Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Wisdom of Solomon

“Two things I ask of you, LORD;

do not refuse me before I die:

Keep falsehood and lies far from me;

give me neither poverty nor riches,

but give me only my daily bread.

Otherwise, I may have too much and disown you

and say, ‘Who is the LORD?’

Or I may become poor and steal,

and so dishonor the name of my God.

~~ Proverbs 30: 7 - 9 ~~

Monday, November 1, 2010

Check out this great video by Francis Chan.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Death of Absolutes

It seems that in today's postmodern relativistic society, when the topic of 'truth' is discussed, the lack of unanimity has given birth to a degenerate form of 'truth' that is, consequently, devoid of the existence of what makes truth truth.

“The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is.”--Winston Churchill

That is to say that 'truth' is what you make of it, and that there are no absolutes. Yet the statement "there are no absolutes" presents an absolute by it's very existence, thus destroying itself in the process.

Nobody want's to fly with a relativistic pilot. Barreling towards a mountain at 500 mph has a way of bringing unanimity among the passengers regarding the absolute truth of mountains and speeding airplanes.

It's only when the airplane is flying safely and everything is satisfactory that we feel comfortable with personalizing truth for the sake of peace and tolerance. Ahh, but do you not realize that it is the absolutes that keep the airplane flying.

"I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life..." -- JESUS CHRIST

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Scripture's To Ponder


I form the light and create darkness,
I bring prosperity and create disaster;
I, the LORD, do all these things.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

CHRIST; Gods Gift to The World

Have you noticed how stressed out people are this time of year?

I've noticed that around this time of year, people get very grumpy, they can be easily angered, and are generally stressed out.

What has happened, and why are people so stressed?

~According a survey done by the Credit Council, the average American family will spend around $930 dollars on Gifts and accessories during the Holiday.

~According to Parenting and Family magazine, back in 2005, the Playstation 3 was released and many parents went on a spending frenzy in hopes of purchasing one for a child for Christmas. There was a shortage of Consoles, so the bidding war began on ebay. The highest bid was $30,000. Any other time of year, the Playstation 3 would sell for 399 dollars.

In this study, we'll answer at least two very important questions:

What is Christmas really all about?

What do we do with this information?

Luke 2:8-20

8 Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold,[b] an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. 12 And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “ Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. 17 Now when they had seen Him, they made widely[d] known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. 18 And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. 19 But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. 20 Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.

You can just imagine these shepherds sitting out in the dark...keeping watch over their sheep...

Shepherd facts: The duty of shepherds was to keep their flock intact and protect it from wolves and other predators. The shepherd was also to supervise the migration of the flock and ensured they made it to market areas in time for shearing. In ancient times shepherds also commonly milked their sheep, and made cheese from this milk; only some shepherds still do this today.
In many
societies shepherds were an important part of the economy. Unlike farmers, shepherds were often wage earners, being paid to watch the sheep of others. Shepherds also lived apart from society, being largely nomadic. Shepherds would normally work in groups either looking after one large flock, or each bringing their own and merging their responsibilities.

The responsibilities were great, for every sheep was held in high value. Notice the way Jesus uses this to make his parable in Matthew 18:12

Example: the parable of the "Lost Sheep"

Matthew 18:12
"What do you think? If a man owns a hundred sheep, and one of them wanders away, will he not leave the ninety-nine on the hills and go to look for the one that wandered off?

So hear they sit in the dark, under the stars, when "Suddenly" the Angel of the Lord appeared and the Glory of the Lord Shone around them.

One second the shepherds are sitting there minding there own business, and the next, they are surrounded by a brilliant light and an Angel of the Lord is standing before them.

The word Around here is tranlated from round "About" in the KJV. About in this context is "perilampō" (to shine around)

Fact: perilampo Peri (around) and Lampo (to shine); which is where we get our word for lamp.

This word is only used one other time and that's in Acts 26 as Paul gives his testimony before King Agrippa.

Paul says in verse 13 13About noon, O king, as I was on the road, I saw a light from heaven, brighter than the sun, blazing around me and my companions.

So we know that this light is bright, for Paul claims it was brighter than the noonday sun.

