Examining Our Ways

self-examinationAs I look back over 2013, I can easily see the obvious victories and defeats the year brought. Oftentimes we do so to align our New Year’s resolution to increase those victories and lessen the defeats. My materialism and pragmatism can develop on the surface seemingly good ideas for a prosperous new year, but those are the wrong measurements to use.

It has almost become cliché to say we need a revival to rescue America. It’s true that is what we need, but too many Christians say that without understanding what is required of them. The Prophet Jeremiah tells us:

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Every Need Met

every need metSo Christmas is over and the new year is just around the corner. Depending on your financial situation, you may not have had the kind of Christmas you had hoped for and the new year doesn’t look anymore promising. While it’s been a while since I’ve experienced that feeling, I do know that it can be debilitating and make you feel defeated. Circumstances in your life may in fact not be ideal, but perhaps your ideals about your life need refocusing. Let us look through the eyes of the Apostle Paul for a different perspective:

    “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:10-13)

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The Fullness of Time

fullness of timeSometimes time seems to stand still. I know there are many children across the country thinking Christmas couldn’t get here soon enough, and in a flash for many a family it was over in a matter of minutes. Time can fly by after standing still for so long. In our wireless, fiber-optic high speed internet world, time does seem to fly by all while dragging on. Time has always seemed to drag on while we wait upon God. As James Dobson has written, “God’s timing is always perfect; it’s just three days late for us.”

But God is the author and maker of time. His timing is indeed perfect and nothing ever takes Him by surprise. As has been said over the years, “There’s no panics in heaven; just plans.” It was so with the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ:

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A Divine Coming

20 days old baby sleeping in a christmas nativity cribTo be Christlike is my greatest challenge. To balance grace and truth towards a lost world is a constant battle. With family members where I want to avoid conflict, I can rely too much on grace while avoiding Biblical truth. When I’m angry and in a battle, I can use the truth like a sledgehammer and purposely shun grace. That is what humans do. That is why we need a Savior.

    “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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Balancing Truth and Grace

Phil RobertsonI wanted to share with all you what I posted to my social sites since many of you do not follow me on Facebook or Twitter:

While we must show Christian love to homosexuals, we cannot allow them to control the debate. Phil Robertson’s comments were not anti-gay. And I find it ironic that anatomically describing heterosexual and homosexual sex is considered crude, while the vileness of open homosexuality is considered an alternative lifestyle.

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A Deliberate Calculation

You-Have-A-ChoiceBy now most of you have heard that Phil Robertson, the patriarch of Duck Dynasty fame, has been for all intents and purposes fired by A&E Television. His crime? Speaking Biblical truth while doing an interview with GQ Magazine. I won’t take up space here quoting what he said; you can find that on the internet. What is important to understand is that Phil knew what he was doing and that he would no doubt reap a whirlwind. In fact, if he did not expect one he is not as wise as I believe him to be.

One thing Phil says he appreciates about his fame is that it gives him a platform to proclaim and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. in this day and age, that alone is calling spiritual artillery onto your own position. The name of Jesus is to be uttered only inside church walls. For some enemies of God they would prefer there be no churches in America. Nevertheless, as Christians we have a choice we must make if we are going to live in the cultural rot known as American society. Joshua simplified it centuries ago:

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Confirming Their Expectations

checkmarkWe are one week from celebrating the birth of Christ, and it seems right that we understand this event in history. The birth of Christ was not just some unexpected and supernatural interruption of history. It was a long-awaited for event, foretold by the prophets of old and read of and retold by every devout Jewish home. And the vast majority completely missed it.

    “Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.” (John 8:56)

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The Ways Of Man

Jesus watches overWhen I look back on the sins I’ve committed, I see clearly how badly I played the fool. I did things in secret as though they were hidden from God. Whether it’s the lowest level of depravity of viewing pornography, or cursing a driver while heading to work, the Bible clearly tells us that God sees all.

    “For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and He ponders all his paths.” (Proverbs 5:21)

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Strengthening Your Heart

Coeur bodybuilderA friend I made on Facebook named Jack had triple-bypass surgery yesterday. His wife Paige posted thanks and praise after her husband’s surgery, saying God kept him from having a massive heart attack that would have killed him. All of their friends are praying for Jack’s quick recovery and that his heart will be stronger than ever.

Medical science is amazing and the discoveries made each year increase our knowledge of the human anatomy. But what about the spiritual heart? How do we strengthen our spiritual hearts? Is there a type of bypass surgery that can repair a broken or defeated heart?

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Being Sealed By God

seal-of-godWhen it comes to God, what is the number one duty of all humans? Atheists would tell you nothing because there is no God. They have violated the First Commandment of God. Agnostics would say that we cannot really know our duty towards God because we can’t really know if there is a God. They too violate the First Commandment of God. Atheists do so because they believe in themselves; agnostics because they believe in knowledge. By placing either self or knowledge before God, they make each their gods thus violating:

    “You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Exodus 20:3)

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From A Coward To Courageous

courageous_cowardHave you ever displayed fear that you knew was founded on cowardice? To know yourself as a coward is to almost loathe oneself. Cowardice is a condition that can only be overcome by courage. Courage is not the absence of fear; it is the overcoming of fear. One of the most recognizable examples of cowardice in the Bible is Peter’s denial of Christ.

    “Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came. And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, ‘You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.’ But he denied it, saying, ‘I neither know nor understand what you are saying.’ And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed. And the servant girl saw him again, and began to say to those who stood by, ‘This is one of them.’ But he denied it again. And a little later those who stood by said to Peter again, ‘Surely you are one of them; for you are a Galilean, and your speech shows it.’ Then he began to curse and swear, ‘I do not know this Man of whom you speak!’ A second time the rooster crowed. Then Peter called to mind the word that Jesus had said to him, ‘Before the rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.’ And when he thought about it, he wept.” (Mark 14:66-72)

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