Monday, June 30, 2014

July 1, 2014

“We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.”  Psalm 33:20-22

For the Founding Fathers, the doctrine of the providence of God was inextricably linked to the idea that Jesus Christ was the Creator who decrees law and sustains life. It was these men who pledged their lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor, having acknowledged their “firm reliance on divine Providence.” It was these men who repeatedly passed laws calling for days of national thanksgiving, humiliation, and prayer in response to the work of providence which they specifically defined in their official acts in terms of Jesus Christ and the moving of the Holy Spirit. It was these men who officially recognized the Trinitarian view of providence when they signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783 on behalf of the United States, “In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity, It having pleased the divine Providence...”

George Washington describes his capture of Boston, 1776:

"Upon their discovery of the works next morning, great preparations were made for attacking them; but not being ready before afternoon, and the weather getting very tempestuous, much blood was saved, and a very important blow, to one side or the other, was prevented. That this most remarkable interposition of Providence is for some a wise purpose, I have not a doubt."

In his original draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson had written:

"And for the support of this declaration, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."

But Congress amended it to read:

"And for the support of this declaration, [with a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence,] we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor."  (And they did!)

The Israelites left Egypt and wandered in the desert in their quest for the Promised Land motivated by their hope and desire to establish a nation blessed of God where they could live in peace and prosperity. Their only hope was in their God and in His divine providence.

Likewise, our Founders were constantly cognizant of God's providence and divine intervention on behalf of the colonists against overwhelming odds in their fight for independence. They trusted in:

God Our Foundation - “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield…..”

A nation built on the Word of God, by the will of God, for the worship of God and the work of His Kingdom is built on a firm foundation!

God Our Father – “In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name……”

The providence of God is based upon His role as a Father of His people. If we as human fathers are committed to provide for and protect our families, how much more would our Heavenly Father care for us?

God Our Future – “May your unfailing love be with us, LORD, even as we put our hope in you.”

Just as God, our Father has provided and protected and blessed us in days gone by there is every reason to trust that He will continue to do so in the coming days if we choose to obey Him and serve Him as we have in the past.

We see that over 235 years ago when the Founders where fighting for their freedom while framing the documents that would shape the new nation, their hopes were pinned fully upon God's power and His providence.

If our great nation is to survive another 238 years, or even 38 years, our hope must be upon our Heavenly Father!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

June 30, 2014

"For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice;"  Psalms 33:1

Even a cursory reading of the Founding Fathers reveals a strong desire by them to establish a nation where righteousness could flourish protected by justice. These two concepts are really inseparable and they derive from the essential character of God. In fact, the root word for righteousness and justice occurs 510 times in the Word of God and 102 times it is translated "justice" while 394 times it is rendered "righteousness".

This gives us an important insight into the principles upon which our nation was founded and how the Founders intended for it to be preserved. They understood that freedom is dependent upon justice and righteousness and they also knew that justice and righteousness are dependent on absolute truth.

Our Founding Fathers were versed in the Scriptures well enough to understand the fallen nature of man and were aware that human nature does not tend toward what is right or just or free. So they prayerfully gave much thought and discussion to how to protect the nation from the greedy self-destructive nature of men. The only way that was possible was to establish our system of justice on the absolute truth revealed in the Commandments and the teachings of Christ.

While not all of the Founders were devoted Christians as we evangelicals define discipleship, but they were pragmatic and they were sincere seekers of truth which led them to the conclusion that they must establish this new government on principles of righteousness and justice expressed in the God of the Bible, ""For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice;"

Any attempt to deny or pervert or revise this undeniable truth of our founding is in fact, a violation of this principle. Perhaps the biggest assault on justice is the perversion of justice is the politically correct notion of "fairness" or "social justice" as they refer to it. Social justice comes out of the mistaken belief that rights come from government and that government has a responsibility to make everything fair for everyone. The primary means of achieving social justice is redistributing wealth by taking it from those who have the most wealth and giving it to those who don't have much.

