Monday, March 25, 2013

Like a thief in the night.

It's been a little over 2000 years since Christ died and rose. It's always been said that the 2nd coming will come as a thief in the night. Christ said it himself (Matthew 24:44) 2000 years later I'm like man it's been a long time and It's easy to get discouraged and think maybe it's not true. But check this out. "But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." from 2 Peter 3:8-9 So really in truly we are only 2 days in to the last days. as John Piper says "From God's stand point... Day before yesterday it started" What started ? The end of the age, the end of the world as we know it. The beauty of this is that God is wanting all to be saved, he wants all to repent of their sins and believe in Jesus Christ. But the hard part to swallow is that some will not repent and some will not believe. It might seem unfair to you but honestly God's ways are higher than ours and his thoughts higher than ours. And I trust him in his decisions. I trust in the one who died for us so that we could be with him eternally. 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Oh yea ?

I just read an article by Shon Hopwood. Most of you have probably never heard of him. Here is a quick synopsis of his life so far. He was a bank robber in Nebraska , he robbed a total of 5 banks. He served Federal Prison time from 1998 to 2009. While in prison he studied law and became a supreme court practitioner. His first Supreme court case to be reviewed was Fellers vs.United States he worked with Seth Waxman in petitioning the case. He won. The article I read by him is about telling how we came to know God's immense grace. He says this-"Chances are, if you are living a “religious” life, your friend will have had no idea that this sin was an issue for you. And chances are that sharing this could radically change their perception of forgiveness, their perception of grace.
Once you repent of and give up the sin, both past and the present—for God makes us a new creation, not a perfect one—then share your story of how God has poured his grace out on you. How God changed you from the inside out through grace alone. And how your life has never been the same."-Shon Hopwood. This is amazing. I mean I spend a lot of time talking about things that probably bore people to death! Doctrine, and dogma and how such and such is how a christian should eat and breath(sarcasm, but you get my drift!) . I never took the time to talk about what God has brought me out of. I never thought to share my experience with God's grace. Like Shon Hopwood I know what it is like to feel the consequences of sin. If I add up all the time I spent in and out of jail from the years 2009 to 2012 I would say I have accumulated up to a year in jail at the most. The effects of sin, plain and simple. I used to steal anything from candy bars to more expensive stuff like video games. You had no idea. Bet you'd be shocked to know I could be a cruel gossiper talking about someone as they walk away within eyesight. Stabbing people in the back , stealing out of the register at work. Sexually promiscuous, literally hating people and wanting them dead, joking about the mentally ill (I'm sorry God ) , mean to family, messing with peoples food at the fast food place I worked at, physical fights, Drinking to get drunk, experimenting with drugs, and evil on top of evil. selling fake drugs. The only way I could turn my life around was by the humongous grace of God. Some might say well all you had to do was stop. But I needed a reason to stop I couldn't just stop without a reason. Why did I stop? because I learned that God has something better in store for me, I learned who I am in Christ (loved, saved, clean, sanctified among many other things) Some might say "see a perfect example of religion being a crutch and only for the weak!" pump your brakes bro! We are all weak we are all sinners, yes to varying degrees but we all are not as good as we think we are. Jesus Christ is the standard. Not me, not Larry, and not alcoholic hobo Joe. Jesus Christ is the standard! Can you tell Jesus Christ you are more righteous then him? huh? No. You can't and neither can I. Back to Grace. I need it, you need it the world needs it. And without faith in Jesus Christ I would just continue on with the same ol same ol. And I don't want to go back to the same ol same ol. Because all that will get me is a nasty empty feeling in my heart.
To God be the glory.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

With a what ?

 When he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men. And Samson said,
    “With the jawbone of a donkey,
        heaps upon heaps,
    with the jawbone of a donkey
        have I struck down a thousand men.”
(Judges 15:14-16 ESV)

When I read this I laughed. I mean seriously, this dude Samson beat down some guys with a jawbone of a donkey. Lol. I would hate to be the Philistines descendants of those guys who got beat. I imagine the conversation to the grand kids would go something like this "soo grandma how did papa go " "Papa (insert hebrew type name) was beat down by a man with long hair wearing barely anything wielding a donkey jawbone" God will come in at the most unexpected times and using the most unexpected things to make his name known. As scripture says in 1 Corinthians 1:27-29 "But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God."

Keep that in mind when you feel like a big bag of sighs, wait on God and he will use you. Have faith in him he will always hold you and keep you safe. Maybe you knew that already. But in all reality writing this probably encouraged me more than you, and if you feel encouraged that's great. Like they say your smile makes me smile. Your encouragement encourages me.
Have a great night.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

No one likes an arrogant Christian.

