Because of the Great I Am iLive!Because I Live iLove iServe iGive.

Love has many levels of understanding and maturity. Our emotions should be kept in check as followers. We endanger our souls when we allow them to lead.

1 Cor 4:2-5 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful…4 My conscience is clear, but that does not make me innocent. It is the Lord who judges me…. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. NIV

Very interesting verse here. Should we let our conscience be our guide? It doesn’t sound like it when Paul says his conscience is clear but that doesn’t make him innocent. But what about the common cultural phrase, “Follow your heart”? The Bible never says to follow your heart. The Bible says to guard your heart! (Prov 4:23)

Neither of these ideas are Biblical. Unchecked passion can easily produce unrestrained poison. As soon as you find yourself getting passionate about anybody or anything invite trusted voices in to help think it all through. 

3 month challenge - Infatuation is not a good foundation upon which to build a relationship. At Destiny we challenge all single people to devote three months to discovering and exploring a friendship before actually allowing the development of a potentially romantic relationship. This simply involves a commitment to do with this potential boyfriend or girlfriend only what you would do with a regular friend for a full three months before deciding to move forward.

The reason this is so important is because we all have an infatuation chemical that is released in our brain when we “fall in love”. This chemical is call dopamine and causes behaviors that resemble the name. People become dopey about the person and mean if you try to interfere. Involving and inviting counsel from others over this time will help couples make much wiser decisions about their future.

Paul’s writings here deal with the reality of how God looks well beyond our behaviors to examine our motives. It’s the motives that God seems to focus on and “at that time each will receive his praise from God.” After this world’s production there will be a cast party.  God will praise you in reciprocation for job well done!

Possessing an eternal perspective will produce eternal priorities.

What kind of praise will you be receiving from God? Will he thank you for making a great life for yourself, working hard and shopping wisely? I doubt it will be mentioned how much we enjoyed parties or what a terrific online gamer we were. It’s as if we are consumed with having great lives for ourselves and we are willing to accept Christ as our Savior as well.

This is a very challenging perspective but I believe our modern day theology has an understandable point of origin wherewe allowed ourselves to become very consumed with our own individual spirituality and relationship with God. May God grant us wisdom to get behind ourselves to truly love, serve and give into the lives of others.

GP4RL: Let personal ministry be your total focus this week. Make a daily difference. Post with #iLive to encourage and remind the rest of us.

Going Deeper:

Emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in Rome and 25 yrs after his death Emperor Julian took over and decided to return the Roman Empire to paganism. He began to fund the construction of pagan temples and pagan worship but the culture wasn’t shifting for him. He wrote a letter complaining“These Galileans support not only their poor, but ours as well. He goes on to say how difficult it would be to get control of society when Christians have been so generous.

Early Christians understood their role was to actively establish God’s Kingdom of love and compassion in the earth.Today Christians understand that Jesus died for them and a decision is required for us to invite him into our lives. There is a vast difference in these two beliefs as one is totally about God’s Kingdom in the earth while the other is totally about my personal life and how Jesus can make my life better.

Many Christians have come to view the Gospel as simply the personal plan of salvation. The modern emphasis is to “fix the sin problem” in an individualized way. This private version of faith in Christ reduces the Gospel to knowing some facts about Jesus and then making a personal decision for Christ based on these facts. This dramatically alters the idea of our purpose and mission as Christians. 

This doesn’t line up with Scripture so where did we get these ideas? Some have traced the origin of this shift back to the late 19th Century ideas of revivalism. Charles Finney was an incredibly popular and charismatic figure who effectively introduced ideas of revivalism in the latter nineteenth century. 

Revivalism is the thought that we can present people with enough facts and they can decide their eternal fate.

Revivalism argued that men had to be brought to a point of decision and only this decision could save them. 

Charles Finney was a huge proponent of this view. Most people wouldn’t realize, however, that Finney rejected the fundamental Christian doctrine of original sin. (See Finney, Systematic Theology, 245, 249, 320.) 

Finney further denied that the righteousness of Christ is the sole ground of our justification, teaching instead that sinners must reform their own hearts in order to be acceptable to God. He wrote, “Sinners are under the necessity of first changing their hearts, or their choice of an end…” (Systematic Theology, 249). 

Finney issued numerous theological ideas that departed from fundamentalism as we would know and believe it. But he was incredibly successful and popular in his revival efforts. Many came to view the Gospel in these reduced terms of getting people to make a decision as the singular goal of modern evangelism. This evangelical activity has become nearly the exclusive mission of the church.

Many people today consider any activity that doesn’t invite a decision to accept Christ as something other than the Gospel. 

This reduced perspective has minimal connection to the kingdom of God. The gospel according to revivalism is all about you and God’s interest in your life. In a very real way the gospel becomes a sales pitch with primarily eschatological implications. When you die you get to go to heaven. The redemptive work of the kingdom is ignored. This makes the church relevant to individuals interested in believing our ideas and irrelevant to society as a whole.

God’s not drawing people into our beliefs. God’s drawing people into His Love. 

Our beliefs should never be a required from others to experience God’s love.

1 Cor 4:5 He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose the motives of men's hearts. At that time each will receive his praise from God. NIV

After this world’s production= cast party = God praise you in reciprocation for job well done!

In one way of thinking somebody in this room will have loved, served and given more than everybody else and somebody will loved served and given less. God’s Word is very clear on this the amount you love, serve and give is measured by what’s been measured to you.

2 Cor 12:15I will gladly spend my money and my energy for your soul (Simple English Translation)

What are resources of your life and how are you using the to take true riches with you. You can take it with you!