Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Getting into the Scriptures

Now is the time when you are exhorted and encouraged to set forth your New Year's resolutions. Doubtless many of you have in years past made the decision to read through the whole Bible in a year. "This year will be the year!" you declare. Inevitably, it seems, within a month or two, you are already hopelessly behind and frustrated at your failure.

I believe one of the key reasons why so many fail is because we are setting the wrong goal. Our goal is not to read the whole Bible. Our goal is to deepen our relationship with God by reading the scriptures.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Perfect Love and Fear

There is no fear in love, but perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears punishment has not been perfected in love. (1 John 4:18 NET)
This verse is often quoted to refute the need of the fear of God. It is asserted that since perfect love drives out fear, we need to get rid of the fear of God so that we can have perfect love. But this is completely misunderstanding the point of this passage and reverses the order of what is actually happening. We are told that we do not need to fear God because our love has been perfected, but our love can only be perfected by a fear of God. This is a process, and the perfecting of our love must come first before we can have complete confidence before God.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Think About It: Miracles

This is the first of what might turn out to be a series of questions or statements intended for contemplation.  The statement may or may not be correct, but it might challenge your beliefs a bit.

Think about this statement:

Don't call it a miracle: that would give God too much credit.

What do you think?  Do you agree or disagree?  Why?  

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Approaching God

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
(Hebrews 4:16 KJV)

When we hear the word "boldly" in America, we think of striding in without fear or concern.  The definition of "boldly" is "fearless or daring" or even "brazen or impudent".  But that is not what the writer of Hebrews intended.  More modern translations use the word "confidently", but even here our American culture gets in the way.  You see, we like our rugged individualism.  We like to assert our own personality and will.  We call it freedom, but it is really just the sin of pride.

Monday, September 26, 2011

180 - Changing Votes or Hearts?

This is a review on the movie "180" that was released just this week. It is a movie about seven individuals who make a 180 degree turn in their views in the matter of a couple minutes. If you have not yet seen it, it is powerful and worth watching.

Now I am torn on this movie. Rather than simply sharing the film on Facebook and sending it on without comment, I felt it necessary to point out some of the flaws in the movie, and hopefully point people to the deeper point that the video hits but nearly misses.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Heavenly Man

Where are all the heavenly men
who read the Word and say "Amen"
whose eyes are focused on the prize
whose minds are planted above the skies
whose feet tread soft upon this earth
whose laughter rings with heavenly mirth?

Friday, July 15, 2011

World Peace?

We often hear a call for world peace, to live together in harmony. But that is not what Jesus promised:
Do you think I have come to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! For from now on there will be five in one household divided, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law."
(Luke 12:51-53 NET)
As Christians, we will not have peace on this earth. In fact, we are promised persecution and suffering if we follow Christ.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Faithful Steward

"Get dressed for service and keep your lamps burning; be like people waiting for their master to come back from the wedding celebration, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. Blessed are those slaves whom their master finds alert when he returns! I tell you the truth, he will dress himself to serve, have them take their place at the table, and will come and wait on them!"
(Luke 12:35-37 NET)
Typically, when we think of these verses, we are thinking in the future when Jesus Christ returns and takes His people home. However, I believe this passage is talking about a more immediate time -- maybe even today. I am not talking about the second coming. I am talking about those times in our lives when God draws near to instruct or direct us in our lives.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Media Fast Challenge

Often we do not realize the influence something has on our lives until it is gone. When my son, Jubal, was born three months pre-mature, I found myself cut off from all forms of media. All I had was my Bible to read while my wife and I took turns holding Jubal in the hospital. When I came back, I found that I no longer had a desire to even watch television. I found myself thinking more clearly and was able to draw near to God in a way that I had never done before.

Given my experience and the resulting changes that have occurred in my life, I would like to encourage anyone who may read this blog to take up a media fast. Here is the plan:

Friday, July 8, 2011

Financial Faith - The Foundation

When it comes to talking about money in the realm of the Christian faith, there is perhaps no better passage for our foundation than the sixth chapter of Matthew. For the sake of brevity in this first article, I will quote only the following passages:

"Do not accumulate for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal. But accumulate for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21 NET)
"No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink, or about your body, what you will wear. Isn't there more to life than food and more to the body than clothing?” (Matthew 6:24-25 NET)
But above all pursue his kingdom and righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So then, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Today has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34 NET)