The Founding Fathers believed in that all men were created by God and were created equal therefore deserving equal opportunity and equal justice under the law. But having an equal opportunity is much different that trying to create equal outcomes. It is a misguided pipe dream that has been attempted in many nations throughout the 20th century and has never worked. What it creates is a lot of people who are equally poor and miserable.

Jesus never believed in fairness. He told a parable about the talents in which the three servants were each given different amounts of money to invest and the two who were the wisest ended up with more and the one who did not invest lost all he had.

But rather than rant against those who have set themselves up as enemies of our founding principles, I challenge you to live by them yourself. Guide your own decisions and conduct by these absolute truths expressed in God's Word. Treat others justly. If you want to turn our nation back to these timeless principles that foster true liberty, start with you! Movements consists of individuals committed to a cause. It will take more than just Superman being committed to "Truth, Justice and the American Way" it will also take you!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

June 29, 2014

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5

In a world that is ruled by the aggressive use of force, where money and power usually gains the upper hand, how can the meek inherit the earth?

What does that mean anyway?

First, it is an acknowledgement that God is the ultimate Ruler and Sovereign in the universe because He created the universe. Since He had the first word at the beginning of history He will have the final word at the end. So, it seems that anyone who is under His control will inherit the earth.

And, Jesus Christ is God's Son and second member of the Trinity. He came as God in human flesh, born of a virgin and conceived by the Holy Spirit so He came into this world without sin. Because He lived a sinless life He could become the atonement for the sins of mankind. By taking our sins upon Himself and meekly becoming the sacrifice for our sins, he conquered the power of sin. By rising from the dead on the third day He conquered the power of death. By gaining power over sin and death, those who surrender to His control will inherit the earth.

The third member of the Trinity is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was with God and His Son at the creation of the universe. He empowered Mary to conceive the Son of God in her womb to be born as Jesus. He was the life-restoring power that brought Jesus back from the dead and out of the tomb. And some fifty days after Jesus had ascended back to Heaven at the right hand of His Father, the Holy Spirit came in power to fill the faithful followers of Christ and the Church of Jesus Christ was launched. The Church of Jesus Christ changed the world. Those controlled by the Holy Spirit inherited the earth.

Christ-followers meekly and humbly surrendered to the power of God the Father, and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, have the promise that we will inherit the earth. Believers who live in His meekness, loving Him, learning from Him, living for Him and listening to Him will know the right thing to say or to do at just the right moment to accomplish God's will and give Him the glory. 

Only those who have their lives under control will be able to offer hope to their world.

History records that countless millions of Christians have been ruthlessly and brutally murdered because of their faith, and yet the Faith survives and the world deteriorates. The Bible is clear that this world will be done in by evil and it will end in ball of fire. There will be a new Heaven and a new earth. THAT is the earth we will inherit! THAT is the earth He will rule and we will reign with Him for 1,000 years!

The meek WILL inherit the earth!

 Will you be there?

June 28, 2014

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."  Matthew 5:5

Jeff Foxworthy has made a good living offering definite descriptions of what it means to be a “Redneck”. I recently found one of his lists with over 300 “you may be a redneck ifs……”

In the Beatitudes Jesus is saying, “You may be a Christian if you are meek and you may be meek if…..”

1. You Are Teachable NOT UNREACHABLE.

Meekness is about having a teachable spirit. Look at what Jesus said in Matthew 11:29 – “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Every day we need to search our hearts to see if we have a teachable spirit. Why? So that we can become like Jesus and teach others what we have learned. Look at what it says in Luke 6:40 – “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.”

Are you teachable?

2. You Are Gentle NOT JUDGEMENTAL.

How do you react when someone you know messes up their life? Do you say, “I told you so? I could see that coming. You blew it. How could you be so dumb? How could you be so stupid?” Folks this is not a sign of meekness.

Meekness is treating people gentle not judgmental – “Welcome with open arms fellow believers who don’t see things the way you do. And don’t jump all over them every time they do or say something you don’t agree with—even when it seems that they are strong on opinions but weak in the faith department. Remember, they have their own history to deal with. Treat them gently.” Romans 14:1

Galatians 6:1-3 put it this way, “Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.”

Are you gentle or judgmental?

