Friday, July 1, 2016

Biblical Worldview vs Profitable Worldview

A Biblical worldview will deliver you from the deception of a profitable worldview. There are several examples in the Bible of the stark contrast between these two worldviews. In Luke 21:1-4 you find the occasion of the poor widow who put in the offering box her two cooper coins, worth less than penny each. Jesus said that she put in more than the others who were putting in much more money than she, but lacked something that she had; a different worldview.

The widow could see something greater than her money; her faith and gratitude for God was greater than all her possessions. She was rich in faith and thankfulness and did not hesitate to give all she had to express her joy with God. Being able to see the greatness and provision of God in your life is the result of a Biblical worldview. Gratitude is the fruit of faith and joy is the combination of both. None of these are given partially, only completely, which she did.

Another example of a Biblical worldview in contrast to a profitable worldview is seen in the Old Testament in the life of king David. Saying that he had a Biblical worldview is an understatement! One of the occasions where this is seen so clearly is when the Philistines had taken possession of David's hometown of Bethlehem in 2 Samuel 23:13-17. David longed for a drink from the well by the gate of Bethlehem and three of his mighty men fought their way through the Philistine garrison, drew the water, and gave it to David, their king. David would not drink it, but poured it out before the Lord. The value of the water was seen in the sacrifice of the men who gave it to David who then saw a greater purpose for it than for himself. He gave it to God as an act of worship.

Every time a person takes a tenth of their regular income and gives it to the Lord with faith, gratitude, and joy they are expressing a Biblical worldview in contrast to a profitable worldview. It is utter blasphemy to a profitable worldview to tithe with faith, gratitude, and joy. The only way you can worship God with your possessions is to see the greater purpose for them than keeping them for yourself or even for others. A Biblical worldview allows you to see the greatness and generosity of God above everyone and everything in your life combined.

As you faithfully follow what the Bible presents to you as a way to honor God with your possessions (tithing), you will give all you have (like the widow) over a ten year period, and then you can do it all over again, and again! Week by week, month by month, year by year. Hallelujah.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

A Profitable Worldview

"What we need is more money..." This is the thought that many will have today, as if money were the cure for every problem. There are many who truly believe this and live for accumulating more stuff. The profitable worldview is not limited to "more money." It could actually be shortened to simply "more."

The accumulation of stuff is widespread. Storage units are big business in every community. Homes built prior to 1950 had big living rooms and small closets. Today the opposite is seen. We have more than we need, but still need more, just in case. For some reason we have been sucked in to the notion that more is better.

One of the problems with the profitable worldview is in the deception of identity with how many things you have rather than in the character you have. Things, in and of themselves, are not bad until a person begins to see their identity and value in the number and kind of things they have. Things can be deceiving in that way. They make a very distorted mirror.

This is reinforced by others with the same worldview that give importance (identity) to others based upon their "things." Our society in the west has been blinded with this worldview. God has blessed us, not so that we can have more storage space, but so that we can be a blessings to others. But this requires a different worldview.

Another problem with the profitable worldview is seen in the fact that those who are blinded by it lose so much. Jesus said, "What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul?" Mark 8:36. Those who are shaped by a profitable worldview can only see the bottom line, which is never enough. One of the richest men in the world was once asked, "How much is enough?" He replied, "Just a little bit more than I now have." If that is how you live, whether you are rich or poor, your worldview is called "profitable."

Probably the worst thing about a profitable worldview is that it promotes the popular notion of the ends justifies the means. In other words, whatever it takes to get a bigger bottom line, becomes "legal." The most valuable things get sacrificed for the things that will not satisfy. As the old expression goes, "Money can buy you a nice bed, but cannot buy you a restful night." One of the popular songs of the 60s was "Money Can't Buy Me Love."For some reason singers, the tune, and beat of that song were more popular than the message. In a profitable worldview, how to get more becomes relevant to simply getting more.

