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Archive for the ‘Gospel’ Category

Helmet Evangelism

I had a professor last year, Dr. Bob Stein, who is particularly adamant that his students wear bike helmets when cycling. He will unashamedly demand that any student he sees riding their bike without a helmet get off and walk. I’ve seen him do it and I’ve seen the poor Poli Sci student hop off and saunter. Dr. Stein will rave about this subject for hours. He, of course, always faithfully wears his helmet as a cyclist himself, especially after he was recently hospitalized in a cycling accident which cracked his helmet, instead of his skull. Appropriately, he calls himself an “evangelist” for bike helmets.

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Christianity hangs on the story of Easter.  If the account of the gospels about Jesus’ resurrection were false as the high priest and his men claimed in the first century, then Jesus would become just another radical teacher who attempted to revolutionize Judaism but then failed miserably on a Roman cross.  If the story of Easter were a hoax, then hundreds of thousands of lives that were lost on account of the faith in that risen Savior would be meaningless.  If the story of the resurrection were a fable, then who are we praying to when we start our prayers with the phrase, “Dear Jesus…”? 

“But that’s where faith comes in.  You just have to believe” you say.  I concur.  I have that same faith that you are talking about and that’s why I personally believe that Jesus, the carpenter from Nazareth was the incarnate Son of God.  And I also believe that it was this Jesus who died for my sins on that humiliating cross one Friday evening and rose up from His mortal sleep on a Sunday morning.  He is risen! Yes, He is alive!  I almost sound like I am preaching, don’t I?  I sometimes wonder if we have faith enough to preach but not faith enough to live.  Allow me to explain. 

‘Belief through our heads’ means ‘to accept the facts as true’.  We have no problems with that, do we?  This kind of belief is enough to sound like a Christian even to get up on a pulpit on a Sabbath morning to preach.  This was the kind of belief that the Angel was inviting Mary to embrace when he pointed to the empty grave.  It was this belief that the apostle Thomas was struggling with until Jesus Himself appeared among the disciples.  May be this level of faith is enough to celebrate Easter.  But there is more.

‘Belief through our hearts’ is what I am challenging you to embrace today.  It means ‘to live as if the facts are true’.  It is one thing to believe with our heads that Jesus was raised from the dead but it’s quite another to believe with our hearts and live as if Jesus is alive.  This belief through our hearts can transform our lives like never before.  If we believe that Jesus is alive, why do we act as if He is not when we hurt Him by our horrific sins?  If Jesus is alive, why do we just stop with talking and listening about Him and not pursuing a relationship with Him?  If Jesus is alive, why do we live like unbelievers when we don’t trust Him to carry us through the simplest of problems? 

Are you sure Jesus is alive?  If you are, why don’t you live like He is?  Why don’t you start a conversation with Him today?  It is never too late!                      

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A chill came over me and my eyes started to water.  Perfect peace.  The words of hymns and sincere song flowed down my ear canal and gripped my heart with joy.  Music may make you tap your feet, clap your hands, or nod your head, but sometimes it transforms and moves you.  The jazz and soulful feel of his music is unique in our church, and that’s why during the announcements the phrase “Adventist Stevie Wonder” caught my attention.  Last night as we closed the Sabbath, Neville Peter ministered to the congregation through music that soothes the soul. 

Neville Peter is blind and has a unique story revealing his personal testimony of conversion.  When he sings, “I was blind, but now I see” the thought of a blind man fervently praising God with those words seems ironic.  Hearing him sing and hearing his story cement that declaration as no joke.  Beyond his touch of the keys, and beyond his soulful voice…there is a story of how God so graciously brings us home and how disABILITY can often bring life more abundantly.

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