Celebrating the Cloud of Witnesses  

Posted by Mike Sharrow in , , , ,

Next to the Bible, the biographies of men and women who have all-out sought God and been radically messed up in the process have been impactful to me. I remember delighting in not just reading the "works" of guys like Jonathan Edwards, Erasmus, George Whitefield, John Wesley, John Calvin and Thomas Aquinas - but then reading their biographies to be inspiring and challenging. It was peculiar and telling to see how many times the lives we most celebrate today were nothing special in their lifetime - theirs was a life of simple devotion, frequent adversity, and uncertain ends. It was a lifestyle of worship and relentless pursuit of the Holy. Posthumously God has used the dust of these saints to help inspire and draw future generations to Himself.

I just ordered the biography of A.W. Tozer and am excited to get it. Much of his life he was deemed too intense, too focused on God, difficult to engage - and then suddenly a generation of college students began sensing the Truth (capital T) behind the words of this man and a public ministry began to explode. Decades after his death his books are revered for their simple focus, their depth, their uncomfortable call to nothing less than Him.

What stories inspire you? Do you read the lives of men and women of faith and wrestle with what lessons are to be learned in your own?

Consider these drips from Tozer and wait in anticipation with me for his biography!

Let a man set his heart only on doing the will of God and he is instantly free. If we understand our first and sole duty to consist of loving God supremely and loving everyone, even our enemies, for God's dear sake, then we can enjoy spiritual tranquility under every circumstance.

The sovereign God wants to be loved for Himself and honored for Himself, but that is only part of what He wants. The other part is that He wants us to know that when we have Him we have everything -- we have all the rest.

Shallow lives, hollow religious philosophies, the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings, the glorification of men, trust in religious externalities, quasi-religious fellowships, salesmanship methods, the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit; these and such as these are the symptoms of an evil disease, a deep and serious malady of the soul.

What I believe about God is the most important thing about me.

Much of our difficulty as seeking Christians stems from our unwillingness to take God as He is and adjust our lives accordingly. We insist upon trying to modify Him and bring Him nearer to our own image.

The devil is a better theologian than any of us and is a devil still.

No man should desire to be happy who is not at the same time holy. He should spend his efforts in seeking to know and do the will of God, leaving to Christ the matter of how happy he should be.

One hundred religious persons knit into a unity by careful organizations do not constitute a church any more than eleven dead men make a football team. The first requisite is life, always.

God may allow His servant to succeed when He has disciplined him to a point where he does not need to succeed to be happy. The man who is elated by success and is cast down by failure is still a carnal man. At best his fruit will have a worm in it.

A Resiliently Piercing Light  

Posted by Mike Sharrow in , , , , , ,

I received a testimony email this morning about an Ugandan pastor who was resilient. He wasn't a formal pastor, but when 100 Christians were imprisoned in a hostile Muslim uprising he was the eldest and most determined to praise God in the circumstance. He refused to deny his Savior and instead rallied the other Christians to praise God in their gruesome confines. After years of this he was considered a pastor and as people were released hundreds and thousands began to be reached with the Gospel. Resilient light that pierces the darkness.

Peterson's The Message paraphrases 2 Corinthians 3:18 like this: And when God is personally present, a living Spirit, that old, constricting legislation is recognized as obsolete. We're free of it! All of us! Nothing between us and God, our faces shining with the brightness of his face. And so we are transfigured much like the Messiah, our lives gradually becoming brighter and more beautiful as God enters our lives and we become like him.

Chamber's Utmost entry for yesterday reminds us followers of the Way to look at the face of God for ourselves and let that glory radiate un-hindered, untempered, un-restrained to everyone around us. Whether we are a solo radiating face or whether we are in a host of witnesses who echo and share our glorious radiance.

Leadership - whether 1st chair, 2nd chair or from the caboose always brings wrestling with herd mentality hazards. The tempo and mindset of those around can become a force we permit to distract our hearts and minds from the glory of God, and thus our own leadership (i.e. influence, stewardship of the gospel) is passively retarded.

We do not "feed" off of the crowds around us - we feed off of the glorious riches of the Father through the Son and His Spirit Who indwells those who call Him "Abba," who live dependent upon Him. May we be discontent with anything less. Relentless. Resilient. Radiant.

If you have not faced death, you have not lived.  

Posted by archie

Are You Leading Towards this King?  

Posted by Mike Sharrow in , , ,

If we're not leading people towards, relentlessly in pursuit of...this Man...it's all pointless.

Upcoming Courses & Events  

Posted by Mike Sharrow in , , , ,

Hey Folks, there are some awesome opportunities to learn, grow and experience new things in April. Here are just some of the highlights:

1. God's Library - a 5 week survey of the entire Bible, taught by Jim Kingery on Monday nights beginning April 20th. Cost is only $5. Childcare is provided at no cost.

2. Spiritual Warfare - a 5 week study about the fundamentals of spiritual warfare, the Christian response and general Biblical tenets taught by Steve Stoner. Begins Sunday, April 19 @ 9:30. Cost is just $5/person

3. One on One - 2 part workshops on how to practically disciple someone. Co-taught by Michelle Brand and myself with Sunday morning and Monday evening date options in April & May. NO COST. This is a mandatory equipping experience for all Life Group Leaders and then the goal is to see all of Grace Point go through the training so that not only can we share our One story, but we can facilitate each new believer growing in "everything Jesus has taught us."

4. Town Hall for Hope - Thursday, April 23 from 6:30 - 8:30pm we will be hosting a LIVE national event by Dave Ramsey regarding how Biblical financial principles can provide hope and an alternative to the recession environment we're in. It's a FREE event. Register online - bring your group and come check out the fun. Hundreds of people from across San Antonio will be joining us for this special event!

To register for any of these event drop an email to Toni @ toni.renfrow@gracepoint.org or visit www.GracePoint.org. Take advantage of these laser-focused courses we are rolling out to help supplement the learnings of group life and provide venues for equipping YOU as leaders!