Thursday, November 15, 2018

Now I Know

The Bible tells us in Genesis 15 that Abram had believed God, and God counted that as righteousness. To put it in today's vernacular, Abram was made right with God (saved) because God had deemed his faith, good enough. Yet God continues to challenge and grow Abram's faith. Faith is not stagnant. In Genesis 17 Abram has a name change to Abraham along with the covenant God made to him that he and Sarai (Sarah) would have the child of promise (the covenant) together. But to show that is not where faith stops...that is, faith is a continuing development...God expects believers to grow, we read the challenge or test God puts to Abraham's faith in Genesis 22. --- God commands Abraham to take the child of promise (Isaac), his own flesh and blood, up on the mount to be sacrificed to God. God asks him to do something that totally doesn't make sense. Scripture makes it clear that this was not God intention, but a test. (God knew he was going to stop him.) Abraham did all the right things. He didn't question God. He got up early and took his son with him. He was willing to die to his own flesh. God stopped him in the act, and said "Now I know that you fear God." He was saying "Now I know that you take me seriously." God already considered him a genuine believer, but his love for God was displayed in this one obedient act for all to see. God knows that we love him when we obey him. Paul said that we are to be living sacrifices. We are to die to self, die to our own flesh and live for God---this is our spiritual act of worship. What do you need to die to? I believe that our pain and suffering is more profoundly realized when we die to self. It is in that moment that God says to us too, "Now I know..." *Reference: Genesis 15:6; 17:5; 22:1-12; Rom.12:1

Friday, March 9, 2018

Lost That Lovin' Feeling

... a year ago (you) started not only to do this work but also to desire to do it. So now finish doing it as well, so that your readiness in desiring it may be matched by your completing it out of what you have. For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. (2 Corinthians 8:10–12) Often we are inspired by the Holy Spirit toward love and good deeds. The Spirit invites us to help others (it could be giving time, money or help of some sort), and we say “Yes” but do not follow through. We often mean to do well, but become distracted or get off course some how. In the New Testament a church had begun to help a group of believers that were being boycotted for their new faith. The situation created a great financial need. The church started to help, and we read a year later Paul encouraging them to finish what they started. He did not push them to do something. Rather, he encouraged them to finish what they already told the Holy Spirit they were going to do. --- Did you say “yes” to something God wanted you to do, and you haven’t finished? Hey, if you lost that lovin’ pick back up where you left off. Finish.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Concealed Love

Better is open rebuke, than love that is concealed.---Pro 27:5 Life is short, and often we do not share with others our most prized possession to give...love. The writer of the Proverbs was said to be the wisest man to ever live. In this succinct sentence he says that it is better to openly rebuke someone than to hide one’s love. Is he telling us to go around rebuking people in public? Is he telling us to go around wagging our fingers at people in judgment? Of course not! His point is that we are to openly love one another. Lest we take this verse and misinterpret, use the rest of God’s Word to grasp its meaning. Elsewhere we are told to “speak the truth in love.” The truth can hurt, but if given in a loving manner it can do the work of sanctification it was meant to do. For further understanding of the power of love, read 1 Corinthians 13. There you will find the power of love to conquer all. Indeed, love wins, but not without truth. In a world that needs healing, in a world that needs to be made whole again, in a world that needs to be turned right-side up... do not hide your love. Imagine a world where love was not concealed.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Boycott Boycottin'

Alright. Alright. Alright. I rarely jump in on boycotting anything, because it always ends up biting me in the rear. And if you don’t boycott everything, then how can you boycott anything? It’s a slippery slope. --- So I thought about Jesus, because He knows the way, and of course, He is the way. He should have boycotted the planet, but He didn’t. He loved the world, “as is,” so much that He came and died for it. The world loved Him so much it put Him on the cross. Yet, nothing happened (the cross) that He didn’t let happen. Love caused Him to go willingly. So too, the followers of Jesus are to be “in the world, but not of the world.” As mad as we get that our voice is not heard, we don’t have legitimate grounds in Jesus to boycott anything. The fact of the matter is that we are called to die to self. And the more we actually live like Jesus (I’m not talking acting like a weirdo), that is love on people, we will be hated. We will not be tolerated in this world. --- So shop where you shop. Get amused where you get amused. Get your hair cut where you get your hair cut. And live for the One who died for you and rose again in all these place; and make His name famous by showing what Jesus’ love looks like. --- To bring people to Christ we have to be around them. Don't worry about the favor of the world, “in Christ” you are more than conquerors. The One you follow defeated death!

