Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Have you ever been in one of those Bible study classes that was very difficult to listen to? I don't mean the word of the Lord but the one speaking, teaching made the class so difficult and very 'non-understandable'! I feel for the brethren and yet many of them keep a good attitude and endure the hardship of the one teaching. What is even worse that the one teaching is completely clueless they are making things difficult. I guess it is one of the things that really gets under my skin as I speak about this a lot.
Why do those who are in teaching positions not realize what they are dealing with? When you have a study, they don't seem to deal with the study at hand or they try to intellectualize and be scholarly. They think that's what makes a study good. In the process, at times they loose complete sight of the study and the purpose at hand and before you know it, we are on rabbit chases. I recently sat in one study where we never got back to the context and spent 30 minutes of our time talking about things that aren't being taught. Every time I go through something like this it makes me think of Paul telling Timothy, "For some men, straying from these things, have turned aside to fruitless discussion, wanting to be teachers of the Law, even though they do not understand either what they are saying or the matters about which they make confident assertions." (I Tim. 1:6-7)
Teachers are suppose to be speaking for the Lord. They are taking the hearts and faith of the hearers and suppose to help them in purity and building trust. Instead, we get a lot of non-sense applications, fleshly approaches, intellectual lectures and who knows what else. There is so little understanding on how to take a topic or context in a book from the Lord's word and make it a faith building class. There is difficulty it seems on presenting the Lord God before the eyes of the hearers to develop convictions. I am not trying to stomp teachers here. No, I just wished some of our teachers knew how to teach!! It seems to be everywhere you go.
First, a teacher needs to understand themselves about the study! They need to glean from God's word what God is trying to say so the faith they gain is shared with the hearers. Secondly, don't go off on hunting sprees! Just because a word is used in a verse doesn't mean that's what the verse it speaking about so we run off on other verses that has that word in it! Keep with the subject, the context at hand. Thirdly, spend time in prayer. Pray for understanding and insight. Allow the Lord to open your mind and heart to receive so you can give. Finally, keep everything simple and don't lecture! Teach! A teacher is to teach!! Know what you are speaking about in the verses and let them flow.
Remember this above all, "Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment." (Jam. 3:1) That should bring soberness to our thinking in our approach to teaching!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


Today I am preparing to leave Buffalo, New York. I have been here since Saturday but I am ready to be back with my family. I miss my family. Today's blog is lighter as my time is limited. 
Grand kids are something special. Those who have little children (or older children) will not understand this as much. Being a grandparent can only be experienced not taught. It is something that is unexplainable even though many try. I've heard all the little sayings about how grandparents are to spoil their grand kids or you take them home after a while. But those things aren't what they are to me. I don't look at spoiling my grandchildren and I don't look forward to taking them home. I see something greater. Grandchildren to me are so precious because you get to help in teaching them things you might have been weak in or failed in your own children! I love to teach my grandchildren. 
They say some of the funniest things and their observations about you or life are incredible. How their little minds work amazes me. They see things through 'untainted' eyes and nothing, I mean nothing is defiled. You don't ever have to worry about hidden agendas or meanings with them. When they speak, they are speaking from the purity of heaven! A couple years back my oldest granddaughter (who is now 7) wanted to write me a story. I got her some paper and crayons. She started her work of scribbling and page after page was handed to me. After she finished, I asked her what the story was about. She replied, "Grandpa, you know I can't read yet. You have to read it yourself!" There was my second born granddaughter (who is three) and she was staying with us. One night she took the cloth protector off the arm rest on our lounger chair. You know those little pieces of cloth that come on the arm rest? She put it on her head, whirled around and said, "Look grandpa, I am an "Iswoolwight" (Israelite). It's those little tidbits that make such memories.
The Lord gave us our little children and grandchildren to remind us of the greatest in God's kingdom. They are so pure and innocent. Today, if you have little ones in your home, whether you are a parent or grandparent, take a moment, look into their eyes, see the sparkle of life and look a little deeper. There you will see your image along with the image of God stamped on their heart. Right then, think that these innocent bundles of joy are a gift of God, given into your hands to mold and train in His ways because one day, you will return them to the Maker who blessed you with them. Teach your children the ways of the Lord! Teach your grandchildren that a walk with the Lord is the greatest blessing on earth. Step back and listen, as they play, run and giggle, it is infectious because they are so pure and free from all worries and defilement! Kind of makes you want to go back there, huh?

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"What Will You Say?"

