Thursday, March 31, 2011


This will be my last post until April 11. I have a speaking engagement this whole next week. I enjoy sharing the things of God with others. The week will be focused on being faithful and what that means.

Too many times we hear the term: be faithful yet too many have little idea what that means. Some believe because they are together every time the doors are open is being faithful. That is part of it but there are a lot of so-called Christian's that put on a show in attendance while their lives are lived less! That's a sad state of hypocrisy, not faithful.

The little things in life really matter. It's the little things in life that expose your whole life. The little things tell on you. Jesus made that point clear in Luke 16:10: "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much."

Some people create their own difficulties in their own marriages, work places and relatives because of the lack of faithfulness and not knowing what that means. Brethren are clueless how they talk to one another and what is said to each other. Recently I heard of someone that walked up to a lovely sister in Christ and told her that her 'southern draw' needed to be worked on, just out of the blue. They never knew the hurt they caused in this sister. By the way, if anyone needed to work on their 'sourthern draw' it would be me!!! Who knows, they may have intended for me to get the message!! Faithfulness is about walking in the light, watching over your tongue and doing what you do to the glory of God. Faithfulness is about being honest and truthful, helping others see the Christ who died for them. Faithfulness is about leading a home upward into Christ. Faithfulness is about Jesus meaning all the world to you that He affects the very little things you do and decide. Faithfulness is being trustworthy in your word and disciplined in your life! Faithfulness is the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Do some study on your own and see the many ways faithfulness is described. It will open your eyes to your own life!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

"The Drama Filled Life"

Some people are so touchy they are filled with drama. Every thing in their life is about drama! A misspoken word or a wrong look and reeling off into some sort of emotional frenzy they go. Some have lived so long in their drama filled heart they know nothing else but...drama!! There are things that can make us upset and sometimes lead us into anger but it shouldn't lead us into this over-dramatic talk and paralyzing in our lives. Too many get angry too quickly about things. Bottom line, we in Christ Jesus need to learn to deal daily with the fruits of the uncontrolled will and emotions. It is these kind of emotions that lead to wars in the world and feuds in the church!

Tempers seem to get to best of many. It must be a great problem in the life of people because God speaks so much against it. God has anger, but His anger is a righteous anger and doesn't lash out in unrighteousness but is just, holy and honest. "For the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God." (Jam. 1:20) What are we to do with these flashes of anger? Let it be drama? Too many are hypersensitive. They seem to be in the chronic state of being hurt. They are constantly on their own mind! They are a walking case of nerve endings and not speaking to them could be the thing that sends them over the edge. Some people are so drama filled about themselves even a compliment is interpreted as an attack or source of pain.

Where do we go? What are we to do? We need to grow!!! Grow up into Christ Jesus and die to ourselves. God is trying to help each one in Christ. With that in mind, it would do each of us good to examine our lives and what the Lord is trying to accomplish. The Lord is trying to get us to let go of us and grasp His power of love. They hypersensitive have difficulty with this but there is a reason: they don't want to move away from themselves. As long as that attitude stays within, one cannot move forward. Here is help for those who struggle with such: (1) Take the sins of your disposition seriously. The Lord knows your weakness and is trying to enter your life to help but you must surrender you to Him. That means an humble and repentant heart are in order. Jesus said to deny yourself. That takes faith. (2) Start letting your mind dwell on the things that are honorable, right, pure and things worthy of praise (Phil. 4:8-9). Your mind set is most important. (3) Don't make drama out of something that was spoken or done. Put some faith in the fact that your life is hidden with God in Christ and you are safe so there is no need to react to anything but Jesus. Again, it takes faith. (4) Start renewing your mind day by day with prayer and the reading of God's word. Allow Him to affect you from within. With these principles you will find your life coming together as the Lord intended becoming an encourager to those around instead of making people walk on eggshells and make them flee from you.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I am not trying to be a downer here, please know that. Recently I have been contacted by some that tell me to be "open minded" about what they want to share with me. I asked them if I came across as someone that wasn't? Their reply was, "You are always willing to listen and think but this is an area which you always seem to stand firm on!" I guess that's a kind way of saying, "Nope, you're not always open minded!" Again this morning, I had an email that we must be more willing to "reach out" to those who don't walk in the path "we" walk, break the yoke that divides us and walk into new and different realms of acceptance of those who are behind different walls of teachings. I must say, it troubles my heart.