So how can a person provide shelter for a family, food for the table, shoes for their feet and still live by a Biblical worldview? Stay tuned. Tomorrow we will address that very question.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Biblical Worldview vs Popular Worldview

One of the best examples of a person with a Biblical worldview is John the baptizer. Of course the best example is Jesus Christ. But John is first seen in the gospels out in the wilderness, preaching from Isaiah 40, "Prepare the way of the LORD." His message was also his identity. He did not follow the crowds, the crowds found and followed him. And he was a bit hard to find. The wilderness of Judea is a big and barren place!

John's message and identity were not like the others. His was not a popular message in the sense of sounding like the majority of the other religious people of the day. He was fearless in the face of their intimidation. He rejected their rejection with stern warnings of their blindness and deafness to his message. His confidence was seen in the clear vision that possessed him and his assurance was heard in the simplicity of the instructions he had from God's Word, "Repent, the King and the Kingdom are here."

Even though crowds were flocking to John, he was not swayed by them. This is seen when the crowds started to fade from him and moved to follow Jesus, John 3:22-36. His eyes were not focused on his own popularity, but rather on the success of the message he was given from God's Word. He rejoiced in the fact that people heard God, not him, and saw Jesus, not him.

A Biblical worldview will not isolate you from the crowd. It will keep you focused and tuned to what God has said and is now doing even when you are surrounded by the crowd. Popular opinion and the message of current events that sway the crowds will not be able to blurr or mute the strong voice and vision of what God has said in His eternal word. His Truth goes marching on, with or without a crowd. Make sure you are not left behind.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Popular Worldview

As you set your heart on developing a Biblical worldview, you will begin to see how other worldviews have shaped your thoughts, choices, and actions. Most are a combination of worldviews with one being a bit more dominate than the others. One of the clearest distinctions between the Biblical worldview and all the others is that confidence is the chief characteristic of the Biblical worldview, whereas fear is the dominate characteristic of all other worldviews. This is especially seen in the worldview called popularity.

This worldview is called by many names; people-pleasing, leading the crowd by following the crowd, going with the flow. It is sometimes masked under a quality of empathy that so connects with the felt needs of others, the characteristics of others begin to be copied and mimicked by the person with this worldview.

Another way this worldview can decieve you is that it is sometimes seen in the light of democracy, which means of the people, for the people, by the people. This sounds very fair and right until the majority of the people is wrong. Historically, popular opinion has been put back on the right track by a remnant, a minority, a strong, single, and courageous voice for the right, according to God's Word.

An example of the popular worldview is seen in Pilate. His conversations with Jesus, with the religious leaders, and the crowd are classic in unmasking this worldview. He knew I his heart and mind that Jesus was innocent and the motive of the religious leaders for their false accusations of Jesus, but he feared the popular opinion. He wanted to keep the peace rather than do what was right. He followed the crowd rather than doing what was right.

Examine your own choices by taking an inventory of your responses to various situations during the day. Notice when you do things based upon the fear of rejection from others because of having a different and right conviction of others. Examine your convictions in light of God's Word. Remember, with God you are always right and in the right majority!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Developing a Biblical Worldview

Webster's dictionary defines "worldview" as follow: It is a way someone thinks about the world, which defines what is right and wrong. The Bible defines the same concept in the opening chapters of Genesis as the "fruit of the knowledge of good and evil." It was one of the things that changed when Adam and Eve believed the lie and suppressed and denied the Truth of God's Word.

Chuck Colson says that all worldviews answer the following four questions differently:
1. Where did I come from?
2. What is wrong with the world?
3. What is the solution?
4. What is my purpose?

There are political worldviews describing different views on the best way for society to function together, such as democracy, fascism, communism. There are economic worldviews describing the best way to economic strength and health. There is a worldview that I call the three-year-old worldview. If you want to know what this is you should arrange to spend at least three days with a three-year-old and you will have a very clear understanding. It is the worldview that has to do with "pleasuring me." The revelant worldview understands by what is popular, or the latest trend. A Biblical worldview sees in the light of God's Word and recognizes the absolute and eternal Truth of God's Word.

