Why the Church

Faith ChurchWhen you think about life, the Bible and God’s plan for us, it is amazing to think and believe that God chose us.  God chooses to use us to build His kingdom.  God chooses us to share his love.  God chooses us to share His Son, Jesus Christ, to the world.  We are called by the Son to go and make disciples unto all the world.  Remember the important narrative here in that God chooses us!

In His wonderful creation and word, God shows us the importance of community.  After all, in the beginning God created (the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit) everything.  The older I get the more I see man’s hypothesis and science give way to the Truth, to the Way and to the life given to us by God the Father.  God shows us the importance of community by Himself, His Son and His Spirit who are three-in-one and one-in-three.  That is a concept that is way above my understanding, yet when you test it against the truth in Scripture that is the only way that it could be.  God gives us community by the living, breathing, and awe-inspiring love that He has for us.

Ephesians 3:9-10 (ESV)  9 and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in[a] God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places.

Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV) 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

Community is a very important part of God’s mission.   God made us to be in community, we crave community.  He exemplifies true community in the Holy Trinity.  He wants to model this some community in the Church, the body of Christ.  We are to love each other and to continue to do good to each other in brotherly (and sisterly( love).  The more that we let the Spirit bless us with His fruit (for the Fruit of the Spirit is: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control).  This is fruit that should pour out of our lives, in community, when we bear the name Jesus as Savior.

What we believeWhen Jesus was on this earth he exemplified this model to us all through walking with His disciples and having them walk with others along the way.  Remember, in the Gospels, that there was a point where Jesus sends out the disciples two by two and Scripture reveals to us that there are 70 disciples plus the twelve with Jesus.  Where did these 70 come from?   The answer is simple:  Through community.

Do you remember where Jesus is talking to Peter about the church and references him in regards to on this rock, he will build His church.  This is not a reference to any specific religion, rather, this is referencing the Church – God’s church.

When we are in community and doing God’s will, then we can see His purpose and wonderful path that he has for each and everyone of us.  How can we do this:

Be in community

Serve together

Share God’s love story together

Read the Bible daily

Pray often

Walk with other brothers (if you are a man) and with other sisters (if you are a woman)

In all you do, do in love and forgiving each other (in the church) as God has forgiven you

Love one another

In all you do, Coram Deo.

Blessings,

Dante

Independence Day

What has God freed you from through his Son...

All throughout history we see history of men who stood for truth and justice and independence – their freedom from evil and tyranny:

William Wallace, King Leonidas (the 300 Spartans), Winston Churchill, Mahatma Ghandi, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, , William Wilberforce, William Tyndale (translated the Bible into English), Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Apostles,

What about Jesus Christ – what did he do to sin, to death and for us?

  • 1 Peter 2:16 – Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants[a] of God.
  • Galatians 5:1 – For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:17 – Now the Lord[a] is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
  • Hebrews 12:1 (ESV) Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
  • 12 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us

 

If you are a bible believing, Jesus Christ professing Christian and you believe in you heart that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, lived on this earth and was crucified and rose again on the 3rd day and now sits at the right hand of God, then you have been set free.

Therefore, put to death the old self and put on the new self which we are in Jesus Christ and his Spirit resides in us.

Happy Independence Day.

Lance & Dante

Here’s What’s Wrong with Manhood

I respect my wife and serve her every chance I get, I love my child like I’ve never loved anyone before, I give my time and money to organizations I believe in, but I’m not much of a man (or so society seems to think). Here’s why:

I’m not a big sports guy. Motor sports, yes. The typical “ball in play” sports, not so much. I can’t tell you how awkward it feels when I’m at work in the morning and people are talking about the game the previous day.

“What do you think about the game, Scott?”

*Awkward silence and crickets*

Me: “I like Formula 1 and Moto GP…”

bodybuilder-646482_1280

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Should we keep on sinning

If I were to look at the church from the outside in approach (as not being a Christian) in most American churches I would most like being skewed and left with hypocritical opinion of the church.  That is, to say, that I would probably ask why do I need God if Christians continue to do the same thing that they did before and continue to sin and keep on sinning.  I would say how can they judge me when they keep doing the very things that they say that they are saved from.

cheap graceIf I were to look at most men in these churches in America, I would be disappointed by the statistics that compare the world to them, meaning there probably wouldn’t be much difference.

