Tuesday, July 21, 2009

"It's That Time"

It is that time of year where I am going to take a much needed break. This is the last post on my blog until, Monday, Aug. 10.
I am not certain how helpful this blog writing is. I know several that read it daily but they get enough of me as it is weekly! I want our attention fixed on Christ, knowing that He is the only answer to our lives. I would like to hear from some of you, if you don't mind, that live away from Jefferson City, to let me know what you think and how I can better help serve in my writings. If you have questions, please ask or things you would like to read me write on, please ask. I will be waiting to hear from you. My personal email is: kevinbnewton@yahoo.com.
May God richly bless you and grant you His grace and peace in abundance.

Monday, July 20, 2009

"What Do You See?"

She lived in the geriatric war of a small hospital near Dundee, Scotland. She was an elderly lady and passed from this life. Everyone that knew her believed she had left nothing of value. The staff and nurses were going through her meager possessions and found the following poem:
"What do you see, nurses, what do you see?
What do you see when you're looking at me?
I'm a small child of ten...with a father and mother,
Brothers and sisters, who love one another.
A bride at twenty, my heart gives a leap,
Remembering the vows that I promised to keep.
A woman of thirty, my young now grow fast,
Bound to each other with ties that should last.
At forty, my children have grown and are gone,
But my man's beside me to see I don't mourn.
At fifty once more, babies play round my knee,
Again we know children, my husband and me.
I'm an old woman now, and nature is cruel;
'Tis jest to make old age look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles; grace and vigor depart;
There is now a stone where once was a heart.
But inside this old container a young girl still dwells,
And now and again my battered heart swells.
I remember the joys, I remember the pain,
And I'm loving and living life over again.
I think of the years...all too few, gone too fast,
And accept the stark fact that nothing can last.
So open your eyes, nurses, open and see,
Not a crabby old woman; look closer...see ME!"
"Therefore from now on we recognize no one according to the flesh; even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him in this way no longer. Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things have passed away; behold, new things have come." (II Cor. 5:16-17)
Let me ask you, when you look at your brethren, what do you see?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

"He Served"

There were thirteen men in that upper room. Earlier the twelve had a quarrel over which one of them was the greatest. That night, there were twelve lords and one servant! Only one in that room knew anything about service!
It seems man is bent to strive for supremacy. People have sought for power for selfish reasons and some even gained power through wicked methods. This is a true display that happened and it left me in shock. A preacher was preparing to speak and as he walked up to the podium, there were two men on each side of him that took off an over-coat type cloak from him. Then he began to preach. What a show of arrogance. What a demonstration of "Look who I am!" From that point, nothing was heard because of display of arrogance and power! (By they way, at the end, these two men came back up and put the cloak back on him.) Men have used armies to show their power while others use their money and prestige. Others climb up a ladder of success by walking over those and squashing them that get in their way. People cheat, lie and do whatever it takes to become 'top dog' in our world.
Here came Jesus, the Master, the owner of all mankind. With more insight at twelve years old than those studious in Scriptures, they could not cope with His insight and wisdom. His power raised the dead, healed those lame and sick and could command nature. What did He do? HE SERVED! At twelve He served His parents by being submissive to them. His words of wisdom were used to speak and listen to others (Luke 2:46-47). His power over the demons was used to release those held captive. The most glorious, powerful, radiant life that ever walked on this created earth voluntarily laid down His life in order for us to live!
That night in that upper room, Jesus arose, taking a towel, poured water into a basin and washed the feet of these twelve lords! Greatness is measured in service. Christ is an exact representation of God and revealed God in His service to others. He served and continues to serve because...that's the nature of Jesus! When are we going to learn?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

"7 Steps To Destruction"

