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Posts Tagged ‘C.S. Lewis’

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Greg Haugen and Louie Giglio

If there is an organization making a difference in the world with the issue of slavery and sex trafficking, it is International Justice Mission. IJM is a human rights agency that brings rescue to victims of slavery, sexual exploitation and other forms of violent oppression. Their vision is to rescue thousands, protect millions and prove that justice for the poor is possible. IJM was founded in 1997 and works all over the world. I have been looking forward to this part of Passion all week as they had President Greg Haugen come and speak to us.

Greg spoke to us about how his heart was turned onto justice. In 1994, Rwanda experienced their genocide in which millions of people were murdered in a matter of weeks. The world watched and did nothing. People were asking the question “where was God?” Greg asked the question “where were God’s people?” Here are some key notes from his talk:

The World will know we are His followers if we have outward love for each other

Some facts: 27 million people in the world are being held in slavery. These people are being forced to work all day. In sex trafficking, abused and raped children are being sold. And it is in our own backyard…

We can be the generation that ends slavery. Not because we are awesome, but because we have an awesome God. We need to make the 27 million people in slavery a priority. The world needs to see that God is present and those in slavery need to know that our God is a God that saves.

DO JUSTICE, LOVE MERCY, WALK HUMBLY – MICAH 6:8

What is God’s plan? – WE are the plan (God’s people). He gives us the power.

“To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”

C.S. Lewis – The Four Loves

Christ offers five things to us (because we don’t have a chance to change this on our own)

1. Extravagant compassion – God opens our heart to a hurting world. We wants to transform our hearts of stone to a heart of flesh

2. Moral clarity – Evil is confusing. God gives us His Word to tell right from wrong

3. Sacrificial courage – We will have to see and tell hard things. Jesus grows the courage in our hearts

4. Tenacious hope – We will see more defeats than mercy. God is the ultimate Lord of this world and justice will prevail

5. Refreshing joy – Joy is the oxygen to do hard things. He gives us good things to refresh us to do the hard things

Greg showed this video from the civil rights movement of 1961. I was very moved by it. Jim Zwerg (a white man) and John Lewis (an African-American man) rode these Freedom Ride buses together to fight against segregation. Jim was beaten up for his stance. This video of him in the hospital was recorded right after the attacks. Jim would also go on to say that he meditated on Psalms 27 the night before and that he gained his strength to stand up for justice from his faith. Hundreds would later join the Freedom Ride after this video was shown.

God can do immeasurably more in us

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For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:14-19

After Francis Chan spoke, Gregg Matte led our community groups in this passage on leadership/humility:

Humility is the key to leadership

1. Paul kneeled before the Lord in prayer. This communicates humility (v. 14). False humility is when we accept praise but downplay it outwardly. It’s when we act like can’t do something even though we know we can. Humility is being self-forgetful.

“Catch him at the moment when he is really poor in spirit and smuggle into his mind the gratifying reflection, ‘By jove! I’m being humble’, and almost immediately pride—pride at his own humility—will appear. If he awakes to the danger and tries to smother this new form of pride, make him proud of his attempt—and so on, through as many stages as you please.”

C.S. Lewis – Screwtape Letters

2. Realizing we are leading in the name of Jesus. Non-humility is when we are doing things for accolades and rewards. Only secure people can love – insecure people need something in return.

3. Deep strength comes from the deepest resources (v. 16, 17) – His glorious riches, His mind, His Spirit. We tend to minister out of our own power (our own experiences, personality, knowledge, etc)

MINE – think of this word when you think of Jesus looking at us. We belong to Him. Know that before you go out and minister.

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Halloween is approaching and you now see people decorating their houses with lights. It has become such a commercial holiday. But not only is it about candy and costumes, we are more and more glorifying the horror that represents it. In Hollywood, zombies and ghosts are no longer these feared things. We have movies that glorify them and make them cool. I have a friend who is really into zombies and horror video games. She loves that stuff! I see bars having “The Walking Dead” nights and downtown zombie walks. I honestly feel like I’m missing out on something because I don’t watch the shows. But in reality, evil is very real and it is in the world. It’s not something to adore and we as believers need to be alert and ready.

