Tag Archives: cast a vote

Where Would Jesus Be (WWJB)?

Oct 12, 16
JMorgan
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15 comments

Blog Post 70 - Jesus Feet (with WWJB words)1

Last week, we talked about how a disciple of Jesus takes on His attributes – and that He was first and foremost a servant.

In Jesus’ time, disciples of a rabbi were called Talmudine.  It was considered a great honor to be asked by a rabbi to “come follow me”.  It meant they were deemed worthy, with potential to become exactly like their rabbi one day.  To attain that goal, disciples imitated who they followed in every respect – literally every step of the way.  In fact, a common blessing in Jesus’ day was, “May the dust of your rabbi be upon you.”

Then as now, disciples of Jesus Christ are called not only to…

Do what He does (WWJD)

…but also to

Go where He goes (WWJB)

Where was Jesus then?

On earth, Jesus spent nearly all of his time:

  • Healing the sick – surrounded by the lame and lepers
  • Preaching the gospel – on hillsides, boats, lakeshores and in homes
  • Hanging out with those in greatest need of a “physician” – like prostitutes and tax collectors
  • Not criticizing and opposing those “sinners” – but the “religious” who were judging them
  • Resisting fame – withdrawing from crowds to spend time with the Father in prayer
  • Not trying to build a huge following – but preaching the most difficult messages at the height of his popularity
  • Instead, deeply discipling a small group of close friends
  • Finding those first disciples among poor, uneducated fishermen
  • Gravitating toward children – not pushing them away
  • Frequenting churches – but typically to straighten out and clean up His house

Jesus didn’t kowtow to the religious establishment – and it made them furious.  The Pharisees enjoyed the acclaim their position brought and expected deferential treatment.  They loved rules and money – and made lots of both.  They were served, not servants.  They would have thought the Messiah would align Himself and hang out with them.  However, Jesus did the opposite.  He ran straight to the “lowest of the low” – the most destitute, ill, ignorant and objectionable. On top of that, despite their bottom-rung social status and Christ’s elevated position above even the Pharisees, Jesus did the unthinkable – He actually served them.

“Where Would Jesus Be (WWJB)” now?

Where Jesus was then is exactly where He is today.  For examples of where Jesus can be found right this moment, check out our Facebook page for Vote for Eternity 20:16 (#CastAnEternalVote).  See how far out of their way Christ-followers are going to walk in the footsteps of our Rabbi:

  • Hospitals – visiting and helping those sick and suffering (Luke 7:22)
  • Red-light districts – the worst side of town with notorious “sinners” (Mark 2:17)
  • Remote towns – traveling while preaching, healing and feeding along the way (Mark 1:38)
  • Across the tracks – in the most impoverished areas of the city (Matthew 4:18)
  • Orphanages – showing His great love for helpless, humble children (Matthew 19:14)
  • Assisted Living Facilities – visiting widows in their distress (James 1:27)
  • Homeless shelters – Jesus had no place to lay His head either (Luke 9:58)
  • Homes of friends and acquaintances – teaching and building relationships (Luke 10:38-42)
  • Natural disasters – helping families get back on their feet
  • Schools – serving kids with special needs
  • Laundromats – holding church there on Sunday mornings and putting coins in the machines

All the while, Jesus would be preaching the gospel to any who would listen.  And they would listen because they’d be overwhelmed by His kindness and overcome by His outpouring of love.

Where He wouldn’t be hanging out (because He didn’t then):

  • Wealthy suburbs
  • Inside the 4 walls of big churches, except to remind them that members, not just leaders, are His body
  • Hobnobbing with today’s most “successful” pastors
  • Comfort of his own home

What does that mean for you?

If you’re looking for a deeper relationship with the Lord, then get covered in the dust of the Rabbi.  “Where Would Jesus Be?” is a challenge that involves more risk and discomfort than most Christians are willing to endure: 

  • Where Jesus would be isn’t safe. (Luke 10:3)
  • There are some bad people there. (Matthew 9:10)
  • You’ll need a thorough knowledge and careful study of the scriptures (John 8:31).
  • Real progress will necessitate a lot of prayer (Luke 5:16)
  • The Great Commission doesn’t afford you the luxury of criticizing culture from afar (Matthew 28:19)
  • The journey doesn’t need to be to a foreign land, it can be right there in your city, leaving no excuse for not going. (Matthew 9:35)
  • True discipleship requires a servant’s heart, knowing people don’t care what you know until they know you care. (Mark 10:45)
  • You’ll need to redefine what church is – it’s YOU!  (Acts 2:42-47)

Jesus is kicking up dust right now.  Will you follow Him down this unpaved, rocky road?

