"We died before we came here"

I read this again this morning. I love the spirit of men who utter words such as these and follow them up with their lives.

When James Calvert went out as a missionary to the cannibals of the Fiji Islands, the captain of the ship sought to turn him back. “You will lose your life and the lives of those with you if you go among such savages,” he cried. To that, Calvert replied, “We died before we came here.”

As Hudson Taylor said, “God uses men who are weak and feeble enough to lean on Him.”

Loving Christ supremely

Apologies for not posting as often in recent times. I have had to travel back to the UK as my father is sick, he will have a triple heart by pass operation on Friday 3rd June, your prayers for his recovery are valuable to me. Anyhow it has left me far less time to read, study and blog, but I have managed to get through some of John Piper’s book, Think. Here’s another quote from it which I don’t want you to take in a negative way but as a positive stimulus to worship, adoration and sacrifice, of the one who is supremely valuable:

…when these people “receive Christ,” they do not receive him as supremely valuable. They receive him simply as  sin-forgiver (because they love being guilt free), and as rescuer-from-hell (because they love being pain free), and as healer (because they love being disease free), and as protector (because they love being safe), and as prosperity-giver (because they love being wealthy), and as creator (because they want a personal universe), and as Lord-of-history (because they want order and purpose). but they don’t receive him as supremely and personally valuable for who he is. They don’t receive him the way Paul did when he spoke of “the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord”. they don’t receive him as he really is – more glorious, more wonderful, more satisfying, than everything else in the universe. They don’t prize him, or treasure him or cherish him or delight in him.

Accountability

Being part of the Body of Christ brings not just privilege but responsibility and a need for accountability to God as well as other people (members) within that body. It is good to take a look in the mirror and see how we are doing in our relationship with God and others. Sometimes we need help in asking the right questions so try these for a start.

Ed Stetzer has a great post on accountability questions. If you find there are too many to wade through there then go to Church Relevance website which offer a simplified list of the following 15 questions neatly divided into five categories:

Spiritual

  • #1 – Did the Bible live in you this week?
  • #2 – Do you give it time to speak to you everyday?
  • #3 – Are you enjoying prayer?
  • #4 – Do you trust God?
  • #5 – When did you last speak to someone about your faith?

Relationships

  • #6 – Have you been honoring, understanding, and generous to your family and important relationships?
  • #7 – Have you damaged another person by your words, either behind their back or face-to-face?

Lust of the Eyes (Generosity)

  • #8 – Have you been materialistic or too focused on having something?
  • #9 – Have you been generous?

Pride of Life (Humility)

  • #10 – Have you been proud or too focused on being something?
  • #11 – Are you giving God the glory?

Lust of the Flesh (Integrity)

  • #12 – Is God honored in the way you eat and drink?
  • #13 – Are you improving your health through nutrition and exercise?
  • #14 – Have you been exposed to sexually alluring material or allowed your mind to entertain inappropriate thoughts about someone who is not your spouse this week?
  • #15 – Have you been with a woman anywhere this past week that might be seen as compromising?

These questions don’t cover everything, but they are manageable and help keep a broad scope of lifestyle goals in the forefront of your mind throughout the week.