If you are aware of your impending death, what kind of advice would you give your family? What would you say? Would you talk about the years gone by? Would you speak about your possessions? Would you talk about the things you didn't do or places you didn't go?
David, before he passed away, spoke to his son Solomon giving him advice. David was an old, experienced warrior and king but he knew his own mortality. David knew Solomon would take his place as king but it is interesting to note that David did not advise him how to rule. He didn't speak to his son about the family inheritance. He pointed his son Solomon in the path that all people should take because all will face death. 
"I am going the way of all earth. Be strong therefore, and show yourself a man. Keep the charge of the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, His commandments, His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to what is written in the Law of Moses, that you may succeed in all you do and wherever you turn." (I Kings 2:2-3)
Of all the things that David could have spoken, the last words his son would hear from the mouth of his father was pointing him to God and His instructions. David wanted his son to be a man of character, integrity and be strong and act like a godly man should act. He spoke about being strong toward the Lord and His teachings. He didn't want Solomon to follow the world. Anyone can follow the crowd but a man of conviction and faith will stand with the Lord no matter what everyone else does or says.
Years down the road, the apostle Paul wrote two inspired letters to Timothy, his spiritual child. As Paul's life drew to a close he penned these words of advice and direction: "For bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come." (I Tim. 4:8) Be godly was his advice. "In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day; and not only to me but also to all who have loved His appearing." (II Tim. 4:8)
As you draw nearer to the end of your life, what will you speak to your family? 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

"Clear Minds"

Sometimes we need to think about our thinking. That sounds a little strange but it it true. Whatever was happening in the days of Peter, we don't know exactly what they were, these words were penned for us: "The end of all things is near; therefore, be of sound judgment and sober spirit for the purpose of prayer." (I Pet. 4:7) I have my own idea of what I think that the end is near means but it's just my idea and serves no purpose here. What I want us to focus on is sound judgment and sober spirit.
The two terms work together. We are being told that we need to think about our thinking! These two terms are used after speaking about drinking, sensuality, desires (lusts) and abominable idolatries (v.3). Intoxication, whether by alcohol or drugs physically hinder our thinking. Our desires (lusts) and sensuality and the abominable idolatries also affect our thinking and judgments without outside help from drugs or alcohol. Lusts, sensual ideas and idolatries stir the desires of the mind where one cannot think clearly to what they are pursuing.
With all the recent tornadoes and weather issues, when we see the news flash or hear on the radio, our minds stop to listen and take in the news. Our desire to focus and listen is heightened! Details become important and our mind latches on to each one of them. We want quiet as we listen because we are mentally alert.
We do this with news that shocks us but when it comes to the things of God, our alertness seems to be missing. People sit in the assembly to worship but the mind sometimes is not at all engaged, hanging on the every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. Finger nails are clipped or cleaned. Gum, where's the gum? Looking around to see who is here and our minds are just what they are...not sound judgment  and  sober spirit. Too many are making poor choices in their daily lives because the mind is not set. It is muddled with the concerns of the world and daily living. There is little focus and clarity. When was the last time you could say that your mind was prepared and set for the purpose of prayer? Too many minds are muddled by chemicals, distractions of daily living, lusts, passions and desires. It is difficult to be transformed as long as we continue to conform (Rom. 12:2). In fact, God cannot transform you because we think like the world around us. 

Monday, May 23, 2011

"Is It Me or the Lord?"

It's just plain scary! Sometimes in my reading and studying, things hit me and it scares me. It happened this morning. As I was reading about Paul speaking to the Thessalonians's about their faith in the word of God, accepting the word as from God (I Thes. 2), it struck me: The number of people who listen to what I teach/preach and what are they hearing? My word or the Lord's word? That's a scary thought to me. I always pray it is the Lord's word but is it really?
We as humans like to give our opinion on matters and sometimes our opinions can over-ride all sound judgment. I know I have done that before only to be found a fool! But teaching the word isn't about opinions, is it? In years gone by, 31 yrs. to be exact, a wise man instructed me, "Let God speak for Himself and keep your opinions silent!" I'm not sure how well I have done with that but I try. It catches my ears when I listen to others speak/teach how many times they say, "I think..." or "I believe..." and off they go. For next few moments (sometimes lengthy moments) we get insight to their thought process. Are they right? Sometimes. Are they wrong? Sometimes. But then I reflect on my teachings. Am I wrong? I hope not! Am I right? (I want to say always) but in answering that question is just my opinion!
I look at the many, many people who hear me and yes, it scares me. What are they accepting? The word of God or the word of Brent? Then I reflect how many people are headed to eternity with my teachings/instructions I claim are from the Lord. They will decide and build their faith off of what I teach. Their eternity is drawing nigh and I have instructed and led them. It makes me pause. It makes me reflect. It makes me sit and think making sure that when you teach, what you say for the Lord is from the Lord and not your opinion from the Lord. That's difficult and it brings teaching/preaching to accountability. It makes me more focused and aware knowing that when I speak, the eternal destinies of those listening are at stake. That makes me not have the liberty of saying whatever I think but focusing on the word of the Lord making certain it is Him speaking through me and not me speaking. That's a sobering thought.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

