Thursday, December 31, 2015

Perspective on Reality

It’s all about perspective. Everything that happened during 2015 was a blessing, a lesson, or a bit of both. As we approach a brand new year, let us give thanks for all that the LORD has done. If we choose to live in victory, in spite of our circumstances, we will find that God’s promises are true. When we focus on the negative, we lose sight of the marvelous development of character that God is bringing about in us.

Every new day brings brand new mercy and new opportunities. I am not the glass-half-full eternal optimist type of person, but I do know how good God is. I know that if God allows something to happen in my life that it is for my good and for His glory. I have learned that gratefulness will help me get through the rough times by remembering all of His many benefits. I believe that God has a plan for me that will not harm me.

I have to make the choice to be content every day, in every situation. I choose to trust that God has me exactly where He wants me to be to fulfill the purpose that He has for my life. There is no better place that I can be. If that is my perspective, then that will be my reality. I am resting in the will of God for my life, and I will live like I know that God is sovereign.

Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT) For I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

Philippians 4:11 (NLT) Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Formula

Psalm 37:4 (NASB) Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

One thing I have learned well over the years is that God is not a genie. We cannot "name and claim" whatever we want whenever we want. It just doesn’t work that way. God is the God of decency and order; there is a divine road map that we must follow. God knows all and sees all, and He is well aware of what is good for us and what isn’t at any given point in time.

In this particular verse, the condition is to delight in the LORD. When we make God the LORD of our lives, we will keep His will and His ways at the forefront of our hearts and minds. As a result of walking continuously in God’s will, we are on the perfect path for an abundance of His blessings. God wants nothing but His best for us, and He has a perfect plan for our lives that includes the desires of our hearts.

The lesson here is to walk where the blessings are flowing, not necessarily to expect God to send blessings wherever you are. Don’t get me wrong, God can bless you in whatever situation you find yourself. God is still God, and He is sovereign. He does whatever He pleases. Following after Him and walking in His will are things we do for our benefit. If the desires of our heart line up with His will, it is His pleasure to give them to us.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Conformity and Compromise

Just like believers should not conform to nor compromise with the world, we should also not practice conformity and compromise among ourselves in the church. The church is full of traditionalists who want every church member and every church program to conform to their idea of what is right. The problem is that keeping with traditions leads to legalism. Keeping with traditions is religion.

There are some traditions that need to be abolished. There are things that we do in church buildings that have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. The Son of God came to earth to live as a man to free us from the law; He came to show us how to live in God’s grace. Yet we, like the early church’s critics can’t seem to accept the freedom in Christ. We just can’t seem to be able to grasp that we don’t have to follow a set of rules or live by a religious creed in order to be saved.

Salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus Christ ALONE. If we had to abide by everything someone has added to that formula, we would all be hell bound. The whole purpose of God sending Jesus Christ was to prove to us that we couldn’t save ourselves through obedience to the Law. We are incapable of keeping all of the Law, so we would be guilty of breaking all the Law.

We are to be one, as God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are one. Being one doesn’t mean being identical; it doesn’t mean being copycats. Being one means that we are on the same page with our purpose of spreading the Gospel. We may have different methods, but we should be unified in the message. Not all traditions are bad, but we need to separate tradition/religion from the work of Jesus Christ.

John 17:11 (NASB)
I am no longer in the world; and yet they themselves are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep them in Your name, the name which You have given Me, that they may be one even as We are.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Legal vs. Sinful

Romans 6:1-4 (NLT)
Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

I think it’s wonderful how people are setting out to prove that God exists. People are hungry for something to believe in. I believe that in the pursuit of Him, He will make Himself known. He will reveal Himself to anyone who seeks Him; of that, there is no doubt in my mind. Keep seeking Him, friends. On the other hand, in proving God is real, there should be some effort in acknowledging that sin is real.

We often revel in our salvation by a kind, loving, and merciful God. What we don’t do very often, however, is recognize what God has saved us from. We are not just innocent bystanders in a battle against good and evil. Mankind is inherently evil. We have a natural propensity to sin – ALL of us. In our current American culture, sin is no longer sin. We have deviant behavior, we have genetic predispositions for certain actions, we have ripe environments for criminal activity, and we have basically "different strokes for different folks."

