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Some questions for you

Some questions for you

What would it look like if we really started being a community to each other? If we started loving one another like Col.  3:12-14 says to love each other:

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony” (Col. 3:12-14).

What if we were intentional with our time and made time for one another? Like we actually gathered together and did not care if everything was perfect. What if we actually wanted to sit together and fellowship together and talk about the things of God together. 

I know many of us have good intentions, but the world and appearances get in the way. 

I want us to think about this for just a second. One day, this is all will be over, and we will stand before THE HOLY God of the universe, and we are going to give an account to Him for what we did on this earth. 

I don’t want my pride to block me from doing what God wants me to do. I oftentimes think about this—God looking at me and asking, “Why did you not do what I placed in your heart for you to do? Why did you ignore My mandate to you?” 

Let me as you another question. If you knew, for a fact, that you were going to meet with God this week in person, how would you order your steps this week? Would you care about things you are currently caring about? Would you engage in the conversations you normally engage in?  And if you answered you’d live differently this week, my next question is what is stopping you from living like you’re going to meet with God this week?  Let’s start living with Holy Spirit intentions. Let’s talk like Jesus is coming this week, because He just might. 

The Lord has been very clear as to how He wants Christians to walk, yet we struggle to make this a priority.  The world has such a pull on our hearts, and I firmly believe that one day we will wish we had been more intentional with our time, friendships and our mission. 

I think that if we started taking the Word of God seriously and we started actually seeing Jesus as He actually is, the stuff of this world would not be as attractive and fulfilling. We’d long to know and see and be with Jesus! And as a result of being with Jesus we’d love each other so much better.  

I think that if we would follow this text we’d have a much richer life: 

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him” (Col. 3:16-17).

The Power of Words

The Power of Words

Lately, I have been acutely aware of the power of words. Matt. 12:36 has been ringing in my head a lot.

But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken.”

That is serious. The way we talk to one another really does have implications on our lives. The words you and I speak to each other truly can set us on one of two different paths. 

If we use words that lack grace and are filled with poison, our path will be filled with potholes and extremely tumultuous.

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God” (James 3:8-9).

It doesn’t take much to throw us off course. How many of us have been in a place where we were praising and worshiping the beauty of who God is and then, within half a day, we lost our minds on someone because they made us angry? I have.

I’m not trying to justify that kind of behavior. I’m simply stating that God’s Word was proven right. The only one who can tame the tongue is the Holy Spirit. If God doesn’t control our mouths the results will be that we spew restless evil to everyone around us. You don’t have to be a follower of Jesus to recognize this conduct will end badly for everyone involved. 

On the other hand, if we use words that are seasoned with grace, our path can and will be a much more fruitful.

The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body” (Prov. 16:23-24).

You don’t have to cave on your convictions in order to have gracious speech. When we communicate with the goal of redemption and reconciliation, our talk will sound different. It won’t be short, hurtful and mean. Rather, it will long to see men and women find grace.

Christians have an ability to use their theological understanding about the things of Jesus Christ in such a way that it sometimes feels like the Miley Cyrus song “Wrecking Ball.” We just blast into a conversation sometimes and destroy everything, because we have the desire to be right. 

I honestly think we need to change our approach. We need to use our words as a skilled surgeon uses a scalpel with the desire to see healing and people being put back together. When we have “judicious speech,” it brings sweetness to the soul and health to the body.

Allow the words we use this holiday season to be filled with grace and humility and see where God will take us.   

How we view God, the Bible & Humanity matters

How we view God, the Bible & Humanity matters

The fight is real. I am watching it in real time. I am seeing the warning signs that are telling us we are almost at the point of no return. What is it that I’m referring to? Our view of God, the Bible and humanity.

Let me explain. Theological liberalism has crept into the church, and it’s destroying us. I’m not talking about behavior modification. I’m talking about our worldviews. We have seen in just a couple of weeks Christian “leaders” step out and denounce their Christian faith and say they are no longer Christians.

This entire thought process is foreign to me and the people in the Bible. Men and women who truly encounter the God of the universe were transformed. Let me be incredibly clear.  These “Christian leaders” were NOT Christians. God’s Word proves this.  

“Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us” (1 John 2:18-19).

If these Christian leaders were true followers of Christ they would have stayed the course.  So because they did not stay the course, we can deduce that they are not followers at all. They were imposters.  So I will come to the idea that it matters how we view God, the Bible, and humanity.

1. Our view of God.  Many Christians have a view that God is nothing more than a magical genie who grants wishes. Case and point is this quote from Kenneth Copeland “I am a billionaire, because the assignment that the Lord gave me, He said: ‘I want you to begin to confess the billion flow.'”  If we view God as a means to end we will not have the proper understanding of who God truly is. God is the most sovereign, holy, and worthy being in all of the universe that deserves our worship regardless. 

2. Our view of the Bible.  Many people including “Christians” view the Bible as a good book or an inspiring book, but those views are fundamentally flawed. God’s Word is the final authority for all of life, as well as for all of humanity. We will be judged according to God’s Word. The Bible is inspired and is literally the breath of God on paper.  If we do not view God’s Word in this light, we will inevitably fall into the trap of humanism.  We will end up making ourselves god, and that is exactly what the devil did in the book of Genesis. So when we prop ourselves up as the final authority, who does that make us exactly like?

