Defeated By Our Enemies

April 22nd, 2014

defeatBilly Graham once wrote that 95% of Christians live spiritually-defeated lives. How does that happen? What or who is it that spiritually defeats the Christian? Do we not have victory in Jesus? Of course we do, however many Christians lives their lives as though Jesus never went to the cross or rose from the grave defeating Satan and death. This defeatist lifestyle is not peculiar to the 21st Century Christian. As God’s chosen people, Israel experienced this many times.

    “You make us turn back from the enemy, and those who hate us have taken spoil for themselves. You have given us up like sheep intended for food, and have scattered us among the nations. You sell Your people for next to nothing, and are not enriched by selling them.” (Psalm 44:10-12)

Read the rest of this entry »

Mocking What You Reject

April 8th, 2014

Mocking Girl5One of the most frustrating things for me as a Christian is when an unbeliever mocks the Bible. When I first started walking close with the Lord, it seemed everywhere I turned I heard the Word of God being mocked. It took many years of Christian growth and maturity to overcome the urge to strike back at the mockers. Then of course my pastor, Dr. Dennis Brunet, succinctly summed it up for me last Sunday in his sermon:

    “Whenever you reject the Word of God, you must mock it.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: mocking, persecution

Answering For Our Own Behavior

April 7th, 2014

judgmentseatDuring my book signing this past weekend, I was sharing with some friends about the spiritual breakthrough I had a couple of years ago when it came to making decisions. While I cannot recall the day, I do remember coming to the realization that I would actually be held accountable by God for the decisions I make and the words I speak. I now take serious what Paul wrote:

    “So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)

Read the rest of this entry »

Due To Our Own Ignorance

April 4th, 2014

head_in_the_sandOne of my quests is to help Christians learn how to critically think. The great majority of believers allow society to sway their thought process. Whether it is political correctness, ignorance, or fear, many Christians either do not have or cannot define and defend a Biblical worldview. This is the single-most reason the American church has become for the most part ineffective in society. We do not know what or why we believe and are unwilling to defend it if we do.

So how do I go about examining my critical thinking abilities? I turn to where Christians should always turn when looking for any answer. I turn to God and His holy word:

Read the rest of this entry »

A Sincere Expression Of Our Love

March 28th, 2014

sincere-loveI just finished teaching at my church a 6-week class on evangelism by Bill Fay titled “Share Jesus Without Fear” and on the last night I asked the class this question: “Why do you want to witness to the people on your list?” (We all made a list on week 1 of those people we knew who needed to be saved). One sweet, godly lady said, “So they won’t go to hell.” I replied that was a common answer and a good one. However, I told the class that your motivation has to be more than that. In fact, what would it say about us if we wanted anyone to go to hell?

To overcome the fear and intimidation of witnessing we need more than making sure our loved one doesn’t go to hell. Someone else said we need love. I told the class yes but that our love for our lost one isn’t enough. I asked them, “All of us love those people on our list, right?”

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: love

Presuming Upon Tomorrow

March 27th, 2014

crystal ballI have a confession to make. Too often I make sweeping statements that on the surface might seem wise, but scratch just below the surface and you’ll find foolishness at the core. This morning I began reading the proverb of the day and God didn’t let me get past verse 1:

    “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth.” (Proverbs 27:1)

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: future

Pure From Corruption

March 25th, 2014

corruptionOur government has been corrupt for a long time. There is a good reason for that. Our culture has been corrupt for a long time. There is also a good reason for that. Our churches have been corrupt for a long time. Yes, there is a good reason for that too. Our homes have been corrupt for a long time.

Many Christians believe if we can just get the right people in office, then our nation will make a comeback. While that would help some, it is more of an ointment than a cure. A person suffering from skin cancer might be able to relieve the surface pain with some sort of ointment, but the disease itself must be dealt with. Trying to fix a deep-abiding problem with surface remedies only deal with the symptoms. The cure for the disease is what is desperately needed.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Comfort and Happiness of Parents

March 20th, 2014

Child wateringToday is my youngest daughter Becky’s birthday. Today is also the birthday of Marc Alan Lee, the son of Karen and my dear friend Debbie Lee. Marc and my son Eddie were both great warriors who, as Debbie describes it, just beat us to heaven. Debbie always says “I have three children, one just beat me to heaven.” I too have three children, and on just beat me to heaven.

