Oct 282017
 

Bible 2

“Behold, I am of small account; what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth” (Job 40:4).

This is a special message!

And it’s one that I didn’t particularly enjoy writing.

However-

– it needs to be said again and again.

This message is to all church-going pretenders out there-

– the ones who look heavenly on Sunday,

– but live like hell Monday through Saturday.

You look good on the outside but when God looks at your inside your heart- it’s a dirty mess!

I’ve got bad news for you!

Jesus hates religious pretense.

But I’ve also got good news also.

He loves the pretenders!

He gave His life for hypocrites like you and me.

The end of being a religious pretenders is-

– to admit our sin that separates us from God;

– then ask Christ’s forgiveness;

– and then believe to be right with God

– is your only hope for change.

And here’s the irony:

When we begin to be more real with God and with others-

– we begin to be more like Jesus!

He’s the only person who has ever lived without any trace of pretense.

(PA)

May 052017
 
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9.
The popular expression “You are what you eat”-
– is an encouragement to give our physical bodies good food. 
The idea also applies to our mental wellbeing. 

The mind’s appetite is much like the stomach’s-
– which becomes accustomed to the diet we provide and craves more of the same. 

Dwelling on whatever is pure, lovely, and right develops a hunger to receive more of God’s goodness. 
But if we take in what our culture calls excellent, we develop a taste for that instead.

The world presents some delicious-looking offerings—TV is one example. 
But mixed in with some fine educational programming is a lot of junk. 

Certain believers consider it okay to watch a show that violates scriptural values, since it’s “just entertainment.” 
However, everything our mind ingests shapes our views and values. 

Allowing incorrect teaching and sinful ideas into our thinking can warp our understanding of right and wrong.

If an idea, action, or activity is not true or honorable—that is-
– if it violates Scripture in some way—then God is not in it. 

And if God is absent-
– then Satan is present. 
​​

The Enemy’s mission is to draw our focus away from the Lord. 

Once the Devil has someone’s attention-
– he’ll keep presenting more tasty-looking “junk food” 
– to keep that individual occupied while leading him farther from the Lord and deeper into depravity.

There’s so much clamoring for our attention-
– entertainment, philosophies, teachings
– and whatever isn’t of the Lord has potential to taint our value system. 

Believers are wise to use discernment and feast only on the things of God.

(PA)

Apr 242017
 

Spiritual growth is a lot like physical growth!

To stay healthy and grow physically-

We must eat the right foods, exercise, and enjoy plenty of rest.

According to Scripture, growing spiritually involves the same formula.Ephesians.4:14-15.

Eat!

Christians must eat the right ‘spiritual food’:

God’s Word.

Yet many Christians try to survive on spiritual ‘fast food.’

What is that fast food?

A pastor’s, preacher’s or a teacher’s message; not the Bible message!

Some watch Christian shows on TV, read Christian magazines, and listen to Christian music, read messages like this on the internet while cutting the Bible out of their diet.

Some believers do not read the Bible at all.

They are afraid of Biblical principles that should govern their lives.

They are simply looking for sooth sayings from the pulpit.

But nothing builds the body—the Body of Christ—like the Bible!

Everything else is supplementary!

Sometimes it is contradictory to the Word of God!

Exercise!!

– is another body builder!

Christians exercise through resisting temptation, enduring trials, serving others, and telling others about their faith.

Temptation and problems test our character.

Serving others stretches our faith.

Telling people about Christ strengthens our love for Him.

Enjoy!!!

Christians enjoy rest through worship!

Our world has a tendency to pull us in different directions like a rubber band stretched to the limit.

We need sleep, rest, and times of vacation to get our physical batteries recharged.

In the same way-

We need proper time of prayer and worship to keep us spiritually renewed.

Spiritual growth takes time!

-A lifetime!

This means growing in a glowing relationship with God!

Growing a strong Christian life means-

– learning how to love Jesus more each day,

– staying close to Him, and getting to know Him better.

Grow and glow for His glory!

(PA)

Oct 062016
 

15889-he-is-risen“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed…” Luke 4:18.

On returning to His hometown-
Jesus entered the synagogue and, to the amazement of all who were listening, read His job description from the book of Isaiah.

Perhaps some people in that congregation were confused by His statement that-
He was sent to release captives and set the oppressed free. Luke 4:18.

Who were those captives?
Was He going to storm the prisons?

Jesus was talking about spiritual bonds, not physical ones.

Everyone is born with a sinful nature, and we’re all enslaved to sin until that bondage gets broken by faith in the Saviour.

But even after salvation-
Jesus is continually setting us free from things that entrap us, hindering our relationship with Him.

He delivers us from-

Errors:
The Word of God protects us-
– from the misconceptions and lies that Satan and his world system use to bombard us.

Evil deeds:
God’s indwelling Spirit empowers us-
– to resist temptation and live a righteous lifestyle.

Emotional bondages:

The Lord doesn’t want us to be controlled by fear, guilt, jealousy, bitterness, unforgiveness, or inadequacy, which steal the peace and joy Christ promised.

When we learn to trust Him in every situation-
He’ll set us free from these negative emotions.

Many Christians live in bondage without realizing it.
They know something is wrong but can’t straighten out their lives.

Despite all their efforts to “be better,” they keep failing.

No prisoner has the key to unlock the door-
– but Jesus is standing outside the cell, calling,
“Trust Me, and I will set you free!”

Jul 112016
 

cross 7

“The haters of the Lord would pretend submission to Him, But their fate would endure forever” (Psalm 81:15).

What is denial?

It is the attitude that-
– avoids looking realistically at issues and
– pretends that things are not the way they are.

Most Christians are to varying degrees held together by denial.

Deep down we sense that if we were to face the realities of life openly and honestly-
– we might not be able to cope,
– and so we pretend things are not what they are.

I know Christians-
– who pretend that what they have in life satisfies more than it does,
– or pretend they haven’t been hurt as badly as they have.

They refuse to face and feel what is going on inside them-
– due to the strange belief that it is lack of faith on their part to admit to anything that is negative.

This faulty teaching, that we ought to ignore what is going on inside us instead of facing it and dealing with it, is responsible for more casualties in the Christian life than anything I know.

A Christian psychologist says:
“I am convinced that much of what we admire as spiritual maturity is a fragile adjustment to life based on the foundation of denial.”

I would agree.

My own observation would lead me to say that-
I have found some non-Christians to be more open and honest in facing what is going on inside them than some Christians.

Is denial a wise plan for life?

Absolutely not.

The choice, then, is stark:
– either to deny and live comfortably or
– to face every painful issue, and go on to climb the heights with God.

“Father, help to see that I need never be afraid to face anything, for in You I have the resources to resolve all problems, not just skirt them. Show me how to blast denial right out of my life – once and for all. In Jesus’ name. Amen.