Its understandable then why it says in verse 9 that they were greatly afraid.

Note: The greek for great is "Megas", where we get our word Mega.

We could say then that these 3 shepards were "Mega" scared!

But the Angel of the Lord immediately calms their fears with some Great news in verses 10 and 11

“Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

This is the beginning of the "Gospel" or "Good News".

The angel say's "I bring you Good news of Great Joy which will be to all people".

Remember the word Megas? Same word here in vs. 10 "Mega Joy".

Notice the "all people".

Look back to Genesis 12: 2-3

2 I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you
And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.

3 I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

God spoke to Abraham and in verse three spoke of Jesus being born of Abraham's lineage.

This Good News is for All people to hear and rejoice over! Every man, woman and child needs to hear.

This was a great day of celebration in Heaven too! look at verse's 13 and 14.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

14 “ Glory to God in the highest,

And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”[c]

A "Multitude", not just one or two, but a "Great number": Same word used here in Mark to describe the masses that followed Christ.

Mark 3:7 ; 7 But Jesus withdrew with His disciples to the sea. And a great multitude from Galilee followed Him, and from Judea

The word Host implies and "army of angels".

Imagine the scene of thousands of Angels, the brilliant light brighter than the sun, and all of their voices proclaiming "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men!"

What a scene.

This gives us a glimpse at the Love that God has for us, and how the angels truly celebrate when we are saved.

example: Luke 15:7: I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Notice the Order of the Hosts praise.

First: Glory to God in the highest (Highest here is a Superlative: to the highest degree or rank)

second: peace on earth, and good will towards men.

The word "will" here used in conjunction with the adjective "Good" is eudokia (you-doe-kia) which means "Well intent" or "Good Pleasure" "desire".

Then in verse 15 we read

15 So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” 16 And they came with haste

The shepherds left their sheep, and with "Haste" or "urgency" they set off to see this Savior.

Note: they left everything; This news was more important than their lively hood.

What did they do once they had seen baby Jesus? (spread the Good news of Great Joy) vs. 17

And what was the result of this? People began to Marvel vs. 18

Once the Shepherds returned to Mary, Joseph and Jesus, What did they do? vs. 20

What is Christmas about?

What do we do with this information?

Friday, November 6, 2009

Confess: In Context

Romans 10:9

9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

We've all heard this verse taught in our churches as a staple of assurance in Faith. "If you confess Him as Lord with your mouth, and believe he was raised, you are saved." But, in context to the time period and the persecution of the early believers, the word "confess" takes on a whole new meaning.

Imagine that it's 30 years after the death and resurrection of Christ. You are working in a Roman camp along with 40 other laborers on a wall. You and 5 others are the only "christians"in the group of 40 men. Your working all day in the hot sun, singing praises to God the Father, when on the horizon you see a squadron of Roman soldiers coming your way. Your hands start to sweat, you heart starts to pound as they get closer to you. As the soldiers arrive, they order all 40 of you to line up, single file. Then, starting with the first man they demand "Confess your Lord!" "Caesar!" he replies, and they let him pass. Then the next "Confess your Lord!" they demand, "Caesar is my Lord!" another replies; and they too let him pass. Until all that is left is your small group of brothers in Christ.
Finally the soldiers make it to the first of your christian brothers and demand "Confess your Lord!" He bows down to his knees and boldly confesses "Jesus of Nazareth is my Lord". In horror you watch a Roman soldier draw a heavy sword and in one swift motion brutally decapitate him and his body falls limp on the ground. Then they demand the next man "Confess your Lord" and he too says "Jesus is my Lord" and likewise they murder him on the spot in front of you. Then the next man too confesses "Christ is my Lord and Savior" and they dose him with oil and set him ablaze to your horror. Amidst the screams and the bodies it's your turn. You walk up, kneel down before the Roman soldiers and they say "Confess your Lord!" and you say......

To confess Christ means that you live for him, and if it came right down to it, you would die for him.

Let's be careful about telling young Christ seekers that by just saying "Jesus is Lord" that they will be saved. Scripture does NOT back up that claim.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

(Source: Hank Hanegraaff blog. I wouldn't just copy and paste a post but I felt like this one deserved it.

