What we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining the spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 1 Cor 2:12-14
Why do you have faith and how do you understand the Word of God He has given us through the Scripture? A question I get asked quite frequently and the answer is the Spirit. There is a purpose for the Spirit in our lives and it is to reveal the mysteries of God in the Scriptures.
God did not intend for us to be deaf, dumb and blind, but wanted us to understand His glories and this grace that has been so freely given. In James the Word tells us that if we simply would ask, He would grant us wisdom. The Bible is not that difficult to understand unless we do not call upon the Spirit.
Sometimes the revelation of Scripture comes through you and sometimes it comes from others. That is why God gave us elders and pastors in our congregation in the Church. We are to teach and impart wisdom to one another. And many times, as a pastor, I have had wisdom imparted to me. All we have to do is open our hearts and call upon the Spirit for discernment and wisdom and God is faithful to answer.
So, the next time you are in His word and it just isn’t making since, call upon the Spirit to open the door of wisdom. Allow God to work in you that the mystery might be revealed. Also, use your resources, too often we are quick to talk about sports and family but not the Word of God. When was the last time you asked someone about a passage in Scripture and shared your revelations on that passage with them? That is the exciting stuff in life, so call upon the Spirit and use His wisdom that you might understand.
To God’s Glory,
But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. Be appalled at this, you heavens and shudder with great horror, declares the Lord. Yet in spite of all this you say, “I am innocent; he is not angry with me.” But I will pass judgement on you because you say, “I have not sinned.” Jer 2:11b-12 & 35
God is declaring his judgement upon Israel for turning from God and from His ways. God will punish a nation because of their frivolity toward His glorious nature. When a nation puts idols up in the place of God, it is a dangerous time for those people and they ought to repent to turn back to Him.
We as Christians must be doubly careful. I as a pastor must then be 10 times more cautious that I will continue to call on the name of the Lord and not depart from Him for worthless idols. Our nation has turned its back on God. We have accepted all kinds of sin and worthless treasures in the place of God. We tear down the 10 commandments and put in its place and idol of men, we have take the perfect and replaced it with the sinner.
Am I appalled? Do I fight against this ugliness that has crept into the Nation whose motto is “In God We Trust?” How long will God relent and gently bring us to repentance. I am one of the worst, but I must repent and stop supporting that which is Godless in our nation. Only when we have a great Christian uprising will we be able to fight back against idolatry in this nation.
It begins with me and a declaration to serve God and put away anything else that would steal His attention. I can no longer allow the world to steal my time, energy and heart. I must repent and hope that the Lord will relent on our nation. There will come a time of judgement for us all if we do not turn to Him.
So, let us, as Christians, turn back to Him and cry out in one voice, He is Lord! Let us support those who would reveal His love and Truth to the world and put away any worthless idol that does not prop up the Lord. In a nation where sports stars and singers get the loudest voice, we must repent and turn our nation back to the Truth of the One Sovereign and Holy Lord God. Will you join me in bringing God back to number 1 in our nation?
May God be Patient,
But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. – Jer 1:7-8
As a pastor, I find this one of the most encouraging verses in the Bible. It seems no matter where you go or what you preach, you will always find resistance. However, I must summon up the courage of the Lord to know that as long as I preach the Truth of Christ, then there is nothing that can come again me. God not only grants me the tools that I need, He also provides the protection against all that would rise against me.
Do you have the courage? Jesus called all Christians to go out and make disciples and to baptize. Do we have the courage to do what He has not only called us to but equipped us for? Many in their lives say, why does God do this to me? But the answer is easy, He is equipping us with a testimony that gives glory not to ourselves but to God.
Our lives are the tools that we are to use to bring others to know Christ. We are to say, “Look at what God has done for me.” We use His glory and love to share the Great News with others. I know God has done so much for me that I cannot help but give that to others. All we must do now is have the courage to share with each other this Gospel of Christ.
After coming back from camp and seeing what God can do with just a handful of willing people, I know that He can do great things with us. All we have to do is speak the Truth, the Good News, and offer up the peace and love that comes from Christ. God has given us the Holy Spirit to do the rest. Not every soul will be won to Christ, but that is not ours to carry; ours is only to make sure they know the Truth and then see that Truth in our lives. So, let’s get out there and deal out some Truth and love to those who are need of saving!