"It's In the Name"

  Your name speaks about who you are! I don't mean the defining of your name. Your name is associated with your character. Your reputation is tied to your name. Have you ever heard a parent (maybe you are one) that called out, "That's my girl!" or "That's my boy!"? They  are proud of their child's accomplishments as their child has brought honor to them.
  I remember telling my own children when they would leave the house, "Remember who you are!" speaking of their name. In other words, remember the principles we hold to and that you were taught.
"A good name is to be more desired than great wealth, favor better than silver and gold." (Prov. 22:1)
  How do you think God feels about His name? When the name of God is dishonored, is that not a dishonoring of God and His character? People freely throw around the name of God in some slang form reducing His character to meaningless. However, are they really reducing His character? NO! They are actually reducing the character of themselves! They are speaking against their own name and character by using the name of God! God's name stands and His character is intact. 
  How do so many, who proclaim a love for the Lord their God and His Son Jesus Christ, throw the name of God around so loosely? Our television  shows are filled with God's name being the butt of a joke as if His character is an object of laughter and entertainment. God's name is used in a casual by-word that is seen posted or spoken  our society: OMG (oh my God). God's name is profaned by being dishonored when used as an exclamation of surprise or extreme anger. Using God's name in demeaning ways other than as our Lord and Father is taking Him and striping Him of His identity and dignity. Too many have made the name of the Lord God as a common, meaningless, pagan god that is not holy, righteous or just. No wonder people really don't see the need for a Savior. His name has been reduced to nothingness but one day, it will be revealed that every knee will bow at the name and His character will be seen (Phil. 2:9-10). Yes, it's in the name!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Nibbling At Religion"

There seems to be so many that "nibble" at religion. What we are calling the church of Christ Jesus seems to be filled with 'nibblers' rather than the converted. Let's just look at this with a few questions and see if we are walking with a whole heart that was converted or just content with a sample here and there:

(1) Are you one to decide your worship and assembly with the saints is based on convenience or conviction?
(2) Do you find yourself zealous to serve and help, looking for opportunities or not bother to notice?
(3) Do you listen to God in His word?
(4) Is your giving purposed and sacrificed or just a token amount?
(5) Is your prayer life existing?
(6) Is 'church' to you a business opportunity?

Those brethren that were converted in the first century were committed and dedicated to the Lord's cause. The 'church' wasn't a name where they went to but a reality of the body of Christ being tied to one another through Him. These dedicated men and women gave out of a heart of liberality and joy though in deep poverty at times. They experienced mockings and scourgings, chains, imprisonments, lived in caves and holes in the ground. In all, they continued to speak and live for the Savior who bought them eternally. They left occupations, fathers and mothers to follow the Lord of their lives. They saw their lives in the reality of eternity and that motivated them to live, serve and love. They didn't 'nibble' at religion.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"The Works of the Lord"

The Psalmist exclaims: "O Lord, how many are Your works! In wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of Your possessions. There is the sea, great and broad, in which are swarms without number, animals both great and small." (Psa. 104:24-25) We sing the song: "How Great Thou Art" in which we praise the Lord for His wondrous works in our created world by His hand. Creation is a declaration to the awesome and majestic power of the Lord.
Take the humpback whale which reach some forty feet long at maturity and weigh about one ton per foot! When a humpback jumps or "breach" as it is called, they extend themselves totally in the air falling back into the sea. They say their splash can be seen for five miles! Incredible.
Humpbacks travel from Alaska to Hawaii every year to calve in the warm Hawaiian waters. Year after year, each family of humpbacks comes back to the very same place around the island. When the calves are born (which weigh about five tons), the are born breech or tail first. If they were born head first, these air-breathing mammals would drown during the birthing process. Once the baby whale is born, another humpback whale comes along and pushes it up to the surface for its first breath of air. Incredible.
The humpback whale sings a song that can be heard more than fifty miles under water. Every one of the whales sings the same song. Each year, the song might change slightly but every humpback whale in the world will sing that song. Incredible.
God sees man as without excuse to knowing that He exists and holds man accountable. Just listen: "For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse."  

