Lashing Lazaroo

“The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.”
 (Proverbs 12:15)

As deeply as it pains me to say it, not everyone likes Lazaroo.

But you know what?  Critics are great. 

When they’re right – and if you’re genuinely willing to listen to them – you can profit from their advice and correct your mistakes.   On the other hand, unjustified criticism confirms your direction and deepens your resolve.

In my experience, however, most of the criticism I’ve received just shows me how poorly I have communicated the thing God has put in my heart!

Some of Lazaroo’s strongest detractors are sincere, intelligent, thoughtful, Godly Christians.  That gives me deep pause – and should.

So what do you say we just lay it all out there?

By giving my strongest, harshest critics this open forum, it is my hope that truth will be served and the cause of Christ advanced.

I pledge to you that when God opens my eyes to a mistake I’ve made, I’ll admit it.

May that be the spirit of all who come here.

Steve
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Luke 6:26; Philippians 3:12-16; Romans 14:1-12; Romans 12:2-21; Romans 15:20-21; Proverbs 11:4; Proverbs 27:5-6; 1 Corinthians 12:4-6; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Corinthians 8:21

 

“All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”
(Philippians 3:15-16)

Q.  Let me see if I have this right. You are promoting that if I will spend 60 seconds a day reading what you have totally processed for me…a total of 6 hours over the next year, this will be a white water raft ride as opposed to actually studying the scripture which is like a paddleboat.  Did I get that right?  So this is going to change my life how?  Maybe you can’t tell so I will make this absolutely clear.  I am as mad about this as…           [there was more, but you get the idea].
 
     A.  Wow.  Bless your heart.  My attempt to lighten the intensity of Lazaroo with a little humor (“Quiet Time” vs. Lazaroo”) was obviously not at all helpful to you.

Lazaroo is for five kinds of people (Are YOU a Lazaroo?). 

You may not be one of the five!

This I know:  When anyone passionately zeroes in on a sharply-defined group of people to accomplish a highly specific goal, it has the potential to not only thrill some (Loving Lazaroo)…but really tick off others. 

I can tell I’ve been highly successful in doing the latter for you.

Part of your upset can be explained by inadequate – and at times flatly inaccurate – communication on my part.  For that, I beg you to accept my deepest apologies.

But the other part of the discomfort you feel may stem from the unavoidable fleas that hitch a ride on this dog.

If so, it brings up an entirely reasonable question:  Why create something as targeted as Lazaroo, if I knew in advance it was going to irritate the fire out of a lot of good people? 

Because “one size fits all” seldom fits anyone.

I knew if I launched Lazaroo halfway, it would offend far fewer people.  Tempting?  Sure.  We all love to be loved.

It’s like the majority of restaurants that serve standard, mostly bland food.  They’re designed for the masses.  Their average dishes and mild seasoning offend almost no one.

But neither do they have one of their customers take a bite, jump up with eyes wide and shout, “Wow!  This is totally awesome!” 

Nor are their regulars compelled to go out and evangelize all their friends: “You have GOT to try this food!  It’s amazing!  It’ll take the top of your head off!”

I knew with everything in me:  If I absolutely refused to pull back, waffle or compromise, Lazaroo had the potential to blow the doors off the sleepy little world so many people imagine “Quiet Time” to be.  

I believe God longs to use Lazaroo to raise up a whole new generation of men and women who will be drawn into deep intimacy with Him by the prospect of experiencing a soul-sizzling, 1on1 time with Jesus every day for the rest of their lives.

Does that mean I believe Lazaroo is better than the “Quiet Time” you have obviously found to be so precious?

Absolutely not. 

Not for you.

But one size doesn’t fit all.  One person’s “Quiet Time” is another person’s, “Life-sucking Boredom.”  One likes mild sauce, the other, hot sauce.   One buys medium grind/name brand coffee at the grocery store.  The other craves Starbucks Bold.

I had to let the Bold Hot Sauce Bunch know I felt their pain.  In order to give them hope, I had to clearly communicate that I understood exactly how “Quiet Time” felt to them.  Why was I able to speak their language? 

Because I’m one of them. 

But here’s the problem:  When “Mild Sauce” people overhear, “Hot Sauce” types talking to one another, it sounds like we think our sauce is superior. 

But we spicy-hot types know better.  Most of us understand it’s only better for US – not others.  In fact, as just one member of the Bold/Hot/Explosive tribe, let me speak strictly for myself:

I suspect it’s my weakness, flawed psyche and utter depravity that make me cry out in desperation for my 1on1 time with Jesus to be such a mind-blowing, over-the-top experience.

What stuns me is the gutsy, grinning grace of God that unfailingly provides it!

In spades.

So let’s clear up this misconception I’ve caused right now: 

Which group is better – mild or hot?

Answer:   Neither. 

With everything in Him, God loves us both.

Because He is the one who made both of us to be exactly who we are.
_______
Matthew 15:24; 1 Corinthians 12:22-37; 1 Timothy 1:15-16


Q.  Is it your philosophy that a little bit – the “60 seconds of your daily Lazaroo” – is better than nothing?  Not always. Sometimes it is just enough to inoculate you against it.

     A.  When it comes to vaccines, you’re absolutely right.  Just a little protects you from getting the real thing.

So let’s stay with your analogy.   Vaccines come in two forms:  killed and live.  Live vaccines contain bacteria or a virus that has been modified in order to remove their disease-causing ability. 