Then I get another invite from a brother in Christ who is well known telling me about their recent workshop and wondering if I would like the cd's of the classes, especially the classes addressed to the preachers. He shared with me we must be willing to leave the path to embrace those who don't always agree with us or we don't with them. Again, it troubled my heart.

I prayed....fervently asking for wisdom and insight. It makes one think reflect and wonder is this really correct. So many are telling you, be open, cross lines and accept those who believe different than you with the idea of embracing their teachings, being one with them. That's really what is being said. But I prayed and still pray.

Right before my eyes as I read were the words of Jesus: "...for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it." (Matt. 7:13) I didn't teach those words, they came from the heart of my Lord. I read a little further: "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.'" (Matt. 7:22-23) Was Jesus being "closed minded"? What was He teaching His disciples? Was His words stating to cross behind walls of different teachings and follow others?

My mind shifted to Gal. 2 where Paul stood face to face with one the most beloved and respected apostles, Peter! Peter had been teaching the gospel to the Gentile but when some Jew's came, Peter jumped back to his Jewish roots because of fear. The Jews joined Peter! Even Barnabas, a very close co-worker with Paul sided with Peter. Everyone had joined forces and Paul was all alone! No one was standing with him and he had to stand his ground on the truth stating Peter stood condemned. Paul could not embrace a different teaching (or even mixing teachings) even if everyone else was crossing lines! (See Gal. 1:6-9)

To those who read, I pray I am never a close minded person, only an honest person in heart with the truth of the word. The way is narrow, not broad. That doesn't mean that everything my brethren stand for is correct either. Sometimes our traditions get in the way of the truth! Too many have followed certain traditions calling them from God when they aren't. But there is the truth and that truth from God must be accepted and embraced. We must be honest with Scriptures and the truth revealed. Because someone believes something a little differently, let's not just embrace that difference. Let's put that difference up against the word of the Lord and let it stand on that testing. There are a lot of voices calling but there is one voice to which I (and you) must listen. There is a standard and that standard of truth must be upheld and there is no deviation from it if we are going to be saved in the end. Please think about that!

Monday, March 28, 2011

"Know Jesus"

Do you have a deep appreciation for Jesus Christ? I'm not talking about a shallow, smile God loves you appreciation. I'm speaking of love from a heart because of the grace brought to you speaking to deny self and learn to trust in Him even when you are struggling to hang on. Too many have a 'pep-rally' reliance on the Lord which in times of troubles is out the window. Telling people to be positive when their heart is breaking brings a sense of uneasiness and fear in the lives of those struggling because they feel a failure on top of the burden they carry.

Let me encourage you today in one thing...get to know and appreciate Jesus Christ our Lord! You know what that means? You must spend some time reading from God's word. Read the gospel of Luke (the only Gentile writer) but don't neglect the other books. Ask other mature Christian's for help. When you ask, make certain it is a brother or sister who has a healthy view and not someone who sits on the side, with very little involvement or complains about the way things are done. A brother or sister that has a gloomy, withdrawn idea in their own life may have lost sight of the Lord Jesus Christ in their life.

