And while we stand with conviction and courage, we must live with compassion. Amid a world with massive social needs around us, ranging from desperate poverty and orphan crises and millions of girls being trafficked for sex, to the degradation of marriage and the abortion of babies, we need to speak and act with selfless love on all of these issues.
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On popular issues like poverty and slavery, where Christians are likely to be applauded for our social action, we are quick to stand up and speak out. Yet on controversial issues like homosexuality and abortion, where Christians are likely to be criticized for our involvement, we are content to sit down and stay quiet.
Real success is found in radical sacrifice. Ultimate satisfaction is found not in making much of ourselves but in making much of God. The purpose of our lives transcends the country and culture in which we live. Meaning is found in community, not individualism; joy is found in generosity, not materialism; and truth is found in Christ, not universalism. Ultimately, Jesus is a reward worth risking everything to know, experience, and enjoy.
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The modern-day gospel says, 'God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life. Therefore, follow these steps, and you can be saved.' Meanwhile, the biblical gospel says, 'You are an enemy of God, dead in your sin, & in your present state of rebellion, you are not even able to see that you need life, much less to cause yourself to come to life. Therefore, you are radically dependent on God to do something in your life that you could never do.
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The way we use our money is a barometer of our present spiritual condition. Our neglect of the poor illustrates much about where our hearts lie. But even more than that, the way we use our money is an indicator of our eternal destination. The mark of Christ followers is that their hearts are in heaven and their treasures are spent there
Passionate worship always leads to personal witness. Always. And what that means is . . . if we're not witnessing, there's a problem with our worship. We're not seeing God for who He is! We're not realizing what He's done! We're not realizing the magnitude of what He's done for our souls!
The price is certainly high for people who don't know Christ and who live in a world where Christians shrink back from self-denying faith and settle into self-indulging faith. While Christians choose to spend their lives fulfilling the American dream instead of giving their lives to proclaiming the kingdom of God, literally billions in need of the Gospel remain in the dark
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If we were left to ourselves with the task of taking the gospel to the world, we would immediately begin planning innovative strategies and plotting elaborate schemes. We would organize conventions, develop programs, and create foundations... But Jesus is so different from us. With the task of taking the gospel to the world, he wandered through the streets and byways... All He wanted was a few men who would think as He did, love as He did, see as He did, teach as He did and serve as He did. All He needed was to revolutionize the hearts of a few, and they would impact the world.
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We are molding Jesus into our image. He's beginning to look a lot like us because, after all, that is who we are most comfortable with. The danger now is when we gather in our church buildings to sing, and lift up our hands in worship, we may not actually be worshiping the Jesus of the Bible. Instead, we may be worshiping ourselves.
I was immersed in comfortable Christianity. Years ago, I found myself living what seemed like the American church dream - pastoring a large church, living in a large house, and surrounded by all the comforts this world has to offer. But inside I had a sinking feeling that I was missing the point.
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This is the gospel. The just and loving Creator of the universe has looked upon hopelessly sinful people and sent His Son, God in the flesh, to bear His wrath against sin on the cross and to show His power over sin in the resurrection so that all who trust in Him will be reconciled to God forever.