Love Doesn’t Have To Be Divided

May 21st, 2015

Last night at our church our pastor began a study on the Book of Jude. Brother Dennis was recalling when they were expecting their second child and he wondered whether he could love the second one as much as he loved his first. He was addressing the benediction found in verse 2:

“Mercy, peace, and love be multiplied to you.” (Jude 2)

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Reaping What You Sow

May 19th, 2015

One of the toughest life lessons I’ve had to learn is that I will reap what I’ve sown. For someone who lived a life filled with sin, it has been a long and bitter harvest at times. Realizing that I am still paying for some of my youthful mistakes is a fruit never sweet to eat. Nevertheless, God can still use the bitterest of moments for my good and His glory.

While I cannot change reaping what I’ve sown, I can change my attitude towards the harvest. I can look at the damaged haul and use it as an example unto my children and grandchildren. The wisdom that I can share with others from the evidence of my own mistakes hopefully will keep them from repeating my sinful actions. It also gives me a chance to share a universal and unchanging truth from the Bible:

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A Life of Unfolding Stories

May 18th, 2015

Yesterday our pastor Brother Dennis preached from Acts 16:12-34, teaching us how to praise God in our circumstances. He said that the Christian life is one of unfolding stories. When you look at the lives of Lydia, the fortune-telling girl, and the Philippian jailer, all which became Christians, then you see lives radically changed by their circumstances.

Too often Christians lament their circumstances in life, imagining that being a Christian means living your best life now. That may preach well at churches lead by peddlers of Christ, but it is not Biblical. In fact, the Bible teaches that the afflicted life is a learned life:

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See My Faith and Not My Fear

March 30th, 2015

Last Saturday Karen and I had the pleasure of being taken to dinner by a wonderful couple from our church. Jimmy and Victoria had asked us to join them for dinner after viewing a matinee playing of the fine movie, “Do You Believe?” While we were discussing the movie at dinner, I commented on a scene in the movie and I can’t seem to let go of the thought.

There is a scene in the movie where the pastor is held up at gunpoint for a gym bag full of money. How the pastor came to have that bag full of money are details I won’t go into so not to spoil the movie for those who’ve not seen it. Now my observation is not meant to be a criticism of the pastor, more of a commentary and desire of my own. What I noticed most about the pastor is his obvious fear.

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7even Times Down

March 24th, 2015

I cannot take credit for the “clever” title spelling of this devotional; it’s the name of a Christian music group. However, my pastor reminded me of the story of Naaman during a sermon as he was preaching on obedience. To refresh our memories about Naaman we turn to the Old Testament account:

“So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean.” (2 Kings 5:14)

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Delighting My Soul

March 19th, 2015

People are losing hope. American patriots despair for their country and look at the state of our nation and see no hope. We look to Washington D.C. to voice our complaints and all we get in return are political patronizing pats on the head.

Many are ready to give up on politics altogether. Glenn Beck just announced yesterday that he’s leaving the Republican Party. My friend Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, is considering the same move.

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Walking Away From Jesus

March 16th, 2015

As is the case with most of his sermons, yesterday my pastor pointed something out in Scripture that I’ve completely missed every time I’ve read it. Perhaps its because I’ve been so distracted by something unknowable that I missed what God is trying to show in this passage:

    “And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.” (John 8:8-9)

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Being Found A Liar

March 13th, 2015

Clarity comes to the Christian life when we become “hearers and doers” of the Word. The Bible has been described as the manual for life, or “Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth.” All the issues of life can be addressed in the Bible, some very obvious and some not so obvious. Nevertheless, my worldview must be grounded in Biblical principles if I am going to leave a truthful life:

“Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him. Do not add to His words, lest He rebuke you, and you be found a liar.” (Proverbs 30:6)

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Dying To Live

March 3rd, 2015

Some days I don’t like you eavesdropping on my conversations with the Lord. Perhaps I want to put up a stained glass masquerade, even though I try to be a man of integrity in all things. Nevertheless, as this ministry has grown I’ve learned to be obedient to the Lord’s call and so here we go again.

There are days where I’ve gotten over Christ’s love for me. What I mean, is the fact Jesus loves me doesn’t always overwhelm me. I’m thankful for the knowledge and truth, but some days I’m not overwhelmed. Yesterday was one of those days.

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Heavenly Shade

February 25th, 2015

Living in Florida and being from California, I’m quite used to the sun. In fact I used to crave the sun. However, as I’ve gotten older I’ve become less partial to the hot sun. I have to have my sunglasses whenever sunlight is present, and I love me some shade on a sunny day.

