Does God Want Us To Compete?

by Rich Dixon on July 31, 2014

follow-me-bible-close-upDo you think God wants us to compete with other religions?

I’ve read some stuff recently lamenting Christianity’s waning influence. One article claimed we’re “losing the battle” with Middle Eastern religions, atheism, and humanism (the god of “me”). The author suggested that those who believe in the God of Abraham need new strategies to compete with those other gods.

For me, this discussion raises one of my favorite questions:

Do you really believe what you believe?

Do you believe God can’t compete unless we devise better strategies and tactics?

Do you believe God can lose? Seriously?

When I listen to Jesus, I hear the quiet confidence of one who knows. He knows the truth, He knows the proper path, He knows what works and what doesn’t. He knows, because He designed the whole thing.

It’s the uncertain, insecure person who pounds on the table and demands lockstep agreement. Those who aren’t quite sure attack anyone who disagrees.

When you know—and know you know—there’s no need to shout.

Jesus didn’t panic when people disagreed or when things got crazy. He didn’t deviate from the path.

Jesus didn’t appeal to governments or political action to advance His agenda. He didn’t assert His rights as a citizen to protect himself or His followers. He didn’t advocate any form of violence, and He certainly didn’t hate those who decided not to follow. He didn’t argue, frighten, intimidate, or coerce people into believing.

He didn’t convince people to follow Him through superior logic or clear theology. Crowds gathered around Jesus because they wanted to know Him, not His ideas.

I want to follow His example. I want to share Jesus and His message of love with the quiet, confident assurance of one who knows the truth and doesn’t need agreement or affirmation from others.

I can’t recall any incident in which Jesus “competed” in any manner. He wasn’t seeking to win a victory that was already assured.

He knew.

We ought to know as well.

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Dawn

by Rich Dixon on July 28, 2014

HAPPY MONDAY!

An early morning inspired today’s word-of-the-week…

DAWN

MondayMy eyes opened this morning at that magical pre-dawn instant when light begins to banish darkness. It seemed dark, then a moment later no darkness remained.

Last week I was socially captive for a short time and endured a political rant concerning the pervasive death and darkness in our world. Before I could excuse myself the speaker listed Middle Eastern terrorists, Ukrainian militants, and invading illegal immigrant children as proof of the darkness overtaking us.

The thing about darkness is—it’s not a thing, it’s the absence of a thing. Once you introduce even a small bit of light, it’s no longer dark.

I don’t claim to know the political solutions to these and other difficult circumstances, but I do know they’re not caused by too much darkness, because darkness isn’t a thing. Dark is only the absence of light, and none of these problems will be solved by cursing the darkness.

Every long-term solution involves adding more light.

You and I know the source of the light. We’re called to be a prism, to reflect Jesus’ light into a world that desperately needs to see it.

# # #

Once there was an empty tomb, containing only a lifeless body. The tomb was apparently filled completely with death and darkness.

And then…a single heartbeat. A spark of light.

With that heart beat, every ounce of death left that place, because death is only the absence of life.

With that spark, every ounce of darkness left that place, because darkness is only the absence of light.

# # #

It’s Monday. How about if you and I act like the dawn and look for opportunities to reflect the light and life of Jesus to those we encounter?

Have a great week!

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