Why I Do It

If you read my blog and watch my videos you know I am reaching children for Christ through Good News Clubs®. Not only that, but I am trying to reach YOU so that you will want to reach children for Christ through Good News Clubs. Why do I do that?? Why would I give so much of my time, money and effort to do either or both of those things? Is it just God’s peculiar calling on my life?

For years I worked in children’s church while my kids were growing up. I did it for the same reason a man coaches his son’s baseball team: my kid was on the team! I was always looking for volunteers to help, but most parents were happy to have me watching their kids during church, praised my ministry gift, and said they were not called by God to do this. I would tell them, “I’m not either. I’m doing it because it has to be done.” What has to be done?

People need to hear the Gospel, that God’s son had come to earth, taken our punishment for our sins, died, rose from the dead, and that now we are to obey everything He commanded us to do. When I came to believe in Jesus back in 1981 I just started reading the Bible, and it didn’t take long for me to stumble across Matthew 28:19 and Mark 16:15 and see that Jesus commanded us to tell others so they could be saved, too. So, I started going into prison with my pastor to counsel incoming inmates about their spiritual condition and how they could be saved. I prayed with a lot of young men to receive Christ. It was pretty easy. They knew the consequences of their sin, and knew they needed to go another way. When people asked me, “why do you do this?” I would tell them, “Eventually, the majority of them will be coming out. How would you like them to come out?”

So it is with teaching children the Gospel and how to apply it to their lives. The vast majority of these kids will be growing up. How do we want them to grow up? Do we want them to grow up lost, being captured by the world’s vain philosophies, dedicating themselves to material things, and then dying and going to Hell? Is that OK with us? I know it is not OK with God. He got us involved when He told us to preach the Gospel to every creature before He left the earth. Jesus said, “My father in heaven is not willing that any of these little ones should perish.” And yet they do, right under our noses.

So I am not doing something weird or peculiar. I am doing job one in the way that has presented itself: systematically and in a ministry that has proved itself replicatable all over the world. I takes effort and sacrifice, but it is a pretty light cross compared to others. I spent many years captured by church busy work that kept me away from job one. Some of that busy work is necessary, but if it’s all you do it is a replacement for job one. It has become your excuse for disobedience. Do not stand before you God, holding that dirty napkin with the talent you buried, telling Him, “Well, I’m still here. Isn’t that enough?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Deep State, and What Matters

Image from zerohedge.com

I was recently invited to hear a speaker on the subject of the Deep State. I am a bit out of touch with the news lately, but I got the gist of it: there is a conspiracy of unelected elitists who secretly rule our country and the world. I have heard about this in the past, usually in the form of warnings about the Illuminati, the Bilderberg Group, the Club of Rome, and the Rothschild Bankers. I am not disputing that these groups exist, or even that they may be up to no good, but I am trying to put it in the focus of a Christian worldview.

First, I think we can all acknowledge that mankind is sinful. We are all flawed and make mistakes. We generally want to go our own way. We may not agree on what the ramifications of those facts are, but if we are honest at all, we know we have all done bad things. Of course, we have done the evil that falls within  our ability to do it. So, what if you had 1000 times the money, power, and influence that you do now? Might you be tempted with greater evils than the ones that try to lure you now? Of course. For the sake of argument, let’s say that George Soros is using his wealth to destroy America. If he had YOUR financial resources, would it even occur to him to do what he is doing?

So, if you tell me that there is a vast conspiracy of the super rich to dominate the rest of us, I’d say it is possible and perhaps even likely. How am I supposed to feel about that? What am I supposed to do about it? Is God OK with this? These are fair questions and I will tell you how I deal with them, and how you should deal with them.

First, we must put into God’s divine perspective. He is eternal and the world He created is not. Therefore, the things that are being done to control the world are very short sighted. I have chosen not to panic because I will be living eternally with God in His heaven and there will be no sin in it.

Second, we are supposed to be doing what God has commanded us to do: preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ to everyone, and teach them to obey all things He commanded. Conspiracies real and imagined do not control us, unless we become focused on them. I was more than a little alarmed at the meeting I attended to see that they were using Ephesians 6:12 (For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places) to make the point that we are to oppose rulers and authorities in this physical realm. This is not so. Consider Jesus, who lived under one of the most tyrannical governments in history, and notice that He did not criticize the Roman government or allude to wanting it overthrown! He opposed the religious rulers of His time, as every prophet in the Old Testament did at one time or another. The rulers we are to oppose are in the spiritual realm, and we do that through prayer!

Third, God is not OK with anyone’s sin, whether they are rich or poor. But He did not send us here to stamp it out. He sent us to tell the world that those sins were paid for with the blood of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Think about this for a minute. What if the conspiring forces of evil were planning on flooding our nation with undesirable aliens? Presumably they are being let in by people who want to overwhelm us with problems. But what if they were met at the border with the Good News of Jesus? If these people were converted to Christ, it would ruin the plans of the wicked by giving them even more believers in Jesus than they wanted to begin with!

You see, we should be starting a conspiracy of our own: bringing churches together to spread the Gospel to every child and family in America through Good News Clubs. God has given us the power of the Holy Spirit, God’s Word, and access to children that parents are too busy to raise themselves! If every church would either host or sponsor a Good News Club in the schools, neighborhoods, and commit to do this for the next 20 years, it would bring a national transformation! That’s a conspiracy to believe in!! Rather than fretting about a handful of rich people getting too much power, why not neutralize them? There are millions of us, and we can become many millions more!