To God Goes the Glory,
Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not – to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. – 1 Cor 1:26-29
As we draw near to the return of Christ, the world will continue to degrade away from the teachings of our Lord. I have heard so many times people saying how outdated the Scriptures are and how foolish people sound. Secular science continues to try to disprove what is in the Holy Word and people continue to try and call it a fairy tale, like Santa Clause. However, God knowing all things, will humble the proud and make wise the foolish.
I know what is truth and that is what is found in the Word. It is the most consistent and reliable text in the world. I have put its truths to the test, time and time again and with the same result, God is right. So, I will remain foolish to the world that I may be exulted by God. I will be shamed by those who call themselves wise, so that on that day, when Christ appears; the Father will proclaim, well done good and faithful servant. I would have it no other way.
Why do we continue to fight the truths in Scripture then in our own hearts? Why do we let doubts in? Too many of us listen to what the world has to say about us. You aren’t good enough, you cannot be loved, you are too ugly, you don’t have enough power, and you don’t have enough money to matter. But God says, that He will make those who don’t matter to the world matter to Him. He will use us to shame the proud and arrogant. So, we must bide our time in the Lord and allow Him to work.
For, as long as there are people who do not believe, then we have a field to work in and a harvest to reap for Him. I will continue to spread the Good News to any who would listen to its wisdom and love. I will tell anyone and everyone about my Savior who has brought me back from destruction into life. I have hope because I am a part of the least of these.
May God Lift You High,
Therefore, do not let what you know is good be spoken of as evil. For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and receives human approval. – Rom 14:16-18
Why do we do what we do? If we give praise to God with our hands raised, why? If we give glory to God with in silence and quiet contemplation, why? What do you wear to Sunday Services, is it shorts or slacks or a suit, why? I think of these very things as I was growing up in the Church. I was told to where a shirt and tie with slacks, but why? One day I asked my father and he told me because I said so and that had never sat with me too well. When we make a decision to come before the Lord in whatever we are doing do we think of the why?
I can remember the first time I wore shorts to a Church Service. I was 18 and out on my own. I decided I just wasn’t going to wear a shirt and tie anymore. There were looks and stares of coarse but I ignored them and continued to where my shorts, but why? When I realized I was in rebellion to my earthly father and his because I said so, I stopped wearing shorts. When I realized that I was not honor Christ or doing things for Christ that I understood that I must repent.
After a few years, I started wearing shorts again, but this time it was because I loved Jesus and it was about His glory. What I realized was, I wear shorts all week long and then to come into His presence in a corporate manner and change who I was every other day was just as bad as coming to Him in sinful pride. I was sinning by putting on a hypocritical face; I realized that who I am Monday through Saturday is who I should be on Sunday.
Whatever I do, let me do it for the Lord, not for the pleasures or acceptance of man. And let no man speak ill of what is good, lest he be in danger of judgement. Paul says, a few verses back, “So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God. Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.” (Rom 14:12-13)
This was not just about causing someone else to be tempted, but it was also about not putting a stumbling block to worship in front of your brother. So however, you come before the Lord, if it be within the parameters of Biblical acceptance, then come before the Lord in freedom. Let us not judge each other for there is enough persecution in the world against us already. But let us bolster each other in worship to the Lord that He may rejoice at our love for one another.
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. – Rom 13:11
Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. – Rom 13:14
Two great and related verses here in the Epistle to the Romans. Paul is warning of a time coming when the end is near and that we should not waste that time thinking about how to fulfill our fleshly desires, but instead be about the work of Christ, the spreading of the Gospel.
First, to address the former, our time to wake up is now, then end is near. Perhaps not the end of the world, but every one of us teeters on the edge of death every day we live. This means that our salvation is at hand each and every day and we must live it like we are going to enter into eternity in the next second.
For as long as the world has been, men have debated the end, but no more than now. I love seeing the predictions come and go and how the Scriptures and Words of our Lord continue to make fools of these men. No one will know the day or time of the coming, so too, no man knows the number of his days. The end comes whether Christ comes back or we die. So we must live like this is the end.
How? Well that is where the latter verse comes into play, live for the Lord, clothe yourself in Him. Be about the work of Christ! I have heard someone say, is this where you want to be when Jesus comes back? What a great question, on the day of my death do I want to be fully engaged in the Gospel or fully engaged in my selfishness. I prefer the former to the latter.