How you have fallen from heaven, morning star, son of the dawn! You have been cast down to the earth, you who once laid low the nations! You said in your heart, “I will ascend to the heavens; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of Mount Zaphon. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.”  

Isaiah 14:12-14

Not everything bad comes from come from Satan (we like to blame him for everything). The root of evil is pride – the pride we have in our hearts. In this passage, Satan was once the most beautiful angel in heaven. But he fell because of his pride, because he wanted to be better than God. Self-centeredness, bitterness, jealously, idolatry, greed – Pride comes from the evil in our own hearts. Satan likes to tempt us to act on these things. Evil comes from our choices when we let the desires of our hearts overcome us.

Satan likes to work in the complexity of our lives –

“There are two equal and opposite errors into which our race can fall about the devils. One is to disbelieve in their existence. The other is to believe, and to feel an excessive and unhealthy interest in them. They themselves are equally pleased by both errors and hail a materialist or a magician with the same delight.”

– C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters

How did Jesus defeat evil? He became nothing. As Satan tried to control Him, Jesus let’s go. How do we defeat evil, become nothing. Let go. Become weak and follow Jesus. We have God’s power in us to overcome Satan.

For to be sure, he was crucified in weakness, yet he lives by God’s power. Likewise, we are weak in him, yet by God’s power we will live with him in our dealing with you.

2 Corinthians 13:4

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Just played hours of MarioKart for Wii this past weekend. I was addicted to the old N64 version and now I’m hooked on this version. Don’t worry, I bought two wheels so the boys can play too. Got the Nintendo sore thumb right now, but will back for more next weekend

Indy 4 comes out this weekend. I’m usually not this excited for a movie, but Indy rocks. I have a fascination for archaeology and have always enjoyed those movies. Hearing Pastor Ron is rounding people up for a midnight showing this week. Might have to join. Looking forward to a kick back memorial weekend with some friends.

Just finished Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis… need to relax my brain.

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Cruelty

But in real life people are cruel for one of two reasons – either because they are sadists, that is, because they have a sexual perversion which makes cruelty a cause of sensual pleasure to them, or else for the sake of something they are going to get out of it – money, or power, or safety. But pleasure, money, power, and safety are all, as far as they go, good things. The badness consists in pursuing them by the wrong method, or in the wrong way, or too much. I do not mean, of course, that the people who do this are not desperately wicked. I do mean that wickedness, when you examine it, turns out to be the pursuit of some good in the wrong way. – C. S. Lewis

There good people and there are bad people. But I’m trying to wrap my brain around people who have good intentions and bad things to get good things. Maybe they don’t realize their actions or the error of their ways. I don’t get people who are cruel. I have had people do absolutely awful things to me and completely justified in doing it. Is is selfish? How do they get over the guilt? I would think that eventually its got to sink in. It just feels like a short cut to get an advantage over someone in order to get their way.

I wish I could write out what my thought process is over this. But I guess my overall concern is how we should react to people who are cruel or wicked. Everything I read in scripture says not to bring yourself down to their level. It says we are to trust that God is fair and will judge those who do wrong to us.

“My child, do not go down their way, withhold yourself from their path; for they are eager to inflict harm, and they hasten to shed blood. Surely it is futile to spread a net in plain sight of any bird, but these men lie in wait for their own blood, they ambush their own lives! Such are the ways of all who gain profit unjustly; it takes away the life of those who obtain it!” Proverbs 1:15-19

Ultimately, Satan is a liar! And he uses others to try to knock us down. We need to remember that when others do harm against us. Satan will go to any lengths and will use anything to try to put division between us and God.

“He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not uphold the truth, because there is no truth in him. Whenever he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44

I was going to grab my pastor before a Bible study last night on this subject. But I decided to wait and see if God would speak to me through his study. And of course… he did. He did an amazing study from Ephesians 4:25-32. I love how he points out that we are to walk with the Holy Spirit and not grieve him. That we are not to let Satan have a oppotunity to cause more damage. Responding in a Christ-like manner will frustrate him. The battle is not against flesh and blood, but ultimately against him. We must be strengthened in the Lord and be ready to stand against these spiritual attacks.

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