It’s your turn…

WWJB?  Now that you know, will you go?  Between now and Election Day NOVEMBER 8th, where can you go to serve and share your faith with those Jesus spent His time pursuing?  Be a part of Vote for Eternity 20:16 and #CastAnEternalVote!

Which of These 4 Christian Voters are You?

Sep 28, 16
JMorgan
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3 comments

Blog Post 67 - White House vs God's House

In this Presidential election, it’s hard for Christians to rally around either candidate.  Neither stands solidly in the Christian camp on the issues most of us hold dear.  And even if you do like Trump or Clinton, you can only cast one vote.  However, we can cast countless Eternal Votes, which will last far longer than just the next 4 years. 

You can have a much greater impact on who ends up in God’s House than on who winds up in the White House!

We’ve launched Vote for Eternity 20:16 to encourage 1,000,000 Christians to perform a simple act of kindness in the name of Jesus for a neighbor, coworker or a complete stranger by Election Day, NOVEMBER 8th.  Then share your stories on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #CastAnEternalVote, and challenge 3 Christians you know to “pay it forward”!

Jesus didn’t intend for His followers to be complacent or content, attending church on Sunday then doing little to serve the Lord Monday through Saturday.  How many churchgoers realize they’ve stepped into the mission field the second they get back in their cars in the church parking lot?  How many try each and every week to win people to Christ and invest time in making disciples?  Why do so few possess an acute sense of urgency to seek and save the lost?  Why do so many live comfortably while doing little to serve the helpless and hopeless?

Unfortunately, many have come to view church as a “safe” place to worship and fellowship, yet lack the courage to act and speak openly in the light of day.  However, we’re called to live boldly in a world that is becoming increasingly hostile to our faith.  Ironically, it is likely our lack of impetus and preparation to be the hands and feet of Christ that have largely precipitated and fueled the attacks on Christianity that are occurring in our nation.

We’ve identified 4 types of Christian “voters” in this Presidential election.  Which one are you?

1.  Passive Christians

DON’T SPEAK OR ACT

Bill hardly misses a Sunday at church.  He volunteers as a greeter one weekend a month, gives regularly and hosted a small group last year.  By all accounts, Bill’s an active church member.  Considering how busy he is with career and young kids, he does his fair share.  There’s not much time left in his schedule for charity work, nor is that something Bill thinks much about – and it’s not a big emphasis at his church.  However, his pastor does mention inviting people to church pretty frequently and Bill loves his church, so he’s done that a few times.  When it comes to evangelism, that’s about as far as Bill typically goes.  He doesn’t feel comfortable sharing his faith and rarely broaches the topic of “religion” with coworkers or friends.

2.  Pensive Christians

SPEAK BUT DON’T ACT

Rusty is concerned about where America is headed.  Unlike Bill, Rusty is not afraid to talk about religion or politics.  As a Christian since the early 1980s he’s watched the country go downhill, increasingly upset as our moral foundation crumbles under the weight of every secular, liberal court decision.  Rusty’s church recently held a ministry fair inviting members to express interest in local causes like hunger relief, the homeless or foster care.  However, what caught Rusty’s eye was the Christian conservative radio ministry asking for support to continue fighting for the values that made our nation great.  Rusty signs up and notices that over 150 others had done so as well, whereas none of the other compassion ministries had more than 20 on their lists.

3.  Private Christians

ACT BUT DON’T SPEAK

Stephanie is one of the nicest, most compassionate people at her church.  She’s always there for anyone who’s going through a tough time – a family at church, a friend or even someone she barely knows.  In fact, Stephanie is so caring that she would never want to offend anyone.  If she’s sure that person is a Christian, she’ll talk about her faith and offer to pray for them.  Otherwise, she keeps her personal beliefs to herself because they’re just that – personal.  Her husband, Jeff, is just as kind-hearted, frequently donating money to local charities, but equally reluctant to impose his ideals on others.

