The Vision and Mission of Ronin’s Journey

What’s the point of this blog? Why bother? It’s because I see a need, a world that’s harassed and helpless. I want you to not only to apply what you learn here, I want you to know why. In a nutshell, I want to develop thoughtful purposeful Christians.

How?

By cultivating a life of the mind that’s connected to the heart, to create depth, a thoughtful Christianity. Then working outward in an application with a purpose. That’s the point of the two series, Simplified Systematic Theology and Learning Under Jesus.

There is a surface belief in the world, but it’s shallow. There’s little to no application. Why? Because it’s not real to people, they haven’t thought it through. The ones that have, live it or reject it.

Some History

That’s how this blog has been trending since 2014. Before that, it was politics and social commentary five

In the early days

 

days a week. Then a traumatic accident took my godson. Ronin’s Journey became a soul-searching grief journey in mid-2013. Little over a year later, I met Jesus in a way that was deeper than my cultural Christianity.

I began writing what it was like to actually follow him. Matthew 6:33 was the tagline and is still my life verse; “Seek first His kingdom and righteousness, all these things will be added to you.” Then I began refining the blog, and still am to this day. First by moving to private hosting this time last year. It’s not cheap, but I have more control, and no one can take it from me.

Why Bother?

At this point, we are surrounded by cultural Christians in an environment that is increasingly hostile to our worldview. They grew up in church, but never totally committed to Christ.

Does your foundation have the depth to withstand and answer the world’s questions? If not, prepare yourself; if so, prepare others. Take what you know and share it, live it as a testimony. It’s getting dark but that’s when the light shines the brightest.

Your Mission, If You Choose To Accept It…

Here are my goals for me, and for you if you so choose:

  • Grow in knowledge and service to Christ. How? By following him and thinking through the ramifications, deeply. Ask questions like, “What if I don’t do ____?” “Why should I do _____?” “What’s this mean?” “What if I do             ?”
    I’m confident that time and time again, it’s the best choice. Not always easy, but the best.

Here’s my challenge for you.

Every place that you are at, Jesus is there in you, Christian. Do what he would, in your place, at work, home, public, private, etc. Not sure how?

When I first took the plunge, Pastor Jaime told me to start by reading two things, the book of Romans in the Bible and Immediate Obedience: The Adventure of Tuning Into God. I started another blog, inactive but still there, to chronicle it. First Samuel 12:24. Click the title and it will take you to the first post ever, where I began a 90-Day challenge.

I can’t do this alone. I’ve gotten this far with a lot of grace, curiosity, and self-study, yet I’m reaching almost a thousand people online. You can do it too, you can do better, live a life that’s a worthy testimony and reach who you can your way.

You Are A Temple of God

One of my favorite speakers is Ravi Zacharias. Every morning his newsletter, A Slice of Infinity, hits my inbox. One Monday it sparked a thought cascade, ‘where’s God on earth, what should happen, and how does it apply to us?

Now A Bit of History

In ancient times, the gods were thought to reside or visit certain places. Generally hills or anywhere else that’s elevated, so people would build a temple so they would have a place to stay. They would take care of their gods, petition them for favors, etc.

In Israel, God ‘resided’ in the tabernacle at the center of camp in a room called the Most Holy Place. That’s where he made his presence most known, and no one impure could enter or they would die. The Bible Project has a really cool video on holiness here.

In the temple it was the same deal, the center of Jerusalem in the Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:33; Leviticus 16:2-3; 1 Kings 8:5-7). It was there that the transcendent (vertical) met the physical (horizontal).

Then Jesus came, and the Most Holy Place was a person and on foot. A man could not really go to God so God came to man. When he died, the barrier between God and man came down in the temple (Matthew 27:50-51).

Then, God, the Holy Spirit came, residing in individual believers (Acts 2:38), and we became the new temples.

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17

Okay, What’s That Mean

Here’s the takeaway–wherever there is a legitimate Christian, that’s where the transcendent meets the natural. Imagine a beam of golden light piercing through the sky and hitting a believer, hitting you, and causing you to glow. Shouldn’t you be lighting up the area in some way?

You have God in you, not alone in this. Buildings are just buildings, we are where Heaven meets Earth and it’s time to act like it. Anywhere God meets the Earth there should be an impact.

Is Jesus Enough To Handle The Job?

Does Jesus cut it? Facebook, the fountainhead of material, produced this gem, “All ya’ll needing Jesus doesn’t seem to be working.” Luke 6:46 immediately came to mind in answer to that.

Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?”

True & False Disciples

Matthew 7:21-23 is the parallel, and it’s Jesus being very blunt about his followers.

“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’

Here’s the key to ‘making it work’, it’s not words, it’s not even actions–it’s surrender. It’s hard, so hard that it takes an act of God to break down the wall inside you. (John 16:8-11). Naturally, we want what we want, but supernaturally, we want what God wants.

Our sinful mind before salvation was hostile and refusing to submit to God, it cannot please Him. Only those who live in accordance with the Spirit can. (Romans 8:5-8)

Surrender

Get off your throne, admit God is God, and pledge fealty to Him. Confess Jesus is Lord, and enthrone him in your life. Trust with all that you have that he was raised from the dead after giving his life to pay for your sins. (Romans 10:9)

It’s the trust that saves you, and God justifies you for it (Romans 10:10). It’s that trust that makes you willing to submit and obey what Jesus says, a step at a time.

How?

Romans 12:1-2 lays it out for us. Put aside any desire that doesn’t match Jesus’. Rather than being another pebble carried by the societal current, become a boulder. Renew your mind, which is where thoughtful Christianity comes in.

Live as children of Light, putting off your old life, and put on your new self (Ephesians 4:22-24). Anything that doesn’t look like Jesus needs to go.

This is hard!

Yes, it is. Impossible even, only one pulled it off, and he’s the guy that said, “If you love me, keep my commands.” What can you give the one who has everything? Your love and loyalty, that only comes from an act of will.

Because it will burn you out, he sent help. The Holy Spirit (John 14:16-17). The Comforter and Counselor in our lives (John 14:26). This constant surrender and time with Jesus through the power of the Holy Spirit will transform you (John 15:5-8).

You Can See The Transformation

You will know people by what they produce in their lives (Matthew 7:16-20). The acts of the sinful nature are listed in Galatians 5:19-21:

  • sexual immorality
  • impurity and debauchery
  • idolatry
  • sorcery
  • hatred
  • discord
  • jealousy
  • fits of rage
  • selfish ambitions
  • dissensions
  • factions
  • envy
  • orgies
  • drunkenness

Paul leaves no margin for error here. Those who consistently live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God, no matter if they say they follow Jesus or not.

We aren’t sinless, we’re going to sin, but we will sin less. John said this in 1st John 1:5-2:6:

This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands. Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person. But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.

Live As Jesus Did?

Yes. There are good things that should be steadily growing and producing in your life. They’re called the Fruit of the Spirit, and it’s a by-product of the Holy Spirit working in you.

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • patience
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • faithfulness
  • gentleness
  • self-control

There’s no law against these.

Conclusion

I have yet to see someone who follows a command of Jesus and have it backfire in the long run. We stumble, but we keep going. For every issue, the Cross is the answer. If we could figure it out, why haven’t we yet?

There’s a difference between needing Jesus and submitting to him. We all need him, not all submit to him. Here at the Cross where he died for you, at the tomb where he rose in victory, and beside the Father in Heaven interceding for you, he awaits these words, ‘Jesus is Lord’ said with all the trust that you have that he died and rose as an atonement for your sins. What are you waiting for?