Heresies are a lot like live vaccines.  A heresy modifies the truth of Scripture in such a way that it loses the power to save its hearers.  One such heresy is the denial that Jesus is God.

Lazaroo has taken every step to guard against the live vaccine of heresy, as can be clearly seen through our Statement of Faith.   In addition, we are going the extra mile by deliberately opening ourselves to Biblical correction on pages such as this.
 
That leaves us with the other form of vaccine – one that is “killed.”  Killed vaccines are just what their name implies –their ability to multiply has been destroyed.

Is there any danger that Lazaroo might use Scripture to propagate a “killed” vaccine?

Unlike the other danger, this one is impossible.

Each day’s Lazaroo injects into our lives nothing less than the eternal Word of God, which is living, active, supremely powerful and impossible to kill.

Yes, 60 seconds is only a very “little” bit of time.

But little is much when God is in it.
_________
1 Kings 17:10-16; Revelation 10:2-3; Hebrews 4:12; Jude 1:3-15; Matthew 5:41


Q.  I still don’t see how a one-minute Bible verse and prayer can do anything but fool a person into thinking they have done something meaningful, when they haven’t.

     A.  Since Lazaroo’s “one minute” seems to be a stumbling block for you, let’s put it aside for, oh, say…a minute.;-)

Let’s say you’re a person who takes great delight in devoting a significant portion of each day to prayer and the study of God’s Word. 

And suppose after you’ve done so, you are so full of joy over what you have discovered that you can’t bear to keep its riches to yourself. 

You just have to share it with others!

But at the same time, what if you understand all too well that most people are not going to carve an hour or two out of each day and patiently sit still while you bring out each of these priceless treasures you’ve mined from the Word of God?

What if one day in prayer, you sense a calling from God to address this dilemma? 

What if God fills you with faith to believe that if you are willing, He will enable you each day to condense the essence of what He has just given you into 60 powerful seconds of deep, pure, tightly-worded, sharply-honed, life-changing Biblical insight?

And what if Jesus permits you to see that in time, the Holy Spirit will fashion this growing community of everyday, humble God-seekers into a mighty army of men and women who will rise up to answer His cry:

“Who is he who will devote himself to be close to me?”

If God laid such a mission before you and empowered you to carry it out, would you be willing to devote the rest of your life to its fulfillment?

So would I.
______
Jeremiah 30:21


Q.  I’ve read enough of your daily Lazaroos to admit it:  They do pack a punch.  But isn’t that in itself a danger?  Aren’t you afraid people will stop with the “Lazaroo experience” and go no further?

     A.  The purpose of Lazaroo is to ignite your 1on1 time with Jesus – and to do this day, after day, after day, until your relationship with Him has been fanned into such a powerful burning inferno that no man, woman, circumstance or devil can snuff out.

At the close of each day’s Lazaroo is the invitation:  Take me deeper – which is exactly what Lazaroo.com is designed to do.

Come often.

Drink deeply.

Interact with this growing community of God-seekers worldwide who have 1 thing in common: 

To equip and inspire one another to take our relationship with Jesus higher, wider, deeper –and infinitely farther – than any of us ever dreamed.
_______
Proverbs 4:18


Q.  How do you expect me to get so much more from “reading what you have totally processed for me” than I receive from studying the Scriptures for myself?

     A.  I don’t.

If you are a mature Christian who has knows how to dive deeply into God’s Word for yourself and has learned to “correctly handle the word of truth,” I agree with you: 

There’s nothing like it.

Lazaroo is simply an invitation to that amazing feast that you – unlike so many others – know so well.

It’s like the “free sample” some daring restaurants offer out on the sidewalk, in order to entice hungry people hurrying by to step inside and look at the full menu.  It is their hope that just one bite of this tasty dish will encourage these too-busy people to sit down and dine on the rich, gourmet fare their chef has spent all day preparing in the kitchen. 

Their aim was never to send samplers on their way hungry, with just that one bite!  Nothing thrills a chef more than that moment when he sees one of his guests push away from the table after a seven-course meal – nourished, well fed, fully satisfied – and newly strengthened to tackle whatever demanding work she has been called to do.

Certainly, there is much to be said for becoming a person who raises his own vegetables, hunts his own game, then cleans, prepares and cooks the entire meal for himself.  Such a person is light years ahead of someone who can only survive on the food someone else has prepared. 

It can even be argued that “self-feeding” is the goal to which all of us should aspire.

But having said that, isn’t there a place for fast food restaurants, gourmet establishments and stopping by the old home place for some of Mom’s home cooking? 

Is it necessary – or even desirable – to eat only the foods we ourselves have prepared?  Isn’t there something to be said for the joy of tasting a brand-new recipe lovingly created by another chef?  Is it possible that such an experience might even suggest new ways for you to kick up your own, familiar dishes?

 Every time I sit under a gifted Bible teacher, I hear what that teacher has, in effect, “processed” for me.   

Is that a bad thing?

No!  Almost without exception, I get more out of what they’ve uncovered in God’s Word than I’ve been able to discover all by myself. 

Humbling?  Yes.

But what a thrill!

Over the years, it has been my experience that no matter how adept at their craft they become, the best teachers…

…are always teachable.
_________
2 Timothy 2:15; John 21:12; Proverbs 27:17; 2 Peter 3:15-16; 1 John 2:27

So…are these all the criticisms of Lazaroo?
     •   Ha!  What do YOU think?  Keep checking back for MUCH more to come!

What is Lazaroo?

Take Me Deeper

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright© 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

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