Nov9WedNovember 9, 2016
This past weekend, I was honored to gather at Camp Menno Haven with around 30 other men from First Mennonite, Morton UMC and Carlock Mennonite to focus on growing in the Lord by dwelling in the Scriptures. This topic was chosen because the Bible can be an incredibly confusing book to understand even without mysterious concepts like ‘spiritual blindness.’
Therefore, we spent time to learn about the various themes of Scripture, the process of how the written Scripture came to be, comprehend study simple tools for Biblical interpretation and finally how to prayerfully meditate through God’s Word. It was a rich time for us understand how to ‘hit the bullseye’ as faithful stewards of the precious and divine book which we’ve been entrusted with. Feel free to reach out to the FMC men who attended to learn more about any of these concepts.
Back at First Mennonite Church on Sunday, Bill Allison of Cadre Ministries also taught us how to ‘hit the bullseye’ of Christian living. He did this by referring to the Hebrew concept of Kavanah – studying Scripture to know God, prayerfulness, extravagant love and worshipping with our whole life. These four avenues of Jesus-like living are impossible without the Holy Spirit – but they serve as healthy reminders of how to glorify the Lord from day-to-day for those who have received Jesus as Lord.
This current week also takes us to the conclusion of the 2016 election season. During elections and post-elections it is critically important for Christians to know how God wants us to respond. What is the ‘bullseye’ for responding to governmental unrest, national division and political corruption?
The Holy Spirit inspired the Apostle Peter to respond with these words, “ Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors…Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.” (1 Peter 2:13,14,16,17). So regardless of whether or not you are satisfied with the outcome of political races nationally and locally, the bullseye for Godly behavior in a pagan culture is to honor everyone – including governmental leaders.
I believe that it’s important for disciple-makers to continually consider what it means to ‘hit the bullseye.’ It can be so easy to become either complacent in our faith journey or simply guess at which actions most please the Lord. When the reality is that Scripture is very helpful (indeed accurate) in guiding us towards a faithful, powerful Christian witness. And peaceful, faithful, bold, Spirit-led witnesses of Jesus Christ are needed more than ever in our country! May we at First Mennonite Church continue to strive towards the ‘bullseye’ for the glory of God and the salvation of many who have yet to trust in Jesus Christ.