Your worldview is something to choose and pursue. If you do not choose it, your surroundings will dictate it to you. And regardless of your surroundings, you can choose one and pursue it. Speeches, books, entertainment, culture, and personal relationships are all means of communicating worldviews. Without a clear understanding of worldviews you are subject to all of them in the media-saturated culture of today. In order to develop a Biblical worldview, you must be intentional about choosing it and pursuing it.

A worldview begins by something you need and/or are attracted to. Your interest connects with it and begins to change your mind. As your thoughts are shaped by it, your choices move in the direction of it, with actions quick to follow, which solidifies it in your life. Worldview changes in the same way it begins, with a new attraction, thought, choice, and behavior. Once embrassed, your whole world shifts and changes to line up with it.

To develop a Biblical worldview you must pray and ask God to lead you and to reveal the Truth of His Word to you. After you pray you must immerse yourself in the Bible. Stay in Genesis 1-12. The rest of the Bible simply expands from the first twelve chapters of Genesis. Those who walked away from a Biblical worldview began by denying the truth of these chapters.

After you read, read, read the Bible, begin reading others with a Biblical worldview. A place to start for discovering these authors would be at http://www.colsoncenter.org. Meditate on the Scriptures by memorizing Scriptures. Learn songs with a Biblical worldview expression. Music is an aid to learning. Singing helps you to learn something.

As our society continues to decline, it is of upmost importance to have a solid worldview to interprete the times and to know what to do. A Biblical worldview will serve you well I times like these.


Monday, March 28, 2016

Bronc-Riders and Preachers

What in the world do bronc-riders and preachers have in common? They both have to get back on after getting bucked off and keep on riding. A few of us have done both and know the feeling.

Most of the preachers I know pray this prayer on Sunday evenings and Monday mornings, "Lord, give me another chance; With Your help I know I can do better; help me to get back on; give me another word and help me to say it in such a way that people know it's not my word but Yours."

Most of us would not cross the street to hear our own preaching, but we do trust in God's word in our preaching and what God has promised in His word that it will not return to Him void but will accomplish what He sends it out to do! Thank You, Lord!

If you are a preacher and are reading this, let me encourage you, "Get back on and keep on preaching! Its Monday and Sunday is coming!" People's lives are changed forever as a result of Word-saturated preaching. Preacher, saturate yourself in God's word today; not for a sermon, but so that no matter what kind of sermon you prepare, it will be delivered on Sunday by a Word-saturated preacher!

If you are not a preacher but you know one, pray for him to guard his time in the Word this week; pray for him to desire more time in God's presence this week; ask God to fill him with the Word this week; thank God for His word that you heard from him this past week and for the one you will hear this week. Its Monday, and Sunday is coming!

Bronc-riders should look like bronc-riders, smell like bronc-riders, talk like bronc-riders, and limp, because they are bronc-riders. And preachers should look like the Word, smell like the Word, talk like the Word and walk like they have been changed by the Word, because they are preachers of the Word.

Let's get back on and keep on preaching! Its Monday, come on Sunday and hurry up and get here!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

True Worship

I have just published the book, True Worship; 150 Days of Learning to Worship the Father in Spirit and Truth. This book teaches and encourages the age-old method of praying a psalm each day along with readings from Proverbs, the gospels, the letters, and the Old Testament in order to learn to worship the Father in spirit and truth. Jesus said that these are the worshipers the Father is searching for, those who worship Him in spirit and truth. It includes a daily devotion about true worship. It is a workbook that will serve you as a guide to allow God's word to shape your prayers and worship for Him.

You can order True Worship from Xulon Press. Go to their book store and find it under the title, True Worship by Bubba Stahl, bookdetail.php. You may also find it at Amazon. All of the royalties from the sale of this book have been dedicated for mission work done by Salt Block Ministries. Visit us at www.saltblock.org.