The more you appreciate the Lord Jesus the more you will want to share with others. When people encourage us to focus on the the teachings of Mormon's to expose them or the Witness' and their mistake filled book means that the majority of people you will meet are being left in the dark about the Christ because you are majoring in the minor which won't help you to come to know appreciate the Lord Jesus Christ. The thrust of the Bible is centered on Jesus our Savior. Get to know Him. Study Him. See what makes Him so attractive and you will begin a journey of love and change that will forever stay with you. It will lead you into a trust and a conviction that you will not be swayed from. Above all, don't worry about what you don't know or understand. Talk about what you do know and let the Lord and Savior of our lives make its own way into the hearts of others as they start their search for the truth of Jesus Christ.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Does it trouble your heart some when you see brethren not dedicated to one another? When we observe our brothers and sisters in Christ with little concern for brothers and sisters in Christ? Have you noticed how some can just easily toss another aside without any thought or care? Doesn't that trouble your heart?
Christ Jesus, before His ascension to His Father called those apostles face to face and told them to go and "disciplize" all nations (Matt. 28:18-20). Disciples of the Lord are those who penitently accepted Christ by admitting their utter sinfulness. They have acknowledge that Jesus is their sin-bearer and immersed into union with Him through baptism (Mark 16:15-16). There is nothing mysterious about it. Those apostles went as the Lord commanded beginning in Jerusalem in Acts 2. About 3000 wanted to know what to do about their rejection of the Christ and Peter spoke the words so many are familiar with (Acts 2:38). But's much deeper than what many see on the surface. Having received the Lord on the terms of the Lord these believers were disciples, they were Christians. Right then and there! The bond between them was great.
They came in all shapes and different backgrounds. Some were weak no doubt while others were strong. Some were gifted while others weren't so gifted. Some struggled with the pull of sin and family while others must grapple with pride, foolishness and the like. Whatever their place was in each of their lives, they were part of Christ Jesus! Their common ground? JESUS CHRIST! Now let me say, if one has no desire to grow into the likeness of Jesus is not a disciple! Disciples, Christian's in the terms defined above share a common struggle and a common purpose: to become more like their Master. It is difficult for some but they stay in there trying in all their weaknesses.
With this common Master and common purpose there is also shared a common bond. Disciples/Christians are brothers and sisters. The Lord Jesus calls them that (Heb. 2:10-11). The fellowship that exists is not because two like sports, hunting or sewing. They are not related because of similar interests. WE ARE NOT OUR PEACE! Jesus is their peace. Jesus is their Savior. Jesus is dedicated to them and that makes us dedicated to one another! To be bound to one another because some are very mature and strong while those weaker are seen as a loss at times is a serious spiritual offense in the eyes of the Lord. It's all about Christ.
Weak disciples that grapple daily with their flesh or family situations are our brothers and sisters because of Christ. We try to draw an idealistic church of Jesus Christ. We need to pursue growth and progress but that's not the grounds of the brotherhood. The church that Jesus built is grounded on Him and His life given for those who are in union with Him and nothing less. Our relationship to one another is right there and no where else! If it is based on anything less than Jesus, it is nothing but a social club not the brother and sisters of Jesus.
Let me ask you, how dedicated are you to the brotherhood? Peter exhorted: "Love the brotherhood!" (I Pet. 2:17) We toss too many aside when they are weak and that reveals a depth of our problems. Give it some thought.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

"What's Happening?"

I don't know if it disturbed you or you heard about but apparently a school teacher in the Chicago area is being attacked for teaching 'Creationism' in his class. A group of atheists have gathered and called for an immediate dismissal. The teacher is highly thought of and praised and the school has instructed that no teacher will teach 'Creation' in any classes.
Here is the disturbing part: where do these people that stand against the Biblical teachings come from? How do they arrive at such disliking for their Creator and hate of His word? Why has creation turned on it's Creator with such hatred? Let's be always begins in the home! It seems we are turning out more and more children, growing to be adults to not fear the Lord and tremble at His word. The home in many cases has become passive and the parents stand for little. Parents are being caught up in the fact that they think just by some idea that they believe in God and His Son that somehow it will be enough and safeguard the children.
There is another side of things. Our children are leaving the home and because so little has been instilled in their heart about the truth and a reverence for the Lord, they are heading into any teachings because of the influence of their friends or entertainment. Go back and read Deuteronomy and see how God warned the Israelites how fathers were to be instructing their children. See the teachings of instilling within a child the meanings of the Lord and a knowing Him.
As a people that rise up and try to throw God out of this nation, to attack every idea and teaching, we need strong homes with God-fearing mothers and fathers. The devil has one goal and is to deceive and destroy and if he can do it through the home, it makes his work so easy. All the atheists, the rebellious, the depravity that we see in our nation, it started in the home somewhere! All it takes in one generation of the lack of teaching and God is forgotten and pushed to the side. May our eyes be opened and our hearts pierced to reality!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Two Roads"

