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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The Old Testament Gospel

December 12th, 2014

I feel sorry for those Christians who believe, or worse yet are taught, that the Old Testament no longer applies to the modern church. One would have to ask if that was true, then why would God have written it? Nevertheless, an honest reading and seeking of God’s truth in the Old Testament results in the Holy Spirit speaking from it. It is a treasure of good news.

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The Heavenly Trailblazer

December 9th, 2014

One of the skills I appreciate most that I learned in the Army is the ability to navigate with just a map and a compass. Now that might come as a surprise to my wife and daughters, knowing my stubborn male ego and refusal to ask for directions at times. Nevertheless, I was taught and have taught land navigational skills.

One area in the world where you really rely on these skills is in the desert, especially at night. If you are familiar with the terrain, you can become comfortable navigating using terrain recognition during the day.

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Worshipping God For Who He Is

November 26th, 2014

I wanted to share something else from Brother Pete’s sermon last Sunday. He encouraged us to “Worship God not for what He’s done for you, but for who He is.” That really struck home with me because outside of church I must confess I rarely do that. Normally my worship of God is in thanksgiving for what He’s done for me. I want to be more like David and worship God for who He is:

    “Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.” (Psalm 29:2)

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Smelling Like Jesus

November 24th, 2014

What would be your response if someone told you that you smell like Jesus? Would you think that person odd? Would have to seek clarification? Would you nervously thank him or her, look at your watch and hurry away? Or would you understand the tremendous compliment that had just been paid to you?

This may seem a funny topic, but yesterday in church our Minister of Discipleship and Evangelism Pete Belmain was preaching on “What It Means Not to Waste Your Life” and I was struck by something he mentioned. His fourth point was a life that is selflessly devoted to Jesus results in love-driven conduct. He was preaching from the familiar passage of Mary anointing Jesus with expensive spikenard. In John 12: 3 we read:

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Pushing Down Our Enemies

November 19th, 2014

As Christians, the enemies of God are also our enemies. Those who oppose God and His biblical principles will also oppose those values we embrace. If we are to have spiritual victory in our Christian lives, then we will have to vanquish our enemies.

However, the weapons we use against our enemies are not what might first come to mind. We do not overwhelm our enemies with power; we overcome them with grace and truth just as our King Jesus did:

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Vain Fancies

November 17th, 2014

Last Wednesday night, I was looking for some Scripture to finish our Share Jesus Without Fear training and I read this passage again for the first time:

    “Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Romans 10:1-4)

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Things That Are Dangerously Real

November 12th, 2014

Defeat can be overwhelming. Whether it is in the arena of business, politics, or sports, defeat is always a hard pill to swallow. However, those defeats are temporary. Voluminous are the accounts of athletes, entrepreneurs, and politicians coming back from “the agony of defeat” to experience “the thrill of victory.”

What do you do when life defeats you? Where do you turn when the devil has his foot on the back of your head, seemingly grinding your face in the dirt? You turn to the Lord Jesus Christ:

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Bringing Evil Upon Themselves

November 10th, 2014

Have you ever met someone who seemed to always find bad luck? This is the type of person who seems to have a knack for always getting into trouble. If there is a way to get into trouble, this person will figure it out. When you scratch just below the surface, you’ll discover the root problem. It is sin.

However, the sin that is self-inflicted is usually avoidable. Worse yet, this person’s sin is often worn as a badge of honor. I used to have many of those badges. I was the type of person who could party with the best of them, doing immoral things and relishing in them. Mankind has been doing this for some time:

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Unmovable in Our Hope

November 6th, 2014

The last couple of days I’ve been asked if I am happy about the outcome of the midterm elections. My response has been two-fold: it is a time of great hope, however I am cautiously confident. I can tell by some of the facial expressions that some are confused by my response. Let me explain.

I am very grateful to God that we have a Republican Party majority in Congress. As a voter, I align myself with the Republican Party platform. The platform stands for biblical principles. As my good friend Steve Deace is wont to say, “If Republicans would just govern by their platform, they would stay in power forever.”

