“Everyone is an Expert”

Finding Facebook very interesting lately even though we all know most of the political or religious topics are really shared to pour gas on a fire so I will make this brief.

If you are preaching or attempting to preach Christianity to someone, be sure you have done your homework first. This is not in response to anyone in particular, but lately with the new federal law legalizing gay marriage all of a sudden all the preachers of love have come out of the closet and some of the comments I have read make me seriously doubt that they even own a bible or even read one in the last ten years.

First of all understand that the love Jesus Christ is talking about has nothing to do with wallowing in our sin and making others do the same with an absurd notion of what God wants for the world.  We are here for one thing and that is to serve God and to do everything to His glory.

God is selfish as He tells us in the bible so I am a bit perplexed by the idea that we somehow forgot that.  His word is given for us to follow, not make it up as we go along.

With this being said I am no way condoning mistreating someone based upon the struggles they have with sin.  Sin is sin whether it is homosexuality, stealing, murder, lying, etc…  We all have sin we deal with and none of us are better than any other as we are all born into it; only through Jesus Christ can we shed that sin and have hope for an eternal life.

I personally may not agree with homosexuality based on my beliefs, but I will not treat that person any differently than I do anyone else; unless you give me reason to give an apologia for my faith and then I will stay on my side and you can stay on yours with no ill will.  The love I would offer would be through Jesus Christ and His saving Grace, not of my own as I have nothing without Jesus Christ.

For those who are lost, have your eyes opened and from that light you see the open arms of Jesus Christ waiting for your return.  Repent and claim Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  The message has not changed for 2000 years and it is with good reason that it has not; God has not changed – we have.

Praise and serve God with all your heart and all your mind; in this you will find your burdens removed.

“To Be PC Or Not To Be PC?”

Can’t believe I turned to Shakespeare for this one, but when tough topics come up we have to be honest with ourselves and each other. In the news all we hear about is being politically correct. What does that mean anyway? Of course the answers some learned in their secular college course somewhere will come out, but to be honest, I think this is what got us into the mess we are in now.

My intent is not to pinpoint a college for a fault, but what I am referring to is the idea that political correctness was taken to levels unseen by everyone. Now, we are stuck with it regardless of how far it has come and I have an idea that many of those who raised banners for it are now stuck eating “Crow”, but in order to save face are unwilling to upset the status quo they find themselves in. Why? Because quite frankly it could mean losing jobs, friends and their livelihood.

It seems to me in my simple mind that if I am being honest, it is a better quality than lying to myself and everyone around me about my feelings and what I consider to be right or wrong. If I give up my beliefs and betray my feelings I have just handed who I am over to someone else; something I refuse to do regardless of the consequences. Anyway, I am not mine to give away as I belong to God.

For those who are struggling with choices they know they must make to save themselves; make the choice you know your heart is telling you.  God has put His Law on your heart and by this you will know that the choice you make is the right one. Do not let sin cloud your heart and repent.  Let God in so that you can honestly and clearly examine yourself; remember God have given you grace through Jesus Christ – He is your gift so honor and cherish it.

For those around you who claim there is no God or God’s Law does not apply or other absurd claims; they too know that God exists.  If they truly thought that God did not exist they would not fight so hard to prove otherwise. For those who would challenge you in this our foundation comes from the book of Romans 1: 18 – 25. Although you may come from a biblical world view it is simple. Do not let anyone be the judge over God and His word, but remember that our example is Christ and it is with Christian love we approach the lost; not free love as they might have you believe.

As Christians we are constantly told that we have to prove that God exists so I will simply reverse the table and use the same weighted balance; prove that He doesn’t.  Theory and hypothesis do not count as fact or truth. Remember that the Laws of Nature are used by science which also agrees with Laws of Logic, so just because I believe in something that cannot be considered tangible does not mean that I am the only one in the room that uses faith as my foundation.

Praise and Glory to God as He continues to use those who know Him and those who claim otherwise – All for His Glory!

“A Prize Fighter”

Each day for me as a Christian can be like stepping into the boxing ring or octagon whichever your prefer. If we consider the challenges we as Christians face within the secular world that surrounds us, we at times will take some punches that cause us to reel or even buckle, but we still get up and face the next round.

I find it interesting that those who are either not Christian or do not share in our resilience will make comments to criticize our belief, and yet when things get a little tough in their life or they find themselves with nowhere to turn they complain, blame and accuse others for their misfortune.

One of the toughest punches I receive are when I hear someone take God’s name in vain. I have to say that these have the hardest sting, and for those who use His name as commanded otherwise i do try to correct them.  Along with the correction I also offer up a prayer for them.

So each day as we step into the ring of life we as Christians must always remember that Jesus Christ has placed before us the one and true prize of redemption through which He stood in our place to not only fight for us, but also to take every painful blow sin could throw at Him.

Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already l obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: not forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Praise God in all of His wonderful glory!!!