If I were to be real with these American churches that were just lukewarm, I would look to the book of Revelation and say to them what Jesus said to one of his churches about being lukewarm – he would rather have that church be hot (on fire for Him and His will) or cold (worldly) instead of lukewarm (which is like vomit in His mouth).

stopBased on the way that some Christians live, some in the world can conclude that the salvation of that church (living like the world) is like a lottery ticket – meaning that they can be “saved” and also live like they used to live by continuing to keep living the same way as before (this is the world’s view). I would caution any church against living a lie such as this…you will be held accountable by misleading others.

Let’s test that against Scripture:

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The 5 W’s

Many of  you have heard me quote the poem, The 5 Watches, from time to time over the past eight years of being involved with Lance and this blog.  Lance and I do believe that Character, Integrity, Honor, Courage, Honesty, Gentleness, Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness and Self-Control are important to being a Legacy Dad.  It is important because that is the call of the disciple priorof Christ.

Many of us, do to the the lack of time, over-commitments, laziness and/or fill in your blank: _________________, do not always measure up to these demands and some may even feel overwhelmed by the God’s call for our lives.  I think if we are honest and really reflect back, I would believe that a majority of us would realize the answer:  It’s not because God couldn’t do this for us, rather, because we got in the way – we tried to do it on our own.  That is, to say, that we gave him a little of our day (our schedule, our sin, and our lives) but we didn’t give it all to him.

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Why do bad things happen….?

why-do-bad-things-happen-to-good-people-blog-postSo I was sending this work email this morning, after men’s group, and fell upon this video of a woman who has sadly lost her battle (on earth) to cancer.    This video struck me in so many different ways that I do not have enough time in the day to post on this topic.  That being said, I have shared before that I have had malignant melanoma and there was a time when I almost lost my wife (two years in a row).  I understand pain and loss and the fear of death.  Let’s just say that I have spent a lot of time in the book of Job and in prayer during these trials and tribulations.

I have been hurt and I have been angry and I have asked why do these things:

  • Why is there cancer?
  • Why is there evil in the world?
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?
  • Why is there so much pain?
  • Why do we face trials and tribulations?
  • Why, Lord, Why?

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What is good about good habits?

Phrases like “creatures of habit”, “practice makes perfect”, and so on, should continue to highlight the theme in our daily walks and biblical discipleship.  All throughout the Bible we read about a God who takes the time to invest in ordinary men and does extraordinary things with them.  Does He need us to do his will?  Of course not!  Does He desire to use us for His good?  Of course!  Words like grace and mercy and justification and honor and integrity and courage should all be words that describe you as a legacy dad, as a man of God, as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

There is a poem that I like from Frank Outlaw that goes like this:

“Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

HabitLoopAdaptationIf accept this poem as true in human nature, then we have to be careful and watch our habits because that could shape our character.  That being said, I was surfing the internet and found this chart (inset to the right) that I really liked.  The reason why I like this is because you can apply it to just about every aspect of our life:

Physical:

  • Eat Healthy
  • Sleep Healthy
  • excercise
  • Laugh
  • Love
  • and be social (God desires us to be in community)

Mental:

  • Exercise the Brain by reading and writing
  • Healthy Sleep
  • Have accountability in your life (to keep you on the road of healthy thoughts)
  • Avoid sin
  • Laugh

Spiritual:

  • Read the word daily
  • Pray continuously
  • Have accountability in your life (true accountability – not just a social hour of patting each other on the back)
  • Listen to preaching and teaching of the Word
  • Sing Songs, Hymns and Spiritual songs (with reckless abandon and act is no one else is watching but our Lord)

As a men’s ministry leader, elder, legacy dad and husband and father, I cannot even begin to tell you how many times I witness men getting out of healthy habits (routines) and how they are able to slip back into sin so quickly.  Or other men, who shoot up so strong in their faith and yet fade away when temptations or anger sets in.  Or men that have marriages that are barely holding on and instead of letting go and letting God they hold on tight to mediocrity?  Honestly, sometimes this can be frustrating, and if I am really honest about this, then the frustrating part becomes when I realize that the very thing that annoys me about them – really annoys me because I can identify with that – meaning I can shift and fade quickly as well.