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Following Jesus

October 15th, 2014

Think back when you first accepted Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. What was it about Jesus that made you follow Him? Was it because of a sermon pointing to Christ as the Lamb of God, as did John the Baptist in John 1:36? Or was it your reading Scripture that caused you to follow Christ? However you realized Christ was your needed Savior, when you heard the good news it only made sense to follow:

    “Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, ‘Behold the Lamb of God!’ The two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus.” (John 1:35-37)

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Forsaking Foolishness

October 9th, 2014

You’ve either met someone or heard of someone taking a break from life so he or she could “go and find myself.” It’s understandable to want to search out one’s purpose in life, however it means you’ve not yet figured out how to live your life. Determining the way to live your life is an important journey. Solomon wrote of this:

    “Forsake foolishness and live, and go in the way of understanding.” (Proverbs 9:6)

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The Fullness of Christ

October 7th, 2014

Have you ever been asked if you’re a “cup half full” or a “cup half empty” type of person? As born-again believers our answer should be, “I’m a cup runneth over” type of person. If you have received Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, then the Holy Spirit indwells within you and you have the fullness of Christ:

    “And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace. For the law was given through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” (John 1:16-17)

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Bearing Witness

October 2nd, 2014

Let me ask you a tough question up front and you can decide if you want to continue reading. How many times have you shared the gospel with someone? If most Christians were honest, my guess would be a shocking number would say never.

Yes, a Christian who has received salvation through the grace of Jesus Christ not sharing the gospel would seem an anomaly. How could someone not share good news with those they love?

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The Word Living Among Us

September 25th, 2014

The Greek logos means “word,” and the Apostle John is the only New Testament writer who uses it to describe Christ. It denotes a collection of words or ideas and can represent what we think and what we express. Logos has been used to express the law and wisdom of God found in the Old Testament.

If you go back and look at the first three words of John’s Gospel, you will see it mirrors the start of Genesis: “In the beginning…” The latter introduces the start of creation, and the former reaches back into eternity. This means the Word has preexisted even before the heavens and the earth were created. Understanding this brings greater importance to the Word living among us:

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Endorsing Jesus

September 19th, 2014

Endorsements are big business, especially in the sports industry. In the last few days, we’ve seen some big endorsements being pulled from players because of their off-field conduct, and rightly so. No company wants to be associated, much less invested in someone of true or perceived lowly character.

While our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did not need it, He did receive an endorsement from His earthly cousin, John the Baptist:

    “John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, ‘This was He of whom I said, “He who comes after me is preferred before me, for He was before me.”’” (John 1:15)

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Beholding His Glory

September 18th, 2014

Did you know that Jesus wants us to glory in His glory? The first usage of glory is as a verb, meaning “to exult with triumph; rejoice proudly.” The second usage of glory is as a noun, meaning “very great praise, honor, or distinction, fame or admiration.” We glory in the glory of our Savior. What is the Lord’s glory? It is the same glory with which we behold God the Father, and it has been revealed to us through Christ:

    “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

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Not All in the Family

September 11th, 2014

One of the great lies of liberal theology is that we are all a part of God’s family. Christianity teaches otherwise. The former teaching may seem inclusive and welcoming, while the latter seems exclusive and intolerant. No matter the labels, beliefs and opinions do not trump the Truth, which says:

    “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:12-13)

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The Light of Men

September 10th, 2014

We are living in seemingly dark times. The evil of ISIS has shocked even the most sturdiest of men I know, men who have seen the horrors of war and its ravages. My son warned of this evil in his second article, “Freedom Feels Good”:

    “I have lost very close friends over here. I don’t want their lives to have been given in vain. Simply put, we are fighters. We are all in the same place for various reasons, for me, it’s personal. I am in a modern day crusade to exterminate evil. People whose atrocities I cannot even begin to name cannot be allowed to exist among us. As long as these people are here, everything that is just and good is at risk.”

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Leaving Behind A Solemn Testimony

August 15th, 2014

My pastor likes to say that getting old isn’t for sissies. I couldn’t agree more. Never mind the physical aspects of growing old, the spiritual pressures can be overwhelming. In my generation we have seen socially both rapid progress and rancid perversion. It’s enough to make an older person just want to retire and fade into the sunset. That would be a waste of much power and prudence.

The writer of Psalm 71 was either old age or at least thinking of growing old when he wrote:

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