And finally, when I am about the business of Christ, I have no time for foolishness. If you have been struggling with a sin in your life? The question isn’t why, but what, what are you doing and filling your life with, is it Christ? When I do what God has called me to do, I have no time for the flesh or its desires. It is when I am idle in the Lord that sin finds its way into my heart.
So today, let go of the flesh and fully engaging in the ministry of Jesus. Spend time sharing the Gospel, reading His Word and praying. Spend you day with the Lord by being kind and full of grace with everyone you meet, it is a conscience effort to be this way, trust me. Let’s put away the flesh by clothing ourselves in the righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Thank You Jesus,
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good. Rom 12:20-21
Romans 12 is probably one of the best chapters on what a Christians stands for and ought to live their life according to. There is great advice for all people of faith in these words but none stronger than the quote above. It flies in the face of conventional wisdom. It requires the reader to be humble and not to take offense when offense is given. It calls us not to be vengeful but to provide grace to our enemies.
How do you know the Bible is true? This is a question I get so often I cannot remember how many times. Romans 12 is why the scripture is true. What man in his right mind would seek grace instead of justice? It is in every heart to repay for a wrong, this is why there are so many wars and peace does not persist in this world. But God being ever the wiser of us all, buck conventional wisdom and gives us the true measure of peace in life.
Overcome evil with good, do not take vengeance, try to live at peace with everyone, live in harmony with one another, don’t be proud, love must be sincere; these are the many pieces of advice given in Romans 12. None of these suits today’s society but points in another direction.
I must admit that I have a hard time with these verses as well because in my own heart I want justice to be served when it is owed. Well, unless that justice must be dispensed upon me and then I want grace; I am a hypocrite in my own mind and must repent. For if God has measured grace out to me, a sinner, how much more then should I offer grace up to others. For this is the true nature of peace and forgiveness, it is grace.
If you want to know how to get rid of the past and the things that haunt you, offer up grace. If you want to let go of the wickedness of your own actions, offer up grace. See, grace is where forgiveness meets mercy and gives what is not deserved and that is love and peace. Christ did this for us on the cross and now I can do that for myself and others by offering up that same forgiveness and mercy to others through goodness and kindness even though they persecute me.
Today is always a good day for grace, mercy and forgiveness. Let someone who doesn’t deserve it have it today. Fly in the face of what everything in the culture tells us to do and follow the will of God. Test Him and see if it does not offer up peace and love in your life. Test the Scripture and find out its truth today.
To God be the Glory,
“Lord, they have killed Your Prophets, they have torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they are seeking my life.” But what is the divine response to him[Elijah]? “I have kept for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” – Rom 11:3-4
Here Paul is talking about Israel and the remnant that will be saved in the end when they come to know Christ because of the Gentiles. However, it is just as applicable today, because the original quote comes from Elijah and he was full of sorrow because he felt alone. However, God preserves the remnant no matter what and they can be a great encouragement to each other.
Why is this important today? Well, as I look around at the news and television and music and all other forms of entertainment, communication and work in the world, I see a great tidal wave of sin that has come upon us. 20 years ago, no-one would be caught dead looking at pornography or cheating on their spouse. Yet today it is pretty much an acceptable practice in either case.
The United States has become a hot bed of acceptable sin and disgusting moral behavior. Watching the woman’s rally and march and seeing them degrade women to the absolute lowest of moral standard was not only shameful but disheartening because I have two daughters that are exposed to this behavior. This country has long since turned from God and all things Holy.
I want those who serve Christ to know, there is a remnant left in this country who still support the Lord and what He stands for. I want you all to know there are the few left who think its not OK to watch pornography or to run around cussing up a storm and to still treat people with decency and respect even if that means I must suffer a bit. There are a few out there that don’t ask, “What’s in it for me,” but that will lend a hand because Christ offered them the hand of grace.
Christians it is time to take our country back. To change the culture of a nation and turn their faces back to the Lord. If Jesus could take 12 men and change the world, we can take the few and change a country. We have got to stand together and stand for what is right. Stop letting the world tell you all this sin is OK because we live in a free country but stand for what is right in the Lord’s eyes. Paul tells us in Gal, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Our forefathers knew this, freedom isn’t freedom to be and do whatever you want but used to do what is righteous in the eyes of God. So, lets take our country back starting with our families and our towns, let’s bring them back to Christ by serving and loving them in Christ.
In Service to God,