Tag Archives: church

A Final Question: What Does the Word “Abide” Mean To You?

This is going to be the final of my “preacherman” posts.  Firstly, because it was done 🙂   And secondly, because I thought this was an intriguing question.  So, here we go . . .

Not too long ago, our Pastor asked this deceptively easy question during a sermon; “What does the word abide mean to you?”—As Christ implores of his disciples in John 15: “Abide in me”.  In fact, John makes abundant use of the word “abide”, using it ten times in John 15:1-11 (NASB) alone.

For example, look at John 15:7:

εαν μεινητε εν εμοι και τα ρηματα μου εν υμιν μεινη ο εαν θελητε αιτησεσθε και γενησεται υμιν

Okay, just kidding.  Here it is in the NASB translation for those few of you unfamiliar with the original Greek:

“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

John uses the same word “μεινη” or “meno” (men’-o:  to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy) — abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry (for), thine own.) throughout chapter 15.  As you can see, even within this one word, there are subtle differences that could be gleaned from each particular usage.  In other words, Christ isn’t continually saying to “remain”, or to “continue”, or to “tarry”, but is using the subtle shading of each of these and more, throughout his Words.

Abide isn’t a one-definition-fits-all word here.  So, if a Christian is called to “abide in Christ”, what exactly does that mean?

Well . . . kind of depends on the Christian doesn’t it?  Continue reading A Final Question: What Does the Word “Abide” Mean To You?

Get Out of Hell Free . . . A Limited Time Offer, On Now!!

It seems we—those of us who attend church regularly and/or who call ourselves Christians—are living with a preoccupation of the “end times” or “last days”.  We see the signs everywhere.  “Oh, did you see that “X” happened just the other day?  We must be living in the end times!”  Therefore, it seems imperative to us to promote this “conversion” culture–bringing everyone we know to God.  Now!  To “save” the world.  Today!

But it seems to me our delivery might be a bit off. 

The “easy” road in converting people is to claim that those far from God are bad, they’re sinners, they need a savior (cue superhero fanfare!).  And, because they’re bad and sinners and need a savior, they should repent. Now!  Or they’re gonna go to hell for ever and ever, amen!

So we badger, pester, guilt them, and they start to feel bad (those we don’t totally alienate–driving them completely away from Jesus) and out of this sense of guilt, or shame, or maybe even to just get us off their backs, they say the “sinner’s prayer” and now “Woo Hoo!!” we think we’ve done our job!  Pat ourselves on the back!  Check another box in the “saved” category!  Move on to the next lost soul!

Except . . .

Could it be we’ve missed a few things?

Like: What it means to accept Christ into your life?  What it looks like to follow God?  What it means to get into relationship, not only with God, but with other believers as well?

In other words, by bestowing on them the magical “get out of hell free” card, could it be we’ve only dared scratch the surface?  We’ve given them nothing but the preface of this great book called “Redemption”, and possibly neglected the rest of the story?

Like . . . The important part! Continue reading Get Out of Hell Free . . . A Limited Time Offer, On Now!!

Distraction 2 . . . (Spiritual) War is Hell

Seems my wife and I were having one of those days today.  So much so that when the family all got in the car to go out on some errands our prayer went something like this:

(And I want to preface this by saying that my wife and I have a pretty high tolerance for sarcasm and irony so, even though the questioning behind this prayer is genuine, the persistent drip from the faucet of lukewarm cynicism is purely a tension release.  No flaming comments on our lack of faith or piety, please.) Continue reading Distraction 2 . . . (Spiritual) War is Hell

An Inside Look at Home Groups {posted through RLM}

Yay! I am now “published” beyond the wall of the WordPress.com blogosphere!  This is a post I wrote for Real Life Ministries Church Training and Development website.  I was asked to write on the perspective of  “members of Real Life . . . from the point of view of a small group attender – what a small group looks like from the inside . . . and how Jesus plan for relationships plays out in that venue.”

So, with that in mind, I give you my first “outside” published post . . .

Ahh, small groups (a.k.a. home groups, bible-study groups, life groups, community encounters, etc. etc.)  Those little microcosms of Christian society that gather on a semi-regular basis for everything from fellowship, to scripture study, local area missions, and “that thing I gotta go to with my wife on Wednesday nights, *sigh* (Doesn’t she realize, that’s UFC night??!!)”

Yeah, that thing.

(to read more, continue here . . . )