Sunday, November 30, 2014

My Birthday Verse

Today's Birthverse is:

November 30

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise.
Proverbs 11:30 NIV

Saturday, November 29, 2014

The Value of Bible Study

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;

I have always thought, even before I was a Christian, that the Bible was a special piece of literature.  Once I became a Christian and was personally in a relationship with Jesus, this idea did not go away, but rather, was enhanced by the knowledge that the Holy Spirit gave me. In fact, when I first became a Christian, the Bible took on a whole new place in my life and I began to read it over and over and over again and I still am amazed at the wisdom I find.  It's called the Living Word of God for a reason.  You can read the same verse one day and get something from it, then you can read the same verse again at some point in the future and apply it differently to your life.  The MEANING of the text never changes...but HOW you APPLY it to your life does.  It's quite amazing actually.

I like to call the Bible a Love Letter from ME. It's more than History, although it is that, it's more like someone who loves you from afar has sent you a chronicling of how He has set the world around you in motion and has intervened in your life both before your were born and now, without you knowing it and has even provided for you a future you can look forward to and rejoice in because as you read it, you can get the sense that all of history was deliberate. Joyful stuff.

I study the Bible every chance I get. I study it in the morning, during the day and at night.  When I am not studying it, I am pondering what I have read in it. It consumes me and at the same time completes me.  I tweet Scripture. I post Scripture verses. There is nothing I would rather do. "But why?", you may ask.  Simply because I do not think there is anything than more important for believers and non-believers alike to know. We believers ought to love and live the Word of God every day, 24x7x365...and non-believers need to know that length and breadth and deepness of God's love for THEM.  Reading and knowing the Bible will indeed show them that.

May you have a blessed time reading and studying God's Love letter to YOU!

Blessings All!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It's not about YOU.

Scripture: 2 Timothy 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires

There is no easy way to put this, and so, I've decided to put it as simply as I could.

We have been spoiled in our churches. We have become soft, uncalloused and unchallenged.  We demand worship bands and worship leaders with upbeat tunes that make us tap our toes and clap our hands.

The center of our worship is not God, it is ourselves.  We want to feel good. We want to experience oneness with God. We want to hear a snappy sermon with lots of Powerpoint slides or video that illustrate vividly and humorously with about 3, maybe 4 more.  If  we had anymore points then the worship service would run over an hour and that...well...that would make us unhappy.  We do NOT want to be unhappy in church!

That may seem harsh and maybe it is, but it is true more often these days. Examine your own attitudes about how your church operates a worship service...honestly. I think you will find that you demand to be entertained. The result is really what Scripture had warned us would happen.  Paul states in 2 Timothy, and rightly, that there would come a time when people's demands would be to hear what they want to hear and the result would be unsound doctrine and a soft, unScriptural faith.  That time has come and it is getting worse.

We can combat this in our own lives, strangely enough, by becoming more demanding...more discerning about what we want in our churches for worship.  It's not about is all about HIM. I for one, WANT doctrinally sound sermons...and not those who necessarily make me feel GOOD about myself.  There are plenty of things that I KNOW I can improve upon...people are just not giving me honest feedback.  I need a sermon that challenges me!  Whether it is to study the Bible more or to be more Christ-like in my live or responses to other people.  I don't need my ears "tickled"...even though that is what I is not what I NEED.  I should be made to feel uncomfortable...and even sad at times...those feelings are healthy for my soul.

I need other Christians to be honest as well. We so often are like the Penguins of Madagascar and we just , "Smile and wave boys, smile and wave." when we see others in error.  Instead we are to build up the body of Christ in Love until is attains the fullest maturity in Christ Jesus.  We are failing our fellow believers when we are silent on doctrinal error.

Of course, all this comes at a price.  You may not feel good all the time and there will be times that tears are shed.  People may even not like you anymore...even those 'Christians' who were once your friends. However, it will be during those times when your faith will reach a level of maturity that you had not before. It will be during those times when you will feel closer to God and His Kingdom. It will be during those times when you will be acting most Christ-like and telling people what they NEED to hear and not actually doing any tickling. It will be during those times when the Body of Christ will grow into the kind of faith which will actually do some good in this world by lifting Jesus while they themselves are saying..."I must decrease and He must increase!".

Blessings all!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Come to the Light

John 3:20-21
For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

Have you ever did anything in the dark?  What I mean by that is try to obfuscate your actions?  You were operating without the light of Christ when you did that.  You probably felt sad or had a pit in your stomach.  Not a good feeling!  That was the Holy Spirit telling you that what you were doing was wrong and not in accordance with God's Word.

Christians ought to do everything out in the open.  They should abhor darkness and everything associated with darkness. We cannot operate as the world operates.  We represent the light and indeed, without it, we would not be Christians. We cannot reflect light while we ourselves are in darkness...

Listen to the Holy Spirit. He will guide you into all truth and righteousness!

Blessings All!

But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Feeling like Pilate

Feeling like Pilate

Today is not a good day for me.  I am usually upbeat but today, I am down. Like the title I feel like in Pontius Pilate.  The crowd cheering outside, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" while inside, Pilate takes a basin of water and washes his hands in the clean water saying. "I find no guilt in this man." After he did that, the leaders took Jesus away to crucify him.

Pilate, seeing that a riot was brewing simply took the easy way out and gave in to the crowd.  A crowd which was falsely accusing Jesus of conduct deserving death.  How did Pilate feel when he did this? I would think he feels much like I do now. Weak, wrong and worried.

Weak:  I feel week because I did not stand up to what I KNEW to be a wrong decision. I cannot go into the exact details of this, but it makes me sick just thinking of it.  May the LORD forgive me for being weak. More than this, I exalt in my weaknesses, because when I am weak, then I am strong.  I ascend to this intellectually, but in practice, it seems to be a harder thing to grasp.

Wrong: To give in to a crowd who is condemning a person who is not worthy of condemnation is wrong. Plain and simple. There is no other way to look at it.  This says much,much more about US than it does about the person being condemned. And what is says about US...and ME is that we ought to be examining our life and our faith...are we acting like Jesus would have acted or are we acting more like that crowd demanding the crucifiction of JESUS? Shame on us for acting more like the world we live in rather than living in the Kingdom Jesus died for. Shame on me for not being bold.

Worried: I can't help but be worried about our future.  Not only in the short term, but in the long term as well.  Where do we see God in all this?  In the case of Jesus being crucified at least we can look back and say that is was all part of God's plan...but in this case where have let God be God? When have we trusted in His plan and when have we allowed Him to speak? Where is our trust in HIM?

I know that all things work together for good....for those who love God...who are called to HIS purpose.  I KNOW that God will take this and will exalt Himself and will shame those who are looking on this as if they know better and are taking things into their own hands. But still, there is some piece of me which is saying...I could have done better...I could have done more...instead, in the end I abdicated my Peter, I ran and hid. Nice.

May the Lord Bless us in times of trouble and in times of Joy. May we also give Him all the glory for all circumstances. Amen.

Blessings All.