We live in a day and time where people do not believe in a standard from God. "Believe what you want as long as you believe in God!" seems to be the battle cry. Now I'm not trying to stir anything but our hearts to seeing that there is a Divine standard. When one speaks like this, it makes people think that you are saying you have the standard and others don't. That's not what this is about. I am very cautious in relating issues like this because it can be twisted easily.
Jesus made things abundantly clear that there are only two roads: one leads to life, the other to destruction. Those two roads are defined as: (1) the broad way and (2) the narrow way (Matt. 7:13-14). The gates to enter those roads are very different: one is small and the other is wide. The small gate is easy to walk past while the wide gate is easy to find. Those roads are stated as: many are on the broad road that leads to destruction while few will walk the narrow road that leads to life. In other words, there is a lot of company on the broad road and not so much on the small road. (That's what makes me cautious jumping on the bandwagon when everyone is saying to do something or hear something!)
Just because many call Jesus their Lord doesn't make that a reality! The reality is are they willing to listen and follow the will of the Lord Matt. 7:21/Luke 6:46). Too many pick and choose parts they hold to and believe but when they are confronted with something from the word of God that does not fit their belief, they recoil. Arguments begin and back and forth bantering. The road is wide and many walk on it. The road is narrow and few find it. Misrepresentation of Scriptures is all around. One can walk the wide road and use Scripture!! The devil did it in tempting Jesus.
It takes an humble and honest heart to find the small gate to get on the narrow road. It takes an sincere faith and willingness to change to stay on the narrow road. Our beliefs need to be put to the test with the Scriptures of the Lord's will to find out what road we are on. Here is what the Lord declared through Isaiah: "...but to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word." (Isa. 66:2) The road is narrow that leads to life and few will find it!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

"The Issue Is The Heart"

One thing Jesus made abundantly clear: TAKE CARE OF YOUR HEART. Not your physical heart but your spiritual heart. The wisdom of the proverb speaks: "Watch over your heart with all diligence, for from it flow the springs of life." (Prov. 4:23) The Hebrew writer, using OT Israel as an example pleaded: "Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God." (Heb. 3:12) It is out of our heart that all our issues, our desires and thoughts proceed. Mark said it was out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, fornication, thefts, deceit, slander, pride and foolishness. We need to watch over our hearts carefully.
Let's just note the following heart responses:
People pray trying to look good in the presence of others is not praying at all. That is all about you and it comes from the heart. To give so you get recognition, a pat on the back is not giving at all, it is taking! To obey some rules and quote some verses just so people think you know something or you can put someone in their place is nothing but a heart of loveless legalism. For young people to obey their parents to gain access to the car or some other desire is not obedience, that is deception to gain! Those who are stronger may force others to submit but those who submit aren't servants of the heart. For preachers or elders to guilt people into giving or doing is not a heart of grace in giving. Why are all these things this way? Because no one can control the heart of another!!
Jesus was clear when He taught to love the Lord your God with all your heart. It was the heartless that Jesus spoke calling them hypocrites because they honor God with their lips but their heart was far away (Matt. 15:8). Paul preached that one can preach a marvellous message, give all their possessions to feed the poor and even the body to be burned in the name of the Lord and it is not from a heart of love it is nothing more than an empty spectacle!
The heart is the issue. The heart surrendered. The heart being watched over and putting the right things in it is the key. Without that, our lives lived for the Lord means nothing!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Believe In Life Before Death"

Too many are frittering their lives away and not even realizing it. People are busy, but with what? It always creates a sadden empty heart when a child or someone young dies. But if we would only think realizing its not about the brevity of life that counts but how our lives are lived. Little children, babies are taken directly to the throne of God. They are the greatest in His sight (Matt. 18:1-3). Innocent and undefiled with a heart of God taken to the side of God. What about the rest of us? BUSY! We are busy with little thought of how we are approaching our eternal lives. If we believe in life after death, maybe we should believe in life before death!
There are things the Lord expects us to take care of in our personal lives. But too many are taking this to the extreme. They get caught up in the thinking of those around, following blindly into this activity and that, running their children into the same devotion to activities and when it is all said and done, we have exchanged eternity for the temporal. We are living for the temporal only hoping (not in the biblical sense) of eternity! The temporal is real to us because we see it but the eternal is where reality really lay. When one departs this life, they will never again, never ever again return to this temporal world. They are in eternity...reality! If we believe in life after death, maybe we should believe in life before death!
People squander their time not realizing eternity looms big. I have done many a funeral of a so called Christian, being asked if I think they made it eternally safe. It sure makes me thankful that I don't have to determine that. The lives lived are filled with so much of the world and so little of the Lord. The efforts of business have taken our minds and hearts away from the reality of eternity. Things that we involve ourselves in are not done in light of eternity. The decisions we make about our families are not done with eternity in mind. It's about money or the things that are passing away, not eternity. If we believe in life after death, maybe we should believe in life before death!
The bottom line is this, hopeful, faithful saints do not see life the way the average person does. Their lives are consumed by righteousness, godliness and wearing the name of our Lord in a way that brings honor and glory to Him. The way they talk, their life involvements and what they wear is for the glory of the One who brought them eternity! So much of our lives are shaped by what we see. If our lives believe in the here and now, our minds and hearts will be shaped by the things that surround us. But if we believe in life after death, we WOULD believe in life before death!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"GRAND Parents"