4.  Powerful Christians

ACT AND THEN SPEAK

Unlike Bill, Rusty, Stephanie and Jeff, Tamara isn’t passive, pensive or private – she’s both personable and public.  She’s a disciple, following Jesus’ model of meeting felt needs to open the door to sharing who He is.  Tamara never misses an opportunity to do both, seeing wherever she happens to be at the time as her designated mission field.  She understands she IS the church between Sundays.  Tamara is deeply concerned not only with each person’s welfare in this life but also their assurance of eternal life.  She knows the Great Commission doesn’t stop at a single good deed or the planting of a “seed” – it’s about investing in longer-term relationships.

Powerful Christians are a rare breed these days, not often sighted in churches that:

  • cater to members, hesitant to challenge them with the reality of what it truly means to live out the Great Commission
  • emphasize serving inside the church continually but offer few chances to reach out to the poor and lost in the community
  • focus more on building an institution than building disciples that “take ground” outside the four walls

Joining a church alone doesn’t make someone a Powerful Christian any more than simply joining a gym makes someone a powerful weightlifter.  Both require hard work and endurance.  Only intensive and extended training will dramatically change their lives.  That’s why a large or growing church isn’t necessarily a healthy church.  Showing up, serving and giving doesn’t mean a churchgoer will make a difference for Christ between Sundays.  Active church members are not necessarily disciples.  Disciples would never stop at being passive, pensive or private.  Disciples are healthy, impactful, forever changed – in other words, powerful.

Cast a Vote for Christ Today!

How much longer can most Christians remain passive, pensive or private?  The road is about to become much more rocky for followers of Jesus Christ.  Only Powerful Christians will be ready for what’s coming next.  We must be willing to take a stand.

YOU CAN MAKE AN ETERNAL DIFFERENCE IN SOMEONE’S LIFE.  CAST A VOTE THAT WILL LAST FAR LONGER THAN THE NEXT 4 YEARS.  BY ELECTION DAY, NOVEMBER 8th

  • Perform a simple act of service for someone you know or a perfect stranger in the name of Jesus.
  • Share your story on your Facebook or Twitter page with the hashtag #CastAnEternalVote.
  • Challenge 3 of your friends on Facebook or Twitter to “pay it forward”.

3 Keys to Winning the Culture War

Sep 14, 16
JMorgan
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2 comments

Iowa City, United States- February 1, 2016: Heavy turnout for the 2016 Democratic Iowa Caucus in Precinct 14 at Mark Twain Elementary School in Iowa City, Iowa with relatively mild for a January Iowa night.

This is not our home.  We should be concerned about the here and now, but not worried.  The Lord has a plan and Hillary nor Donald have any power to alter it.  You and I can’t change God’s will either, but what we can do is help bring as many people as possible with us to our eternal home – in heaven.

Many participated in the Ice Bucket Challenge because they knew someone with ALS.  Others are doing 22 pushups today because they know a veteran with PTSD.  Every one of us has a neighbor, coworker, friend or family member who doesn’t know Jesus.  Isn’t the plight of those lost without Christ far worse than those who suffer from ALS or PTSD?

We only get one vote for President but we can cast countless eternal votes for those we encounter each and every day.  We have far greater ability to impact who’s in God’s House than who’s in the White House.

When you live out Matthew 20:16-28, serving others in Jesus’ name, you’re casting a vote that will endure forever – not just the next 4 years.

To #CastAnEternalVote by election day, November 8th:

  • Perform a simple act of service for someone you know or a perfect stranger in the name of Jesus
  • Tell us your story on our Facebook or Twitter page with the hashtag #CastAnEternalVote or #VoteForEternity2016
  • Directly challenge 3 of your friends on social media to “pay it forward”

Why You Shouldn’t Abstain from Voting

I recently attended my third gathering of Christian leaders from across the U.S. to strategize about ways to reverse the course in America away from Biblical values.  Once again the overwhelming consensus was that the answer lies in Christians recapturing control of the 7 Mountains (government, media, religion, education, entertainment, family and business)In other words, they believe a louder megaphone is the answer to winning the “culture war”.  They are deeply concerned that another 4 years without a Christian in the White House will further undermine the Christian values our nation once held dear. 