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Faithfulness/Unfaithfulness Will Show Up"

How do little habits turn into big habits? How do little things in your life end up major problems to overcome? Jesus sat His disciples down and began to explain a major insight into life. "He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little things is unrighteous also in much."  (Luke 16:10)
A few years back there was a book released titled: "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff." It became a saying in the lives of many. People believe the small stuff doesn't really matter but just listen carefully to the words of Jesus. He said the small stuff really does matter. It is the small stuff that turns into the big stuff. Take someone who tells what many call a little white lie. It sounds so innocent and insignificant. But wait, it is those small lies that become a habit and turns into larger ones. From those lies comes a heart of deceit and mislead. If one is unrighteous in a very little thing, they will be unrighteous in bigger things.
One is helping a neighbor in their house. They are cleaning things out and you see something you like. You decide since they are getting ready to get rid of the things in the house, it won't hurt to take this small item that you would like to have. If one is unfaithful in little things, they will be unfaithful in big things.
You see something that needs to be attended to and no one else sees it or at least they see it but do nothing about it. You end up doing it. The next thing is you find yourself doing a lot of little things that others ignore. Those who are faithful in little things are faithful in big things.
You're tired and had a hard day. You just don't feel like Bible study. You decide to give it up. Once wouldn't hurt. You tell the kids we aren't going. A message is being sent to their hearts. It starts a little here and a little there until it becomes a habit. The one unfaithful in a little thing will be unfaithful in the big things.
We are all developing our character and character is extremely important to the Lord (Rom. 5). Our character reveals our relationship and seriousness of faith. If we cannot be faithful in little things how will we ever expect the Lord to give us the true riches? If we cannot deal righteously in the the little things, how will we ever be found trustworthy in the eyes of the Lord with His riches? What you practice daily in small things will show up in your character. How are you doing in the little things?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

"Taking Sin Seriously"

Sin is a terrible Lord! God is a willing forgiver of sin. We can quote many verses of God's forgiveness. Verses like: "...and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin." (I John 1:7) "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9) "And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." (I John 2:1) There are so many more but I think these make my point.
God is willing, in fact more than willing to forgive sins. God loves to give His grace and lovingkindness to those who sin. But what do we miss? There must be some heart acknowledgment of sin and sinful attitudes before God for Him to reach out with His loving heart! Too many are busy explaining why they sin that they don't realize the seriousness of their sin before God. "It's our parents fault! It's the environment we grew up in! It's the culture around us! It's our peers! It's our complexes or doubts!" This is where so many get themselves into messes. By the time they are finished explaining why they sinned and the elements involved, we simply had no choice but to sin! Where does that leave many? Sin is not anything too serious and we are not at all responsible. Simply put, we have too much to say for ourselves!
The church of today seems to be the "church" of Israel in the Old Testament. God sent them (and us) into the wilderness because of our casual and lack of understanding of the seriousness of sin. Until we take our sin seriously and realize the consequences it causes in our lives, we simply will abuse the mercy and grace of God. (But God won't allow that!) God's not like that. If we would only reflect with serious thought the cross, there we would see God's recoil at sin and His complete defeat of the lord sin in our lives. Too many take forgiveness too lightly also. We move along without little thought of the impact and amazement of what forgiveness really is about. It does not make us stand in awe! We are the sinners. God is the Holy One who forgives but those aren't words spoken, it was love demonstrated speaking to our hearts if we would only listen.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

"The Adversary"