Sorry for not posting the previous two days. I took time to go spend with my family in Arkansas and brought one of my grandchildren home with us! Your children are a blessing but your grandchildren are....GRAND! That makes them a GRAND blessing and it is so wonderful to take them away from their moms and dads for a short time and interact with them. They call you GRAND pa or GRAND ma. There are other versions but it is a special title that is between only you and them that is GRAND. What a delight. For those who do not have grandchildren at this time, there is no way to describe how they take hold of your heart and world. You can try to explain it but it is one of those things you must experience to understand.
Their little minds work in innocent and wonderful ways. Even when you have to deal with "poopy" pants! My granddaughter who is 3 came walking in where we were sitting stark naked holding her underwear in her hand. She handed them to me and I asked why she didn't put them on. Her mom and dad were a little embarrassed but they shouldn't with the purity that is being portrayed. My little princess handed them to me saying, "They have a little bit of wet on them!" She just wanted fresh underwear! What a deal.
Grandchildren...what a delight. There's nothing old in GRAND parent! Only special.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

"Testing Our Faith Pulse"

"Just a quick thought to check your faith pulse. My grandson fell asleep at my house on a Sunday afternoon. He is three years old. We had to awaken him to assemble for worship that evening. When I woke him up and told him it was time to go worship God, he rubbed his little eyes and said, "I not want to go!" I know many a parent/grandparent has been through this with little ones.
Malachi addresses the people of God that God was disgusted with them because they had gotten to a point of no heart in their worship. "My, how tiresome it is!" (Mal. 1:13) Because of their lack of response, God rejected anything they had to offer.
For some, the worship of God with other saints is the highlight of their week. Without it they feel deprived and something is missing. Just ask some of those elderly who are unable to attend. You will hear their words, "I wish I could be back to worship with the brethren!"
The Psalmist in Psa. 84 speaks of their longing to worship God and their heart sings with joy to the living God. Their worship took place at the temple and the Psalmist expresses that "a day in Your courts is better than a thousand outside."
Maybe its time we reexamine our attitude toward worship. Your attitude toward worship is a great revealer of your faith pulse. When there is a true longing for the living God, a desire to praise Him in His presence and gain renewed strength from His word, true happiness becomes ours. How's your faith pulse?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"It's All About Us!"

Have you ever noticed that when we are in pain or troubles hit our lives how we make every thing revolve around us? Think about that for a moment. Our troubled life makes our mind and our actions revolve around us completely! There is little thought about what someone else might need or the help that is offered to another troubled heart. It is all about us! Over the years I have observed people in their difficulties and when they talk to you, they quickly want to leave any small talk or other concerns to talk about what they are going through. I guess that is part of human nature but does it reveal how self centered we really are?
You look at Jesus. His time was at hand and He knew the very night He was going to be arrested. His twelve hand-picked apostles were sitting with Him and not once did they ask about His condition or life. What did Jesus do? Washed their feet and served them. Jesus taught them the reality of the truth and what was being done for their sake. His betrayer was sitting right in front of Him while Jesus washed his feet. Even upon revealing the betrayer and the failure of Peter, not once did they ask how He was doing and what could they do to help. Opportunities were being given all twelve and they didn't even know it.
Jesus takes Peter, James and John with Him in His distress to the Gethsemane (Matt. 26:37-37). All He asked of them was to keep watch and pray. Nothing more as the grief and distress was building in His heart. Jesus prays. His disciples sleep. Jesus encourages them. Jesus prays. His disciples sleep. Jesus encourages them to keep watch and pray so that temptation won't overtake them. Jesus prays. His disciples sleep.
What do we learn? Even in one of the most difficult times of our Savior's life, He still thought about others. The others thought about themselves! We are a selfish people wrapped up in the cloak of "us"! No wonder we are told to not look out just for our personal interests but for the interests of others because that was the attitude of Christ (Phil. 2:4-5). Easy to say but it takes a surrendered heart to follow. Just listen to what you speak to others and it might surprise you how much is about....YOU!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