“Hidden Gifts?”

Each day we go about our business of going to work, taking care of the family, spending time with friends and just doing what needs to be done. For some this might not be the case and their pursuits might be considered wrong or wasteful. So with that being said I would offer that all the examples listed may not be using gifts they didn’t even know they had.

In the book of Ephesians starting in Chapter 4 Paul addresses the topic of “Gifts”. Starting with those of us who identify ourselves as Christian we are actually given guidance and directives towards our time here on earth as being used to seek out, grow and maintain our given gifts all for the glory of God.  The path is through prayer, discernment and pursuits equal to that of one that is mature.  We are instructed to put away childish games and to start acting out God’s will in accordance with the commission left by Jesus Christ.

Christians are also instructed to no longer pursue the things of the past life in sin that were once the focal point in our lives.  Basically Paul almost goes backward in his approach to explaining the role of gifts in our lives, but it does make sense.  His audience is more than likely Christian or new believers in Christ and his instructions are basically designed to give them hope for the idea of having gifts, but he is also clear that not everyone will have the same gifts and that we should accept the one we do get and make the most of it.

So if we take the time to read Ephesians I think each of us no matter where we are in life we can probably find within our daily grind that we have gifts that we might even wish that we could use more or have never used at all.  Whatever the situation the object is to use them for the sole purpose of glorifying God.  Considering what He did for us it seems to this blogger that what we can offer is but a small price to pay.

Remember this; if someone smiles at you, offers you a “Good Morning” or just a helping hand they might be working on their gift.

“As the Sun Sets”

As the world turns yet again for another day and the sun goes under the horizon, my mind takes me into a place where everything and everyone I see I must give thanks. This might sound easy on the surface, but I also have to be thankful to those who were not necessarily nice to me or worth, in my mind, giving thanks to.

This might be the thoughts of others as well; not sure.  To give thanks or even forgiveness is not always easy, as human nature dictates that these two things can be considered as optional. However it works for any of us is, well…, up to us. But is it really?

We say that we have “free will”, but do we really? If sin is controlling certain aspects of our lives, do we truly have enough control to say that the decisions we make are actually free from anything, other than the sin that permeates our total being?  The only way to let these go is to not only give our sins up to God, but we have to remember forgiving others must be done first before we approach God with the burden we want lifted from us.

Jesus speaks in the parable of the Unforgiving Servant about forgiving others first. Matthew 18:32″Then his master, after he had called him, said to him, ‘You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you begged me. 33. Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you? 34. And his master was angry, and delivered him to the torturers until he should pay all that was due to him. 35. ‘So My heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you, from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.”

As we go through our day as Christians, we know that not everyone we encounter believes what we do. Although this wall does exist, thankfulness and forgiveness are still understood by non-Christians.  Living for God is not easy and I too struggle with the secular challenges, so with that being said I do know that the days of not forgiving and keeping Jesus Christ under a rug of social acceptability are over.

So as the sun sets at the end of each day, take a moment to think about how to best thank someone or give forgiveness if needed. God’s judgements may sound harsh concerning forgiveness, but in reality the potential pain we can cause others by not following through with what God expects of us could actually be our last chance to do so since none of us are guaranteed tomorrow, but being judged before His seat is.

Matthew 16: 24,25;  “Then Jesus said to His disciples, ‘If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. 25. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”

“Hey You! Yes You!”

Have you heard about the real story of Jesus Christ and the message He brought just for you?  said the smiley Christian Guy.

“Yea, I have heard of him, but I don’t believe in all that religious stuff.”  Said the Survival of the Fittest Guy.

The situation is presented here for you to finish.  I know how I would at least try to direct the conversation, but at some point there has to be the proverbial “sales close”.  We know that even Jesus closed on the young prince with a simple, yet difficult choice.

My personal opinion as it pertains to the mission Christ gave us is that too many times we (me included) like to lean on the what I like to call the “Mustard Seed Close”.  We think that by dropping a seed on the ground that it will grow, but the answer actually lies in our understanding of how most plants grow.

Most of us know from biology class that there are certain requirements that have to be met in order for the plant to grow.  The first is to establish the foundation by planting it in fertile ground at the right depth.

When I think of this, I look at it as mentoring or coaching.  For me in the beginning of the coaching process, motivation is a key element that must happen.  This can be done by simply sharing your attitude and or positive body language as you present the idea or information with the mentee.

The next phase is observation, watering and sometimes shielding.  Just as the young plant sprouts, so does the mentee.  They need observation, guidance and information to feed on.  Through this the plant grows and matures into the next plant that provides the seeds and fruit for the next one.

So have some fun with how you might respond and think through some ideas on how you might close on someone for Christ, which includes the work needed to ensure that the Mustard Seed you left with them was properly planted and not just thrown on the ground hoping for the best.

Jesus Christ is; The Way, The Truth and The Life