Have you ever met someone very passionate about something you don't know to much about? I have. I've seen people passionate about activities like video games, star wars, and music. I'm sure many of us have met people passionate about Christianity. Two things happen when we meet a person really passionate about something.
1) We are repulsed.
2)We are intrigued.
What cause these two reactions? The degree of intensity in the persons passion, there general demeanor, There facial expression and answers when a question is asked or the something they love is challenged, the effects on the persons life due to the passion that is held for the certain activity, and past experiences with the something they are passionate about. When I was a kid and through my teenage years I was very passionate about skateboarding. I skateboarded for 11 years. I would not be surprised if some friends and family found it annoying how skateboarding dominated my conversation. They thought it rude and arrogant when I got upset because they did not understand every little skateboard trick I was explaining. I did not even think to ask about there interest . Do we Christians do this? I have had people ask me whether or not I like such-and such and when I say never heard of it or just plain no. They look at me as if I have three heads then want nothing to do with me. Do we Christians do this when people are not immediately  receptive to the gospel? Yes!! We do ! When we stand on street corners with megaphones in hand telling people they are going to hell because of abortion, homosexuality and other sins. We are bring oppressive . How do we know the people walking by are not Bible believing Christians? Yes. Sin=Death. But sin does not = unrighteous anger or unrighteous judgement. Sin= death which means hell for the unrepentant sinner. Lets not throw our corrupt human emotions in the mix. Hell is eternal separation from God. Instead of yelling on megaphones and standing on step ladders yelling " God hates such and such group" ( God does not hate any human! God hates Sin. that is why Sin=death.) We need to be sad and show people we are generally  concerned that if they die in sin they will be separated  from God. Subjects of the wrath of God's hatred of sin. The oppression slips in when people are told about hell and not about the key out of hell (Belief in Jesus Christ and leading a life of repentance) Jesus said we are to be "fishers of men"- Matthew:4:19. It is important that we stress the importance of God's sadness and our sadness because of the way non-believers are living. We must stress that God is sad because he knows some will be subject to his wrath. You don't think God cries?read this (John 11:35, Hebrews 5:7, and Luke 19:41) Back to oppressive Christians. There are two reasons that some Christians are oppressive.
1) They are arrogant. Which is sin. (Sin=death)
2) There teaching is horrible and they can't communicate the Gospel well or just don't want to.
Jesus calls his followers to be gentel. " I am sending you as sheep in the midst of wolves, be wise as serpents, and innocent as doves- Matthew 10:16. To sum it up the reasons why so many Christians are rightfully viewed as oppressive  is because of arrogance or bad communication skills. So really in truly Christianity is not oppressive the people who "practice" it are oppressive .

Friday, November 30, 2012

You believe. So what ?

Today on the bus on the way to Wal-Mart I was reading the Bible. Right behind me I hear a guy ask me what I am reading. I tell him the Bible. Then he ask where at in the Bible am I reading. I was reading 1 Kings chapter 2. Then he ask me to "speak on it" which I took as "tell me the practical application of the scripture in my daily life". So I expounded on (1 Kings 2:36-46). To sum it up King Solomon tells Shimei to build a home in Jerusalem and to stay in Jerusalem and to never leave the city. Shimei had cursed and mocked Solomon's father David  (2 Samuel 16:13) This guy Shimei was a first class jerk he literally followed King David along a mountain cursing him and throwing dirt on him. Does he not know that this is the guy who killed Goliath. But to get back on track, Shimei's life is spared by David and David's son Solomon. Solomon told him stay here in Jerusalem and don't cross the brook Kidron and if you do you WILL DIE!. Shimei agrees. After 3 years Shimei's slaves run away to Gath. Shimei chases after them and he finds them in Gath then returns to Jerusalem. King Solomon finds out Shimei has left Jerusalem and after scolding Shimei asking why he did not keep his Oath to the Lord, and telling him how his own heart has convicted him of the evil done to King David. King Solomon has him executed. O.K. what does this look like in my life, you and the guy on the bus are thinking ?  Two things and one just popped into my head as I was re-reading over the scripture. Repentance and love of possessions. The Bible speaks so much about repentance has 200 documented verses about it.( The Lord is not playing around when he says repent from sin. Sin equals death (Romans 6:23) Shimei said he would abide by his oath to the Lord but he did not. So what happened he died. What caused his death disobediance and why did he disobey he was chasing after his possessions. Back to the guy on the bus he started to act weird and his breath smelled of alcohol. I glance at his hand and there is a beer in his hands. Then he says "don't judge me because I'm drinking I believe in Jesus I love him" Ok I tell him but the Bible says to obey the authorities (Romans 13:1-3)and there is no eating or drinking ON THE BUS. Drinking in moderation is fine in it's proper place. Then he goes off on some weird tangent telling me not to be stingy with the word of God, and don't judge blah blah blah... Dude first of all I was just quietly reading and studying. I told him that as a Christian I am supposed to share the Gospel and I am never stingy with the word of God. I tell him at this point I am going to get back to reading and he is mumbling some thing about how he loves God and this and that. I got off the bus shook his hand and that's that. Plenty of scriptures pop into my head as I am walking     "You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe and shudder!"(James 2:19 ESV). Ok dude you believe God is real so does Satan ! Congratulations. You say you love him but you don't show it. You follow Satan! This verse popped into my head also. "Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb."(Psalm 37:1-2 ESV) This Psalm came into mind because this man on the bus had some kind of work ID badge on his shirt. This man has a job. I don't! It's tough to see people who either could care less about God, or say they do but are hypocrits do well. I have accepted where God has me right now in life and I am content to wait in him, do what he tells me, and watch for his next move and not watch the moves of secular society.

