Posts Tagged ‘christians’
Did you brush your teeth this morning? Probably without thinking. When you woke up did you have to ask your stomach if it was time for food? I doubt it.
We are creatures of habit. Things become natural for us after a short while, and we often do them without thinking. This can be a good thing: routinely cleaning your body is essential. But it can also be a bad thing. We must never stop asking ourselves this simple question when in regards to our obedience to Christ: why?
When you read your bible in the morning, stop and ask yourself “Why?” When you attend church on Sunday, when you sing hymns and worship songs, when you kneel at the alter, and when you pray ask yourself “why?”
Don’t let your worship become a monotonous activity. Worship Him because He is worthy, and has plucked you out of the fire.
Don’t read the Word because you are required, or to fill a daily quota. Read the Word because you are hungry for Bread.
Don’t attend a church because “it’s the right thing to do”. Go because you are strengthened through fellowship with your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Never stop examining yourself. Begin with the question “why?”
1 Corinthians 11:28
“But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup.”
It’s odd that, despite all the technical things of Christianity that I am comfortable writing about, I find it difficult to write about grace. It’s the most fundamental and foundational aspect of my belief system, yet I don’t know very much about it at all. Perhaps it is because grace is so unnatural; so contradictory with human nature.
I have been convicted lately due to the amount of emphasis I have placed upon my own works. Somehow I transitioned to a place where I was a Christian based upon what I did and didn’t do, and how often I failed or succeeded. I know, based upon scripture, that this is not true Christianity.
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;”
It’s hard for me to grasp the fact that God doesn’t need me to do good things to grant forgiveness. This is totally incompatible with our social structure. Imagine what would happen if nobody had to show up for work to receive their pay checks?
Grace works though. It doesn’t result in thousands of sinning and apathetic “saints”. Why? Because anyone who is truly saved and redeemed will become a new creation, and live to please God. It’s like getting a check in the mail, then going to work to see what the Boss wants you to do that day; because He deserves it, without demanding it.
I see many people abusing this precious gift, though. Claiming redemption when their lover is the World, and feeling justified because they prayed a little prayer and cried a little tear. That’s getting a check in the mail and, without showing up to work, seeking employment elsewhere to get a bonus.
This is where works comes in.
“Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only.”
Repentance leads to salvation. Salvation leads to a new creation. The new creation, by it’s new found nature, will do good works. Not because we have to, or to fill a quota, but because the desire of our heart has been changed.
This isn’t to say that you will be without sin. No, the war is far from over. The Devil is still upset about losing you.
Christ has purchased me. He knew I was a sinner. He knew I deserved the deepest, darkest, flames of Hell. Yet He came, and payed a price I could never dream of paying myself.
Humbled by Jesus,
Sex. Alcohol. Nudity. More sex and alcohol.
The super bowl ads were full of all that garbage. Thankfully the host of the party had DVR so we could pause and fast forward all the crap.
What makes things worse is that the following ad was denied because it was too religious and offensive:
It leaves me speechless. They allowed the ad to be viewed in 2-3 states, but the content wasn’t appropriate for a national audience. I would go on about how this angers me, why this is wrong, and how it’s inconsistent, but I’m sure the gears in your head are turning too.
I’m thinking about what I want to do next year. I’m offended by the secular ads, so maybe I wont watch the game. Maybe I’ll write a few letters about how I cannot watch ads that worship sex.
Imagine a day when the ads were clean again. It’s possible. We just need to pray about it.
P.S. If even the mention of John 3:16 offends the world, then why am I, a Christian representing the Messiah, not offending the world?
I don’t know a whole lot about Gov. Robert Bentley. In fact, I just heard about him today. I don’t know what his political and spiritual views are, but this is less about him than it is about how people have responded to his faith.
Almost immediately after his inauguration he made this statement: “Anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother,”
Is it a little harsh? Yeah, I guess. But people are missing the point when they accuse him of being biased towards Christians. When two Christians meet they have an immediate friendship and ‘brotherhood’ because their Lord and Savior are the same person.
It’s not that non-Christians have less value or are unimportant. It’s about the family of the church. We may disagree about doctrinal beliefs, but what family can you name that doesn’t have it’s own quarrels?
