Thursday, December 3, 2009

New Blog

While I intend to maintain this blog as well, atleast for now, most of my time will be spent on my new blog, feel free to check it out read, comment, question etc.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Random Thoughts

It is late and I can't sleep so thought I would sit down and blog for a little bit. It seems so easy to get caught up in everything that is going on around you, and forget to notice the things that are really important. There is a question one of my teachers in elementary school would ask anytime someone was upset about a grade or something like that. She would ask, "One hundred years from now, who is going to remember _____?" Its an interesting thought. One hundred years from now no one will care what kind of vehicle you drove, no one will care what neighborhood you lived in. One hundred years from now you will either be glad of your relationship to Christ, or sorely disappointed in your lack there of. It is easy to make a statement like that, but it is very hard to show it in your daily life. I assume that many of you reading this will agree with the above statement. But I can also see in my own life where my actions display just the opposite. That is something that I must work to change. It is one thing to give Christ your Sundays, and an hour on Wednesday, but we must continually grow in our worship. Romans 12:1 tells us that our reasonable act of worship is to live our lives a living sacrifice to God. I have been studying the bible on my own more this year than I ever did in the past, and the more I study; the more I realize I have to grow. Every day of our lives needs to be a reflection of Christ, whether it is being patient with a trying customer at work, or how you behave alone in your car when someone cuts you off. Every situation is an opportunity to worship God by choosing to praise him, or to show his kindness to your enemies.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Greatest Sermon Ever Preached.

I have had the privilege of hearing many great sermons, from many preachers, but no sermon compares to the one that Jesus preached. Oh and by the way I'm not talking about the Sermon on the Mount, although it is probably second. The greatest sermon wasn't spoken, although there were some words, but it was a whole life lived to the glory of God. For his first point Jesus was born of a virgin, and lived without sin. For his second point he showed God's mighty power, great love and mercy to the world. For his third point he stood before Pilate, and accepted a fierce beating. For his fourth point he walked to Golgotha, and hung on a cross. For his fifth point he rose from the grave on the third day, and after a little more time with those who had followed him, he ascended into heaven, where he now sits at the right hand of God. Now most modern preachers, use a five point sermon: Intro, point 1, point 2, point 3, conclusion. Jesus however has more points, and the sermon is not finished. For his sixth point he sent the holy spirit as a comforter to those who belong to him. And his conclusion, which has yet to be delivered, but has been promised, will be when he returns, this time it will not be a humble birth in secret, but with the sound of trumpets, and all will know, and every knee in Heaven, on Earth, and under the Earth, will bow, and he will gather to him those that belong to him.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Five Steps to Spiritual Success: a Study of Wisdom from the Book of Proverbs

As I laid in bed trying to sleep, I began to pray, and felt compelled to get up and study my bible. So I began to read in Proverbs chapter 1, and several things stuck out to me, and I was really blessed in the reading. It inspired an excitement and closeness to God in me, that I have longed for. It is like those mountaintop experiences from a christian retreat, and I just can't help but try to share some of the insights that spoke to me. I hope it is encouraging for you.
The first thing that stuck out was talking about how you become wise. It lists some charactaristics of people who are wise. In Proverbs 1:5 these two charactaristics: continually learning; and attains wise counsel. If we are going to become wise we must love learning, and be very careful to take advice from people who are wise, we must be discerning of the counsel we accept. All wisdom is not valuable for a christian. We must seek Godly wisdom, so we need to love learning the scriptures, and seek counsel from Godly men and women. I love the way the christian walk is never a singular walk, a key to success as a christian is always other christians. Proverbs 1:7 says, "Fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge." If we are going to be wise we must have an accurate view of God, we must recognize that he is mighty, and worthy of awe and reverence. Proverbs 1:10 advises not to consent to temptations, the following verses give the example of people coming and talking about using violent means to make dishonest gain. It also states about these people that they unknowing seek to kill themselves. In the same way that it is important for us to seek wise counsel, we must also avoid evil counsel.
Another nugget that I found is in Chapter 2:4-5 "If you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God." These verses describe wisdom as something that is very valuable and worthy to be sought, because it will bring you to the fear of the Lord. Chapter 2 will continue to say that the Lord gives wisdom, and that he stores sound wisdom for the upright, and is a shield for those who walk uprightly.
So what does it look like when wisdom enters your heart. The following discriptions are given
>will have discretion which means cautious and correct judgement.
>will have understanding
>will love knowledge
>will not go with evil company
>will not speak perverse things
>will not leave the path of righteousness
>will not be sexually immoral
>will not go down the paths of the dead
>will walk in goodness
Now to finally get to the five commands for success Chapter 3:5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
Chapter 3:6 In all your ways acknowledge the Lord.
Chapter 3:7 Do not consider yourself wise, instead fear God and flee from evil
Chapter 3:9 Honor the Lord with all your possessions
Chapter 3:11 Do not despise the chastening of the Lord.
I could talk about each of these, but will instead just challenge you to take them one at a time and apply them to your life. I truly believe that growing in these will enrich your life and reignite your fire for the Lord.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Getting to the Meat of the Issue

