Wednesday, February 10, 2016

PEOPLE WANT TO KNOW GOD

Wonderful people want to know God.  We must assume such about every person we know.  Whether their talk and their walk would indicate such, very dear people have deep and private concerns about whether this God-stuff is true.

Those like me, church-goers and such, must ever be aware that there is a strong possibility that our neighbors and colleagues would like to know God; but they don't know how to interpret our church obsession.  We must be sensitive for at times we come off holier-than-Thou when, in reality, we are truly in this for the forgiveness/start-life-over factor ourselves.

We don't think so, but others may likely believe we've got life all figured out.  We don't.  Friends might assume that we've quit sinning; got a grip on it, and now live squeaky clean.  Wrong.  Indeed, we do try to move through our days in stronger faith.  Yet, if the blood of Jesus doesn't cover us, we are all sunk.

People, very good people, want to know God.  We will do well to understand their apprehension for we must not forget our own tender thoughts in days past.  For any of us who imply that we have arrived; shame on us.  No one gets through if Jesus didn't pay for our tickets.

People want to know God.  Maybe if they could see we are real instead of plastic or cardboard they could begin to let down their defenses in order to discover a new life....just as we have.

Tuesday, February 09, 2016

INCREDIBLE LIFE!

I urge each of us to yield to those common sense factors which sound good to our own ears; but in reality are excuses to refrain from trusting God.  Our serving, our loving, our reaching, even our giving tend to be guarded when these should rather be executed.

We practice as if God is one big IF rather than the magnificent YES.  He is the one who calls us to an incredible life.  We vote as to whether we accept the offer.

Walking in the Kingdom Corridors includes perpetual release of our own well-thought-out security.  We read about crossing the Red Sea or the feeding of the 5000 as if these are merely good story book concepts as children place their heads upon their pillows of an evening.

To walk by faith is the call to every believer.  The challenge is very simple; whether we will have the courage to believe it.  We must, want, and will increase our faith in order to experience the incredible life He offers....while here on earth.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

THE STRONGEST INFLUENCE

The strongest influence in our lives.  What would you think?  Money?  Friends?  Education?  Career?  Family?  Or how about none of these.

What would you think about words?

Whether incoming or outgoing, words create.  They produce strong hope or they may dismantle it.  Things said launch strugglers toward success.  Too, such a dynamic can flatten any day of those who are successful.

Words make our break our hearts.  Our moods often shift according to these constant morsels of chatter.

God exerted not muscle but words to create the world.  He separated darkness from light by the simple magnificent power of saying so.  We are created in His image.

Whether things spoken to us by others or words we say to them, our days are framed by the very super-power of what is said.  The strongest influence in our lives is found in the power of the tongue.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

WHY BEING A CONSERVATIVE CHRISTIAN ISN'T ENOUGH

I would be considered as in the mix of the Christian brands known for our conservatism.  There are factors within these ranks of which I both adhere as well as find myself deeply committed.  The God-inspired Bible, the Trinity, and the magnificent call of God for all to be baptized into His Son for the forgiveness of sins would be a few.

There is a glitch.  Our conservatism is being worn as a badge of Heaven's authenticity to make a statement that, We are in.  The implication is that those not like us are out. But there is found a gaping hole.  Such religious posture can be (and is) held without the firm foundation of knowing Jesus.

Not so strangely, this mis-belief perpetually costs the church effective advancement into the dark world.

This is an essential rub against the self-assurance that we have done everything God asked to be saved.  We can rattle off steps to be saved.  We can hold our Bibles high in confidence of both it...and us.  While these and other concepts sound good to ourselves, it lacks a factor.  No.  It lacks THE factor.

Being a conservative Christian isn't enough.  Many have paraded a handy belief system that sounds good in rehearsal among ourselves.  Yet we are often found to lack the spiritual drive to take such conviction to the streets.  And, why is it that such church bravery doesn't translate into evangelistic outreach?

The reason is clear.  There doesn't seem to be an over-load of Jesus.  Frankly, for those who stand most rigid among us, such arguments are not built around knowing Jesus.

Not knowing Jesus would explain why most conservatives carry deep and vocal opinions; yet usually such bold ideas are mainly expressed in Bible-class settings and not out in public.  The absence of Jesus causes us to hide; hide in our doctrine and hide from the responsibility of outreach.

Our bent on just believing what the Bible says is a correct goal.  It is the Bible that calls all to believe in Jesus with heart; not just with the mind.  It is Jesus who said that he had a problem with church leaders who were enamored with functioning from the Bible and, yet, refusing to have a relationship with him.

