Friday, November 30, 2018

Not My Job

It is not my job to judge others. The Bible is very clear on what is right and what is wrong. At the root of man's sin is questioning God. It was in Genesis 3 at the Fall of Man, the first sin, where the serpent (Satan in disguise)planted the most subtle of all temptations by saying, "Did God really say?" Ever since then men and women have questioned God, even though God has not changed his stance on right and wrong. Today men will arrogantly call the writings of God "old"; as if God needs to catch up with the times. So yeah, the temptation is to judge those who say what used to be sin isn't sin any more as they question God. But there is one judge, and that is God. I am not. My job is to pray and intercede for others. My job is to forgive others the way God forgives me. That is no small task. As Jesus said, "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will forgiven."---Luke 6:37

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Mercy and Grace

Looking at this little baby, you can’t help to stop and think what he’s about to go through. He looks so healthy and content, but the doctors tell us he is not. His heart has not completely formed so he will soon begin a series of surgeries. It doesn’t seem fair. —- We know that God could have completely knit his heart up in the womb. Yet, he didn’t. God says in the Bible, “I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious and have mercy on whom I will have mercy.” Some seem to have it worse and some seem to have it better according to the perception of men.—- Rather than question (which I don’t) or delve into the Sovereignty of God (which is not my purpose here), I thought about how mercy and grace are doled out in the first place. It is only God who can really offer mercy and grace. He issues mercy daily to a people who do not deserve it. And he gives out grace abundantly to a people who have not earned it.—- Sometimes we say that people are merciful, but they cannot be unless God was already merciful to them. And when it comes to grace, no one can offer grace to another unless it has first been given to them. —- I guess what I am trying to say, as I look at this little one, there is no grace apart from what the God of the Universe grants to us. I am thankful that we are saved by grace through faith. —- It hurts to know that this fresh little baby is about to be cut on. Thankfully, our trust is in the God who knew all about this before it even happened, and he is full of mercy and grace.

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 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