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Napkin Theology From: Vergenetwork.org

This is a repost of a great post from

Vergenetwork.org

NAPKIN THEOLOGY – SETH MCBEE

in ARTICLESBLOGCOMMUNITYMISSIONRESOURCESTOPICS

For most of us a quick image describing what we desire to say is very powerful.  Below is a collection of simplistic images that we call “Napkin Theology”.  Use liberally.

“Artwork” is done by Seth McBee.

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Discipleship is about bringing all areas of our lives under the Lordship of Jesus by the power of the Spirit through the good news.

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A fully formed disciple lives out the understanding of who they now are in Christ. Based on Matt 28:18-20

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The difference between small groups’ and missional communities’ primary function

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An MC is not primarily any of these…although any of these can be part of the function of an MC

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An MC, to look like Jesus, should always have a proactive and a reactive mission

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We don’t go to church, but we are sent by the power of the Spirit to BE the church

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The church as a business vs the church as sent ones

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The Purpose of the Gospel is to make disciples of Jesus who make disciples of Jesus to fill the earth with God’s glory

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If you like it, please go to Vergenetwork.org and let them know.

Grace is Free and So are You.

Don’t let the gift of His righteousness to you detract you from His desire for Holiness for you.

Can the grace of God be resisted? I think it can. I see people resisting God all the time. If I was God, thankfully I am not, people would be dropping like flies all of the time. The second a child is molested flesh eating bacteria would consume the molester. The instant a woman is battered a rabid great white shark would devour the abuser. When somebody spreads hate and ignorance, their tongues would swell, their faces would explode, and their lips would shrivel. I wouldn’t even be able to survive myself. These are some of the many reasons I am glad I am not God.

What is grace? Grace can be thought of as “the supernatural assistance of God” In classical Greek, the language of the New Testament, it means, ‘that which brings delight, joy, happiness, or good fortune.’ It carries the idea in the Old and New Testaments of the Divine mercy of God, and His unearned favor.

Can we resist God’s help? Can we resist delight, joy, and happiness? I have.

What does the Scripture say? Maybe, we should read the bible before we make a decision. (#justsaying)  It’s not like we should, actually, base our beliefs on scripture or anything.

Titus 2:11-14 ESV
1 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, 12 training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, 13 waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works. #

Who has grace appeared for? Does everyone experience salvation? Does everyone live upright self-controlled lives?

2 Corinthians 6:1 ESV
“Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain.” For the same verse, the Message says, “Companions as we are in this work with you, we beg you, please don’t squander one bit of this marvelous life God has given us”

Why would Paul ask them to make grace meaningful if it was impossible to make worthless? Can someone squander their lives?

Galatians 1:6 ESV
“I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel—”

Were the Galatians actually turning from Him who called them in Grace or was Paul lying?

2 Peter 3:18 ESV
“But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.”

Why would Peter ask someone to grow in grace if it was out of their control? Do you tell your kids to grow physically? No, because that is automatic. But, do tell them togrow up emotionally or spiritual because that is a choice.

Hebrews 12:15 ESV
“See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no “root of bitterness” springs up and causes trouble, and by it many become defiled;”

Why warn against failing to obtain the grace of God? Does God just like to hear His own voice?

I Corinthians 15:10-11 ESV
10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. 11 Whether then it was I or they, so we preach and so you believed. The Message says, “But because God was so gracious, so very generous, here I am. And I’m not about to let his grace go to waste.”

Why does Paul mention working according to the grace that was given him? If it was all grace and nothing of Paul, then Paul is clearly deceived in this verse.

Final Thoughts
Or, maybe He did work with that grace. Maybe, we can fall short of that grace through bitterness. Maybe, we can turn away from Christ. Maybe, the grace of God can be meaningless in our lives. Maybe, more people could experience salvation if they turned to Him.

Some believe that God forces Himself on some and ignores others.  But, I don’t think that’s what scripture teaches. I’m not sure how our free will intermingles with God’s perfect will. I don’t understand how the verses that speak about God’s predestining things work with these verses, but I don’t want to fall short.  I don’t want God’s grace to be meaningless in my life.

Maryters, Missionaries, and McDonald’s (The Cross or the Couch)

A Big Mac as served in Japan

Image via Wikipedia

I was reading about Youcef Nadarkhani who is being asked to recant his faith in Christ. He is facing possible execution though a Christian has not be Mayrtered in Iran since 1990. Still, he may die for his faith, and he is in jail. His faith is costing him and his family. It is dangerous for him to profess his faith in Christ. When the judged asked him to recant his faith in Christ, he replied, “I cannot.” These simple beautiful, and bold words made all the dirfference.He isn’t afraid, and he isn’t backing down. People around him are being strengthed by his faith.

Christians in most western countries don’t get this. We don’t know what it means to risk anything for Christ. In some towns, Christianity is the “in religion” You gain social, political, and business advantages by aligning yourself with Christ. It’s almost as if following Christ is a means of gain. This is not what Jesus taught. He said”Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23, NIV).

Do most Christians even know what that means? Are we giving up anything for the cause of Christ? Have we taken up our crosses or our we sitting on our couches?

I have been reading about people who have committed their lives to share the gospel in different nations. It costs something to share the gospel in another country. At the very least, you have to move. You have to live in a foreign land and be separated from your friends and family. St Francis Xavier (1506-1552) carried the gospel to the far east. It cost him much. Sure, he wasn’t perfect, but neither are you. And, neither am I. He left on this trip without even knowing the language. It is said by the time he reached the Far East. He spoke the language as well as one who was born there. He took a risk, and people came to Christ because of his action.

Many Christians are stuck in the rut of inaction. They refuse to do anything for Christ. They’ve been to McDonald’s more times in the past few years then they’ve shared Christ. I hold nothing against McDonald’s, but if you’re hungry for a Big Mac then you are to share your faith someone who is lost, your priorities are warped. Is your faith even real?

The line between faith and obedience is so thin it can cut to the deepest parts of our hearts.

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