American Idolatry: Money

So to kick off this new series on Idolatry, let’s first define the word idol. An idol is anything that you worship in the place of God. When we worship idols we are in violation of the first commandment and quite possibly the second: You shall have no other gods before me and you shall not make any idols. The first commandment covers the big picture: No other gods. An idol is something that we make into a god. Now some, like in Bible times, were actual items of worship, like a golden calf or in our time and buddha statue. Other idols could be ones that we can’t see, like the Sun God Ra, or in today’s case – Money.

You’ve heard the old saying, Money is the root of all evil right? Well, that’s not the actual saying, the real saying is the LOVE of money is the root of all evil. Money, like many things, is not inherently evil by itself, it’s our love and worship of it that makes it the root of evil. People for ages have worshiped at the foot of money and yet walked away broke and lost. Others have amassed fortunes of it, only to realize that it cannot be taken with them to the grave.

Jesus himself had a lot to say about money. Jesus seemed to talk about money more than just about anything else. Out of 40 parables, he spoke on money at least 11 times. This tells us how important money was to Jesus. But why? I think Jesus spoke on it so much because he knew our hearts. He knew that this is an area for struggle for most people.

I think most people find it easier to trust God with their health than their money. People find it easier to trust that God will take them to heaven than trusting God will take care of them financially. We tend to spend most of our lives worrying about money, especially if you aren’t rich. And all of this worry is really another form of worship. We worship Continue reading

No Miracle? No Problem.

Recently, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about what happens when God doesn’t move…when He doesn’t perform a miracle…when he doesn’t heal someone. How do we handle that?

I know when I read the Bible my faith is built up. I see these awesome miracles being worked among Jesus and his disciples and it just gets me excited! I want to go out and pray for some sick people, I want to see something amazing happen. But I know that reality is, sometimes when you pray for someone, nothing happens. Or, nothing that we can see happens. Sometimes you just pray. And the person doesn’t get better. In fact, sometimes they die.

Some in the church would decry this type of “realistic” thinking as “stinkin’ thinkin'” or they would chastise me for my lack of faith. And I get it, we are told to have faith and to believe no matter what the outside looks like. I get it.

But today, I was struck by a small paragraph in the Bible about John the Baptist.

40“Then Jesus went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days. There he stayed, 41 and many people came to him. They said, “Though John never performed a sign, all that John said about this man was true.” 42 And in that place many believed in Jesus.” John 10:40-42

Here we read that even though John the Baptist never performed a sign, all that he said about Jesus was true. When I read this, I was struck by that testimony. And I started to pray. I am praying that even if I never see another miracle from God in my lifetime, all that I speak about Jesus would be true!

What a testimony to have! We are called to have faith and we are commanded to pray for the sick so that they can be healed, I never want to stop doing that, but more than anything, how precious would it be for Jesus to say all that you said about me was true!

I know my proclivity to sin. I know my shortcomings. I know where I fail, but oh that I might testify of Jesus with such accuracy that others would say this of me! When we testify of Jesus truthfully, others notice. And in that place, that place of honesty and truth, many will believe in Jesus.

 

How Great the Father’s Love For Us!

Today is Father’s Day. A day that we celebrate Father’s, the men who shaped our lives and loved us with unconditional love. Well, that’s what we’d like to celebrate, but reality is, most of us did not have a dad like that.

Perhaps you grew up in a home where your father was absent. He just wasn’t around. Or, perhaps your father was violent or abused you. Perhaps you grew up in a fairly normal household and your father was a mixture of good and bad. Or maybe your father drank too much. Or simply didn’t care.

No matter how you may characterize your father, it doesn’t mean your heavenly father is at all similar to your earthly father. If you are a Christian, you are told that you have been adopted into the family of God. Notice the word adopted. You are legally joined to God via adoption. This isn’t just a good idea or a nice thought, this is a legally binding transaction. You are now apart of God’s family.

“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!” – 1st John 3:1

We are God’s children. And what an amazing thing that is to think about! God himself is our father. And unlike our earthly fathers, He is perfect. He truly is a good father who cares for his children.

Too many times we relate to God the way we relate to our earthly fathers. We think that just because our earthly father didn’t want to spend time with us, that means our Continue reading

Do Apostles Exist Today?

In this episode we look at the question, do apostles exist in the church today? In our Good News segment, we look at an article that states that Chic-Fil-a is set to become the third largest fast food company. Our unreached people group is the Rajput of India. Today’s Word comes to us from John Chapter 9. Continue reading

The Spiritual Gift of Mercy

In this episode, we study the gift of mercy, which I believe is one of the church’s most important spiritual gifts. Our Good News is about a teen who was healed through prayer. Our Unreached People Group is the Nai of India. And Today’s Word comes from John 8, where Jesus is talking to the religious leaders about who is their true father. Continue reading

My Story: Called by God

In this special episode, I continue the series on my personal walk with Christ. This time I’m looking at what it’s like to be called by God and the profound impact it’s had on my life. I believe we are all called by God for a specific purpose and that calling can get us through some of the toughest times in our lives.

 

What Does It Mean to Have a “Servant’s Heart”?

 

What Does It Mean to Have a _Servant's Heart__

The gift of serving was the focus of this week’s Everyday Jesus podcast. If you missed that episode, you can catch up by clicking on the player below:

When discussing this subject, I was reminded that for some people, it’s very difficult to serve. Even though Jesus encourages us that true leadership is having a servant’s heart, many of us struggle with this. So what do you do if you don’t have the gift of serving? Continue reading

The Gift of Serving: Three Characteristics of a Serving Heart

The Gift of Serving_ Three Characteristics of a Serving Heart

In this episode, we look at the spiritual gift of serving. I give you three characteristics of a serving heart. In our Good News, we talk about a wave of salvations that happened at a maximum-security prison. Our Unreached People Group is the Kapu of India. Today’s Word is a continuation of our study in John 6, where Jesus declares himself to be the Continue reading

Exhortation and Prophecy

katherine schmidtThis week we are studying the gift of prophecy and what it means to be prophetic. We started this conversation in on the Everyday Jesus podcast. You can catch up by clicking the play button on the player below:

Today I want to look at the second purpose of prophecy as stated by Paul in 1st Corinthians – exhortation. What is exhortation? Exhortation is defined as emphatically urging someone to do something. Another word for exhorting may be encouraging.

I’ve found in my life that sometimes I need some encouragement to go out and do things for God. I can easily get stagnant or self-consumed. When I’m focusing too much on myself and my agenda, God will sometimes send encouragement to me through prophetic giftings and people.

So what should prophetic words exhort people to do? Obey the word of God for one. James says to be doers of the word and not just hearers of the word (1:22). Being a doer of the word means following the commands of Christ. A good prophetic word will encourage others to follow Christ’s commands.

Jesus, throughout the gospels, uses prophetic exhortation on multiple occasions. When he encounters the rich, young ruler, he encourages the young man to sell all of his possession and come and follow him. That was an exhortation.

Jesus also said to those whom he encountered, “Go and sin no more”. This is an example of a prophetic exhortation. Jesus was encouraging people to break free from the bonds of sin. And while these people would not be able to fulfill this encouragement, it’s useful none-the-less because God sees the heart.

Over the years, I’ve had many people encourage me to write. So part of my journey has been to listen to the prophetic encouragement I’ve received and to write. And this encouragement has came over and over again and I’ve needed it over and over again. I’m personally thankful for those who continue to encourage me. I hope to be as encouraging as you are.

Related Links:

True Prophecy Edifies the Body

The Holy Spirit and Prophecy

The Spiritual Gift of Prophecy