Monday, February 6, 2017

Pharisees R Us

Listening to a few friends I love, talk about world events, I would never know by the conversation they are members of a faith which calls for forgiveness, love, dying to self and mercy. Instead of contemplating prayer and dare I mention it fasting, they want to call thunder down on people with a differing opinion. We all say sinful things and think sinful thoughts at one time or another. We all need to repent and confess our sins. We all need a Savior.

Legalism and self-righteousness will never lead people to Christ. We do not need modern day Pharisees is the church. Sadly, it can be easy to cross the line and become a self-righteous, legalistic member and president of the local chapter of Pharisees R Us. Ask the Lord to show you if you are perilously close to the line or have crossed it. We don't want to be like Saul, we want to be like Paul and bring Christ to the hurting and lost.

We must not put God in a box and make Him be all-American and patriotic. Yes, we are fortunate to live in America, the land of the somewhat free and home of the brave. I love America, but it is not my real home, Philippians 3:20 tells us our citizenship is in heaven, and from heaven we await our Savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus came to save everyone not one nation.

Our behavior in public is evangelism (Especially behind the wheel if your car is plastered with Christian stickers!). Our behavior online is evangelism. What are we evangelizing? The Saving Grace of Christ or our personal views of ______________ (fill in the blank)?

Let the following verses be fresh and impact you today because they sum up the message we are to live:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.









Wednesday, February 1, 2017

SSMT Verse 3

WOW! 2017 is moving right along, it is time for memory verse 3. I've chosen Isa 53:4-5 in the ESV:

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed.

With the turmoil, the cruelty, poverty, sickness, the perversion of truth, and violence in the world it can be easy to forget every bit of this was settled on the Cross. None of this is a surprise to God, as we say in Texas, He has not dropped us in the grease yet and He's not going to.

Jesus died for you, for me, for everyone that has ever lived and ever will live. We must remember the Lord God Almighty is sovereign. Nothing can shake Him. Our foundation is sure in Him.

Turn off the TV News, limit your screen time with Facebook and Twitter, no need to go tit for tat to praise Trump, dis Trump, praise Obama, dis Obama, instead meditate on the Word and PRAY. Read a good book...about anything other than politics, go outside, take a look at God's creation and the beauty all around you because, from the look of Facebook posts, there is a whole lot of judging going on instead of expressing opinions. Stop the murmuring and complaining and start praising the Lord!



Monday, January 30, 2017

Least of These

I listen to people say end the flood of refugees from Muslim countries and others say open our borders to everyone, struck by one thing - these are comments made by my brothers and sisters in Christ. I realize we need to vet people entering our country - I don't want to let criminals and terrorists enter the USA, but are we missing the mark here?

In Matthew 25 we find these words spoken by Jesus:

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me no drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not clothe me, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ Then they also will answer, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not minister to you?’ Then he will answer them, saying, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

Maybe people in war-torn nations are not the least of these? Maybe this is not an evangelistic opportunity? Maybe, I've misinterpreted the passage? I want to get it right, I want to be in His will concerning those who need help.

Over the centuries, missionaries entered friendly and only friendly countries to bring the Gospel to the lost, right? No, many missionaries entered hostile areas and proclaimed the Gospel to hostile people.

Ultimately the Body of Christ should be the Lord's hands and feet on earth spreading the Good News in love without a hint of legalism. I pray we see the least of these with the eyes of Christ and are filled with His love for them.

So instead of posting subjective Memes, every news article known to man to prove a point or dismiss an opposing opinion, why don't we dig into the Word and spend time in prayer? It will lower your blood pressure, diminish your headache, and fill your heart with love.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

POTUS

Last year at this time, the primary season was about to kick off with what I jokingly referred to as the Cast of Thousands. Each primary that went by, I was astounded at which candidates were out and which candidates were still standing.

Fast forward to January 2017, a new president has been sworn into office. He might not be who I consider an ideal candidate, he might not be someone I would choose if asked which American president would you most like to meet? However, he is the POTUS.

People marched in protest which is their right, though I disapprove of the vandalism I witnessed and the mounds of trash left behind by protesters. Vandalism is a crime, protesting is not.

My weapons will be prayer and fasting, not bashing him on Facebook and Twitter. To be honest, I hope he stops tweeting!!! To my Christian brothers and sisters still complaining about Obama - STOP. To my Christian brothers and sisters in Christ complaining about Trump - STOP.

Instead of inundating FB and Twitter with political posts, take the time to pray. Stop murmuring and complaining. Stop judging. Stop the hate.

Examine your hearts, where are you placing your trust? Is is in the Lord and His promises or what you read online? Love your neighbor. Who is your neighbor? Everyone is your neighbor.

“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”






Monday, January 16, 2017

Houston Marathon

Yesterday was the Houston Marathon, one of my nephews ran the 1/2 marathon to raise money for Bo's Place. My nephew and his wife have received counseling there since the death of their child a few months ago. I am so proud he crushed it.

When a tragedy occurs, we often wonder why? We think were You even there God? Some people become angry and don't want to hear His name or anything about Him. Many times, well-meaning friends and family are determined the person will get over their grief in a week and beat the person over the head with Scripture because, in reality, they are right fighters. They are most concerned with being right. Please right fighters, I urge you to be quiet and let the person grieve. Pray for the grief-stricken in your private prayer time. Pray with them if they ask you to pray with them, otherwise be quiet. Silence is OK.

We frequently hear the expression life is not a sprint but a marathon. The same applies to our spiritual life. There are starts and stops, bumps in the road, twists and turns, but none of these are too great for Christ.

He loves us, He is there with us in the good, the bad, the dark, frightening, and lonely moments. Nothing can separate us from His love. We have this promise:

For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Trust Him, hold onto His promises and know you are loved.