"An Unknown God"

Etiquette says three things must not be discussed in public. Sex, politics and religion. Two of the so called etiquette items have gone by the wayside. Sex is what keeps a lot of the discussion shows going. Politics keeps talk radio going daily. More and more opinions are being expressed about these two issues. When it comes to religion, things take a drastic turn. People don't want to hear about religion unless is has something to do with a strange out of the stream thought. Cults and cultic-like movements can be discussed but it is about the weird things done.
The other day I saw a bumper sticker that said, "Keep your religion to yourself!" That speaks how people feel in our day and time. Go ahead, next time you have a gathering of people, talk about the God of heaven, reveal His truth and see how people react. As long as it is generic, it is tolerated but if we start digging the truth you are treated as a leper! What do we learn? People in all their sophisticated glory do not like to discuss the real, eternal issues in life!!
Paul was in Athens and observed the objects of their worship. There was no offense in the people. It disturbed Paul but not the people (Acts 17). Paul began to teach what they believed in ignorance needed to be revealed in the true and living God. The result, they began to sneer! You see, in 2000 yrs. little has changed. The truth about God is not what people want but give them religion that does not confront you with sin and sinful ways and people will gladly discuss anything!
Today many want a God they can feel or experience but not really know. People want a 'higher power', whatever they make that to be in their own mind but let's not talk about the truth! Let's not confuse us with the truth. Words flow for us to be more open-minded. Some are so open-minded their brains have fallen out. The Athenians claimed to be wise but were blindly ignorant.
As long as God is unknown, people can think, follow and act whatever they wish. A fad comes along and everyone jumps on board. A book hits the market and people fall all over themselves to get a copy and read. Put the truth of the word in front of people and they do everything they can to run you down or simply ignore you. It was Jesus who came to explain God (John 1:18). It was Jesus who revealed the grace of God and truth (John 1:17). It was Jesus who the religious world crucified!

Monday, March 7, 2011


Betrayal is difficult to take. It leaves one hurting, numbed from head to toe! I can't think of anything more painful and destructive to one than being betrayed by a loved one. To sit across from a husband and wife and hear them speak of their mates unfaithfulness to them. To watch the faces, to hear the trembling voice and the tears flow freely. Parents sit speaking of their child they love so deeply and tell of their behavior that is destructive. The pain is so intense. When I see these situations, I can almost see God looking at us at times and saying, "You now understand some of My pain!"
We look at people like Uriah, a mighty soldier and leader of David's army. He was faithful, honest and obedient to his king. He was a trustworthy leader. I've often wondered what went through his mind when he found himself in the fiercest of battles, on the front line and suddenly watching his own men withdraw from him leaving him to be slaughtered. Betrayed by David, his own king. (II Sam. 11)
Betrayal is so hard to take. Her husband was convicted of a crime that he didn't commit. What they needed was a good lawyer but the cost was great. She took any small job she could find in the day, cleaned office buildings at night and if she had any spare days she would baby sit children. It took her three pain-staking years but she saved enough money to hire a good lawyer and got her husbands conviction overturned. The three difficult years had worn her down and the process took it's toll on her outer beauty. Six months later, her husband left her for another woman. She lay down, broken and betrayed!
God created us to have a relationship with Him, to love and cherish that relationship. It is a relationship to be blessed. God's whole creation was "very good." What did He get in return? BETRAYAL! God endured generation after generation trying to win us back and all He got was betrayal in return. Finally, He sent His heart in His own Son into our world of betrayal and He was murdered. Today, many make fun of God's pain, take His Son lightly and sneer at His mercy and grace. Oh how it must hurt to be betrayed by those who are loved so deeply. "For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies." (Ezek. 18:32) BETRAYAL! What a sad commentary on our lives.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

"Godly Sorrow vs. Worldly Sorrow"