This statement by Bentley wasn’t a political one. He was reaching out with his faith. If he truly hated the non-Christians, he wouldn’t have said anything about Jesus at all.
This is a very moving video created by The David Crowder Band. I don’t know how familiar you are with their music, but I have to tell you that his work is always something special. When our youth group isn’t singing his songs for worship, we’re listening to them at home.
I don’t mean to glorify man. But the words and music of his songs are so focused upon the important aspects of God that it creates an immediate atmosphere of praise. Some artists smell of pride or greed. There’s none of that with David.
He and his band came together and created a music video for his latest song “(SMS) Shine.” Using over 700,000 pegs from a Lite Brite toy and without the assistance of computer animation they were able to create this 3 minute video.
His full explanation of the song and video can be found here. Please read what he has to say, as it’s a lot more interesting than what I just wrote myself.
Over the past couple days I have been evaluating the immorality of both the Nation and individual lives. Pondering where it comes from, and why it is so rampant in our country today in comparison with previous decades. I’m no theologian but I came up with an answer that has satisfied me.
Our country does not have a lust problem. Our country doesn’t have a racism problem. Our problem isn’t hate, anger, greed, politicians, divorce, adultery, hypocrisy, or false prophets. Our evil outward appearance is only the result of an inward problem: Jesus Christ deficiency.
Anytime that Jesus Christ ceases to be the cornerstone of society our natural tendencies to sin will corrupt what the devil doesn’t.
Put that into a personal perspective: you do not lack self control so much as you lack Jesus Christ. You are not angry so much as you are ignorant to the ways of God. Do not waste your time chasing the vices of your life when you can simply and efficiently cut them down at the source. You are a prayer away from complete and total submission. No fancy tricks, no super Christian powers required, no televangelist needed to direct you.
How are we kept from our knees? If God has provided a way out, and made it so simple to escape, then why have we not tapped this resource? I’m not sure. I imagine that it’s a mix of both the devil’s wise manipulation and our own lack of desire for holiness.
The point is summed up perfectly in my favorite verse:
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
No submission, no resistance.
During on of our youth groups bible studies, a question regarding the Trinity came up. This led to a short discussion about how God can inhabit three Persons and still be one. I realize I have never written about this before, so I thought now is as good a time as ever. I have a simple understanding of the trinity which has been enough for me over the years.
This is not an explanation to non-Christians about the Trinity. There is no comprehensible way to explain it without delving into spiritual matters that they do not believe in. So, in order for a non-Christian to understand he must also choose to believe.
Exhibit A: The Common Mousetrap
It has many pieces, which all serve totally different purposes, but for a common goal: to catch a mouse. You cannot have the base without the latch, or the latch without the spring and bar.
Exhibit B: The Egg
I was talking with Mike W at church this morning and he brought up this example that fits perfectly. What is an egg without a shell? Or a shell without egg white? What is egg white without the yolk?
Jesus Christ, Jehovah, and the Holy Spirit are all one. Just as the mousetrap is a mousetrap, and an egg is an egg. They exist in perfect unity, with different purposes, but towards a common goal.
Let me explain them a little bit further individually.
#1 – Jehovah
Jehovah is the foundational member of the trinity. He is the omnipresent, omnipotent, and omniscient one. Where the Holy Spirit cannot go or what Jesus cannot do, the Father can.
He is called the Father for a reason. He has authority over the other two, thus producing unity. Where there is no authority, there is no unity. This is one of the reasons I had a problem with “The Shack.” It blatantly stated that there is no authority of one over the other in the trinity, when all this would produce is chaos. To say such a thing is in complete disregard to the scriptures and God’s creation. Observe marriage, nature, and civilization and you will recognize the creation called “authority.”
#2 – Jesus Christ
Jesus Christ is no less important than Jehovah. However, He is fully man and is dependent upon the Father. He did not heal the sick, or multiply the loaves, or raise Himself from the dead. His Father did that. But there is something He did that the Father could not do. He fulfilled the law.
