Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Telling Truth



We must stop being so afraid to proclaim the truth!!


When we tell our testimonies, when we speak of our Christian walk, when we share with others the struggles, why are we so afraid to tell the truth?

I’ve seen it over and over, I’ve even done it myself.

We don’t want to discourage anyone, we’re afraid they won’t come to Christ if they know the truth.

So we fudge a little, we fib a little, we exaggerate a little to make it all a little nicer, a little easier to swallow.

The truth is that the walk of a true disciple of Christ is a difficult walk, fraught with danger, filled with hard circumstances, complete with persecution from without and self-doubt from within!!

The truth is that renewing your mind to His way instead of doing what you want, dying to self to live for others, humbling yourself and esteeming others more highly, taking the back seat instead of the front, denying pleasures of the flesh instead of indulging in them are really, really difficult things to do!

Jesus not only never said it would be easy, He made it clear it would be TREMENDOUSLY HARD!

That it would mean a lifetime of being hated by the world we live in, persecuted by our neighbors and even those we call friends.  Stalked by an evil spiritual being filled with darkness we can’t even begin to imagine, whose only desire is to kill and destroy us, our lives, our loved ones!

That there would be trials, but alongside them would be great triumphs.
That we can expect to be targets but the shield of faith would protect us from every weapon formed against us.

That lies would bombard us but the TRUTH would set us free.

That apart from trusting and believing in Him we would be helpless, discouraged and inept; but He would be our hope, our encouragement and that through Him only, we would be able to do everything we need to do.  Everything He asks us to do.

That to our every question He would be our answer.

Truly, Jesus is Who He told us He is.

He is the Way to our joy, peace and the love we all crave so deeply.
He is the Truth we search high and low for and yearn for in our hearts.
He is the LIFE, eternal life, we desire above all other things.

The walk as a disciple of Christ is the hardest, best, scariest, most joyful, toughest and most wonderful walk any of us will ever experience.



BE BRAVE! BE TRUTHFUL! BE LOVING!  
Tell others that Jesus loves them, died for them, was raised from the dead for their redemption and they are called to take up THEIR cross, pay the cost and follow Him to a LIFE ETERNAL that is the only rewarding ending to this physical life on earth.



His love is well worth the cost He paid so we could have it, and that is no lie!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

KISS - Keeping It Super Simple

If I had a nickel for every time someone said that biblical principle was TOO HARD to understand, never mind follow!  Well, I'd probably have a few nickels :)

Right now in this culture and social climate we are living in confusion reigns on the grandest scale!

People are confused about which "god" is the true God

People are confused about morality

People are confused about themselves; if they are boys or girls

People are confused about which bathroom to pee in

God is not the author of confusion.  He knows how frail we are, how prone to sin, how liable to choose the wrong thing even when the right thing has been clearly laid out for us.

2Timothy 2:22-25

Just three simple scriptures that speak volumes to us, if only we will listen; if only we will have ears to hear.

22: So flee youthful passions (when we were young, we were foolish, selfish, unwise)
and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace (Galatians 5:22 & Ephesians 5:9)
along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart (we don't stand alone, but in the Body!)

23: Have nothing to do with foolish, ignorant controversies; you know that they breed quarrels (if we got this one thing right we would save ourselves so many unhappy moments in our lives!  NOTHING means nothing!  Do not engage in foolish, ignorant controversial conversations that lead no where!  Waste of time! Waste of effort! Waste of breath!)

SO WHAT ARE WE TO DO?

24 & 25:  And the Lords servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness.

When we fuss, fight and argue with people about what is wrong and what is right, we teach them only the same confusion they are already heaped in!  

Paul goes on in his letter to Timothy in chapter 3 verse 16 to reveal that -
All scripture is given by God and profitable for teaching for reproof, for correction and for instruction in righteousness.

It is not in participating in arguments or debates that confusion is dispelled and truth reigns; it is in speaking the truth in love and living out the scriptures in our lives so others can see and be inspired to desire the hope and peace and joy of the Lord for themselves.

Keeping it Super Simple; this is a fallen, lost, hopeless world of confusion and anger and fear and sin ruled by a dark evil who only hates and destroys.  We alone are uniquely chosen by the Creator to present the alternative to darkness:

His love and light and grace and mercy and righteousness and holiness and justice and peace.

We are His Ambassadors, shining His light and calling others to His table.  It is a great privilege and great responsibility to represent the One True God to a world that rejects His very existence and shuns His truth.

This task is difficult enough without making it harder.
We are not called to refute every lie and prove false every accusation.  
That kind of activity bears no fruit and simply distracts us from our calling, wasting our time.

Three simple steps will accomplish far more that we ever will engaging in long arguments we are not called to engage ourselves with.

