Covered-up or Covered Sin

August 11th, 2015

If you had a debt to pay and someone offered to “cover” it for you, what would you think? Or if you go out to eat and your friend tells you he or she has it “covered,” is that not a nice surprise? Being blessed by someone’s generosity is always a wonderful treat. That is the essence of grace.

Particularly in the case of a debt owed. When facing mounting debts, life can be difficult and the strain upon a family devastating to even the strongest relationships. The relief one feels knowing their debts are paid is liberating. Hopefully that person’s level of gratitude matches their sense of relief.

Read the rest of this entry »

Undoing My “Uns”

August 10th, 2015

When studying Romans 1, the reader comes to the last thirteen verses of which are subtitled, “God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness.” If you don’t already have your Bible open to Romans 1, please do so now so you can follow the context. Many books and sermons are available on this passage, however recently one verse really stood out to me:

    “…Undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful…” (Romans 1:31)

Read the rest of this entry »

Undoing My “Uns”

August 10th, 2015

When studying Romans 1, the reader comes to the last thirteen verses of which are subtitled, “God’s Wrath on Unrighteousness.” If you don’t already have your Bible open to Romans 1, please do so now so you can follow the context. Many books and sermons are available on this passage, however recently one verse really stood out to me:

    “…Undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful…” (Romans 1:31)

Read the rest of this entry »

The Sin of Offense

July 22nd, 2015

One of the very first lessons my pastor Dr. Dennis Brunet taught me was the sin of offense. I remember it like it was yesterday even though it was fourteen years ago. Someone close to me had hurt me, however that person had not actually hurt be directly. It was their behavior in a relationship other than ours that caused my hurt.

When I shared this with Brother Dennis he told me: “You’ve got to get over the sin of offense brother.” I was actually confused by his statement and I said so. He asked me if I was offended by my friend’s behavior, and I said yes. That’s when he said, “This isn’t about you brother; it’s about your friend. Your friend needs your prayers and your grace.”

Read the rest of this entry »

May We Fear His Wrath

July 20th, 2015

What should Christians do when government defies God? Is the supreme law of the land the US Constitution, the US Supreme Court, or any man-made institution or instrument? Or is Almighty God, the Creator of the heavens and earth, the supreme law of the land?

With the recent rulings from the US Supreme Court, it is long past time for the American Church to do as the Prophet Isaiah warned Israel:

Read the rest of this entry »

Losing Authority

June 16th, 2015

Recently in a Wednesday night Bible study, our pastor Brother Dennis said something that really struck a chord in my life:

    “When we trash people, we lose authority. Not trashing others protects me from me.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Distinguished or Extinguished

June 8th, 2015

Last night during our graduation recognition night, our Minister of Students Brother Andrew told the graduates that as Christians they could be extinguished or distinguished. He told them as young adults coming into an uncertain world and marketplace, they have the foundation to distinguish themselves among their peers:

Read the rest of this entry »

Defeating My Old Nature

May 27th, 2015

Speaking blessings into people’s lives does not come naturally for me. My old nature is ever-present to take over and tear down my enemies. My old nature is to defeat my enemies at all cost.

This is what makes Jesus so radical. He commands us to love and pray for our enemies. I don’t know about you but without Jesus’ supernatural grace and power I am incapable of such behavior. In fact, it is counter-intuitive to me:

Read the rest of this entry »

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)

Read the rest of this entry »

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

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:

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: fear

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)

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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)

Read the rest of this entry »

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)

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Read the rest of this entry »