We have an adversary, the devil (I Pet. 5:8). "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." What is an adversary? The Greek term is made up of a compound word: the first word meaning 'justice' and the second word meaning 'against.' In other words the term adversary literally means 'against justice.' We have an adversary that is against all that is right and proper and looking for victims, especially easy targets! Who makes the easiest target? Those that lack soberness and alertness. Too many follow the world in religion, current patterns and trends without any regard of an adversary. They are not sober and alert!
The apostle John reminded those in Christ: "We know we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one." (I John 5:19) If one is sober minded and alert, this alone should speak to our heart. Our adversary is seeking someone to devour as he as already devoured the world. He is looking for anyone that belongs to the Lord and will use the world and it's influence to draw you toward him!
We were born into this world innocent and undefiled in our heart. A baby and little child is pure and precious. People are drawn to them because of their innocence. What eventually happens? The adversary, the devil draws that innocent child into his world that is against all justice and righteousness. Does the child know? Did you know? A child is overtaken a little piece here and there until they realize their separation from the Lord! We have all been through it! If our adversary could do it then, why could he not do it now? Many are so unaware and have little soberness (clear and watchful thinking). One has to be aware of their approach to situations because they realize the adversary is devious and a strategist.
When we speak of "devour" we are talking about ruining, completely swallowing up. We have seen people, how they once were vibrant in their service to the Lord to slowly drift away until one day, they are no more! They have been "devoured." Many have no clue as to what they give themselves to, situations they become involved in and programs they attach themselves to. There seems to be so little awareness, soberness in thinking and alertness. Many just don't see the world in the power of the evil one! They are the easy targets!!
We need to be careful. We need the full armor of God and put it on in order to be able to stand firm against the devil and his schemes (Eph. 6:11). We need soberness within and alertness of heart knowing our adversary is on the prowl and we are on his list as his next victim.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


People can do things they think are spiritually right but are destructive and not even aware. How can they do such? Because of little understanding of the majesty of God. We just don't see His greatness because we are looking to everyone except God to explain His greatness.
In Isaiah 40, Isaiah helps us see the very nature and character of the Almighty. Just listen carefully (or better go read) how the Almighty Lord is explained:
(1) Who measured the waters in the hollow of their hand (v.12)? Take all our seas and God can measure them in His hand. Take the Atlantic or Pacific oceans and God put them in the hollow of His hand and poured them into their places.
(2) Who has marked off the heavens? God takes a measuring stick and measures them. Man cannot! All we see is more space.
(3) The dust of this earth is placed in God's measure. He takes all the dust, all the mountain ranges and hills and heaps them up to measure them as a child would playing in the sand. 
(4) Who directed Him or became His counselor on how things are to work (v.13)? God put every thing in its place for His purpose and it works perfectly as He instructed it to. His wisdom and knowledge are beyond our reach.
(5) Who taught God was is just and fair (v.14)? Many times we face difficulties and we run to everyone besides God for our answers. What are we saying about Him when we do that?
(6) How does God see all the nations on this earth? Like a drop in a bucket or a speck of dust on scales (v.15). When you go to the grocery store, how many times have you paid attention to the specks of dust on a scale? Numbers of the face of this earth do not impress God! CEO's of companies, armies and nations may impress man but God...NO.
In the final analysis, God simply isn't impressed with man and what man accomplishes (v.17). We have limitations but God is unlimited.
If God is so extraordinarily powerful, why won't we listen to Him and turn to Him more often in our struggles and victories? Is He worth praising and worshiping? Your life is telling your story!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Lessons From Russia"

Russia has been known for many, many years as an atheistic country. Communism still exists there even though the country internally destroyed a lot of itself. We see America as a country built on God but on the decline. I remember the words of Jesus teaching His own disciples in Luke 16 using the words: "For the sons of this age are more shrewd in relation to their own kind than the sons of light." (Luke 16:8)
Let's take the lottery run in America. There have been editorials against it in many states. It has been preached against how gambling brings about so many sins. In the state of Missouri and Arkansas, the people voted for the casinos. (I realize they did in other states too but I am more familiar with these two states.) In the Arkansas Democrat Gazette there were storms of protests over the salaries being paid to those who run those casinos. We read from Moscow in their local paper: "Russia bans all gambling and shuts casinos." The deputy mayor Sergei Baidakov states, "The ban was to protect the health of society." In the article, some of the addicted gamblers thought the ban would help them in their addiction. A 40 yr. old Muscovite stated: "Maybe this is all a good thing. I'm a family man and I come here every day and lose all my money. I'll be happy to see them go."
As I read through some of the headlines in this paper (a friend of mine that preaches in Russia sent me the news) another headline caught my attention: "Religion will return to public schools in Russia." It is estimated that in Russia today only 5% in the country are "observant believers". What is Russia learning that we in America aren't? In contrast, a St. Louis federal appeals court upheld a ruling that prohibits the distribution of Bibles to grade-school students in the southern Missouri district. For more than three decades the district, about 120 miles southwest of St. Louis, allowed representatives from Gideons International to give away Bibles in fifth-grade classrooms. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a suit and Bible distribution was shut down at the school district since 2005!
Back in 2009, specialty plates in South Carolina that used the wording in any form "I Believe" are being challenged in federal court. It makes me wonder what Russia will do next in their move toward God and what America will do in our move away? We need the word of God and people sincere with the word to led us out of all this. That means, we need to convert people to Jesus in our nation!! This nation has become one of the largest mission fields in the world! 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