1.  Grow up in Him and actively seek in fellowship with likeminded believers these things:
      RIGHTEOUSNESS
      FAITH
      LOVE
      PEACE

2.  Avoid and walk away from silly, useless arguments about what is or isn't truth

3.  Speak the truth with your actions and your words, which allows the Holy Spirit to convict and      
      transform hearts and lives far better than any argument we could ever make!

Are you searching for truth but uncertain what to believe?  There is One whose way leads to life everlasting and truth that brings peace to the heart.  We can't change your life, but He can!  There are no magic words, no special prayer; there is just a Savior who will answer if you will but call on His name.

ROMANS 10:13  Whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved    

The Lord bless and keep you this day, the Lord cause His face to shine upon you. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

If it were easy, everyone would do it

If we are truly honest with ourselves, we would all have to admit that there have been those times that we've pointed our finger at someone else's behavior and said "that isn't how a Christian should act."

It is so easy, isn't it?, to see the flaws in others and know exactly how they should be "fixed".  


It is so much harder, being aware and admitting our own flaws and honestly, objectively applying truth to change ourselves.  Change is hard.  Especially that inward, heart change, demanded by a Holy God.


How accurately the Apostle James depicted our predicament and state of being when he told us in James 1:22-24


 "But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was."

It simply isn't enough to read God's word, or attend church services and bible studies, we absolutely MUST practically apply the truth we learn to our lives. 

We must "put on the Lord Jesus Christ" Romans 13:14


We must "examine ourselves" 2Corinthians 13:5


We must "let the word of Christ dwell in us richly" Colossians 3:16 


We must NOT "be conformed to this world, but be transformed" Romans 12:2


and Romans tells us HOW.  We are to be renewed in our minds, our thoughts determine our actions.  Our thoughts determine the state of our hearts.  It is by bringing our THOUGHTS subject to the obedience of Christ; 2Corinthians 10:5, that we are then able, empowered by the Holy Spirit that dwells in us, to accomplish Apostle Pauls exhortation to - 


"work out your own salvation with fear and trembling" Philippians 2:12


May we all be found faithful to our Lord today, examining our own selves, working out our own salvation, attending to the log in our own eye by the practical, daily application of His truth to our lives.


May God bless and keep you today according to His riches in Glory!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

IF WE SAY WE HAVE NO SIN.....


The two gentleman on the porch were dismissed almost before they were acknowledged.

Even as the words left my mouth my heart already knew they were harsh and wrong, yet they flew past my tongue and out of my lips before I could bite them back.

They say confession is good for the soul; I think it only does a good work in our hearts when accompanied by authentic repentance for what brought you to the need to confess.  So swift was the sorrow for my behavior, so convicted was my heart, so repentant that after all this time, all these years all these encounters, all the confessions, this could still be an incident that brought down my Saturday morning to such a low!

How easily excuses could be made and accepted by everyone around me.  But I knew that no excuse would ever be acceptable to the Only One Who Mattered.

I am an Ambassador for Christ and this Saturday morning I brought shame to His Name.

I was busy, that was true.  They were interrupting me in my own personal space, my home, that was true.  But I am called to be instant in season and out of season. (2 Timothy 4:2)

How much more impressive this mornings story would be if I could report that two Jehovah's Witnesses rang my doorbell Saturday morning and I greeted them heartily, friendly and shared Gods truth fully and productively.

This blog is always about PRACTICAL APPLICATION of Gods Word to our lives.  Today I share the practical truth of 1 John 1:8 applied in my life.  "If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

1.  I was bought with a price and my life is not my own.  For this reason I do not have the "right" to choose when, where or how I will preach the words of life.  I must always be ready, willing and able to give an answer for the hope that is in me in a manner that honors the One I represent.

2.  For those who call Jesus our LORD, He is the authority and not we ourselves. It is in our obedience to His commands that we show that He is Lord.  Disobeying His command is sin.

3.  We absolutely want to respond properly to sin in our own lives so our hearts do not become hard or our consciences seared to truth.  1 John 1:9  "If we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

The daily walk of a true Believer is not a skip around the park with a permissive parent who expects nothings of us and indulges our every whim.

It is a deliberate walk of obedience to the absolute Authority of the Lord Jesus.

We stumble, we fall, we snap in frustrated impatience at those who desperately need to hear the truth the most.  We confess, we repent and ask forgiveness that we might walk another day and get it right.

A godly sorrow is a very good thing that brings us ever closer to the place of true submission to the HEAD which is Christ.  It is not quick, it is not easy, but it is our only right response to the sin nature that rears its ugly head to trip us up so easily.