He sounds serious.  I think he is.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him (Jn 5:39-43).

Friday, February 05, 2016

TO LIVE IN CRITICISM OF ANYONE

One will never understand anything about people until we first realize what an absolute mess self is.  This major point seems to very handily get by us.  The opposite seems to be truer.  If others would be like me, this world would be better off.

The most glaring doctrinal error in any church/every church is that of sensing how wrong others are without a hint of the fact that we ourselves have flaws which are so enormous we should never point an accusing finger toward another.

This is, in reality, what Jesus consistently taught.  Yet, we somehow believe we have mastered the Master's directives and need them no more.

Wrong.  Error.  Mistaken conclusion.

The opposite is true.  Individually we are so desperately flawed it took the perfect, ideal Son of God to be executed in order to give us any hope.  Do you get that?

Any.  Hope.

When you see the error of another's ways, this doesn't mean your evaluation is mistaken.  But if you reach a point of criticism, believing yourself to be less guilty, you are committing the larger sin.  No one is exempt from needing the blood of Jesus....because we are all that sinful.

"All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

To live in criticism of anyone is a very big mistake.

Thursday, February 04, 2016

ALERT: WATCH FOR THE MAFIA BOSSES WITHIN YOUR HEART

Faith.  Hope.  Love.  These three are Bible biggies.

Yet, significant irony transpires.  There is nothing greater on earth that the church has to offer in our attitudes and behaviors.  To the church, to the very entity of Christian values, these three can become mere yawners while we are in the hunt for greater detail and insight into church theologies.

But the emphasis upon these three?  We've heard it.  We've studied it.  We know it. The challenge is for us to be able to walk it.

Faith, hope, and love are the vital signs of life within each of us.  These are the driving, never-giving-up, forces that help us conquer indifference as well as mediocrity.  We are in need of this supply.  The world is in trouble because of this lack among us.

The archenemy to faith is doubt, to hope is condemnation, and to love is fear.  Doubt, condemnation, and fear are like Mafia Bosses to the inner spirit.  We find opposition to the driving force of the kingdom waging war with The Bosses.  The battle goes on invisibly within our hearts.

Believe me, it is a fierce engagement of tactical maneuvers.  The Bosses are pushy. They seem to bully their way into our dreams, our plans, and our activities.  But they must not be allowed to either preside or vote.

Faith, hope, and love....these three will conquer not only the world...they will devastate a very bad day.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

WE ARE TO BELIEVE WITH OUR HEARTS

One of the challenges of trying to live a life in the Spirit of God is that our hearts play such a major role in the process.  Emotions can play havoc on our days; yet they are a central force in our walk.

Jesus was often presenting the value, as well as impact, of the heart.  The flesh, however, deeply desires that such is to be overridden by the detailed argument of the mind.  The mind is quite significant.  It is persuaded however by the heart.

When the heart fears the mind wavers.  When the heart is secure, even the most challenging moments are courageously taken to task because of emotions like confidence or trust.  Thus, the reason that belief includes the heart.  It determines whether we shall pursue or wither.

Jesus stated that one is to have faith in God.  He illustrated it from a matter of what the heart thinks.  "Whoever says to this mountain, 'Be taken up and cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it shall be granted him."  Does not doubt due to his talent?  Or due to his mind?  Or due to his reputation?

The heart is the key factor to moving the very heavy obstacles in our way.  Jesus is not teaching that one should go through life rearranging waterways, pastures, and landscape.  He is taking the largest, heaviest entity we know and saying that a convicted heart can move mountains.

At times it can be said of an athlete that he or she lost because their heart wasn't in it.  Their muscles were in it.  Their understanding of the rules was in it.  Even their grasp of the assigned task was without uncertainty.  But....they lost because their heart just wasn't in it.

This is what I see with too many who seem to imply by their actions that they are not serious about their faith.  Attendance is in it.  These may even flip a few coins into the collection plate or possibly volunteer to manage a booth at the children's event.  Yet, when these serve from duty and not from the abiding love which comes from the heart it is a very deadening process.

We are to believe with our hearts.  Convince the heart and one is all in.  Go into an effort without such an inner conviction and eventual complaining and quitting will be sure to follow.  Too many are in church as long as they like it; like the preaching, like the music, like the location, etc.  But if the heart is not foundational, a reason will arise to cause us to flat walk away.

Believe...not with our proof texts nor with our rote answers...but believe to the extent that we really do believe what the kingdom system is all about; authentic, realistic, and ultra-alive.