The book of Hosea gives great insight to how God deals with His people. Hosea was the last of the prophets sent to the northern ten tribes of Israel. After the death of Solomon, Israel split into two different kingdoms and Jeroboam was crowned king over these ten northern tribes (I Kings 12). From this point onward, Israel constantly went astray and was ultimately carried off into Assyrian captivity, never to return. There were two tribes that remained faithful to Lord much longer, Judah and Benjamin. One lesson we learn from the book is that God's people can become so ingrained in what they want, they forsake the Lord, thinking they are right with God. Just like a disease, sin is contagious! Hosea gives us 7 steps that bring on the downfall of a nation or a person.
(1) Lack of knowledge. (4:6) We are speaking of something different that intelligence. Ignorance of God is what leads people into sinful actions. Their ignorance of God is passed from parent to child and as the next generation rises, they become more distant and ungodly even though they still worship God (4:7-10). God eventually punishes.
(2) Pride. (5:4-5) Pride is always built off of ignorance. People that are prideful get to a point of no return and God withdraws from such. We know from Scripture that God is opposed to the proud.
(3) Instability. (6:4) People many times are good starters but poor finishers. When people are unstable, up one day, down another, they need to realize they are not walking by faith but their instability withholds God from them (Jam. 1:7-8). How many people do you know that assemble for worship because of habit rather than loyalty and love?
(4) Worldliness. (7:8-11) People are slowly overcome by those around them, conforming to their standards. They turn to man for their comfort and strength (we see that in support groups) rather than flee and listen to God. Jeremiah said a person is cursed that makes man his strength and trusts in mankind (Jer. 17:5).
(5) Corruption. (9:9) Their corruption will bring a double guilt (10:10). God says he 'hated' them for what they are doing (9:15). It is hard to believe God hated but people become so corrupt that God cannot do anything for them. We are speaking about His people!
(6) Back sliding. (11:5-7) People at times seem bent to turn away from the Lord. No matter what, they will not listen and are determined to do things in their own thinking. They exalt themselves and their works. That is a back sliding heart!
(7) Idolatry. (13:2) Today we can be idolaters. People worship their smarts, their jobs or wealth. All of this is idolatry. People are taken captive through man's ideas and thinking, which is all idolatry.
How can we avoid such trappings? "Whoever is wise, let him understand these things; whoever is discerning, let him know them. For the ways of the Lord are right, and the righteous will walk in them, but transgressors will stumble in them." (Hosea 14:9)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"How Well Do You Know Your Bible?"

This is something a little different today. I am going to list several statements that people seem to adopt as from God. See which ones you think are from God and His word.
"All men are created equal."
"An idle mind is the devils workshop."
"Spare the rod, spoil the child."
"God's mill grinds slow but sure."
"Blood is thicker than water."
"I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth."
"Bread is the staff of life."
"God moves in mysterious ways."
"God helps those who help themselves."
"To err is human, to forgive is divine."
"Charity begins at home."
"All's well that ends well."
"Beauty is only skin deep."
"Sweet are the uses of adversity."
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain."
"The gift without the giver is bare."
"Better half a loaf than no bread."
"A penny saved is a penny earned."
"United we stand, divided we fall."
"A liar will not be believed even when he speaks the truth."
"Confession is good for the soul."
"Honesty is the best policy."
"There is none so blind as those who refuse to see."
"Stolen water is sweet and bread eaten in secret is pleasant."
"Cleanliness is next to godliness."
"Idle hands are the devils workshop."
By the way, if you want the answers above, just drop me an email and I will send you the answers: kevinbnewton@yahoo.com. I would like to hear from you. Keep your eyes fixed on Jesus, hold to His word and be steadfast in prayer. May God meet your every need.

Monday, July 13, 2009


There are people who just won't like you. That's a fact! No matter what, they will treat you as an enemy. The danger involved is we become bitter, harboring resentments toward them and find ourselves just as lost as they. Many still think they are in a loving relationship with the Lord never realizing that harboring bitterness toward another forfeits the grace of God toward you (Heb. 12:15). What are we to do with those who have made themselves our enemies? "But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous." (Matt. 5:44-45) Children of God do good to those who are their enemies and prays for them.
In the days of the American Revolutionary War there was a preacher that lived in Ephrata, Pennsylvania named Peter Miller. Mr. Miller enjoyed the friendship of General George Washington. In that same town, there also was a fellow named Michael Wittman, an evil and hateful man who did all he could to abuse and oppose Mr. Miller.
One day Michael Wittman was arrested for treason and sentenced to death. When the old preacher heard this news, he started out on foot and walked the seventy miles to Philadelphia to plead for this man's life. Mr. Miller was admitted in George Washington's presence and he began asking to spare the life of this convicted traitor. Washington stated, "No, Peter, I cannot grant you the life of your friend." Peter Miller responded, "My FRIEND? Why, this man is the bitterest ENEMY I have." Washington, with a look of surprise said, "What? You've walked seventy miles to save the life of an ENEMY? Now that puts the matter in a different light. I will grant the pardon."
That day Michael Wittman was pardoned and Peter Miller took him from the shadow of death back to his own home in Ephrata, no longer a hateful enemy but as a dear friend.
As I read the above story, my thoughts dwell upon what Jesus did for us, all of us. While we were rebellious, living our lives for us and sin, He walked this earth and pleaded for our pardon. Upon entering Jesus, pardon was granted and we are no longer enemies but His brother, a child of God. That leads us to this, what are we going to do with our enemies?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