Jehovah requires sacrifice for the atonement (pardon) of sins. And although He accepted for thousands of years the sacrifice of lambs and other burnt offerings, these were imperfect sacrifices. They could not enable human beings to have complete and unhindered communion with The Father, as we were created for.
So, The Father sent Jesus, The Christ, to take our place on the cross so that His spirit could dwell with us.
#3 – The Holy Spirit
Also known as The Holy Ghost. Like Jesus, the Holy Spirit is no less important. God’s primary method of communication and leadership in our lives is through His Spirit. However our sin blemished and separated us from Him. This is why The Holy Spirit is not heard of much in the Old Testament, before Jesus.
Notice how in the Old Testament it was not only acceptable to cast lots, but it was also encouraged by God. He often altered History by changing the outcome of the cast.
Why? Because He could not communicate with us directly. He had to use barbaric forms of communication until He could break the barrier between Him and us.
Also, take note that there is only one time that the church uses lots in the new testament, after Jesus.
“And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.”
Many believe it was a mistake for them to cast lots instead of consulting the Holy Spirit, as we never hear of Matthias again. Perhaps they would have chosen Paul?
I hope you have learned a little something from my writing. I can only hope I helped clear things up a little bit in a subject that is notoriously confusing.
Thank you for reading.
During one of Obama’s speeches, He left something very important out.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed with certain inalienable rights:
life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
Did you catch it? The declaration of independence says “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights.”
Almost, Mr. President. Almost.
He goes on to say “That’s what makes us unique. That’s what makes us strong.”
No, Mr. President. What makes us strong is He who you refuse to even speak of.
Anyone else tired of watching the world go down hill?
I wish I knew what to do about it. I can post all day long about why it’s wrong, but God’s already done that. It’s called a conscience. So if man is able to ignore God, surely they are able to ignore me.
I know that in the end days evil will abound. But where is the Holy Spirit? Isn’t that supposed to be overflowing as well?
Perhaps I know why it hasn’t been overflowing in my life. Or this country. In my video, The Passion Promise, Paris Reidhead is quoted saying “…are you using God as an end or a means?” I, for one, have been using Him as a means to my own end. I’ve been so distant from Him, because He hasn’t been anything more to me than a way to fix my life or this country. Maybe a little more. But not enough.
Even writing this out, I noticed that I called the Holy Spirit an it. I don’t think He likes that.
I’ve even started to write sermons based upon what I think the people need, and not what God wants.
There are so many people in this world, myself included, who are capable of declaring war on sin, evil, and the flesh. But instead of using the immense power given to us by God we raise our white flags almost proudly declaring peace with a world that hates Christ. Not for God’s sake, obviously, but for our own selfish desires and ambition.
Who are we that we should even consider our own fate when there are thousands of souls, within and without the church, over whom the Lord weeps? They will spend an eternity in Hell because I wont spend a minute in surrender sharing the gospel. Shame on me. I deserve a fate worse than theirs.
Who are we that we think we have the right to a comfortable life? We rub the name of Jesus Christ in the mud. He denied comfort and chose instead the most gruesome way to die after living a most humble lifestyle. There are 159,000 Christian slain every year, and I distance myself from them.
Who are we to call ourselves Christians? We use the word so flippantly. I don’t have the right to the word any more than I could call myself a U.S. Marine.
Perhaps nobody does. At least I see that now.
Soldier in Training
Black and white. That is how the law starts out when it is written on our hearts (Romans 2:15.)
But God gave us a clever mind. A mind that is capable of reasoning away anything we wish to. We can convince ourselves that theft is okay, if you take only a little. Or that lying doesn’t matter, so long as nobody gets hurt.
Abortion is no exception to this list of exceptions.
I don’t care who you are. You could be the great grandchild of Adolf Hitler, but if you saw a small child about to be murdered, you would do everything you could to prevent it from happening.
Unless, of course, that child is in the womb.
Our culture has argued itself stupid with abortion, when in its simplest forms, we are killing babies.
They reason that they are not living, yet they feel pain.
They say that they are just extension of the mothers body, no more than a zit, yet it can have a completely different blood type.
I could go on with a list of reasons why I think abortion is wrong. But I’m going to let God do the talking.