Jesus put it like this in Scripture:

Matthew 13 English Standard Version (ESV)

The Parable of the Sower

13 That same day Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. 2 And great crowds gathered about him, so that he got into a boat and sat down. And the whole crowd stood on the beach. 3 And he told them many things in parables, saying: “A sower went out to sow. 4 And as he sowed, some seeds fell along the path, and the birds came and devoured them. 5 Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and immediately they sprang up, since they had no depth of soil, 6 but when the sun rose they were scorched. And since they had no root, they withered away. 7 Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. 8 Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. 9 He who has ears,[a] let him hear.”

The Parable of the Sower Explained

18 “Hear then the parable of the sower: 19 When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart. This is what was sown along the path. 20 As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.[b] 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Some may come to the Judgement Seat of Christ and say, “Lord, Lord” and Jesus will reply depart from me, I never knew you.  Scripture is clear that we are to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.  Don’t misunderstand this reference because someone who is truly saved (born again) is always saved (Once saved, always saved – Read John for this one).   Immediately upon salvation, the Holy Spirit dwells within each of us and promises to us gifts of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Gentleness and Self-Control….

We are called to examine ourselves to see if we are still in the faith?  Or if we ever were?  Are you?  Is your life-bearing the Fruit of the Spirit?

What if you are not?  What if you are in the same rut, sin, shame every day?    If you are not and all you see is the fruit of the Sinful nature, then pray and ask God to call you to be His (Read Romans 10).

If you are, but are slipping backward or finding yourself along the thorns of life, the rocks of life and or just away from the good soil, then try this on for size:

Cue:

  • Wake up an hour earlier
  • Wait on the Lord
  • Be patient and quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry

Routine:

  • Read the Bible daily
  • Meditate on the word
  • Join a men’s group
  • Have accountability in your life
  • Get involved with your family (put the phones, computers, video games and alcohol down)
  • Start serving at your church

Reward:

  • Try this for 6 months (same cue, same routine) and email me (dante@legacydad.com) to tell me your reward.

Blessings,

Dante

 

 

 

What should the top 6 + 1 priorities be?

Earlier last week, I posted What are your top 6 priorities?  I listed, in any order:  Family, community, work, church, friends and God.  One other person, that I respect, amended this list and added Self.  I asked you to do some honest work on assessing this in your life with your spouse and yourself and what you thought that the Bible would say about this list.

priorAs a result, I am listing the following order of what I believe the Bible tells us that our priorities should be:

  1. God – Jesus said, when asked by the leaders of Israels time, what is the greatest commandment, Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength (and the second, to love our neigbhor as our self.)
  2. Self – some may argue with this one, but I would like to contend the following verses:  1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 3 John 1:2, Romans 12:1-2, 1 Peter 5:7-9.  Our bodies are a temple to God (His Holy Spirit resides in each of us that are born again).  How can we help others when we are not well?  How can we show Christ in us, when we do not treat our bodies, mind and soul with this respect that God calls us to be.
  3. Family – as legacy dads we are called to be prophets, priests and kings of our household.  Ephesians 5 tells us to love our wives as Christ loves the church.  Colossians 3 gives us important details about the family:  Love our wives and do not be harsh with them, do not embitter our children.  Deuteronomy 6 tells of how we are to raise our children.  Family is our direct mission field.
  4. Friends – we are to love our neighbor as our self.  Who is your neighbor and why are we called to take care of our friends?  Our life should model Christ and point our friends to church.
  5. Church – can really be included under friends.  In church, we are called to corporate worship and to listen to the reading of scripture.  We are called be the body (working together) to go and reach the disconnected growing the connected and making disciples.
  6. Work – King Solomon, in the book of Ecclesiastes, tells us that life is but a mist.  We are to work hard, enjoy life and to give all that we have to our maker.  Without him in our life – it is pointless.  Colossians 4 tells us how to approach work and to realize who we are working for.
  7. Community – lining up #1 – #6 gives us the importance of our mission field in our neighborhoods, towns, cities, states and nations.  Mathew 28 gives us the Lord’s commission – The Great Commission.

humilityThis is my two sense (cents).

Blessings,

Dante