"It's On the Inside That Matters"

There are three things that are a must within our being in order to gain strength from the power of God whenever we are in difficulties. James 1:2-4 addresses them. "Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing."
(1) "Consider". If you won a sweepstakes, how would you consider yourself within? When good things happen to us and go our way, how do you react inwardly? When we face various trials, something on the inside of us starts happening immediately. We start "considering". We "consider" it to be helpful or depressing! When people go through difficulties, many take a "poor me" attitude within. They "consider" all bad happening and feel for themselves. What is the spiritual value in that? They get an outpouring of sympathy and attention from people, but they never gain any strength or power from the Lord! Jesus is the author and perfecter of our faith (Heb. 12:2). Do you want to be faithful? Do want to grow into a more complete, mature child of God? Where do we have to focus and with what attitude? Jesus had the joy set before Him and that's where He set His heart and focus. He knew that good was coming despite what He suffered. Where do we look and place our faith? Your response determines the direction things go in your life as far as the Lord is concerned.
(2) "Knowing" . Not only "consider" but we should "know" certain things that are going on. If we are not walking with God with a whole heart, there is no help or discussion from the Lord about "testing your faith." Too many times people question God or why certain things happen. It results in self pity. They do not "know" that anything is happening from the Lord. A faithful child of God should "know" that the testing of their faith produces endurance, the very help we need from the Lord. It is endurance that makes us stronger if we "know". If all one "knows" is depression and hurt, they receive no help or strength from the Lord.
(3) "Let". You must allow and permit all of this to happen. Remember the old saying, "Let a sleeping dog lie."? The advice is leave it alone, letting it be and not aggravating the situation. Some people just will not "let". They can't "let" things go or "let" things take them where God wants. They hold to things and it destroys their faith. Endurance is how God helps people mature if we will "let" it work. It will make you whole and complete, allowing you to grow. Many never "let" but try to control outcomes and situations. The result is anxiety in the heart and a miserable day! The word "let" is a small English word but a powerful word in the Greek. It's up to you if you will allow it or not. God will respond or not respond depending on your "let".
These three things are a must within if we are to gain spiritually. I have found many times people who claim God as their God never believe He is actively working and it comes to the surface when we face difficulties and trials. There are things that are deteriorating us spiritually and many never see it. Remember, if you face a difficulty these three elements must take place within our beings. True, genuine Christianity is about what is happening on the inside of us!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

"Six Signs of Heart Disease"

