We Need To Be 3

As I began to ponder today’s offering I began to think about how some people are really turned off by Church and Christians in general.  It is sad that we have  come to the place that our testimony is such.  I told those gathered for my Aunt’s funeral that she was “obviously Christian and not obnoxiously Christian”.  This is so very true.

It is sad; but, sometimes our “brand of Christianity” turns people off.  What we need to do is take an inventory and see why this has come to be.  It is one thing for the gospel to offend people.  If it is the gospel that is offensive there really is not much you and I can do.  We can and must pray for that person.  We must pray that the Holy Ghost of the Living God will convict them of sin and of righteousness and of judgement to come.

It is a completely different thing if we are offensive.  Sometimes we can let pride and other sins get in the way.  When we do this we first become ineffective.  A Christian with sin in their lives will not be able to please God like they need to.  Sometimes our personality gets in the way.  I have seen this before in my life.  If this is the case then we need to make corrections to our own lives and move on for God.

If you have a question about how you need to live look at the counsel I found in the Word of God.  Look at John 13:15, “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”  The word “example” means an exhibit for imitation or warning.  Jesus Christ is our Example.  We need to wholly follow Him.

So, how are you doing?

I Know A Man Who Can 1

Yesterday I was listening to music.  When I woke up it was time to make lunch.  The song on at the time was by Greater Vision and is titled “I Know A Man Who Can”.  We are needing a miracle in my family right now.  We are watching as one of our dear members slowly transitions down in health and upward toward Heaven.  This is a painful process.  I have not been able to make it to the hospital for several days due to schedules and shift changes.

With this in mind I was listening to this song; which is a favorite of mine, and some thoughts came to my mind.  Let me share some of these thoughts.

I. I Know A Man Who Can – heal the broken heart.
Look at John 20:15, “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”  For the most part those who followed Jesus believed He was who He said He was.  Then they watched Him be crucified and then buried.  How would you feel?  You and I would be crushed.  We would be disillusioned.  There is an entire gamut of feelings associated with what these people had and were going through.

Then Mary in this state goes to the tomb of Jesus.  She sees a man that she thinks is the gardener.  When she speaks to this Person she finds out it is Jesus.  Then all the feelings fade away in sight.  The disillusionment drops off like rain off a duck’s back.  All the wrong feelings disappear at the revelation of who Jesus really is to Mary.

Now, let’s make this personal.  I don’t know what is happening or not happening in your life.  I can tell you this for sure.  If you will come to faith in Jesus Christ the trials of life will probably not get better.  What changes is your perspective on the problems and your response should change also.  This will make all the difference in the world.  You see, “I Know A Man Who Can.”  Take your needs and cares to Him and let Him work in your life.

So, how are you doing?

Come Up 2

As I was thinking about this experience today I thought about Aaron, Nadab and Abihu.  It is not too long that we find Aaron falling.  In Exodus 32 we find the chapter opening with Aaron commanding the men to take the earrings of their wives, sons and daughters and to bring them to him.  He takes this gold and forms a golden calf and tells the children of Israel that this is now their god.  What?

What happened to Exodus 24:1-2, “And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the LORD, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off.  And Moses alone shall come near the LORD: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.”?  Aaron was one of the chosen to approach the LORD.  Moses was asked to come into His presence; but, Aaron was called up to a certain point.

It is no guarantee that we will always be obedient.  We have a sin nature and sometimes we allow it to reign in our lives.  Aaron experienced a huge failure.  It not only cost him; but, it cost the children of Israel too.

When Moses came back down the mountain and found the deplorable, spiritual condition of the people he threw the ten commandments down in anger and broke them.  Then in judgement the calf was ground up and the ashes mingled and the Israelites made to drink the mixture.  God dealt harshly with His people after they failed in a major way.

Now, you and I have failed deeply too.  Yet, if we know Christ as our Saviour He has taken our judgement.  God dealt harshly with His Son on our behalf.  He has take our judgement for us.  In order to be exonerated we must put our faith and trust in Christ and receive Him as our Saviour.

If you need to trust Christ as your Saviour please contact me and let me show you how you can do just that.

So, how are you doing?

The King

On Christmas Eve I posted about king Herod.  As I was looking over that post waiting for my computer to unfreeze and move on I noticed something I had written.  Take a look at this:

“It all started when Herod received word of a King to be born in Bethlehem.  Look at Matthew 2:3, “When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.”  This word “troubled” means to stir or agitate.  Herod was an unhappy camper.  He was the sitting king of that day and he would have nobody else dethrone him if at all possible.  I don’t know too many rulers that want to be dethroned.  It usually means death to the sitting king.”

What sent me off thinking was my last sentence.  “It usually means death to the sitting king.”  I began to think about the Christian life.  We talk about Jesus being on the throne of our life.  We talk a nice talk; but, when the rubber meets the road do we are really allow Jesus to be our King or is He some spiritual genie in a bottle to give us what we want, when we want?  Only you can answer that question for yourself.  Be honest because Jesus knows your heart.

We struggle in life because there is a battle raging inside of us.  The flesh wars against the spirit.  The one we feed will be the winner.  For us to make Jesus our King then the flesh has to die.  Remember the conquering king normally kills the king that is conquered.  It is the same in the spiritual realm.  When Jesus comes in He destroys the works of the flesh when we are totally yielded to Him.  There is the problem.  We must be totally yielded to Him.