Christians have bemoaned, campaigned and lobbied vigorously over recent decades – often in tones that come across as angry.  Yet the louder Christians have yelled, the less we’ve been heard.  We’ve lost our voice in America.  The reason is that we haven’t followed Jesus’ model.  We’ve essentially try to “outpreach” Jesus when we espouse our beliefs without demonstrating His love and compassion – something Jesus rarely did.  Being so often heard yet rarely seen has cost Christianity dearly.  The principle is simple – people don’t care what you know until they know we care.  Turning up the volume will only drive the prevailing view of Christians and churches deeper into the ditch.

Just because a Christian occupies a powerful position at the peak of the governmental mountain top will not necessarily amplify our voice.  If not accompanied by a grass-roots movement of mercy, justice and compassion, more decibels may just solidify the opposition’s resistance to our position on social issues.

Are Christians winning the culture war today?  Name a moral issue that the church and Christians haven’t already lost, or appear likely to lose soon.

A Better Weapon to Fight the Culture War

The air war has failed.  Christianity has suffered tremendous collateral damage from years of dropping verbal bombs.

Jesus waged a ground war first of love and service to non-believers, then swooped in to fight an air war with the gospel message once the ground war had sufficiently weakened their resistance.  A ground war requires the right army – prepared, trained and properly motivated for battle – in other words, Powerful Christians.  Passive, Pensive and Private Christians are unfit for active duty.  Only disciples are ready and willing to head to the front lines – of praying, caring and, only then, sharing.

We’re all called to strap on our boots and sling a rifle over our shoulders, ready to get our hands dirty in the ground war of loving service.  People need to know what Christians are for, not what we’re against.  The more we dig our heels in, the less we can connect with them – and the less they can identify with us.

What Will the Battleground Look Like?

Christians and churches face mounting obstacles in the years to come.  Generating meaningful impact, material influence and positive perception will be more difficult as the following trends further unfold:

  • Considering any reference to Biblical perspectives that run counter to what is viewed as socially acceptable to be hate-speak
  • Inability to mention the name of Jesus in public settings, effectively eliminating His name from the “free speech” lexicon (“Jesus“ is the one word I’ve been specifically asked not to mention during a speech I’m giving later today at a public high school)
  • Preventing pastors from expressing opinions from the pulpit that go against court decisions or liberal views on moral issues
  • Requiring Christians to comply with laws that defy Biblical principles
  • “Coming out of the closet” becoming far more applicable to Christians, particularly for kids in schools, requiring courage in the face of the stigma that label now carries with it
  • Shaming of Christians in the media
  • Companies refusing to hire those who do not disavow Biblical views on particular hot-button issues
  • Even physical persecution of Christians will one day occur in America because Muslim population growth and conversion rates will continue to outstrip Christian birth and conversion rates, eventually giving them popular majorities in localities, cities and states

In essence Christians and churches face relegation to a corner, rarely visible in the mainstream, in the not-too-distant future.  Lest you view that as impossible here in the U.S., look at Western Europe where similar internal-focus on the part of churches and social trends led to that same inevitable outcome.

How Can We Win the Culture War?

Christ’s church will prevail.  With increased persecution will likely come greater resolve.  Churches will begin to produce more Powerful Christians.  Lukewarm, on the fence churchgoers won’t persevere when challenges come their way.  Those conditioned for comfort and “consumption” will have some tough decisions to make.  Many passive, pensive and private Christians will run and hide – too afraid to speak or act.  Only true disciples of Jesus Christ will endure the trials by fire – willing to take a stand, refusing to back down when threats to their faith increase.  Only those whose lives are changed can change lives.  The good news is it took just a few disciples of Jesus to reverse the course of history.

Winning the culture war will require:

  1. Redefining “Church” – Seeing ourselves as the church personified and no longer relying on pastors as the “professionals” responsible for bringing non-believers to Christ
  2. Following Jesus’ model – Realizing the importance of linking actions with words
  3. Taking Ground – Masses of Christians infiltrating their spheres of influence with the love and good news of Jesus Christ

A fully trained and effective army that cares and shares could turn the tide of how Christians are viewed in America.  If society begins to see the love of Jesus through the compassion of Christians, a new generation of believers will emerge from the ground up to one day occupy those mountain-top positions.  However, continued efforts to take over the 7 mountains from the top down will further diminish the influence and perception of the church and Christianity, paving the way for the mounting challenges to our faith.

It’s Your Turn…

Cast your eternal vote before Election Day, November 8th and challenge 3 Christ-followers you know to “pay it forward” and Vote For Eternity 20:16!