People are concerned about their heart these days. Exercise and weight control seem to be bombard us on radio and television. But we never hear of people speaking of having a good, spiritual heart. Why? Because the temporary is all people live for. There is more to life than our physical well being. Our lives are about our souls and our souls are tied directly to our hearts.
Why does it seem hard to follow the Lord? Because the heart is not involved. For many they just want to follow some commands and that's all. No heart, no involvement, no commitment. There are six things that show up in our lives to show us that we have a serious spiritual heart disease.
(1) "Let love be without hypocrisy." (Rom. 12:9) We need to love (sacrifice) for others no matter how they have treated us. That's unhypocritical love. To say we forgive someone and not forget, that's a heart problem and love is absent. Did Jesus do that for you?
(2) "Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good." (Rom. 12:9) Evil only leads you away from love and has drastic effects on the heart. When we do not want to depart from evil, there is something wrong with our heart. Good needs to be our desires and what we hold to.
(3) "Be devoted to one another in brotherly love." (Rom. 12:10) What is brotherly love? It is a kindly affection. We are brothers and sisters because God is our Father. We have been born into His family and that should lead us to brotherly love. To "be devoted to one another in brotherly love" means you are not insistent on your way. Is Jesus devoted to us as His brothers? He is not ashamed to call us brethren (Heb. 2:11). Are you ashamed of His brethren or have little to no devotion to them?
(4) "Not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord." (Rom. 12:11) Diligence is a persistence that is attentive to a task. The opposite is someone just going through the motions. Fervent is extremely hot. A person who is not persistent to the task of serving the Lord and 'hot' in their own spirit, they are lagging and something is wrong with their heart.
(5) "Rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer." (Rom. 12:12) These are all attitudes of the heart. One that is serving the Lord with all their being knows that no matter what comes in life, there is always hope! They remain constant to their purpose in serving the Lord (persevering) and know that prayer is a vital part of the relationship. How many really are devoted to prayer? We are when we have troubles but what about when things are well? That reveals something about the heart condition.
(6) "Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse." (Rom. 12:14) When we are hurt by someone, it is easy to attack with our tongues. How many run to others telling them how bad someone has mistreated them? The mouth reveals the condition of the heart (Matt. 15:18) God instructs us to never return evil for evil, insult for insult but bless instead (I Pet. 3:9).
We go to the doctor for checkups for our physical heart and well being. When was the last time you sat down and went to God looking at your spiritual heart and well being? Here's a good start!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


God is willing to forgive our sins. Isn't that what I John 1:9 speaks?"If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." God is willing but we must be willing to confess there is something that needs to be forgiven!
Too many are trying to explain why they sin rather than confess. We blame the moment, our weaknesses, our childhood rearing, our friends, our culture and the list seems to go on countless. When we have arrived at our explanations, it all become clear - we had no choice! We had to sin therefore we are not responsible. This is the very mindset of so many.
The reason many never find the forgiveness that leads to salvation is because we look every where and to everyone but God. When will we believe what Jesus said about the low-life, money cheating tax collector? He was unwilling to even lift up his eyes to heaven, beating his own chest saying "...God be merciful to me, the sinner!" (Luke 18:13) There was nothing to say and everything to confess. In Christ Jesus we have been blessed with every spiritual blessing (Eph. 1:3). But there is more, much more than that. We need to grasp those blessings but we cannot understand their significance until we come into the forgiveness of our sinfulness. We have more than just every spiritual blessing! We have God and His life within us in Jesus Christ. That life giving Lord and Savior shed His blood in atoning for our sins. In Jesus, our sins are dealt with, not simply in ones and twos, but the whole! Sins seen and unseen. Sins of speech and thought, sins of doing and not doing, sins of the flesh and mind, sins in secret and open, sins of the eyes and ears...THEY ALL HAVE BEEN DEALT WITH IN JESUS! Across our record is written: PAID IN FULL!
Take some serious thought to what has happened to you. If you are in Christ (a baptized believer), you are Christ's. Take hold. Believe! Confess! You're sins have been taken off the scroll!

Monday, July 6, 2009


I hear it often, people saying that they seem destined to be ruined! Oh, I don't hear those exact words but that's the jest of what is said. I had a young man, facing a prison sentence said that his whole life (23 yrs.) was nothing more than trouble and believed that was his purpose in life. You hear it among the homosexuals that they were created this way. While passing through a lake area, there was a tattoo shop and advertised out front were "new" tattoos. The one that caught my attention: "Born to Lose". I wanted to stop just to ask the owner how many times that had been put on a human body. People seem to 'throw' themselves into ungodly actions with glee and cheer. They simply seem destined to ruin themselves or think they were created for this purpose.
I've watched alcoholics in deep despair, starring out into a world they know nothing about. They can't let go of a drink too long before the despair hits them. While trying to help a family deal with a father that was drunk most of the time, he looked at me and said, "I'm just an old beaten drunk!" while tears flowed down his cheeks.
What are we to do with the millions who believe they are destined for ruin? It's their choice but they grow up in homes ripped apart by horrible sins, selfishness and greed. Sin is all they know. We look at such and think their lives are nothing like ours...but is that true? They have chosen a life of sin and debauchery with no faith in Jesus. Yet we sit around, sometimes a little smug, looking at all the pain and horrors, not wanting us (or our children) to touch such. They, along with us at one time, are headed to the finality of hell. Then the words cross my mind, "How then shall they call upon Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?" (Rom. 10:14-15)
Sin is sin! Wickedness is wickedness! It was Jesus who spoke that He came, not to condemn the world but to save it! Man wasn't destined to perish. Man will perish because that is what we have chose for our destiny! Jesus thought so much of mankind, all of mankind, that He gave up His position and touched the world of human failures. Jesus knew the danger and end result of every one's sin was so horrible that something had to be done that only He and God could do. To make light of sin is to make light of Jesus!
We have a gospel saving message. Let's not take our lives away from the sinners but take the saving message to them. We seem to have forgotten this in the church. Little outreach and when we do reach out, it's mainly about food, clothing and shelter, not the eternal soul. People need Jesus! They need God! God did not destine anyone to perish but people believe that's all they have because they have never heard any difference. The gospel is God's power to save and turn people's lives around. Have we forgotten that?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

