Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Pure Religion

Sunday, my friend John Bradshaw wrote the following blog;

Click HERE.

Apostasy vs. Arrogance - 2 Peter 2

If they have escaped the corruption of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and are again entangled in it and overcome, they are worse off at the end than they were at the beginning. 2 Peter 2:20

A state of apostasy (turning away) is worse than a state of ignorance?

I heard this..and I thought no….they are both equally bad. But that is if you look at it from the perspective of dying and facing judgement. Then, yes….both are equally as bad. Standing in front of the judge without the blood of Jesus to cover and pardon your sins.

But then I got these verses in reference.

If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left Hebrews 10:26
How much more severely do you think a man deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God under foot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified him, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace? Hebrews 10:29
Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. Acts 4:12

The one who has rejected Christ and his salvation, who has turned his back on the Grace of Jesus….has no other name, no other way of salvation. The one in ignorance….at least until death….has Jesus.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

That Movement - 2 Peter 1

We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 2 Peter 1:16

When I look for reasons to TRUST the Gospel….when I skeptical of any of it….I always turn to those who were eyewitnesses. I trust how they responded with their lives.

A man could have lied about Jesus….to make this whole story of the Gospel and Christianity up…..but would he really be willing to be give up his own family, his job, his security, even his life…. to follow a ruse.

And if that weren’t enough…..Jesus death and burial scared the disciples for 3 days. But on that third day, after Jesus showed himself to them….the disciples solidified a movement. I trust that movement.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Minister to Sinners - James 5

My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone should bring him back, remember this: Whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover over a multitude of sins. James 5:19-20

Great word this morning, very challenging, but so hard to do.

Here is the deal…this isn’t talking about a believer losing salvation, this is merely talking about a believer caught in sin. (Someone who turns to sin as oppose to righteousness) The difficult part of it is, if you have the influence and the platform to speak truth to a fellow believer, you run the risk of turning them away and/or straining relations.

But the reality for us today is that death is out there….it is be avoided, Truth to be followed and a ministry to each other. We are to be serving both God and sinners.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Mist - James 4

What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. James 4:14

I took a class called Yokefellows when I started re-attending church about 15 years ago. This class was basically an evangelism class…how to share your faith. This was one of the first verses we learned. We would use it to ‘prove’ how short life is, when compared to eternity. It was for believers to share with non-believers to get them to THINK about their own mortality…and facing eternity without Christ.

Today I have a new perspective. This verse is for me….a believer, a follower of Christ. To get me to think.

I have this very short time on earth….why do I continue to strive for the ‘stuff’ of the world? What am I working for?

I would love to have focus. Laser beam focus. But we all get distracted. I believe Satan uses things….most not even bad things, to distract us.

Take for instance one of my passions… football. This in and of itself not a bad thing…..but I am so passionate about college football, I honestly have to admit, it has stolen my affections from Jesus. About this time of year, I start to really get excited. I start the countdown to kickoff….start the smack talk, I buy magazines and watch countless hours of any coverage online or tv I can find. For what?


A very large portion of my mist.

Satan uses work, hobbies, busyness, even family to get our focus away from Jesus. None of these things are bad….we just need to continue to create margin to serve and be used by God.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Purity>Peace>Righteousness - James 3

Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness. James 3:18

After reading the first 3 chapter of James, it has become pretty clear to me that James is passionate about righteousness. And the way I understand James is that peace follows purity, actually depends on it…and James wants peace for the church because peace is the context in which righteousness can flourish.
In my own life this has been the case as well. When my thought life goes south, or my actions or motives are less than pure…..any attempts at righteousness are contrived and put on. I’ve been faking it!
As you guys know, I taught on Worthless Religion a couple of weeks ago….and one of the saddest things is seeing a mom or dad, reaping the harvest in their kids….of a Worthless Religion.
I think most of our kids are still pretty young….but they are watching and they are smart. They know if your deed matches your creed….or if you are merely going through the motions.
This plays our in tons of ways…and what I am seeing now is that kids don’t want to come to church, kids don’t respect their parents or any adult figure. They are looking to fill the place in them that God is suppose to occupy with drugs, sex, porn, materialism, status.
I was talking last night with our Student Minister, Brandon Gregory….and as parents, we have such a great influence over our kids before high school…and if we’ve done a good job….we keep that influence. One the other side of the coin is those kids who begin to count down the day til their 18th birthday to give you the finger and get out of the house.

The wicked earns deceptive wages, But he who sows righteousness gets a true reward. Proverbs 11:18

And the work of righteousness will be peace, And the service of righteousness, quietness and confidence forever. Isaiah 32:17

My prayer is that all of us have homes where purity is taught, practiced and encouraged…so that we have peaceful homes where righteousness is the norm.