There is a phrase coined by Anglican Bishop Michael Moore: “Decaffeinated Christianity.” Moore defined it as ‘a faith that won’t keep you up at night.” Moore further stated that this is the type of faith most people want. He stepped on my toes. I felt like he had stopped preaching and gone to meddling!
Whenever something grabs me like that, I try to overcome my initial reaction (which is astonishment or confusion) and try to discover why it affected me. I ask, “What is it about what was said that got my attention? That astonished me? Why is it hurting?” I guess the statement called into question my commitment to cause of Christ. I examine my commitments and see where I am. Perhaps you will as well. Here are a few of my commitments.
1. An unreserved commitment to Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. I will endeavor to make everything I do and say something that I would not be ashamed to speak before His throne.
2. Each day I will seek an unlimited in-filling of his Holy Spirit. That's where we get our wisdom and power. I heard Tony Campolo speak a number of years ago. He starts each day with a commitment to be centered in Christ. I commit to begin each day in solitude and spend about 20 – 30 minutes focused on Christ, repeating the name of Jesus. There certainly is “something about that name.”
3. I commit to a personal ministry of evangelism. That is, to always be ready to give a brief ac- count of why I am a Christian, and to pray for specific people who have not yet responded to the
Gospel. I will make it my business to invite people to come to church. Whether it is in check-out line at Publix, Jammin’ for Jesus at Tony & Al’s, Caffeine & Christian Conversation at Mi Apà or the new Fresh Expression outreach to children at the Alachua Farmers Market beginning @ 5:00 pm on 2nd and 4th Thursdays. A set of songs for children.
4. Continue my commitment to tithe, that is, to give at least 10 % of my income to God's work through the church. Lynette and I are tithers. That means even before the IRS or Social Security
gets their hands on our salary or pension, a minimum of 10% goes to the church. Please know this: a Tithe, 10%, is the biblical minimum not maximum, more was actually expected. Lynette and I decided that we would tithe to the General Fund and we give extra to other ministries. Tithing requires sacrifice. Sacrifice is not a bad thing when you consider what Christ has sacrificed for us. Don’t give until it hurts, give until it feels good.
5. Be involved in at least one of the major program in the community. Each of us ought to be able to answer this question of Jesus: What are you doing to help the Alachua community in the name of Jesus?
There it is. It may seem like Christianity 101, but I know I have been slipping and need a rededication. What about you?
Your Pastor and Friend,