"Trying To Grasp"

There was something that God saw in Moses. "...for you have found favor in my sight and I have known you by name." (Ex. 33:17) It must have touched Moses deeply and he asked God to show him the glory that God possesses! God's reply: "I Myself will make all My goodness pass before you, and will proclaim the name of the Lord before you...You cannot see My face, for no man can see Me and live!" (Ex. 33:20)
All that man knows about God, His mercies, His grace that was shown Moses and to rebellious man and God's willingness to make Himself known, all humans are too impure, too limited, too weak to handle a face to face view of God and live! Simply put, we just don't know God all that well. There is so much more to the mind, character and purposes of God than we can scribble in the margins of our Bibles, cram into our filing cabinets or store on our hard drives. Just Jesus alone, John tells us, if they had written down in detail His life, the world would not hold the books that would be written (John 21:25). That is just incredible to my mind.
Too many preachers and teachers make God to seem like some 'good-old boy' or make Him like some 'fluffy Santa' that will just bend and meet our every need. Classes are made into some type of hype session and when God is spoken, some nice little moving 'earthly' story is brought into the picture to show this 'fluffy' God. It moves some to tears but is it really the God who confronts man with the sinfulness and His grace?
God's view of Himself is Jesus Christ. Jesus is God speaking to us in the only language we can understand, a human language spoken in a human life. Jesus is the human life of God. He is the 'faceless' God taking on a face! Jesus lived not only for God, He lived as God because He is God! I guess by now you are wondering what I am driving at? Let's not make God into something He is not. Let's not speak of Him like we know our spouse or next door neighbor. HE IS GOD, THE ALMIGHTY, THE CREATOR AND NOT TOUCHED OR SEEN BY MAN!. We are trying to live our lives with whatever life situations throw at us in view of Him and though we cannot completely succeed in seeing Him, we must pursue God in view of who He has revealed Himself through His holy Scriptures and His Son Jesus Christ. Stop the 'fluff'! Stop the tear jerking stories of mankind to explain God. Look at Jesus, listening to His word that must shape our existence and life as God's covenant people. Thanks be to God for sending us His Son!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Angels Long To Look"

This wonderful salvation is so great, God tells us that "things into which angels long to look." (II Pet. 1:12) Can you imagine that angels look upon salvation offered through the death of Jesus? When an angel sins (and apparently they do) they have no hope. Immediately they are cast into a place and committed there until judgment (II Pet. 2:4/Jude 6). (Just a side note, this might indicate to us to rethink about the teaching that the devil is a fallen angel! I don't believe he is!!!) I wonder what they thought when they witnessed the death of Jesus?
Here is something that crossed my mind. While creation was taking place and each part put in order, I can just hear the angels asking, "What's that place there, in the mountainous region?"
"Oh, that is where they will build a city called Jerusalem! My name will be there."
"What is that little hill you're forming just outside that future place called Jerusalem? Is there something significant about that?"
"That...(pausing but with a solemn joy) that will be called Golgotha, the Place of a Skull as they will call it."
"How strange. What's the purpose?"
"One day, that's where the Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth will die to save the human race from their sins!"
And all the heavenly hosts stood in amazed silence!
From the beginning, creation was very costly to God the Father. He knew from the beginning what was being created and why. He knew He would visit us, in our form and weakness in a person we know as Jesus the Nazarene. From eternity, He was traveling to something called death and angels stood in awe!