald, Greg Laurie, Mark Driscoll, Matt Chandler, Eric Mason and a bonus concert with Lecrae. It was an amazing time to be challenged, encouraged and convicted in my faith. On the first night, over 300 people made decisions for Jesus, either for the first time or re-dedications. Praise the Lord! The Holy Spirit was present the whole weekend. Two friends were among the ones going forward. Below, I wish to share some highlights.
The theme verse was 1 Corinthians 16:13-14: Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men. Be strong, let all that you do be done in love. 
Matt Chandler covered the "stand firm" part of the verse. The gist of the message was around the prodigal son. We are all adopted sons and daughters of God. He talked a lot about God chiseling at us, as a form of chastisement I think. We need to let God chisel out the evil in our lives.
One quote that stood out was "Stop pretending like we're already there and quit feeling sorry for yourself".
And one more thing is that DOCTRINE MATTERS! Simple as that. I did not take notes in a couple of the others but Mark Driscoll's was incredible.
He talked about "Be strong". He actually talked about a genealogy at a conference. It was the genealogy leading up to Abraham. It was significant because 10 generations before him were godless, heathen pagans.
Abraham is mentioned over 300x in the Bible, including Hebrews 11 the "Faith Hall of Fame". He went on to say that Abraham is the father of our faith, since Jesus came from his lineage. Our example is in Christ but Abe is the physical father of Christianity.

- We should worship Christ not comfort, Are we waiting for some kind of sign from God? Or a blessing? We should obey Him to see it, trust God before we realize, faith before seeing.

- God the Father chooses us, speaks to us, gives us commands and loves to bless us! Amen!

One quote that stood out in this was "Each man is a link in a chain towards life and death". And yes, he used a real chain.

Next up was James MacDonald, a man I often listen to and have seen preach a few times before.
He finished off the verse with "let all be done in love".  When we are all truth and no love: we are passive, we are bad listeners, we are cynical and we suck at disagreeing. James went on to say that "Absolute truth in the hands of absolute sinners can be absolutely brutal". All truth and no love is brutal. However, all love and no truth is weak.
To close off the conference, Eric Mason talked about breaking free from our strong holds, things that weigh us down. As men, they can be anything from rage, sexual issues (porn, promiscuity), apathy, drunkenness, an un-believing mind set and believing we are sub-standard.
These mind sets hinder growth and demand us to have an encounter with God to break from them. He used Gideon as an example.
This is a short (long) version of notes I took during the services, if they throw you off then please order the DVD of this year's conference. It's worth your while