Friday, February 19, 2016

Sin Diagnosis

Once we are diagnosed with some kind of physical disease we take action. We seek a cure. We seek a remedy. We don’t sit still. —- According to the Bible we all have a diagnosis that leads to death. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. The wages of sin are death.” This is bad news for every human. Yet the Bible is the book that gives the diagnosis and the cure. Though we fall short, and have death coming to us; “the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our LORD.” My friend, we are at the end of days, the signs are all around us. Take seriously your diagnosis. Seek Jesus Christ while he may be found. —- Furthermore, Jesus is not like a pill that you take and are cured. Yes He is the Savior with the cure, but He is the Lord to be followed. Head knowledge of Jesus will not save you from your sin. The Bible is clear that demons believe in God. They know who Jesus is, and what he did. What you confess about Jesus with your mouth must be genuinely believed in your heart. Only those who truly repent of their sin and turn to Christ will be saved. It is not an emotional decision. It is a life-changing event. Are you still living like the rest of the world? Paul told believers to check their salvation to make sure they weren’t faking it. Love the LORD God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength. If this is your desire, then that is a good check mark. Lastly, those that believe in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ can be sure that they are saved…they have been cured of sin, and will avoid being eternally separated from God in the Lake of Fire. —- Child of God, live like it, so that others see Jesus in you and are drawn to that. #PrayHard

Friday, February 12, 2016

Tested Love

“If a prophet or a dreamer of dreams arises among you and gives you a sign or a wonder, and the sign or the wonder comes true, concerning which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods (whom you have not known) and let us serve them,’ you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God is testing you to find out if you love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.“You shall follow the LORD your God and fear Him; and you shall keep His commandments, listen to His voice, serve Him, and cling to Him.--Deut.13:1-4 Consistently the Bible teaches that our love for God is exhibited in our outward obedience to Him. The two are insistently tied together according to God. This is consistent throughout the Old and New Testaments. --- In this case God tells the Israelites through Moses to use the head the Good Lord gave them. If some prophet or wannabe prophet compels them to go and follow other gods, then they should no longer listen to that person. In such cases, the LORD God is testing them to see if they will jump to the other side, the dark side by following a false god. If we love the LORD God with all we’ve got, we will spot a fake a mile away. People are only gullible when they are either new to the faith, or have not spent time with God in His Word. Listening to the voice of God, serving God, and clinging to Him are not works unto salvation; they are acts of love. Don’t fall for the dreamer or the sensational, God is right there with you in the daily stuff of life. Have the kind of love that passes the test.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

So I Was Reminded

So I am feeling the frustrations of many Americans right now. I am literally going to have to vote for the lesser of two evils when it comes down to the presidency of the United States. It seems like it has been that way for several years now, which begs the question: “In these United States are there no intelligent, upstanding, for-the-people, persons of integrity available to run for the office?”--- Of course that question alone sparks a debate in which sides are quickly chosen, and we are right back where we started. --- But I did pose this question to some men, and suddenly I was reminded of the truth. You know every now and then we just need to be reminded of the truth. You see, God foresaw evil days when He told Israel, that when they found themselves all messed up, and it seemed like wickedness had taken over rule of them...on that day remember this: If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.---2 Chr.7:14--- Quit looking for a person to lead this country. Instead, go to the top! Get your heart right in humility as you approach the King of Kings in prayer. Seek the face of God in prayer. Turn from your wicked ways. Stop blaming everyone else, and get your house in order. Only then will God hear from heaven. The good news is He promises to hear you, forgive you and heal the land. And isn’t that what we want anyway? So, here’s a reminder: go to the top. #PrayHard