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Creating God moments while becoming friends of sinners is the topic that will be discussed today on RIOT Podcast, a Christian Discipleship Podcast.
A God moment is where God is felt and encountered in tangible ways that address the longings and cries of the heart. We come to the end of our own finite resources and experience the infinite resources of God. It is where the natural gives way to the supernatural, where seeds of faith are planted, watered, and nurtured. Gentleness and respect are present, judgment is absent, and divine dialogue flows naturally because trust has been established.
Today we want to begin an ongoing discussion of how we can create God's moments in our life. We will do multiple podcast shows over the next year relating to this subject. Our heart's desire is to help followers of Christ be more and more like Him by reaching those that need Him most.
In Mathew 11:19 it says, Jesus was a friend of sinners. In our minds, nothing gets to the heart of why Jesus came to earth more than this one. It corresponds with Luke 19:10 “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost”
The bible gives us a lot of verses that talk about us going into all the world to reach them. Mark 16:15-16, Matt 28:19, and others. It says in Mathew 9:37-38 that the harvest Is plentiful, but the laborers are few. In 1 Cor 9:22, Paul said that he became weak to the weak, that he might win the weak. He became all things to all people that by all means, he might save some.
Today let’s talk about the many obstacles we face that keep us from engaging the world as Christ desires us to do.
The First obstacle we face is that we do not know how to create a low-risk, high-grace space for people to peruse their need to have spiritual conversations. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says “God has given us all an inner drive to know and to be known by him”. St Augustine said in His book Confessions; “Our heart is not quiet until it rests in God. Where does an unquiet heart go to?” What if we were that person they could go to and we in return slowly create trust so that we can point them to Jesus for help?
For many people going to church is as scary as going to a hard-core biker bar. It might be the same feeling bikers feel when they go to church. How many of us would go to a hard-core biker bar to just simply love the people and create opportunities for spiritual conversations? Would it be uncomfortable? Would God want us to go?
Both Christians and Non-Christians have very real perceptions about one another that keep us from interacting in redeeming ways. It’s been said that the only thing more difficult than getting the church to go to the world, is getting the world to come to us. If showing up to each other’s club is too scary for so many people, is there a way to create space in our daily interactions that might tear down some of the walls that keep us polarized?
Rick Warren said “The church that doesn’t want to grow is saying to the world. You can go to hell!” Disturbing isn’t it? Nevertheless, many churches continue to operate essentially as clubs, convinced they be letting God down if they closed up the show and sold their buildings. Don’t get us wrong, we care deeply about the church. However, we also care deeply about creating safe spaces for people to ask their questions, share their doubts, voice their concerns and even vent their anger toward God and the church.
If we are going to create God's moments for others, it has to start inside of us. It takes safe people to create safe places. First Corinthians 6:19 says that when we become Christians, our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit. Jesus did not send the Holy Spirit to simply reside in our bodies but to preside over them. Are we at peace with God’s grace in our lives so that we can extend that peace to others?
If we are going to make God’s invisible kingdom become visible, then Christ's heart needs to be formed in us!
Let’s ponder some questions that reflect the essence of God's moments. As you listen to us discuss these questions, grade yourself from 1 to 10 with 10 being that you do this all the time. We will do the same as we journey forward.
1. Can you overlook un-Christian attitudes and lifestyles in your efforts to connect with others?
2. Are you able to suspend your judgment for long periods of time around non-Christians?
3. Do you consistently seek to understand the not-yet Christians you know before seeking to be understood by them?
4. Are you patient enough to wait for the not-yet Christians in your life to ask for your opinion?
5. Be honest. Do you like people who are far from God?
6. Do people who are far from God like you? For example: Are you invited to birthday parties?
7. Does your body language communicate an open-hearted acceptance of the not-yet Christians in your life?
8. Are you able to communicate acceptance to not-yet Christians without endorsing their lifestyles?
9. In your relationships with not-yet Christians, do you typically offer kindness rather than forgiveness?
10. Is your heart consistently broken and filled with compassion for the not-yet Christians in your life?
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