Join the conspiracy!

Get in touch with your local chapter of Child Evangelism Fellowship, and ask how you can expand the Kingdom of God! George Soros will never see it coming!

Things you could do

  1. Volunteer in a Good News Club next school year
  2. Get other people in your church excited about Good News Club
  3. Host a 5 Day Club this summer
  4. Get trained to share the Gospel with children
  5. Pray for local Good News Clubs
  6. Financially support your local chapter of Child Evangelism Fellowship

Change the lives of children now to have better adults tomorrow!

 

 

Remembering the way

In my last post I wrote about Ted Dekker’s “The Forgotten Way,” which I have been reading with my wife, Cindi. We had read it together, with the study guide, and determined to do it again. That desire to repeat the process has turned into an object lesson on how we forget our good intentions. I has been a struggle to find the time to do this consistently, but mostly it comes down to…forgetting. And that is how the way gets forgotten!

As I said last time, the world we see gets more attention than the unseen world. That is why we must be intentional about seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. And this takes focus on the fundamentals. I believe that is why “The Forgotten Way” has a repeating group of thoughts at the heading of so many pages:

We seek to know a love that holds no record of wrongs.

We seek a love that knows no fear.

There is no fear in love.

The recurring themes of love and forgiveness are taught, not as something we must do so much as something we must discover about our God. Perhaps that is because we justify so much of our judgment and lack of love on our belief that God is angry at the object of our anger. I don’t know a single person who has not had the experience of righteous indignation. And I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a single living person say, “Forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”

Forgiving wrongdoing is hard because it can be seen so easily. The blood that was shed to forgive that sin is invisible to us. When the wrongdoing is against YOU, it is even harder to let it go. And if there is a whole advocacy group complex working to keep you reminded of the sins of the past and how they have trickled down to harm you, it is a wonder if “a love that holds no record of wrongs” is ever found.

If you believe in Jesus Christ and what He did for you by dying on the cross and rising from the dead, you have certain spiritual rights. You have the right to love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are the fruit of the Holy Spirit, and they are yours if you are in Christ. These rights do not just happen automatically. Like your civil rights, you must insist on them! And you must believe in them in the invisible realm before people will see them in the physical realm.

The Devils in Our Details

It is very obvious that our own human nature works against the purposes of God. We want what we want, and we want it now. We put off seeking the kingdom and its righteousness until we have time, and then when we retire, we say we are too tired, and where are my golf clubs? So, what actually happened when you came to Christ? Was the cross just a pit stop for your soul so you could race off and feel good about doing life your way?

The fact is, we all have our personal demons, and no, that is not just a saying that we like to turn on drug addicts and alcoholics. Demons and demonic activity are real, and you cannot call yourself a Bible-believing Christian and deny their existence and their influence.

Anyone who believes that the power of Satan was eradicated after Jesus was raised from the dead, and that exorcisms have passed away has a lot of explaining to do. After all, it was Jesus Himself who told us that one of the signs that would follow believers was that in His name they would cast out devils (Mark 16:17). The Book of Acts gives us examples of post-resurrection exorcism, and even one case of attempted exorcism that went badly.

Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists undertook to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “I adjure you by the Jesus whom Paul proclaims.”
Seven sons of a Jewish high priest named Sceva were doing this.
But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”
And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. Acts 19-:13-16

It is important to note that the demon who defied the sons of Sceva knew who Paul was. It could be that this was a demon that Paul had cast out of someone else. Or it might have been a demon who was a former companion of Paul’s. It may be a religious spirit that inhabited Paul before he was saved, or was influencing Paul in some other way. It was a familiar spirit because it was well-acquainted with Paul. Jesus had cast demons out of people who went on to serve Him, so this is not impossible.

There are also demons who know who you are. They have been there to tempt and torment and misdirect you for years. They know all your bad habits, your darkest secrets, and have likely helped create them. Yes, you are responsible for your actions, but let’s not forget that our motivations can be subtly influenced by thoughts that are not your own. After all, It was not Eve’s idea to eat the forbidden fruit.

Before I go any further, I just want to say that exorcism is not my strong suit, and I will not make a habit of writing about things I know very little about if I can help it. I have been on the scene of a few exorcisms, and I’ve personally vanquished some spirits of infirmity, but this does not make me an authority on the subject. The Bible is our only real authority, and I will be sticking with the less flashy spiritual warfare that is part and parcel of every believer’s life who needs to recognize the devil’s devices and resist his temptations.

James 4:7 tells us, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” The devil is to be resisted, not ignored. We don’t pretend he doesn’t exist. Ephesians 4:27 tells us to give the devil no opportunity, in the English Standard Version. In the King James it says, “neither give place to the devil.” I prefer that one because it underscores the fact that we can give him a place. After all, Paul is writing to the BELIEVERS in Ephesus, not the general public. Christians can and do give place to the devil, or else Paul would not be warning against it.

What our children remember

I was talking to my son recently, and he told me he had no recollection of the story I told about him learning how to play with the kids in the prison visitors’ area. I don’t know how old he was at the time, and that may have something to do with his ability to remember it, but it does tell me that it is important to tell and retell our stories to our families. Television  tells and retells (through reruns) its story all the time. And now, with the time-shifting feature of on-demand video, we can hear whatever stories we want, when we want to.

As parents, it is so important to understand that our children are being programmed by someone. Will it be you? Or will you just hand it off to the people who make media, who you know nothing about their lives or their agenda?