While there is sorrow in losing a child, there is also joy knowing that child beat us to heaven. Of course on memorable days such as the birthday of a departed child, there is joy knowing that he or she is in heaven because they were a child of God. The Lord’s great blessing to parents are children. An even greater blessing for a believing parent is when that child is born again.

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: children

Choosing To Sin

March 18th, 2014

choose-to-sin_choose-to-sufferComedian Flip Wilson used to portray a female character named Geraldine. Geraldine was not the kind of woman you would bring home to meet your mother. When she would try to explain away her misconduct she would exclaim, “The devil made me do it!” That would be funny, however too many Christians use that excuse for living in sin. Last Sunday our Minister of Discipleship and Evangelism, Reverend Pete Belmain, cleared up any confusion about our sinfulness. We sin because we choose to sin.

If we try to make excuses for our sinfulness, we are in actuality condoning it. That may not be what we want to hear, but to blame our sins on our flesh or Satan, or anyone or anything else is to condone it. If we must give a reason for our sin, let us get back to the path of righteousness by at least admitting our culpability. We sin because we choose to sin, and when we do so we condone it. We must never condone sin in our lives or in others. The Apostle Paul warned against such behavior:

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: backsliding

A Living Faith

March 14th, 2014

Shield Of Faith (1)I like one of the more popular Christian acronyms and that is the one for FAITH: Forsaking All I Trust Him. Like is the case with many things in our Christian culture, this makes a great refrigerator magnet and bumper sticker, but when the rubber meets the road we often times do the opposite.

It is our natural tendency to trust our senses before we trust our faith. That’s because we have faith in our faith instead having faith in God. Jesus taught His disciples an important lesson when it came to faith when they came upon the withered fig tree:

Read the rest of this entry »

One Mistake Away

March 13th, 2014

One Mistake AwayChristianity is so simple, intellectuals completely miss it. Conversely, Christianity can be made so intellectual that the simple miss it. As adults, at times even after we’re saved, we can’t seem to get past our desire to earn our salvation. Before we get saved we think we’ve done too many bad things to ever receive God’s forgiveness. After we get saved, we think we can be bad enough to actually lose God’s forgiveness. King David knew something about God’s forgiveness; that’s why he could write:

    “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: repentance

The Yielding Of Self-Will

March 5th, 2014

self willMost Christians approach knowing God’s will as some great mystery to be solved, using the latest materials available for a pretty price at the local LifeWay store. While Bible study materials are definitely a great assistance in furthering your Biblical knowledge, they alone will not “crack the code” when it comes to understanding God’s will for their lives. The most important source we can use in learning God’s will is…the Bible. I know that may seem so 16th Century, but it does work.

In John 7 we find Jesus teaching in the middle of the Feast of Tabernacles “and many of the Jews marveled, saying, ‘How does this man know letters, having never studied?’”(v.15). First understand that in the 1st Century, the word “letters” could mean the actual characters of the alphabet or Scripture. In this case, the Jews are referring to Scripture.

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: discernment, self-will

End Well

February 27th, 2014

Journey through lifeLast Sunday, one of our fine Sunday School teachers Jim Bosak was teaching on Genesis 27, and while commenting on the tragic ending of Isaac’s life and the dysfunctionality of his family, Brother Jim challenged us to “end well.” That struck such a strong chord in my soul because my family did not start out well. However, by the grace of God and His never-ending mercies we will finish strong. Growing up in a dysfunctional family has left its mark on us, but it does not have to end that way.

    “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.” (James 1:12)

Read the rest of this entry »

Somebody’s Watching Me

February 24th, 2014

god is watching youIn 1984 there was a song titled, “Somebody’s Watching Me.” It was performed by an artist named Rockwell and the chorus was sung by Michael Jackson. I actually went and watched the old video again. Funny to see what used to be entertaining is no longer so, not just because technology has change, but also because my tastes have changed.

