Month: November 2009

Thanksgiving

Originally posted by IDB Vice President, Matthew J Coombe on mjcoombe.com

Do you think of  yourself as a thankful person? When you give thanks for a delicious meal, are you really thankful? Trying giving the same thanks after fasting for 3 days; You will come to realize that your amount of thankfulness has changed.

How many Christians out there have never fasted? How many even know how to fast?  Try imagining them in an extended fast. I would be shocked if more then 1% of all believers (in North America) have ever experienced any of these. Now, most Christians know what fasting is.  The problem is most don’t understand its function, purpose or its power.

On the other hand, there are those Christians who do know about fasting and its importance, yet do not recall the one rule Jesus had about fasting: keep it a secret. How do I know people are breaking this rule? They tell me they’re fasting.

Lastly, there is the rare group of people that know how to fast, partake in it, but even then do only small 12 hr or 24 hr fasts. Don’t get me wrong, when you have never fasted before 24 hours is quite daunting, but if one has become comfortable and accustomed with such a fast they should challenge themselves to something longer and more difficult.

If you want to know more about fasting, go to my audio page and listen to my sermon on it. If you truly want to be thankful during this holiday season, spend some time fasting!

True Service

Originally posted by IBD Vice-president Matt Coombe on mjcoombe.com

I usually don’t like to talk about myself; I especially don’t like to talk about my accolades via a blog … but here goes.

We need to have the capacity to be servants! It is a great notion and fun to think about when Jesus said things like, “Let the first be last and the last first,” and other similar charges, but how often do we act on notions like this? I often get down on myself for selfishness and wish I was a greater servant. But today as I was driving to Starbucks to get some studying done a truck stalled out and became stuck in the road. Without thinking I pulled over got out in the rain and started pushing the truck. I pushed him to the near gas station and then without a word got back into my jeep and continued on my way. Helping the man was nothing of a huge effort and is really not what is crucial to such a story.

What is worth note is when I saw the man in trouble there was no deliberation or thought in my head. I saw a need and met it. True servitude is both thoughtful and mindless. If any of my readers know me, they will be shocked that I am claiming in any sense that it is good to be mindless, but allow me to continue. Thoughtful servitude makes sense. We should be intentional in how we serve and help others and even in some situations plan on how to help and serve. When I say mindless, I mean we should act in all situations as a servant. Our servitude should not come down to deliberation. We should see a need and then meet that need.

Of course this does come with caution. For example, if your friend asks for money and you give it to him and he spends that money getting booze so he can get drunk. If he asks you for money again, you should not mindlessly hand the money over, but rather realize the greater act of servitude would be to not pay for him to sin against God. Therefore, servitude is both thoughtful and mindless. If these are separated servitude becomes less powerful.

I challenge you be a servant today, use your mind to be intentional in your actions, but be mindless in your deliberation to help! Take care, and God bless!

Christ the Rock

Originally posted by IBD Vice President Matt Coombe on mjcoombe.com

In the mist of my morning studies as I was reading a book concerning the resurrection of Christ I realized how Christian view of Christ (and more importantly Christ himself) has not waivered for 2,000 years. The early followers of the resurrected Christ were put to death and tortured because they would not cry “Caesar is LORD” but rather maintain, “Jesus is LORD.” For the initial 250 years of Christianity two things were certain, the Christians would not think of Christ as anything else other then God, and they were willing to die for this belief.

Some early disputes arose concerning the deity of Christ and the bodily resurrection of Him among early believers but they were quickly refuted by eye witness accounts. As latter disputes arose, once the eye witnesses were dead, the apostolic fathers (the disciples of the disciples) were likewise easily able to refute claims that Jesus was not God.

For the most part, views concerning Christ were in no way refuted with any source of evidence until the turn of the 18th century when German Higher criticism arouse.  I am not going to respond to this now, because I don’t have space though, I do have a lecture on the subject on www.sermonaudio.com. From this, people had a new criticism, Jesus was not who He claimed to be. This view was met with a barrage of responses, but none better the simplistic response of the logician C.S Lewis, who singled the argument to, Jesus was either a liar, a lunatic, or LORD. The attacks on Jesus ceased.

The attacks moved from Jesus to the people that wrote about Him, the apostles. They had turned him into an unwilling icon of their religious revolution. Jesus never claimed to be God. So the responses turned to the apostles as well, “if the first 250 years were marked by disciples for dying for the refusal of calling Christ anything other then God, then the question remains, ‘do people die for what they know to be a lie.”

Running out of cards to play, the criticisms returned to Jesus, “He never really existed.” By far the most laughable of all the claims, because there is neither any evidence to support this and not one scholar who is dedicated to first century history holds to it.
Attacks have come and gone for the last 2,000 years and the Christian response has yet to change, “Jesus is LORD.” And we back this up not with a fist but with words. We eagerly anticipate the next objection so that we can refute that as well!