We are told in II Cor. 7:10, "For the sorrow that is according to the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but the sorrow of the world produces death." What is the difference between worldly and godly sorrow?
Godly sorrow is the grief and remorse that grows out of a realization that one has offended God. Worldly sorrow is the pain and regret over what has been afflicted on oneself and others. People feel sorrow and grieve over their past conduct. Some are very ashamed. In their sorrow, they are pained because of their sin is against God and broken fellowship with God. They go to God seeking His pardon and release finding His peace. That's the sorrow that leads to salvation! Their godly sorrow has a sincere desire to be right with God seeking release from their guilt through the blood of Jesus.
Unfortunately, many do not take this road. They don't turn to God for release and peace. They turn only in form but not in heart. When people fail by doing something sinful, in their sorrows they turn to other means to get themselves out of their difficulty. They try to rid their sorrows by finding acceptance from people and in that desire for acceptance, they pour out their failures and shortcomings. Worldly sorrow produces death spiritually.
Godly sorrow is not a mere regret that soon passes away in its effects but it produces permanent and abiding changes in ones life. It leads to a repentance that is not regretted and results in salvation. In other words, godly sorrow puts one on the road to improving without props!!
Grief, regrets and remorse that does not lead one to God will ultimately lead one away from God. It will be a matter of time. Relief from the pains of guilt come only from God. The human spirit cannot abide continuously in guilt and shame. Refuge and release is either in God or: (1) seeking the approval and acceptance of another, (2) hardening the heart toward what needs to be done, (3) becoming critical of those doing right while attempting to discredit them, (4) attempting to transfer the blame to others, or (5) showing contempt and resentment toward the one who inflicted the sorrow.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

"Major In the Minor"

It seems too many a majoring in things that don't matter. We spend time in Bible studies and our own personal lives looking and talking about things that have no bearing on our faith and love for the Lord. For instance, we discover in Ezra 2:67 that 435 camels went with the people of Israel that returned. It's a true fact but one that does not cause me to change my life. What some find as true and interesting facts do not make us see God or help us develop a heart of character and love for the Lord. Too many major in things that build nothing within us. In our Bible studies, people wander off talking about things and discussing things that cannot bring us to faith in the Lord or an understanding of His purpose in us.
Ezekiel 18:23 God explains that He has no pleasure in the death of the wicked but would rather have those wicked turn to Him and live. What a profound teaching from God. God wants people, all people saved. If we would look carefully at teachings such as this, it would develop within us a heart of outreach. Peter tells us in II Pet. 2:9 that the Lord wants none to perish but is being patient to see if anyone on earth really wants to be saved. Scriptures like these and a host of others express the truth about God and His desire for man, even the most of wicked.
Too many are majoring in the minor, things that don't matter. Too much teaching about numbers and 'what if's' and all sorts of things that distract us from the beauty of what God is trying to get into our hearts. There is a lot of intellect in our approach to God and not enough faith. We need faith and faith in God's truth. That's a faith that confronts us with God, seeing His Divine nature and helping us change our hearts into the conformity of His Son.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011


Just some brief words of encouragement today for those who struggle with their weaknesses and sins. It is wonderful to be forgiven and a blessed state. Those words came from the mouth of David in Psa. 32. But what about people who struggle over and over with sin? We claim they aren't trying or not sincere by going back under the same sin over and over. But is that really true? In some cases it probably is as some never take sin seriously but what about the one who tries only to fail?
Years back I can recall getting myself involved in sin. I would ask for God's help, only to return again to failure. I remember looking to the Lord and as sin had taken me down again and again, my mind came to a conclusion that God wouldn't want anything to do with me again. As I recall it to my mind, I didn't hate the sin as much as I hated myself for going back into sin. It became a self pity while allowing sin to have its way with me. As I tired of it all, I was about ready to quit! Just quit God and be done. The love of God wasn't for me. It was for those who were better than I and had not sinned as I had sinned.
That's just it! God is for the sinful. I had a difficult time believing that. Sin takes one into the state of hopelessness and will eventually take one into unbelief. That's the power of sin. Yet here is God, who calls us to Himself through Jesus speaking that it is not the well that need a physician but the sick. I was sick to my soul and as I started looking intently at the cross, knowing it was for the sin sick soul, I heard God (not literally) speak, please don't quit! My Son is still for you. Too many have turned from Christ believing that He does not want them which is exactly the lie the devil would want you to believe! Micah preached that the Lord God delights in lovingkindness and forgiveness (Micah 7:18). There is no sin too great, no failures too high and sin too strong! God delights in forgiving...that's should grip all our hearts!