3. You Are An Actor NOT A REACTOR.

What is your normal reaction when people hurt you? Retaliate? Get even? Stab them in the back? Or do you love the person? Forgive them? Treat them with kindness? Meekness is a matter of choice. Do you remember how we defined meekness earlier in the sermon? Let me remind you: “Power under control”

“Our Scriptures tell us that if you see your enemy hungry, go buy that person lunch, or if he’s thirsty, get him a drink. Your generosity will surprise him with goodness. Don’t let evil get the best of you; get the best of evil by doing good.” Romans 12:20-21

“If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. Love never gives up. Love cares more for others than for self. Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. Love doesn’t strut, Doesn’t have a swelled head, Doesn’t force itself on others, Isn’t always “me first,” Doesn’t fly off the handle, Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, Doesn’t revel when others grovel, Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, Puts up with anything, Trusts God always, Always looks for the best, Never looks back, But keeps going to the end.” I Corinthians 13:3-7

You can either react to people - or we can take control of our emotions and act in love toward people. The choice is yours.

4. You Are Understanding NOT DEMANDING.

Look at what the Message Bible says about this: “If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion. Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.” Philippians 2:1-11

Do you know what the major lesson is that I get from passage of scripture? I have a choice. I can choose to be rude and crude – or I can choose to be patience. I can choose to be helpful or hurtful. I can choose to be a blessing – or I can choose to be a pain in the neck. I can choose to be self-centered – or I can choose to look out for others. I can choose to be understanding – or I can choose to be demanding. The choice is mine – the choice is yours.


Pick your battles. Don’t argue over something that doesn’t matter. Don’t fight over something that doesn’t make any difference. But when something does make a difference – be tender without surrender.

“A gentle response defuses anger, but a sharp tongue kindles a temper-fire.” Proverbs 15:1

Look at what Paul says about variety in the church: God’s various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God’s Spirit. God’s various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful:
wise counsel, clear understanding, simple trust, healing the sick, miraculous acts, proclamation, distinguishing between spirits, tongues, interpretation of tongues. All these gifts have a common origin, but are handed out one by one by the one Spirit of God. He decides who gets what, and when.” I Corinthians 12:4-7

Meekness is learning to disagree – AGREEABLY.

Are you able to do that?

Christians have the meekness of Christ.

Do you?

Friday, June 27, 2014

June 27, 2014

"Blessed are the meek, they will inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5

The best test of meekness is found in the word attitude. I want to suggest to you that a test of three areas in which our attitude will reveal the degree of our meekness.

• Attitude Toward The Circumstances Of Our Lives
Too many face the difficulties of life by fretting. The Psalmist speaks to that problem in Psalm 37 saying, “Do not fret because of evildoers, Nor be envious of the workers of iniquity... (11) But the meek shall inherit the earth, And shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace... (22) For those blessed by Him shall inherit the earth, But those cursed by Him shall be cut off. .. (34) Wait on the LORD, And keep His way, And He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.” (Psalm 37:1, 11, 22, 34)

The point the Psalmist is making is that the meek person is the one who does not fret over circumstances in their lives but rather by faith cast all their burden on the Lord trusting that He will take care of them. Peter invites the believer in 1 Peter 5:7, “cast all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” 

• Attitude Toward A Brother Who Sins.

Another area in which meekness is remarkably evident is in how one treats a fellow believer in sin. The Apostle Paul advises the believers in Galatia, “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are to spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1) The standard is, to seek to restore the individual through gentleness and concern. Church discipline is never about punishment and is always about restoration. How one reacts to the sin of a fellow Christian reveals volumes about their own spiritual condition.

• Attitude Toward Those People Who Disagree With Us

“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, (25) in humility (meekness) correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.” (2 Tim. 2:24-25)

Meekness is that quality which is best demonstrated when you are dealing with unreasonable people. It’s not hard to be gentle when you are feeling good and have no pressure. One writer put this way, “Meekness is seen when you are under the gun, up against deadline, surrounded by problems, hip deep in alligators and no way to drain the swamp, and you feel yourself getting frustrated. If you don’t have it then, you just don’t have it at all.” [Ray Pritchard. “The Right Stuff.” Series on the Beatitudes]

If you think that meekness has anything to do with weakness, think again! Meekness is power under control - your power under His control. 

