Wednesday, August 27, 2014

False Teaching and Your Responsibility

Jude 1:4 (NLT) I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives. The condemnation of such people was recorded long ago, for they have denied our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

Just look around. A lot of churches have adopted these all-inclusive, universal philosophies. Although I agree that we must love everyone, I don’t agree that we must accept whatever anyone wants to do. God’s grace does not give us permission to live however we want to. God’s grace keeps us from being destroyed by our mistakes.

Contrary to popular belief, all roads do NOT lead to God, God is NOT in all of us, and we are NOT all saved (and some of us just haven’t acknowledged it yet). Those are false teachings that have crept into the church. We need to get back to studying the Word of God for ourselves, so we can know the Truth. You cannot be swayed with the lies if you have hidden the Truth in your heart.

We need to know God’s Word and apply it to our daily lives. We need to ask the Holy Spirit to give us understanding as we read and study, so that we can “rightly divide the Word of Truth” (ref. II Timothy 2:15). There are many false doctrines that incorporate enough truth in them to trip up the best of us. We cannot solely rely on the pastor, Sunday school teacher, or our parents to spoon-feed us with the Word of God. We have a responsibility to be diligent in our own studies, pray for God’s guidance and protection over our minds, and seek the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to teach us what we don’t know and remind us of what we do know. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

It Is Time to Break Camp

Deuteronomy 1:6-8 (NLT)“When we were at Mount Sinai, the Lord our God said to us, ‘You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. Go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all the neighboring regions—the Jordan Valley, the hill country, the western foothills, the Negev, and the coastal plain. Go to the land of the Canaanites and to Lebanon, and all the way to the great Euphrates River. Look, I am giving all this land to you! Go in and occupy it, for it is the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and to all their descendants.’”

You have stayed at this mountain long enough. It is time to break camp and move on. God is saying these words to us today. We have stayed in sin long enough, we have stayed in mediocrity long enough, we have stayed in laziness long enough, we have stayed in foolishness long enough, we have stayed stagnant long enough! The Promised Land awaits us, but we are stuck in the comfort of our traditions. It is time to do something radically different.

As I was reading through some news headlines this morning, I knew that God was speaking to me. He told me that the world is lost without Him, but the people don’t know how to find Him. People are searching everywhere but Jesus Christ to find God. I must break camp (from my comfort, from my selfishness, from my traditions), and spread the Gospel. I can live my Christian life a lot louder than I have been. The world needs to know that there is a Savior, and His name is Jesus.

You don’t have to accept the world’s standard of citizenship. We are citizens of a different kingdom, and we have a higher calling than “live and let live.” We have been called to love the people of this world, and love them all the way to Jesus’ feet. The world may be falling apart, but there is a better place for us. It is God’s will that none should perish, so it should be our will that none should perish. Time is running out; we must preach the Gospel to any and everyone who will listen (no matter their race, ethnicity, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, etc.). Sometimes we may even have to use words.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Who Are You?

Philippians 4:12-13 (NLT) I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

With Christ, there is nothing we can’t handle. Whatever life happens to throw our way, we are able to overcome and succeed. For those of us who live in Jesus Christ, we can actually prosper with nothing. Even at our lowest, brokest, and worst, we belong to a royal priesthood! Our riches are not found in our possessions but in our identity.

We are joint heirs with Jesus Christ, and our Father owns EVERYTHING! Whatever suffering we may have to go through here on earth is temporary. Just knowing that my circumstances cannot control me helps me to press through, up, and over any obstacle in my way. Through Christ, I am stronger than hunger, poverty, sickness, oppression, betrayal, hatred, lies, etc. I am an overcomer, and I win!

When we stop looking at our weakness and look to God’s strength, we find everything that we need to persevere through our battles. The secret to contentment is understanding who we are in Christ Jesus. “If you listen to these commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today, and if you carefully obey them, the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always be on top and never at the bottom.” Deuteronomy 28:13 NLT