I believe names are important. When it comes to having children choosing a name is the first chance you get to speak truth and encouragement into their life. When we learned that we were having a boy we already had a name in mind. Although I was hopeful that we could call him Lawn, so that his name would be Lawn Moore (get it?), we decided that it would be best to pick a name that didn't make him hate his parents. WE have decided to name our son Titus. It is a strong name. The world is getting to be a tough place for a child, strength is going to be required to stay Godly.
Not only is Titus a strong name, but it also means Honorable. What good is strength if it is not honorable strength? In a world greatly lacking in honest hard working Christian men I am praying that my son will be a honorable man of God. We also picked his name because of who Titus was in scripture. He was a young preacher who was taught and encouraged by the apostle Paul. He was trustworthy enough to be left in charge in encouraging, correcting, and equipping leaders for Christ.
So, in many ways, the name we have chosen is our first prayer for our future son. It is also a prayer I have for myself and Logos Church. Lord may we be honorable and strong and true children of the faith. May we be trustworthy to correct, guide, and encourage the body of Christ.
- Caleb Moore
To Titus, my true son in our common faith: Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior. – Titus 1:4
Provocation. When I see or hear that word I immediately think of anger and frustration. Unfortunately, it’s something we've all had experience with. When was the last time someone provoked you? When was the last time you provoked someone? I have a sister who’s six years younger than I am. When we were young, she had an incredible ability to throw a fit. It was really quite a gift, spiritual almost. There would be times that my mother would sit my sister in her room to throw her fit without an audience. Being the good brother that I am, I would wait for my mother to walk away then I would stand in my sister’s doorway and tease her. It would make her throw an even bigger fit. I would mock her and make fun of her till I almost couldn't stand up because I was laughing so hard. One of my parents would always come back down the hall and get on to her even more for being that out of control. By that point, of course, I had already run back into my room and was acting like nothing had happened. I was provoking my sister, in the worst way, to anger and frustration. I and my actions were the perfect example of the dictionary entry above.
There’s a note card hanging on the refrigerator at our house. Hebrews 10:24 is written on it. It’s a verse uses the same word we’re talking about. It looks like this:
Some translations use ‘spur’ or ‘urge’ in place of ‘provoke’ but if you read the original language then you’ll realize this is the correct word. The other word we need to pay attention to in this verse is ‘consider’. I bet if I gave you just five minutes you would have no problem thinking of someone who provokes you and exactly what they do to do so. It’s commonly referred to as “pushing someone’s buttons”. We all know someone who does this to us. We all know someone we do this to. Why does this happen? Because people have watched us and they have come to understand what it takes to light us up. You and I have done this very thing to other people as well. That very idea is what this word ‘consider’ means.
So the big question is this: How do we do what Hebrews 10:24 tells us to do? It’s easy to figure out how to push someone’s buttons, right? That doesn’t take much for most people. I would submit to you that this is a little harder. It requires more than a casual relationship, more than a few surface conversations. So what DOES it require then? The answer will be different for everyone you know. My first reaction to my own statement is “I have to do that for everyone I know? A’int nobody got time for that!” I think, though, that this is a part of what Paul meant when he told the Corinthians to “give themselves fully to the work of the LORD”. I might be wrong. I’m usually not. :-)
Thoughts? Anyone? Beuller? Beuller?
“See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!”
- 1 John 3:1
There are an increasing number of people in Tulsa who stand all day on a street corner, holding a sign asking for help, usually in the form of money. I for one, tend to be very skeptical when it comes to this group and as a Christian I always get confused as to whether they really need help or if I would only be hurting by giving them more money to feed an addiction.
I can imagine several ways to help them but it seems like I tend to choose the way that is easiest. Imagine for a second that instead of just handing them a dollar you pulled over and asked their shoe size or offered to take them to get a shave and haircut. It’s one thing to simply write a check but it’s another thing to get personally involved. Now, what if you took it a step further? Imagine that you took them home, gave them new clothes, let them clean up, and then invited them to join your family permanently. What if you adopted a homeless person? I could think of ten good reasons why this might be a dangerous idea, especially with a family at home. However, this is exactly what God does for us.
At one point in my life, I was spiritually homeless. My spiritual bank account did not exist and it caused me to beg and search everywhere for some sort of relief for my hungry soul. God saw me and did not just offer me freedom from my sins but also asked me to be apart of his family. Instead of new clothes he gave me a new heart and a new mind. Our God is not a distant force beyond the galaxies. He is not some creator who started the world spinning and then removed his hand. Our God is a God immensely involved in his creation. He gives us a home for our souls, a family for our hearts, and lavishes his great love on us all.
For those of you who don't know, I teach the mid week bible study for our group and we just started back up this week after taking a break over the holidays. As I was studying this past week to teach on the "One Another's" of the New Testament, I ran into this verse:
"For in Christ Jesus, neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love."
- Galatians 5:6
It's not the first time I've run into or read this verse but it gave me pause this week. It made me stop and think about when the last time was that I deliberately expressed my faith in this way. It's one thing to love people every day as a way of life but it's a totally different thing to express our faith through love.
What do I mean? To start understanding that you have to go to Luke, chapter 10. Jesus sends out seventy two disciples and tells them to do some cooky things and when they're asked for a reason he instructs them to answer by saying "The kingdom of God has come near to you." (that's all paraphrased, of course) When was the last time you did that? When was last time you did something for someone (cooky or otherwise) and when asked for a reason why your reply was "because God loves you and wanted me to" or "God told me to" or "because the kingdom of God has come near to you"?
That's my challenge to you for the next week or so. Do something for someone out of love and when asked why say "because the kingdom of God has come near to you.' Express your faith through love. God has given you PLENTY of room for expression!