Blog Archive - January 2009
The archives of The Sun Will Rise, organized by month.
A friend the other day asked me an interesting question – “Do you think you have the right eschatology to be saved?” It’s a genuine and very real question to ask because of Jesus’ own words about deception coming at the end of the age. But I responded:
“My eschatology is definitely wrong in areas, but the way to be saved is not by having the perfect understanding of all of the end-time events.”
In pondering and searching out my answer a bit more, I came across Luke 13:22-30 where Jesus answers a pretty loaded question from someone He meets in His journeys through the cities and villages on His way to Jerusalem. The follower asks boldly “Lord, are there few who are saved?”
I’m certain every one of the people following Jesus on that day had many assumptions about Jesus’ answer, but the way Jesus responds totally blindsides them all. The Jews in Jesus’ day held to the vast collection of Old Testament prophecies that Messiah would come, restore all things, destroy Israel’s enemies, and bring her back to a place of prominence among the nations once again. They believed their ticket or entrance into Messiah’s kingdom was based on their ethnicity as children of Abraham and their adherence to Moses’ law.
Yesterday I relaunched my web design website. Check it out:
My heart is to use the funds I raise by building websites to financially support prayer and intercession both locally here in Kansas City and across the nation.
It's been over a year since I redesigned my personal website, and I think it will be due for a facelift soon. In the meantime, enjoy the facelift to my design website :)
So often the intellectual smart guy walks around, knowingly or unknowingly, with an orb of unapproachability surrounding them. You know the type. Anyone who would challenge their thinking or even ask a simple question is surely going to walk away feeling intimidated, their brain having been run through a wringer. But what was it about Jesus – the smartest Man that has ever lived – that made Him so approachable?
The height of God’s beauty is found in His meekness. There is nothing more attractive than meekness. Jesus perfectly displayed the riches of God’s meekness. How can One so strong, so wise, and so mighty stoop so low in such tenderness? It truly humbles us to look upon the great mystery of God’s meekness.
Not only is it humbling to look upon His meekness, but it is inspiring to our hearts to walk in it ourselves. Our greatest glory, freedom, and pleasure is found in being like God in our character.
Therefore be imitators of God as dear children.
(Ephesians 5:1 NKJV)
There is an inherent dilemma in “being first” in privilege and prominence in this age because it creates social and time pressures that may distract us from developing meekness. But we’ve been invited to be set free from the bonds of pride as we walk in meekness. In our weakness, we can receive the impartation of the Holy Spirit to truly walk like Jesus did. Ask Him for it!
I’m continuing my series on the seven churches of Revelation 2-3, focusing on the letter to the church of Ephesus in Revelation 2:1-7. I’ve decided to split up these posts a bit, just because there’s so much I want to say about each church. So there may be a couple of entries for each church as I progress along. Be sure to read this post and this post as an introduction to the series if you have not already.
Ephesus was the capital and largest city of the Roman province of Asia Minor with a population of approximately 250,000 people and a public theatre seating 24,000. It was a center of commerce and finance, but also was known for immorality and idol worship. The major shrine in the city was the great temple of Diana, which was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world being 425 feet long, 220 feet wide, 60 feet high and held up by 127 marble pillars. The worship of Diana (or Artemis in Greek) promoted sexual immorality throughout the city. The silversmith trade was prosperous because of the demand for gold, silver and bronze idols of Diana to be used as one’s household deity (Acts 19:25).
The church in Ephesus, shining like a lamp in the midst of darkness, was a revival center for Asia Minor (Acts 19:26) being the third most prominent church in the Book of Acts after Jerusalem and Antioch. Paul first came to Ephesus on his way to Jerusalem from Corinth at the end his second missionary trip in AD 52 (Acts 18:19-21). He initially preached in the synagogue for several months and then left. His friends Priscilla and Aquila stayed to train Apollos and the disciples of John the Baptist (Acts 18:24-28).
Paul returned to establish a church on his third missionary journey (Acts 19-20) which he used as his ministry base for three years (Acts 20:31). During his visit, the people responded so fervently to the gospel that the market for purchasing the silversmiths’ little Diana trinkets virtually disappeared. The revival resulted in many coming to Jesus with such extreme devotion that the silversmiths troubled Paul and caused many involved in idolatry to burn their magic books worth 50,000 drachmas (Acts 19:13-20). A drachma was an average day's wage ($100/day would have been $5,000,000 worth of magic books).
I spent my final moments of 2008 back here:
with these people:
If you think that's a little strange, let me explain. I was a part of the stage crew at this year's onething conference in Bartle Hall downtown KC, where we always ring in the new year with worship and prayer. This year, we invited the young people into a "sacred charge" before the Lord to commit to specific things like praying at least two hours per day, fasting two days per week, reading the book of Revelation, leading a weekly bible study, and boldly proclaiming the message of Jesus' return. Many of the young people responded wholeheartedly. It was unbelievable...
I'll give more updates on onething as the days progress. It was a lot of work for all of us, but I'm certain that the attendees were unbelievably blessed.
If you have a testimony about onething either as an attendee or as someone who watched it through the webcast, let me know by leaving a comment - I'd love to hear it!