Will you surrender to His power?

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

June 26, 2014

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."  Matthew 5:5

Meekness is not, passive submission, not cowardice, not indecisiveness, nor is it shyness. The Greek word translated meekness (praus) and is used to describe a soothing medicine, a gentle breeze, colt that has been broken and domesticated and a mild or soft word (Proverbs 15:1). A soothing medicine brings comfort; the wrong medicine can bring death. A gentle breeze cools and soothes; a tornado kills. An unbroken colt is destructive; a broken colt is useful. A soft answer brings calm; an angry answer leads to more anger.

Tied up in the word meek is the concept of power under control, the idea of being submissive to someone greater than ourselves. Perhaps the idea of power under control is best translated by the English word "gentleness."

Meekness is power under control.

In case you ask yourself, "Why should meekness matter to me?", let me see if I can help you.

Meekness matters because it is one of the eight attitudes necessary to glorify God in His Kingdom. The Beatitudes reflect the mindset of those who wish to enter the Kingdom of God and live under the blessing of God's approval.

To appreciate the scope and significance of the Beatitudes remember why Jesus gave them to us. The purpose of the Beatitudes is not primarily for our happiness, they were given so we will know what makes HIM happy. Jesus reminded us that it is HIS Kingdom designed for HIS glory. As believers, His happiness should result in our happiness.

Let me ask you a  few questions:

"When you lose control of your emotions or your passions, do you bring glory to God?"

"Are you tired of doing damage to yourself and others by not being able to control your emotions/passions?"

"Do you often lose control and express your emotions/passions in hurtful ways?"

"Is it important to you that you be able to control over your emotions/passions in a way that brings glory to God?"

If those are concerns of yours, meekness should matter to you!

Kent Hughes in this book on the Sermon the Mount notes some practical benchmarks by which you can assess whether you are manifesting the meekness Christ's calls for...

• Harshness: If you are mean in your treatment of others, if there is an absence of gentleness in your treatment of others, take heed.

• Grasping: If you make sure you always get yours first, if being number one is the subtle driving force in your life, if you care little about how your actions affect others, beware.

• Vengeful: If you are known as someone never to cross, if you always get your "pound of flesh," be on your guard.

• Uncontrolled: If rage fills your soul so that life is a series of explosions occasioned by the "fools" in your life, watch out.

Again, this is not to suggest that you are not a Christian if you fall into these sins, but rather to point out that if they are part of your character, if you are a self-satisfied "Christian" who thinks that the lack of gentleness and meekness is "just you" and people will have to get used to it, if you are not repentant, you are probably not a Christian.” [R. Kent Hughes. “Sermon on the Mount: The Message of the Kingdom.” (Chicago: Crossway Books, xxxx) p. xx]

The meekness Jesus requires of His followers is power/passion/emotion under control - His control.

Will you place your power under His control today?

Will you ask Him to help you be angry at the right times and the right things and in the right way?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 25, 2014

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth."  Matthew 5:5

Meekness is not a highly valued virtue in American culture. There is no superhero known as "Meek Man!"

I doubt if there are any youngsters who tell their parents, "When I grow up I want to be meek!"

And yet in His teaching on the Kingdom of God, Jesus places a high value on the spiritual virtue of meekness.

So what is it about meekness that places it among the virtues that glorify God?

