Repaying Great Favors With Ingratitude

If I was Moses I think I may have quit the job of leader of Israel? Why? Because at times they were nothing but a bunch of ingrates. The Israelites grumbled about being taken out of captivity, they grumbled about being delivered by God, they even grumbled about the food God provided them in the wilderness. Nothing will wear you down faster than the ingratitude of those you love and are trying to lead. It takes a special man like Moses to lead a complaining nation. Here’s just a taste of Israel’s ingratitude:

    “And Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiram the sons of Eliab, but they said, ‘We will not come up! Is it a small thing that you have brought us up out of a land flowing with milk and honey, to kill us in the wilderness, that you should keep acting like a prince over us? Moreover you have not brought us into a land flowing with milk and honey, nor given us inheritance of fields and vineyards. Will you put out the eyes of these men? We will not come up!’” (Numbers 16:12-14)

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Fulfill His Desires Without Fear Of Judgment

Whenever I’m asked, be it on radio or through social media and email, what is America’s number one problem, I always have the same answer: moral relativism. Moral relativism says that what is right for you is not necessarily right for me. Your standards do not have to become my standards. There is no right and wrong, no black and white, no absolute truth.

This is absolute baloney and is the destruction of any society:

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An Empty Mind And A Darkened Heart

Can you think of anyone more annoying that the ungrateful person? This person takes everything for granted. He or she assumes everything in life is cast upon him or her simply because they exist. The bounty of our nation, the liberty as a people, and for Christians, our salvation in Jesus Christ.

How does ingratitude happen? We turn our hearts from God and turn our eyes upon ourselves. Very simply it means we love ourselves more than we love God. Having a Holy God means we have to live holy lives, and too many of us simply are unwilling to surrender our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

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The Word Makes Belief Possible

How often do you read your Bible? And when you do, are you doing it out of a sense of responsibility (which I endorse if that’s is all that motivates you), or do you go to God’s Word seeking to increase your faith. We can go to God’s Word based on what the Apostle Paul taught:

    “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

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The Interest Of Our Souls Ought To Be Preferred

In case you forgot, today is Tax Day and your taxes are due today. Karen and I paid ours Sunday night through the convenience of the internet. There are among some fringe “Christian” movements the idea that we do not have to pay our taxes because the federal government has moved beyond the original intent our Constitution and individual liberty. While the latter may be true, the former is counterintuitive to the argument. We get the government we deserve; we have the right to choose our rulers. So what about paying our taxes? You already know the answer because Jesus provides it:

    “Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, ‘Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not regard the person of men. Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?’ But Jesus perceived their wickedness, and said, ‘Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? Show Me the tax money.’ So they brought Him a denarius. And He said to them, ‘Whose image and inscription is this?’ They said to Him, ‘Caesar’s.’ And He said to them, ‘Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.” (Matthew 22:15-22)

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As Eager And Unsatisfied As Before

Do you ever get frustrated? No? Well just eavesdrop on this conversation anyway and perhaps you can help someone deal with disappointment and frustration.

Sometimes we work so hard to make a difference in our world and the lives of our loved ones, we invest so much time and energy that when it seems we fail we feel defeated. The feeling of defeat can bring humiliation and dissatisfaction to our hearts leaving us empty and exhausted. It at times seems to all have been in vain.

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To Silence His People’s Fears

I’ve noticed a phenomenon in American Christendom lately and I am at times guilty of it. Fear. Fear of the past, fear of the present, and fear of the future. As Christians we tend to fear what has happened, what is happening, and what will happen. Fear comes from ignorance; not stupidity but ignorance. Random House Dictionary defines ignorance as a “lack of knowledge, learning, information, etc.” The old adage of fear standing for “false evidence appearing real” is never more true when applied to the Christian life. We fear because we fail to have the right perspective.

On that Resurrection Morning, the Disciples feared for their lives and feared the future. And they need not have done so. So where did they go wrong? They forgot Jesus’ words. They looked at their circumstances instead of looking to Christ. If they had been about their Master’s business they would have met Jesus. It happened to the women after they left the empty tomb:

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The Hopeless Sorrow Of The World

Mary Magdalene loved her Lord so much that she just had to see Him again. She had followed Peter and John back to the tomb. When she returned to the tomb she still believed He was dead and she wanted to locate His body. Her grief was so great; she missed seeing Jesus and wanted to be able to care for His body:

    “Then the disciples went away again to their own homes. But Mary stood outside by the tomb weeping, and as she wept she stooped down and looked into the tomb. And she saw two angels in white sitting, one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. Then they said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid Him.’” (John 20:10-13)

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Seeking The Living Among The Dead

One of the most toxic lies from the pit of hell is that all religions lead to God; that we all basically worship the same God. That is so easily disputed that a junior high debate student could destroy that myth in the first round. How so?

Christianity is the only religion that believes in a risen Savior. All other religions either believe in becoming gods themselves, worship animals, worship a statue, or worship a dead so-called prophet.

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It Is Forever Done

The Friday Jesus died was not a good day. It was the bleakest and darkest day; it was humanity’s most shameful day ever. The King had come and they did not receive Him. Instead, they slaughtered Him like a common criminal. There is nothing good about that day. Just ask the Disciples; you could have never convinced them otherwise on that day. Their Master was dead and buried.

I wonder about something on that day: did the Apostle John, Jesus’ mother Mary—now John’s mother, Mary Magdalene, Salome, the mother of James and John, and the other women…did any of them remember and share Jesus’ words from the cross? Jesus made seven utterances from the Cross, all of them recorded, so obviously they were remembered. But what about that Friday and Saturday? Did they try to remember the things Jesus had said from the Cross? I want to particularly look at the sixth utterance. But to get there we have to look at Jesus’ third and fifth utterances to set the scene:

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The Whole Discipline Of Life

It is Jesus’ final evening with His Disciples before His death; it is His last supper with them…the last Passover meal. He will preach His last sermons and pray His final prayers on earth. And the Disciples still do not understand this. Jesus’ last night on earth is so full of activity, revelation, and theology that I’ve decided to take a closer look at it all next week. But if I had to pick one event, one conversation, I would pick Jesus’ short conversation with Philip in the Upper Room.

    “‘If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him.’ Philip said to Him, ‘Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, “Show us the Father”? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.’” (John 14:7-11)

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Make A Man A Hypocrite When Religion Is In Fashion

Imagine the man who is part of an exclusive cigar and cigarette club. Membership in this club is prestigious and profitable. It is prestigious because society looks upon you as someone with clout, someone part of “the in-crowd.” it is profitable because other members are able to connect you with business associates and clients simply because you are a member of this club.

There is only one problem with being in the this club: it is literally killing you physically. You’ve seen the medical evidence of the effects of smoking and you’re beginning to experience the physical ravages of smoking.

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A Hypocrite Doesn’t Make The Truth Hypocritical

What do Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert, Ted Haggard, Rush Limbaugh, and me (just to name a few) all have in common?

We are all or have been hypocrites because we have not lived the truth we’ve preached. And that alone is enough to keep people out of church. I’m not going to church because it is full of hypocrites.

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