Wednesday, December 3, 2008

How Do You Roll?

"Don't store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where they will never become moth-eaten or rusty and where they will be safe from thieves. 21 Wherever your treasure is, there your heart and thoughts will also be." –Matthew 6:19-21

Well…… sorry it has taken so long to get this blog updated. Life and ministry have been crazy since the hurricane.

About a year and half ago I had the chance to meet one of the leaders of the drug gang that controls trafficking in our target neighborhood. We meet because of an altercation that he had with his girlfriend in front of a group of volunteers. After a brief conversation, he proceeded to tell me how he rolls. How he controls the “little boys” who deal for him, how they won't do anything unless he tells them and how the police used to ask him to help.

I then responded “Well, here is how we roll” and shared our vision of how this will be a neighborhood where kids can ride their bikes. Which for us, is a creative way of saying we will be about sharing Christ and growing people in their faith. I then challenged him to make the corner we were on a safe corner. Since then they have moved not one or two but three blocks away. That is only a battle victory for they can’t be in the neighborhood.

All this to ask how do you roll? How do you live your life? In Matthew, Jesus challenges us by asking where is your heart? With what is happening we can easily get distracted from God’s call to be about the kingdom. The financial crisis can cause us to ask "what if?" and not concentrate on the Who. It is a reminder that what we have here on earth will go away and that we are called to be kingdom investors not earthly managers.

I am not discounting the pain it may be causing some of you. I understand that pain as we look to cut ministry and staff for the first time ever. However, that doesn’t allow me to not be about God’s kingdom. With the election of Obama we can lose our focus on kingdom. One benefit from being a Pastor of a multicultural church who has the privilege to travel the nation, I have a view that most don’t have. I again was reminded how we allow things to divide us by concentrating on earthly treasures and powers rather than kingdom treasures and power.

Some believers reacted with a despair and even hate (one Christian College had to send an email to all its students to squelch talk of our future President being the antichrist.) Other believers acted with joy and talk that Obama was our savior. The bottom line is that we need to be about God’s kingdom. Neither political party can or will bring about the kingdom revival that we need. As God’s people we must not ever think that any man made institution can bring about God’s kingdom. It is biblically incorrect to think that any nation is a Christian nation.

A nation can be based on Christian principals and have leaders who are Christian but that doesn’t make them a Christian nation. Too often we look to the things of this world to bring a change only God can bring. (As an aside, New Orleans was one of, if not the only, predominately African-American city that did not have a spontaneous celebration. I believe it is because of the hopelessness and despair that is the root, not just the economics of our city but more importantly the spiritual void that is so great that people have no hope.)

The church must roll for the kingdom and only the kingdom. Neither Wall Street, Main Street, Capital Hill nor the White house can bring the change we all need. Only God can and He chooses to use the church, his people. Jesus is the first and only “Bail Out Plan.”

So neighbor, how do you roll?

1 comment:

TSN Ministries said...

Real stuff Pastor! I too see a slightly different perspective as you know...even from extended family! People assume so much about us and we see them fall for anything. Only Christ offers relief and real peace. The answers He gives offer real "relief"!

God continue to bless you and all our friends in New Orleans. These indeed are challenging times, but we trust a victorious God. See you in a few weeks, Lord willing!

Jerry