Did you realize that God actually shades us from the hot sun? Not only does He shade us, He also protects us from the moon crashing to the earth. God perfectly designed Earth to be the exact distance from the sun to provide us what we need from it. He also put the moon into orbit at the perfect point so Earth’s gravitational pull would not allow the moon to collide with Earth.

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Moving In Jesus’ Direction

February 18th, 2015

This past Monday evening at our Men’s Bible Study, our pastor encouraged us to “Just look for what will bring glory to Christ and move in that direction.” Let that one soak in for a while. If I will look for the things that bring glory to Christ that will be time well spent. For whatever brings glory to Jesus brings glory to God the Father.

The particular instance Brother Dennis was referring to is when things are happening and you don’t know what to do. We are often times tempted to speak and we end up blabbering. I can definitely speak for myself in this case. Nevertheless, instead of saying something incoherent or irrelevant, just be silent and look for what will bring glory to Christ. And then move in that direction.

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Confidence in God

February 12th, 2015

Our nation is facing some difficult issues, from the threat of Islam to the growing national debt; America is at a crossroads in history. In the fifty years that I’ve been paying attention to our nation’s history and current events, truly “these are the times that try men’s souls.”

We should always turn to God and His word to determine the appropriate actions to take when facing untested waters. The Old Testament gives us a great example of a nation and its king facing a truly dangerous moment and the Biblical solution to a problem.

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Only One God

February 11th, 2015

There is only one God. If this is not true, then the Bible is a lie. People may have their own gods, or be their own god, however it is a lie. Mormons do not worship the same God as I do; neither do Muslims. If they do, then the Bible must be declared a lie, and it was by those two belief systems because they wrote their own religious books. More importantly, they have violated God’s First Commandment. God declares of Himself:

    “And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.’” (Exodus 20:1-3)

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Having A Good Talk With Myself

February 9th, 2015

Yesterday our pastor reminded us that sometimes we need to have a good talk with ourselves. Life can get us so cross-threaded that we look at it as though it is all we have. The Christian life is a sojourn on earth on our way to eternal paradise with Christ. We should not put our hope in things of this world instead of King Jesus:

    “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him for the help of His countenance.” (Psalm 42:5)

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Awaiting Prayers

January 21st, 2015

One Monday evening, our pastor told the men’s Bible study group that God’s commands are prayers waiting to be prayed. He said we could ask God to teach us how to do the things He commands. That really resonated with me: awaiting prayers for you and me.

I can imagine the triune God just waiting for me to ask Him to help with His commands. Perhaps you’re thinking you don’t even know where to start with God’s commands. Sometimes the best place to start is at the start:

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Saying What God Says

January 6th, 2015

Last Sunday my pastor, Dr. Dennis Brunet, said something upon which I’ve set my heart and mind. He said, “If the Word of God says it, then I can say it.” Americans are a very opinionated people, and many Christians—me chief among them—are guilty of offering varied opinions on many subjects. God’s word has addressed many of the issues facing our nation today, so our opinions must sync up to Biblical teaching.

The immorality that runs rampant through our society today can be dealt with by turning to our Bibles:

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Resolving To Be Resolved

December 31st, 2014

Another year has gone and a new year is upon us. Many people are making New Year’s resolutions only to break them before the end of January. Others are vowing not to make any resolutions so as to avoid breaking them. It seems the older I get the weaker my will power becomes. So what’s a person to do?

The greatest foe to staying resolved is temptation. Many times the temptation we face is not openly destructive or evil. The devil is subtler than that. As my pastor is wont to say, “Satan is the best devil there is.” Temptation can come in good things, keeping us from what is best. So how do we know the difference?

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Will You Go?

December 25th, 2014

    “So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, ‘Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.’” (Luke 2:15)

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God’s Own Son

December 24th, 2014

The timeless 19th Century Christmas carol written by William Chatterton Dix asks, “What Child Is This?” The carol goes on to say, “This, this is Christ the King.” We all know that song, and we all know that Christmas is about the Baby Jesus. But we don’t know much about Jesus if that is all we know.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is “This Baby” by Steven Curtis Chapman. The song describes the life of a baby that could represent any baby’s life. However, the difference in “This Baby” is found in the chorus:

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Seeking Great Things For Ourselves

December 18th, 2014

“Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child. So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.” (Luke 2:4-7)

If you went back to your hometown where near or distant relatives lived, would you have to get a room at a hotel? Now some of us might choose to get a room, but would you have to? Or do you have family and friends in your hometown that would be delighted to put you up while you visited. In fact, most would insist you stayed with them.

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