Monday, January 20, 2014

Remember, Celebrate, Rejoice, Act

Today we celebrate the life and legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  He was a minister, husband, father, dreamer, a nonviolent leader and activist for Civil Rights and equality in America and around the world. 

Dr. King made the biblical principles of love the foundation of the Civil Rights Movement.  He understood and applied the importance of scriptures like, 1 Peter 4:8, “Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins.” and Matthew 5:39, “But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil.  But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

When he was arrested, he practiced love.

When attempts were made on his life, he practiced love.

When his house was bombed, he practiced love.

When he was attacked and wrongfully accused, he still practiced love.
 Let's continue to follow in the footsteps of this remarkable man, today and everyday by practicing love.

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Friday, January 10, 2014

Ride or Die Reality Check

"Ride or Die," is an Urban phrase used to describe a strong commitment to a person, cause or an objective.  So, if you "Ride or Die," for someone or something, it means that you wholeheartedly stand by that person or thing no matter the cost.

A lot of times we ride or die for people and things that don't satisfy the voids in our lives.  It can be tough to deal with the reality of giving our all to someone or something without receiving the same commitment in return.  If you've ever felt this way, consider changing who or what you "Ride or Die" for.  Let's take a quick look at two people who were truly ride or die.

Paul...that "Ride or Die" Dude

Paul was originally named Saul.  As Saul, he had a strong commitment to destroying the Saints of God (Acts 9).  In his mind, he felt like that was his purpose.  He was empty and unfulfilled.  No matter how many Christians he put in jail or had murdered, it was never enough.  One day God spoke to Saul, humbled him, changed his heart, gave him a new name and a new purpose.  From that time forward, Paul became fully committed to the ministry of Jesus Christ.  In Philippians 1:21, Paul wrote, "For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain."  That's the kind of Ride or Die situation that doesn't disappoint.  

Ruth...the Original "Ride or Die" Chick

The story of Ruth is so Ride or Die that an entire book of the bible is named after her.  Ruth was Naomi's daughter-in-law.   Ruth, her sister-in-law, Orpah and Naomi were widows.  When Ruth and Orpah's husbands died, Naomi prayed over them and told them to go back to their own people and serve their own gods (idols).  Orpah went back, but Ruth stayed with Naomi.  Ruth 1:16-17 states, "But Ruth said,'Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you.  For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge.  Your people shall be my people and your God my God.  Where you die I will die, and there will I be buried.  May the Lord do so to me and more also if anything but death parts me from you."  Eventually, Ruth's faithfulness lead her to Boaz, her new husband.

In both of these examples, Paul and Ruth had to make a decision to change their "Ride or Die" mentality.  When Paul turned away from his own righteousness, he was able to receive the righteousness of Jesus Christ and minister the good news of salvation.  When Ruth made the decision to deny her heritage, her traditions and her gods to follow Naomi and the one true God, she was able to receive the favor of God and his goodness.

At Church of Atlanta Lighthouse, Pastor Tim challenged us to be the type of people who will Ride or Die for the ministry of Jesus Christ, especially right now in this new year.  We have wholeheartedly accepted the challenge and we invite you to do the same.  Live a life worth living.  Ride or Die for Jesus Christ.