3. Our view of humanity.  Something that is espoused in the world in which we live is that human beings are basically good, and we just have flawed moments. I know that sounds really catchy, but it’s a very dangerous view to hold to. Because when sin entered the world, it fractured and destroyed everything. That includes our goodness.  

God’s word is very clear.

“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isa. 64:6).

If God’s Word says that we are not good, what makes us good?  It’s Christ that makes us good.

“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ” (2 Cor. 5:21).

If we as humans have any good, it is not our own. It is because of Jesus Christ alone. Our worldview matters. It will matter how and where you will spend your eternity. I want to plead with you Christians, don’t allow an anti-Christ worldview to slip into your head.  The enemy will try to set up shop in your life.  Don’t give him any ground.  Keep your focus on God’s Word and on Jesus himself.  You will never go wrong. 

God’s word says it best.

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (1 Peter 5:8).

Stay alert!

How Do Christians Respond To Pride Month?

How Do Christians Respond To Pride Month?

In city after city, proclamations are being made in affirmation of “Pride Month.” There are people I’ve talked with in the last several days who say things like “What is going to happen now?  How do we respond?” Well here is what I think should be done. 

1. Don’t freak out.  God’s not freaking out, so we should not either. This may have caught us off guard, but God was not shocked by what happened. Our sin is not surprising God. He saw this coming thousands of years ago. This is all under the sovereign control of our King. Don’t worry about it. He’s got this!

2. Clean up your house. Start today by looking at your own life, and repent of the sins that are going on in your heart and life. We are quick to rip apart homosexuality as an awful sin (which it is), but so is your angry bitter heart. So is your unforgiving attitude. Your sin is just as awful as their sin. It all needs to be redeemed. We start by leading out in the area of repentance. We bow our knee to the King of the universe and repent of our sins. “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent” (Rev. 2:5).

3. We pray. The reason we have such horrible things going on in our nation is because the Church has not been on its knees praying the way it should. Yes that even includes me. I’m guilty of a lack of prayer. Revival starts in the House of God, not in the halls of congress.  “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God” (Phil. 4:6).

4. Stay focused on sharing the Gospel. The only thing that changes people is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not pushing them to try to live out some type of moral standard. Because, in all reality, we can’t live out that moral standard. We’ve all fallen short (Rom. 3:23). Jesus has to live this thing out for us. The Gospel has the power to transform (Rom. 1:16). Proclaim the Gospel boldly in the cities and towns you are in.

I know it’s easy to jump onto the worry train and start saying everything is lost, but this is when the Gospel can and will shine the brightest and best. The Gospel invades dark spaces and brings light. What we need to be focused on is not the issue itself. We need to be focused on Jesus, and as a result of being focused on Him, we become salt and light to a dark and dying culture.

Go and show off Jesus to the world!

What Kind of Belief Do You Have?

What Kind of Belief Do You Have?

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:28-29).

Have you noticed how often people want to know how they can gain the favor of God? I see it all the time. People ask me questions about spiritual stuff; they ask me my thoughts on what it takes to please God. 

Folks in Jesus’ day had the same kind of questions. They wanted to know what God was like; they wanted to know how to gain His favor and have everlasting life.  

Here is the thing. What God wants is both the simplest thing in the world and the hardest thing in the world all at the same time:

“BELIEVE ME.  BELIEVE IN ME!  Do you trust me?  Do you trust me with your life?”

Those are truly some of the toughest statements in our lives today. We wall folks off; we don’t trust very many people, especially with our hearts and lives. The same is true with Jesus. We have a sin nature that blocks us from being able to truly trust Him. This is why we have to stay laser focused in on His will for our lives, and the only way that happens is staying connected with His Word. 

Let’s have a little honest conversation here, I’m almost certain that everyone reading this believes in Jesus. If I asked, you would say, “YES, I believe.” But, oftentimes, we fall into the camp of doubt. We listen to lies that are whispered into our ears, and we can tend to believe those lies over the truth that God has spoken over us. 

Then we start asking people around us stuff like, “What do you think God is going to require of me in order for me to gain His favor?”   And the answer to this question is staring us right back in the face:  “BELIEVE IN THE ONE HE HAS SENT.”  

Jesus had a similar situation in the Gospel of Mark. A man’s daughter was sick, and he came to Jesus to see if He would be able to heal her. There is so much happening in Mark 5, and in all of the commotion, other people from the man’s house show up and say “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 

Can you imagine what that looked like? Can you imagine how this father felt? He just got word that his daughter was dead. Fear flooded that man’s mind and heart. And Jesus steps in at just the right moment and says some of the most amazing words ever: Do not fear, only believe.” 

Are you catching the pattern here? Jesus is asking you the question today, “Do you trust me?  Do you trust me with your life? Do you trust me with your family?  Do you trust me with your future?  DO YOU BELIEVE WHAT I HAVE TOLD YOU?”

What does God require?  BELIEVE IN THE ONE HE HAS SENT!  

Now, this is not the kind of belief that is commonly known in 2019 America. This kind of belief means you are willing to abandon everything because you believe in what Jesus says. This kind of belief means you will do things that, to the outside world, seem outright crazy or insane.  

Belief that calls you to risk your very life is necessary to be obedient. This kind of belief brings you to your knees in prayer for the people you love and hate all at the same time. This kind of belief means you’re going to share the Gospel, even when it’s not convenient.  

This kind of belief will transform the world! 

What does God require?  BELIEVE IN THE ONE HE HAS SENT!