Let's begin our investigation with the Psalmist who sings the praises of meekness in Psalm 37:

"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret--it leads only to evil. For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found. But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace. The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming. The wicked draw the sword and bend the bow to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose ways are upright. But their swords will pierce their own hearts, and their bows will be broken.  Better the little that the righteous have than the wealth of many wicked;  for the power of the wicked will be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous. The days of the blameless are known to the LORD, and their inheritance will endure forever. In times of disaster they will not wither; in days of famine they will enjoy plenty. But the wicked will perish:The LORD's enemies will be like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish--vanish like smoke.The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously; those the LORD blesses will inherit the land, but those he curses will be cut off. If the LORD delights in a man's way, he makes his steps firm; though he stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand. I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed. Turn from evil and do good; then you will dwell in the land forever. For the LORD loves the just and will not forsake his faithful ones. They will be protected forever, but the offspring of the wicked will be cut off; the righteous will inherit the land and dwell in it forever. The mouth of the righteous man utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just. The law of his God is in his heart; his feet do not slip. The wicked lie in wait for the righteous, seeking their very lives; but the LORD will not leave them in their power or let them be condemned when brought to trial.  Wait for the LORD and keep his way. He will exalt you to inherit the land; when the wicked are cut off, you will see it. I have seen a wicked and ruthless man flourishing like a green tree in its native soil, but he soon passed away and was no more; though I looked for him, he could not be found. Consider the blameless, observe the upright; there is a future for the man of peace.But all sinners will be destroyed; the future of the wicked will be cut off. The salvation of the righteous comes from the LORD; he is their stronghold in time of trouble. The LORD helps them and delivers them; he delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in him."

What insights do you gain about meekness from this Psalm?

What blessings are gained from meekness?

June 24, 2014

"Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."  Philippians 4:4-8
The challenge of the second Beatitude is to grieve, to mourn, to be heart-broken over your sinful condition and each time you sin. 
I believe Jesus is calling for a zero tolerance policy against sin in your life. Obviously, that is not to suppose you will never sin, but it is to say you should never willfully sin AND the moment you do sin grief should flood your heart.
If you hope to be free from sin, you must guard your mind! Diligently stand guard over your mind and take every thought captive.
Be intentionally careful HOW you think and WHAT you think about! If there is something you shouldn't think about, don't give it a second thought! In fact, don't give it a first thought!
Only allow your mind to entertain thoughts of things that are true. If it isn't true don't give it entry into your thoughts.
Only permit things that are honorable to enter your mind. If it isn't honorable don't inflict your mind with it.
If it is not something that is just, don't give it a thought!
When something is not pure, it is not worthy of a thought!
Only meditate on things that are lovely, commendable, excellent or praiseworthy, fill your mind with those things!
You cannot have a corrupt or impure mind and have a pure heart.
Stand guard at your heart and mind! Do not allow any sin-inducing thought to dwell in your mind. Instead, nurture your mind with the true Word of God.
The best friend of a happy heart is a healthy mind!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

June 23, 2014

"When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” Psalm 8:3-4

Why did God create some 350 BILLION galaxies!

Because He can!

Here are just a few facts about ONE galaxy:

Our Milky Way galaxy is a spiral galaxy. A spiral galaxy is shaped like a flat disk with a thicker bulge in the center. Bright spiral arms start from the center and then coil outward like a pinwheel. All spirals rotate very slowly. The Milky Way completes a single revolution once every 250 million years.

Most galaxies are billions of years old. The youngest known galaxy is 1 Zwicky 18. At an estimated age of a mere 500 million years, it is a babe in diapers compared to the Milky Way at 10-14 billion years, which is the average age of the known galaxies (Some dispute these ages but even if they are correct only a matter of a few years in God’s timing).

The Canis Major Dwarf Galaxy is the closest galaxy to ours. It is actually contained within the Milky Way and only 42,000 light years form the galactic core.

A light year is the distance light travels in a year at a speed of 186,000 miles per second. That factors to about 6 trillion miles in a year! Now think about 42,000 x 6 trillion!

Now consider that is a relatively SHORT distance in space between galaxies – all 350 BILLION of them!


Why did God make everything SO Big?

Because He can!

Now think about the intelligence that knows just how much space that is needed to maintain the gravitational balance to keep everything synchronized and moving together at thousand of miles per hour without crashing into one another and without running out of space!

Who can do that?

God can!

There must be someone (or Someone) bigger than all that vastness and maintains control over it all! Whoever that is would necessarily be larger and more powerful than all of this! Who could be that infinite?

God is!

Whoever is that HUGE and that powerful had better be kind and holy or we would have a frightening threat hanging our heads!

