It’s Gonna BE Good

It’s Gonna BE Good

 

Is the church just a building where you go on Sundays? Is it a social club where you fellowship with others and have fun? Is it too predictable? Is the church of today what was intended when the church was first formed 2,000 years ago? What does living as the Body of Christ in an unbelieving world look like? This summer at FUGE, we will learn more about God’s call on our lives to BE the church to the world around us.

First, students and adults will look at our call to BE His. We will consider what it means to be called a son or daughter of Christ, and the specific implications that has for believers. Before we can serve the Body of Christ, we must understand the freedom and power that comes with being His alone.
During day two of Bible study, we will examine our call to BE last. Over and over in Scripture, we see Jesus lived a life that was in service to others for the sake of bringing glory to the Father. He was the most sacrificial of servants and the most generous of givers. He calls us to live in a way that mirrors that same attitude of great humility.
BE real is the central idea on day three of Bible study. Looking at the early church in Acts, we will discuss the necessity of authentic community within the Body of Christ. There is great freedom and growth to be found when we are willing to be real with one another about our faith.
Finally, day 4 of Bible study considers the call of Scripture to BE bold. In His time on earth, Christ was clear about our calling as the church to be disciple makers. Because of who we are in Him, we have the power to speak His name and live out the Gospel with boldness.
We believe Christ is calling the Church to BE deeply generous, genuinely humble, and relentlessly committed to Himself.  Our prayer is that this study opens the door for students, adults, and staff to pursue the Biblical picture of the Church and to live in authentic community with one another.
See you this summer! It’s gonna BE good.
Help My Unbelief

Help My Unbelief

katiejprof

Today’s guest post comes from Katie Johnson, a FUGE staffer who most recenly served as a Bible Study leader at North Greenville University in 2013. She is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Theology. Katie loves spending time with family, North Carolina in the fall, and Tarheel basketball. 
 
 
 
And Jesus said to him, “‘If you can’?” All things are possible for one who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” Mark 9:23-24

Webster’s defines belief as this: a feeling of being sure that someone or something exists or that something is true. We place belief in so many things: we believe our car will start when we turn the key,  a chair will hold us up when we sit down, a roller coaster won’t break when we get on. We place our trust in family and friends, but the one thing that all of these things have in common is their tendency to fail. It may not be often but nothing of this world is perfect.

In Mark 9 we find the story of a father asking Christ to cleanse his son of an unclean spirit. I will focus on the statements made by these two men; one by Christ and the other by the father. The father says to Christ, “if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us”. Christ is surprised by this, it’s as if He was saying, “If I can, are you kidding?” How could he doubt His ability to heal his son and the power that Christ had? He had been displaying it in that area for over a year, but sometimes that’s not enough. We have seen the power of Christ in the Word and in the world, yet we doubt His ability and control over our lives countless times. We are so independent that we believe we can try to take care of things on our own rather than going to God first. The father cries to Jesus, “I believe, help my unbelief”. What an honest man. He believes in Jesus, believes in His power but admits he has doubt. God has never expected us to have perfect faith. There is always going to be some doubt mixed in but Christ assures us that, “All things are possible for one who believes”. So don’t be afraid to admit your doubt to God, He already knows. Confront it, face it head on and ask God to remove it.

Enough is enough.

Enough is enough.

Twenty months ago, I was on the other side of the world kneeling on a scorching metal roof, hammer in hand, overcome with emotion and asking God lots of questions. I was in Sanyati, Zimbabwe, leading a team that was helping to install a new roof on the HIV/AIDS wing of  Sanyati Baptist Hospital. It was late in the week, and the roof was nearing completion. We’d spent that morning inside the hospital, looking into the eyes of those who we’d spent all week laboring on behalf of. We knelt next to rickety hospital beds and prayed with the HIV positive, most of whom had no idea if they’d live to walk out of their hospital rooms. We begged God for healing:  both for restoration of bodies, and for a revival in  souls. “Jesus, come,” was the cry of our hearts.

But, after a weighty several days, I felt defeated. There was too much to do,  too many dying, not enough doctors,  too few resources. In a few days, I was going to return to my embarrassingly comfortable life in the US. The difference I was making seemed minuscule compared to the reality of the issues I was facing. “It’s not enough” played over and over in my mind. Then came the reassurance of the Gospel itself: it is not up to me. There is something that is relentlessly true both in the poverty of Africa and in the poverty of my own sinful heart: the grace of Christ has nothing to do with me, yet it is mine to enjoy.