We mustn't ever be ashamed that we have sinned but rather let us be thankful that our hearts are not hardened to sin and forgiveness will result in new strength and growth in our daily walk with our Lord.

I am surely grateful that His mercies are new every morning!


Sunday, April 17, 2016

Holy Spirit Revelation

When I was a young and impressionable new Christian just beginning my quest for truth and to know God and His word, I came across this wise statement from a respected minister and Pastor of a large movement in the 60’s who said “you can’t go beyond what you are taught”.

Many years of study and research later, I came to the realization that there also is no shame in not knowing what you don’t know. But there is a problem with refusing to consider truth that may be new to you and therefore uncomfortable for you to assimilate into your current knowledge base.

Once upon a time everyone believed the world was flat and that if you got in a boat and began to sail in one direction you would eventually fall off the earth.
(It wasn’t, and you wouldn’t)

Once upon a time all medical professionals believed that bloodletting was the way to cure diseases.
(It wasn’t, and they killed more patients than they helped)

Once upon a time men believed that flying was just for the birds.
(Until a couple of brothers named Wright dared to think differently)

Once upon a time each individual Christian trusted in the Holy Spirit to lead and guide them.

You heard that right.  There was no waiting for Sunday morning and a sermon to instruct them.  Each believer was able to receive direct instruction from the Holy Spirit.  When Jesus instructed His disciples in Acts 8 to wait for the Holy Spirit, which would give them the power to be witnesses to Him, He was indicating that all disciples from then and for all time would be filled with the Spirit in order to carry out the mission; to be witnesses to Him.  The mission hasn’t changed and neither has the method of revelation.

We are BLESSED to have the valuable reminder of the written revelations for us to study and learn from, but they are not a substitute for or in place of the direct inspired revelation available to us from the Holy Spirit.  Nowhere in scripture are we told that the written word REPLACES revelation, but that it is in addition to! (Romans 15:4)

Main stream churches have been teaching for CENTURIES that the only way to hear truth is through showing up on Sunday mornings to hear preaching.  

Just because something has been taught for a long time doesn’t make it the truth.  It just makes it a misrepresentation that hasn’t been corrected… yet. 

It’s time we correct this misreading of Paul’s words in Romans 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

While it is entirely true that unbelievers need to hear the gospel, because they cannot receive direct revelation from the Holy Spirit as they have not yet been “born again”, this isn't true of Believers. Without the indwelling Spirit an unbeliever needs someone to “reveal the truth” to them through the foolishness of preaching. This is the true “work of the ministry”.  (See 2Corinthians 5:18-20)

But Believers do have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit!  God expects believers to hear Him and receive wisdom directly from His Spirit.   

James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him.

Jesus Himself clearly teaches that it was by revelation from the Holy Spirit that we would learn and grow in Him.

John 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

Paul taught the same in his letters to the gentile believers.

1 Corinthians 2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searches all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Ephesians 3:5 Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

During my continuing quest for truth, I spent time with a Presbyterian minister who insisted that God doesn’t talk to people.  The only Word of God is what is found in the Bible.

Yet the bible itself declares that if everything Jesus taught were to be written down the world could not contain all the books! (John 21:25)

And Paul, who had only the Old Testament to work from, might never have trusted and shared the GREATEST new revelation we ever received – GRACE
I’ve read the book of Colossians numerous times.  This very morning, God gave me a NEW REVELATION. See if you can spot it, too.

Colossians 1: 9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
10 That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God;

Paul would surely not pray for something that wasn’t possible! That they, having no “written word” to study as the New Testament didn’t exist yet and being gentiles, very likely didn’t possess the Jewish scrolls of the Old Testament, would be FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GODS WILL.

It can only be that Paul knew they, like himself and all believers, would have knowledge revealed to them by the Holy Spirit.  

We read exactly that here in Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

This leading by the Spirit is that which Jesus taught and we read in John 14, that the Spirit would teach us "all things".  Not some things, not a few things, but "all" things!

So why are so many not hearing direct revelation from the Holy Spirit? Because we are not being taught!

The bible clearly teaches that God never changes, but that He is always changing US. If history teaches us anything at all it is that what worked well in the past isn’t necessarily the best way forward.

There is no shame in not knowing what you don’t know.  But now you know. 

We will find answers in Gods written word, ABSOLUTELY.  

But we will hear from Him as long as we make sure we are not too busy to listen!  He still speaks, He has always spoken and He will continue to speak.

2Timothy 2:15 Study to show yourself approved unto God a workman who needs not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH.

The revealed, written word of God gives us a foundation, instruction and guidelines to keep us from going off in any which direction.  

2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

The Word of God works hand in hand with revelation when the believer is listening to and being led by the Holy Spirit, Who will give wisdom and knowledge for specific situations.