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's not about what you know, but what you do with what you know.

I have met many people on my journey in life that have claimed to have a knowledge of the Bible and Jesus Christ. Yet they do not bare the fruit of a Christian. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV), (John 15:16 ESV) or they claim that they do not need to follow all the doctrines of the Bible. Saying that you are well versed in the Bible or that you  "know" the Bible. But not applying it to your life is like saying you are an English major yet you continue to use ebonics and constantly make grammatical errors on essays just because you feel like it's not that important to use the knowledge you have learned. Or maybe there is a feeling of not knowing whether or not what you learned is the truth or not. Being confused is understandable in this world of humanistic philosophies, relativism , atheism, deism, and theism. But disregarding completely or only taking half of the truth and digging your heels in at that point is out of the question and a coward move.When I was learning multiplication and did not get an answer right I did not doubt the validity of the entire mathematics system, or deny the teachers correcting because of the plethora of possible answers at the side. How foolish would I have been to say " I don't know about this confusing multiplication and division. I will just stick with addition.and I will use addition in place of multiplication even though it will take me 10 times as long to reach my destination" I can not claim to be an expert in something when I refuse to practically apply that somethings methods when the opportunity arises. Why do you excuse sin and you are supposedly well versed in the Bible? Why do you constantly ignore fellowship with fellow believers? Why are you not bearing the fruit Jesus says that believers would bear ? When fellow believers and non-believers look at you they see a tree bearing as much fruit as a tree in the middle of winter. Now I need to say I did not start off writing this intending to bash people. But if we are believers we need to take a long hard look at whether or not we are truly representing Christ to the world and bearing the spiritual fruit Christ wants us to bear. Personally I can no longer excuse any sin in my life. C.H. Mackintosh said this regarding sin " We should at least seek to meditate more habitually upon His cross and this way reach a much deeper view of the awfulness of sin in the sight of God". And later C.H. Mackintosh says "How lightly, at times do we think of that which cost the Lord Jesus everything" I need to take a closer look at my sin. And if you claim to "know" the Bible yet are not bearing fruit and continue to excuse the sin in your life. You should "know" to do better! Plain and simple. It's not about what you know. It's all about what you do with what you know !

Monday, November 19, 2012

Learning to Walk

'walking in the light means for many of us walking according to our standard for another person' - Oswald Chambers. Jesus Christ puts it a bit more simply than Mr. Chambers. 'just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise' - Luke 6 :31 That is Jesus for ya. Simple. Solid. Not beating around the bush. But I'm not here to talk about the beautiful simplicity that we can find in Jesus teachings and how hard they can be for our complicated human minds to adhere to. I just want to say something really quick about day to day living and how I react to people in different situations as the day goes on. I admit and I'm usually the last to admit. But I am not always treating my fellow man the way Jesus would have. Or should I say does do today? Because Jesus is living ya know? I don't even think about my fellow brother the way I would want him to be thinking about me. If I found out that what you thought about me was what I thought about some folks on a bad temperamental cranky day I would not want to be around you. The problem lies in my soul. My soul (emotions,attitudes and will) have not been completely broken by the Holy Spirit. Why has it not been broken because I have yet to give myself completely, to him. I keep grieving the Holy Spirit by backsliding and misstepping and continuing in sin that i need not continue in as a born again believer. Because I do not fully trust the Holy Spirit and I don't listen to the Holy Spirit I get upset because the same things seem to be happening to me over and over again. Imagine someone who is cooking eggs in a skillet and a cook says "put oil in there or the eggs wills stick to the skillet!!" and I say "no!"I have done this before and gotten away with it!" Or " it turns out fine!". I am not aware of this cooks superior knowledge to cooking so I just stick with my own crappy sticky recipe. I pray that I would become more aware of the Holy Spirit and his want to guide me and direct me in this life, because he holds superior knowledge that he longs to share with me if only I would open my ears. Now why is it important for the human soul to be broken by the Holy Spirit ? Because if it is broken, the Holy Spirit can work threw our soul out towards our outer body and in to the world. See the holy spirit is deep inside a believer in Christ, then there is the human soul (emotions, will, and attitude) then the physical body. If we allow the Holy Spirit to override the human soul we will experience a change in emotions, will and attitude. This arrangement is how it is meant to be. Being governed by the human soul is like putting the cart before the horse. In allowing the Holy Spirit to change my will, attitude, and emotions. I will be able to abide by this simple teaching. 'just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise' - Luke 6 :31