There seems to be too many "peddlers" of God's word. Paul expressed that in II Cor. 2:17. We have moved from the world of  "peddling" merchandise out in the open town square in our day and time but there was a time when "peddlers" moved from town to town selling their wares. Many "peddlers" had a reputation for cheating or misrepresentation in order to make a profit. Apparently they had the same type of people with the same reputation in the first century.
The term "peddler" (some versions use the word "corrupt") is the Greek word 'kapeleuo'. It comes from 'kapelos' which means "to be a retailer, to peddle, to hucksterize."  In other words, God's word is used to gain an advantage over others.
Sincerity is not high on the list of a "peddler."  He is prepared to say anything to 'make a sale.' It's like the story I heard about a fellow who was selling hair restorer. He was asked by a bald-headed man, "Can you prove this is a good hair restorer?" The peddler quickly responded, "Sir, one lady customer took the cork out of the bottle with her teeth and twenty-four hours later she had a mustache!"
Paul wrote to Titus while on the isle of Crete that "there are many rebellious men, empty talkers and deceivers, especially of the circumcision, who must be silenced because they are upsetting whole families, teaching things they should not teach for the sake of sordid gain." (Titus 1:10-11) It is a sad case but this can describe some of the preaching/teaching in the church.
Paul was absolutely making certain he was not a "huckster", a "peddler" of God's word. "For we are not like many, peddling the word of God, but as from sincerity, but as from God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God." (II Cor. 2:17) He said "like many".
Today, it seems there are more and more "peddlers of God's word." They try to get things their way, to their advantage while coming across as honest and sincere. Just read II Tim. 3:1-9 and you will see them in the church. They need to be avoided. We need men today of sincerity! We need men that are honest with God's word and not trying to use it to fulfill our wants and thinking. There was a saying about preachers: "When you can't do anything else, preach!" What a sad comentary on preachers. Pray for godly preachers! Pray for godly teachers!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

"Because of You"

The other day I was spending time with a dear brother in Christ. In our conversation he said, "It was because of so and so that I became a Christian." Later that day I was speaking with another brother and he was telling me "because of them it led me to seeking the truth." "Because of you" can be wonderful words to our ears.
However, there can be very disheartening news from the words "because of you." Peter speaks to the church that there will be false teachers secretly introducing destructive heresies and "because of them" the way of the truth will be maligned (II Pet. 2:2). The truth of God is serious. Would you like to face God knowing people sought another path "because of you"? The Jew's made bold claims of being God's chosen yet  we hear "because of you" the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles (Rom. 2:24). How did they blaspheme the name of God? They claimed God as theirs but their attitudes and actions were like the world around. They condemned certain practices but practiced other things just a evil. Israel was headed to captivity and destruction as the Lord said "because of you" living in their wickedness (Hos. 10:15) while claiming to be the people of  God.
Anytime we live in a way that brings shame upon the name of God, that does not glorify Him, we are causing God to be maligned and His truth a joke. Is it possible that by the things we are involved in, our attitudes in the workplace or our family living is causing God to be laughed at "because of you"? Just look at many marriages how they are broken. What message are we sending to the lost?  Is it possible that the power to save in the gospel cannot be heard because our actions are speaking so much more than His word?
 We don't want people to see us, we want people to see Jesus and it will be "because of you." When you approach the end of your life, what words will follow the statement "because of you..."?

Monday, May 2, 2011

"Pray For Open Doors"

Have you ever had one of those mornings when nothing seems to work? You know the kind, where your mind seems dead, your thoughts move like molasses and then suddenly you realize, "There's not a lot going on up there!" I am having one of those mornings.
I think rather than write today, I need to spend some time in study and prayer. Here is something for you. Take some time and think of someone that needs the gospel of Jesus Christ. Begin praying for them and for a opportunity to teach them this wonderful and glorious gospel. Spend time in prayer asking for their heart to soften and start looking. It might be a neighbor, close friend or one in your own family. Pay close attention looking at each encounter for an opening. It will open your eyes and you will see them in ways you have never seen before. God is at work! Go ahead, try it. The power of God is wonderful and you will find encouragment and they will find the love of God.