So, in spite of my limited resources, my finite knowledge, my self-seeking tendencies, and all my other excuses … God is working.  He is working in Africa, and He is working around the globe. He is restoring communities, healing the sick, growing churches,  mending families, bringing hope.

Yes, there is much to be done. He has called the Church to step forward in the name of the broken, sick, and hurting. So, yes, serve your neighbor. Go to the nations. Support missionaries. Speak out for the oppressed. Pray for revival. Marvel at Jesus’ sacrifice.  Make redemption the theme of your days and the Gospel message the absolute focus of your life. It is the most important thing you could ever do.

But let us not become overwhelmed  by what’s before us. The task is great, but our Savior is greater. Let’s not forget what was already finished on the Cross. Let’s rest in the all-sufficient work of Christ. 

sanyatiroof  sanyatiteam

Do Unto Others

Do Unto Others

Marci Coleman

Marci Coleman is the author of today’s guest post. Marci currently resides in Memphis, TN, where she is working on a degree in Worship Leadership at Visible Music College. She will graduate in the spring of 2014. Marci is a talented singer and guitarist and is beginning to work on an EP. She has worked two summers with MFuge, at Mobile in 2012 and Ridgecrest in 2013.
Philippians 2:1-4 speaks of looking to the interest of others and to consider others better than yourself. What exactly does this look like? I’ve heard this scripture many times before, but until I experienced it in a unique way, my perspective has been completely changed.

One afternoon I decided to go to a Taco Bell drive-through to order a cheap burrito, like every normal college student does. I was home that weekend visiting family, and was familiar with the cashier, who had seen me multiple times before. I had always been a friendly “drive-through customer” to her and she had always served me with kindness and a smile.

As I pulled up to her window to pay, I sensed gloominess from her. I didn’t want to impose on her private life, and especially through a drive-through, but I immediately asked, “How are you?” It was such a unique sensation, but when I asked her this, I could feel the Holy Spirit prompting me to make conversation with this lady. She responded with a sulky, “I’m okay.” So, then, I bluntly asked her, “What’s wrong?” She had no problem with pouring out her troubled soul to me—a death in the family, taking care of her own family, managing her work schedule, and not having enough time to herself. She ended with, “I just need a break. I need strength to get through.”

To be honest, I was a bit shocked that she felt so comfortable telling me these things. It took me a second to grasp what was happening. I responded sympathetically, and told her I would pray for her. I got her name and assured her that she would be prayed for. As I drove away, I immediately started to re-encounter our conversation and wondered if I had said the right things.

At first, I regretted not saying more about the Hope and Strength of Christ. But I couldn’t dwell on what I didn’t do or what I should’ve said. I realized all it took on my part was to listen, to encourage, to look to the interest of others, and to humbly put a cashier’s life situation before my cheap burrito. And that speaks more volume than I can even imagine!

Let us put on the attitude of Christ, having the same love, and seek out those in need! The world makes more sense when it’s not about us. We all need to be reminded that people are truly suffering and going through some hard times and they are ready to talk! We must be ready and willing to listen, even if it is through a Taco Bell drive- through.

May God bless our conversations!

Love Your Neighbor

Love Your Neighbor

The second is: Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:31

When my grandparents were raising their family, almost every house had a front porch. The porch was a place of community. Families and neighbors would spend hours relaxing and sharing life. Today, there are few front porches. And, if a house has one, the residents very seldom sit out and visit with each other or their neighbors. In most neighborhoods today, people pull up to their house, open the garage door automatically and pull their vehicle inside, not to step foot outside the rest of the day. Do you know your neighbor’s names? Would you know if they are struggling? Jesus commands us to love our neighbors. So, is that limited to just the people who live near us? Absolutely not.

Jesus’ words were not a suggestion but a command. We are not just to love others. It would have been one thing for Jesus to stop there but He added “as yourself” which takes things to a new level. The Golden Rule says: “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Everyone wants to be loved. So, in return, we must be willing to love.

Okay, I know what you’re thinking: who has time to love and minister to people? We’re busy! How easy it is to fall back on this well-worn excuse of being busy to keep from loving others. But, we simply must fight to not allow our personal agendas to interfere with meeting the needs of others.

Does this verse mean I have to love difficult people? Jesus goes so far to say that we are to love our enemies. As believers, we do not have the option of holding onto bitter feelings, resentment, or even hatred toward anyone. To do so goes against everything Jesus taught.

We teach our children that name calling is not acceptable and to be kind to your friends. Maybe we need to take heed to some of own teaching and apply these to our grown-up life.

 

How can you show love to someone today? Make a point this week to get to know at least one of your neighbors.