So, how are you doing?

Compassion

On one of the Gaither Gospel Series DVD’s Bill is talking to Cliff Barrows.  Cliff tells of one crusade that Bill Graham started to preach and a man starts walking down the aisle saying, “Billy, it is my turn to preach.  I am supposed to preach tonight.”  Dr. Graham looked at Grady Wilson, who handled these kind of things.  Grady jumped off the platform and went to the man.  He put his arm around him and the told Grady, “I am supposed to preach tonight.”  Grady said to him, “No, you are supposed to preach tomorrow night.”  The man was content and left without incident.

I was caught by the kind actions of Grady Wilson.  He approached this man and could have made a huge scene; but, he didn’t.  He showed great restraint and deep respect for a man that I believe that was suffering from dementia or something like it.  I love that he put his arm around the man and simply led him out of the area.  He removed the distraction quietly and compassionately.

My reader, how do you and I handle people?  Especially, how do we handle people that do not agree with us?  I have been in the presence of so many people over the years that are deeply caught up in “organized religion”.  Most of them were hard and judging.  I mean judging in the way Jesus and the Bible use the concept and not the new way of defining the term.

Jesus had compassion on people.  By the way, Jesus still has compassion on people.  The fact we are here, alive and on planet earth is a testimony to that fact.

Look at Jude 22, “And of some have compassion, making a difference:”  Most Churches talk a good game about wanting to impact people.  Here you go.  Have the compassion of Jesus on people and you will impact them for time and eternity.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 10

I come in contact with an individual who has told me that they are a Christian.  The first few times I was around this person they used some language (in front of my wife also) that I would say is inappropriate for a Christian to use.  This really made me sad.  I do not condemn this person.  It just seems inconsistent to me that someone who names the name of Jesus Christ would use curse words.

A number of years ago when I was first driving I had some vehicle problems.  My car began to smoke terribly.  There had been a mechanical failure and the antifreeze had gone from the cooling system into the oil.  This is a bad thing if you drive it like that.  That car no longer exists today.

Notice the admonition to Bethlehem in Matthew 2:6, “And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not the least among the princes of Juda: for out of thee shall come a Governor that shall rule my people Israel.”  Did you see that?  It said, “… out of thee shall come a Governor,…”.  Out of you and I should come this same Governor; because, He is in control of our lives.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 2

In thinking about this Christmas season many things come to my mind.  Family was one of the first thoughts I had.  I think about those at the mission that I have the pleasure of ministering to each month.

Who should we really be focused on this Christmas season?  If you guessed Jesus, then you guessed right.  Far too many people want to focus on the presents, the parties, the people when they need to be focused on the Person of Jesus Christ.

The writer of Hebrews put it this way in Hebrews 12:2, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Now, I know we normally focus on the birth of Jesus and His Incarnation or His being made flesh for us.  This is a great place to start; but, it is only the beginning.  So, this 2013 Christmas season don’t just “Keep Christ in Christmas”; but, keep Jesus Christ as your main focus of each and every moment.

So, how are you doing?

Christmas 1

Well Thanksgiving 2013 is but a memory.  Now we can focus on the Christmas holiday.  Some people; to my chagrin, went shopping on Thanksgiving day.  The one day Americans set aside to be thankful and the retailers had to do everything they could to entice people to be covetous and a whole host of other things that we ought not be.  It worked.  People flocked to the stores in an effort to beat everyone else there.

No, I am not a grouchy old man.  Well, I am not grouchy anyway.  God has given us these holidays; which, I would rather call a “holy day”, to slow down or stop even and focus on Him and others.  It is not about “me”.

As we are now in the 2013 Christmas season we need to ask ourselves, “What is the reason for the season?”  Take a look at I John 3:1, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”  Right there it is.  The Bible says, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us,…”  We are to behold.  Not just glance.  We need to stop and think about, ponder, chew the cud so to speak about the manner of love the Father has poured out on us.

This year as you go about your Christmas holiday (holy day) remember to keep Christ in Christmas; because, without Him there is no Christmas.

So, how are you doing?

Hypocrite

I recently caught the last minute or so of an episode of “Andy Griffith Show”.  Andy was standing in a room dressed in a suit and holding a cigar talking with other men smoking and talking about their large boats and saltwater fishing.  I was thinking about should I stop watching because of the smoking or not.  At this moment Opie comes in and tells Andy that he is having the best day of his life because of taking Andy’s advice to be himself.    Andy then walks over and extinguishes his cigar and walks back to the group and they begin to talk about his rowboat and doing some bass fishing.

The point today is that we need to be ourselves.  We need to quit putting on a false facade and just be ourselves.  Too many want to pretend that we are not what we really are.  This is called hypocrisy.  In theater there was a character called the hypocrite.  It could be a man’s roll played by a woman or a woman’s role played by a man or the like.

The problem is that there are too many hypocrites in the world.  You do not know where you stand with them.  One minute they could be your best friend and your chief enemy the next.  There is on thing for sure.  Jesus Christ is no hypocrite!  You can count on Him.  Look at the words of Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.”

So, how are you doing?