I was reading in Hebrews this morning and came across some verses in chapter 6, that many people including myself have read and heard many times, but as I read them today they challenged me in a brand new way. That is maybe one of the coolest things about the Bible, is you can read the same passage ten thousand times and still gain new insights from it. In Hebrews chapter 6:1-3, The writer of Hebrews continues a thought from the end of Chapter 5. He has just told them that they ought to be mature and teaching, ready for solid food, but instead they still need milk. He urges them and us to move past the elementary principles and lists: > WATER BAPTISM
> LAYING ON OF HANDS >RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD >JUDGEMENT OF THE DEAD. If you look at the issues that separate the different denominations, most of them come from beliefs on these issues. This raises the question to me, What are the weightier matters? What is it that we are to be progressing toward? I believe that the answer is our relationship with Christ. In the same way that Jesus criticized the pharisees for obeying the letter of the law but having their hearts far from him, we can make it all about believing the right things about our favorite pet issue, and totally miss the point of why we do those things in the first place. I am in no way suggesting that it is not important what you believe about those issues. I encourage everyone to study the bible and see God's answer to them and live accordingly, To work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. And move on grow closer to God each day, and do not let the fact that someone else interprets the scriptures on these issues differently then you, stop you from showing the love of our God, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, which we can only show if we are living each day in a relationship with him.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What can I say?

I think that all of us have been in situations where we were talking with someone who was going through some tough times in their life, maybe it was a failed relationship, the loss of a loved, or a whole host of other things that can get someone down. For me when I find myself in these situations, I always struggle with what I should say. I feel a need to say something that will encourage them, or provide a solution, but how do you comfort someone when there is no clear solution, or how do you know what to say if it is something you have never dealt with. I think 2 Corinthians 1: 3-7 provides encouragement to me. It reveals to me the simple fact that in those times, and any other times really, it's not about me, or my experiences, or even my solutions. It is about the one whom I must turn to when I struggle. It is about God, and Christ Jesus. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulations, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort by which we ourselves are comforted by God." You see all that we can really do is point them to Christ, and pray with them, helping them bear their burden to throne of God. It is encouraging to me that this is the answer for all troubles, there are not any troubles to big for this to be the solution.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Does God Hate Satan?

A friend of mine posed this question to me last week, and I thought it would make for interesting discussion. So there it is please post your thoughts. I will of course post my thoughts as well. So in one word, NO. While it is clear through the scriptures that there are differences between humans and angels. No where does it mention Jesus' death on the cross covering the sins of angels. So in case you are wanting to ask would Satan be able to return to heaven if he repented? I think the answer to that is no, I do not believe that the angels who having seen and been in the presense of God and fell, are able to repent, and be reconciled. However, back to the original question, I believe that there is sufficient evidence to state that God hates the sin, but not the sinner. So while Satan is in opposition to God I would still argue that God, loves Satan, but because he is a just God, there cannot be sin in heaven, so Satan can not reside in heaven, because there is no evidence of a means for reconcillation, for angels in the bible I conclude, that while Satan is permanently banned from heaven, that God does not hate him.

I will add scripture references later. Just wanted to get the thoughts on screen for now.

Please post your thoughts and opinions on this.