I have lost count of the number of times recently in America when someone has said of some sinful behavior, "It isn’t hurting anyone." The problem is that it IS hurting someone – you. We tend to look at things as legal or illegal, but that isn’t the standard to which we should hold ourselves as believers in Christ. There are plenty of things that are legal that God calls sin. Our eternal souls depend on us living according to God’s law. Sin is not an Old Covenant concept, and the enemy of our souls is determined to have us believe that it is.

Sin is alive and well, and many are being led astray into believing that God’s grace is the only concern we should have. Pick up the Bible, read and study what is written. Ask the Holy Spirit to give you wisdom and understanding. Any church leader who is dismissing sin as normal and acceptable behavior is deceived. Sin is only normal for the unsaved; we have been made new. Sin should make us feel uncomfortable and ashamed. God’s grace is a beautiful gift, but we do not intentionally sin because God’s grace abounds.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

New School Marriage

You're probably thinking that I am going to start ranting about same sex marriage in America.  Nope.  My rant is about the downhill slide that marriage has been on for decades.  The decline in the quality of marriage didn't begin with the Supreme Court striking down bans on same sex marriages.  Let's stop with this delusion.

The quality of marriage has been attacked by the absence of Christ.  We have pushed Jesus Christ out of marriages with lack of commitment, lack of fidelity, lack of trust, lack of submission, and lack of cooperation.  We make huge productions out of weddings, without so much as a thought of making the marriage worth half as much.  We have accepted the world's definition of marriage for a long time.

The divorce rate of couples in the church rivals that of those in the world.  I don't have the actual figures, but I'd be willing to bet that at least half of couples having weddings have a back-up plan for if it doesn't work out.  Everything is separate without any intermingling.  Pre-nuptial agreements are standard practice.  We don't even trust each other with computer passwords or bank statements.  What kind of marriage can that be?

If people who claim to be in the body of Christ would dare to trust Him with our marriages, we would be able to set the bar where it should be: on Christ the solid rock.  If we would do what we are supposed to do, we wouldn't be so offended with what the world is doing.  We need to get back to valuing the Biblical definition of marriage ourselves.  End rant.

Thursday, June 4, 2015


Matthew 28:19-20 (NLT) Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

I believe there is a great awakening happening (again) in our Christian churches. Many people are leaving religion to follow Christ. Religion has destroyed a lot of people, relationships, and even churches. For some reason, we tend to follow religious tradition rather than Christ Himself. We get all cozy and comfortable in our church buildings with our church programs, doing church with church people. We were not commanded to do church for the sake of church - EVER.

The Great Commission, as it is called, is to make disciples. Our purpose for being the church is to spread the Gospel message, and introduce unbelievers to Jesus Christ. It is our number one priority to demonstrate the love of Christ to the lost, the broken, the discouraged, the under-served, the un-churched. The majority of our time, energy, and resources should be used for that purpose; instead we concentrate all our efforts on "church people."

There are too many people who need to know Jesus Christ for us to be holed up in our church buildings having church just because. We need to have purpose and passion for our mission. We need to be equipped for the work of the ministry, not just the Sunday morning service. I challenge you to ask yourself this Sunday morning while you are sitting in your church service, "Why am I here?" Make notes on how you can apply the message to your week at work or at school. Find someone you haven't met, and introduce yourself. Welcome a visitor and encourage him to come back again.

Let's be intentional in our walk with Christ, and shift our focus from church to people. Imagine a church that cares as much about people as Jesus does. That church would spend the majority of its resources on making disciples for Christ because it would be the most important thing. God doesn't want anyone to perish, and we should love people enough to feel the same way.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Welcome Back!

Welcome back! I took a brief vacation from writing, but I am back, better than before. God has shown Himself mighty in my life, and I am excited about what He is doing in this season.

Keep in mind that perspective is half the problem with our battles. You have already won, so fight like it! See ya soon!