I’ll forever remember this song though because I was driving home coming back from the hospital the day Eddie was born. As I was pulling into the driveway, the local FM station asked a trivia question I knew the answer to. I ran into the house, called in and got through and won the prize. I told the DJ this was a particularly great day because my son had just been born. I told him I’d better get some sleep because I knew I wouldn’t be getting any once momma and baby got home. He said he would mention that on the radio when he announced me as the winner. So I ran and got my boom box so I could record it to have later when Eddie grew up. When I turned on the radio to catch the DJ when he came on, guess what song was playing? Yep, “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell.

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: omniscience, paranoia

Reflecting On Our Own Ways

February 20th, 2014

backsliderThis past Monday at our Men’s Bible Study, our pastor Brother Dennis taught on “Things I’m Thankful For” and the second point he made really stuck with me. He said we can be thankful because “Jesus’ power breaks sin’s stronghold.” He was referring to the good news found in Romans 8:

    “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans 8:2)

Read the rest of this entry »

The Revenue of the Wicked

February 19th, 2014

greed-moneyYesterday I was part of an email conversation that was discussing the coming collapse or correction to the market and how to prepare for it. The conversation brought me back to a verse I read last Saturday that just rose up from the page and I know the Lord wanted me to write about it. King Solomon wisely wrote:

    “In the house of the righteous there is much treasure, but in the revenue of the wicked is trouble.” (Proverbs 15:6)

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: reaping, sowing

Looking At The Possibility

February 11th, 2014

man-looking-in-mirrorDo you ever tell yourself, “You’re not all that!” If you do, it’s probably not in a healthy manner. I’m not talking about having self-esteem; that is a lie from the pit of hell. I’m talking about having a healthy self-image. Do you see yourself with God’s eyes? Almost every sin can be traced back to the root problem of pride. I know it is true in my life; I was raised to be a prideful person (not that I really needed any assistance in that area). The original sin in the Garden of Eden was rooted in pride. The world will tell you that you need pride in who you are and to have a healthy self-esteem for yourself. The Bible tells the opposite:

    “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.” (Proverbs 11:2)

Read the rest of this entry »

Chasing Healing

January 31st, 2014

healingI just received a very encouraging email from one of my devotional readers that greatly blessed me. What was most encouraging is how this dear sister-in-Christ and her husband, stationed in Japan, have gone and are going through great trials and yet they are standing strong in their faith. God is using their lives to glorify Him and on occasion this devotional speaks to them. I am honored and humbled that the Lord has seen fit to use me as one of His conduits.

There are more than 230 of you receiving this devotional and no doubt each of you could testify to how God has seen you through tough times. Or perhaps you’re facing tough times right now and see no way out. Too often we try to fight a battle that isn’t ours. We need to allow our King to step into the fray for us.

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: love, lovingkindness

Escaping Many Worldly Things

January 30th, 2014

Escape-LaneMy son-in-law has had a tough go at life these past few months. His career path has careened in directions my daughter and he never imagined. It has tested their faith, love, and trust in one another and their Lord. I am thankful to God to report they have past that test through the grace of their Lord Jesus Christ. A couple 20 years their senior would have buckled under the weight. By staying focused on the Lord and his family, my son-in-law lived out this verse:

    “Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.” (Psalm 40:4)

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: perseverance

An Unimpaired State of Character

January 27th, 2014

man-looking-in-the-mirrorYesterday our associate pastor, Reverend Pete Belmain, preached on 1 Peter 2:9-10 and spoke of an alternative lifestyle. He biblically made the case that Christianity is the alternative lifestyle and that the other lifestyles so described are actually culturally acceptable. One thing he said is that as Christians we are billboards. I like that, except Brother Pete challenged us by asking, “What does your billboard say?”

I haven’t been able to let go of that question because too often I don’t like my answer. However, I need not despair because I have a gracious Lord who forgives me of my sins if I will just confess them to Him. Nevertheless, I must endeavor to be more like Jesus and to reflect His character. If I reflect my old character, then what others see will not be Jesus. Solomon knew this well:

Read the rest of this entry »

Technorati Tags: Christlikeness