God IS kind and holy and loving and has done everything He possibly can to reveal Himself to you as the powerful, personal and loving God He is!

Why would you not receive that love and embrace it and treasure it and surrender to it and grow in it and share it?

You can!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

June 22, 2014

“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field."  Matthew 13:44

Central to the teaching ministry of Jesus was the kingdom of God.

Why do you think that is so?

Could it be that until you acknowledge God as your king you can't actually acknowledge Him as your God?

You can't "kind of have Him for a God"! At least not as a capital "g" God.

So, for God to be your King you must commit to putting Him first in your life and make serving Him your chief passion! If He isn't your King then you aren't committed to His kingdom.

Being "kind of committed" is an oxymoron. It is like being "kind of pregnant" or "kind of dead" or "kind of married". You can't do it!

We have done a disservice to the kingdom and to Christians by implying that it is possible to be a Christian and not surrender to Christ. We have been negligent to allow believers to think that they can occupy the kingdom of God and not acknowledge God as King!

Jesus makes it quite clear with this story that those who wish to possess the kingdom must decide to make the kingdom their most treasured possession. The cost to enter the kingdom is exactly what this man did in the parable - sell out and buy in.

This man in the parable made a clear decision to treasure God's kingdom above all else. That is commitment! It cost him everything to cross the line into the kingdom.

There is no comfortable way to enter the kingdom and there is no comfort zone within. There is only a cross! There is only His cause!

You cannot comfortably arrange His kingdom around your preferences or your priorities. Do you think you could walk into the palace of a king and hand him your schedule and agenda and expect him to accept it? I don't think so!

So, how do you think you can presume on God to conform HIS kingdom to your comfort level? You cannot!

What part of kingdom do you not understand? What part of commitment do you not understand? What part of sell out do you not understand?

Could there be a connection between His great love and His kingdom? Could there be a connection between your lack of commitment and your lack of love?

Is it possible that trading your comfort for commit to His kingdom is the price of true love?

It was for Jesus! The cross was not comfortable! But it was the price of purchasing access to the kingdom for you and me.

Are you ready to sell out and buy in?

Friday, June 20, 2014

June 21, 2014

"Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted" Matthew 5:4

Here's a truth you may not have considered, you WILL mourn over your sin. Either you will mourn over the conviction of your sins and repent of them or you will mourn over the consequences of your sins.

Either way you will be brought to deep sorrowful grief over your sins.

The issue at stake in the second of Jesus' pronouncements known as "The Beatitudes" is whether your sorrow over your sin will bring you God's comfort or His condemnation.

Will you recognize that you are poor in spirit? Will you agree with God about your total moral depravity, repent of it and cry out for His mercy? If you will you will know His comfort. If not you will face His judgment and wrath.

If you are heart-broken over your sinfulness you will know the comfort of His peace, His presence and His promises such as:

"Here is the message we have heard from him and announce to you. God is light. There is no darkness in him at all.Suppose we say that we share life with God but still walk in the darkness. Then we are lying. We are not living by the truth. But suppose we walk in the light, just as he is in the light. Then we share life with one another. And the blood of Jesus, his Son, makes us pure from all sin. Suppose we claim we are without sin. Then we are fooling ourselves. The truth is not in us. But God is faithful and fair. If we admit that we have sinned, he will forgive us our sins. He will forgive every wrong thing we have done. He will make us pure.  I John 1:5-9

“Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads. I will give you rest. Become my servants and learn from me. I am gentle and free of pride. You will find rest for your souls.Serving me is easy, and my load is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

"if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land." II Chronicles 7:14

These are just a few examples of the comfort God brings to those who are aware of their spiritual poverty and grieve over their sinfulness.

For those who trust in their own self-righteousness and who tolerate or celebrate sin in their hearts, they will never know His comfort.

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse. For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles. Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator — who is forever praised. Amen. Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion. Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them." Romans 1:18-32

Each of us will mourn over our sin. There is no doubt about that.

The question is, "Will you mourn over your sin, turn from your sin and seek His comfort? Or, will you remain in your sin and face the horrible eternal sorrow of God's wrath?