If you are not healed, do you lack faith?

A social media question via Facebook from Frieda recently got my attention. She wrote, “How do you answer people when they tell you, you are lacking faith? My brother is a paraplegic since he was three years old and has prayed all his life to walk. He knows he will walk one day with the Lord but people in the church feel it necessary to comment to him that he doesn’t have enough faith. It has caused him at times to question God on why he cannot get his healing but he does understand that God uses him because of his disability. So what should his answer be to these people?” So imagine this scene you have a paraplegic in the church, and people are telling the paraplegic he doesn’t have enough faith because if he had enough faith he wouldn’t be a paraplegic.

If you look at the reasoning that is used, you hear the echoes of the prosperity teachers. You hear T.D. Jakes saying, “The devil is a liar. Healing is the children's bread. It's promised to us in the word of God…God can do things that medicine cannot do.”[1] So if God has promised us healing and someone is still a paraplegic it means that you don’t have faith in their view.

This of course begs the question: What is faith? Faith teachers have a ready answer for you. They look at Hebrews 11:1 and they say faith is a force, words are the containers of the force, and through the force of faith you create your own reality. So if you learn to access the proper vocabulary, use the right words, you’re not going to be a paraplegic because Hebrew 11:1 says that “faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.” So—say the Faith teachers—you have right it there, faith is the substance—the stuff—and words the containers of the stuff.

Of course that’s not what Hebrew 11:1 really has in mind. A proper reading of Hebrew 11:1 in context demonstrates that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Which is to say; true biblical faith is not stuff contained in your words, it’s not a substance a tangible reality, it’s living assurance, a channel of living trust between an individual and their God.

Faith is only as good, therefore, as the object in whom it is placed. We place our faith in God and we say with Job, “though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him” (13:15). The reason for that is that God has given us enough evidence to trust in Him despite the difficulties of life. He had demonstrated to us that in this life we are going to have trouble because we live in a fallen world. So if you’re a paraplegic, it’s not because you don’t have enough faith, it’s because you live in a fallen world. We are called in this fallen world to put our trust in God and ultimately that trust in God is going too eventuate in a new heaven and new earth in which there will be no more paraplegics. Like Joni Eareckson Tada has said, “They will pole vault the pearly gates,”[2] because then the old order of things will pass away, and everything will become new.

In the meantime, do not follow the Faith teachers or swallow their formulas, they are dead ends and deceptions. The last thing you want to tell a paraplegic is that he doesn’t have enough faith. Some of greatest faith bearers and exemplars of faith that I have met in my life are blind people. Joni Eareckson Tade, a quadriplegic, is my hero of faith and she taught me the true meaning of faith. Through the overflow of a life spent in a wheelchair, she has blessed the lives through her faithful service of literally millions of people around the globe. So encourage those that are hurting that they will one day walk with the Lord and have pity for people in the church who find it necessary to tell people that they don’t have enough faith.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Vain: Producing No Result, Useless.

What is wrong with these statements?

HI, I'm Mike. I used to smoke 2 packs of cigarettes per day. I loved to smoke cigarettes. I hated people that would tell me to quit. Why would I quit, I love smoking. Then one day it's like the light went on in my head and that day I quit smoking. Now I hate cigarettes. I can't stand to see other people smoking because I know what it does to their health.
Even worse, I can't believe I smoked for all those years.

Sure, I still like to smoke cigarettes, just not as many.


Hi, I'm Sara. I used to be an alcoholic. I used to drink all day, all night. I wouldn't stop drinking until I passed out. One day I realized that alcohol had ruined my life. I lost my house, my job, and my family. But, got professional help and I'm a totally different person now. I am a new creature. I see now the evils of my alcohol addiction.

Don't get me wrong, I still like to drink alcohol, just not as much.


I'm Darren, I used to beat my wife. If she'd say something to me that was condescending, or out of line, I'd just punch her square in the nose. She knew better than to talk back to me. But one day, the light came on and I realized just how precious she really was as a person, as a wife, as the mother of my children, and as a human being.
She is the love of my life and I would never want to hurt her again.

I still beat her, just not as often.


I used to be a lost sinner. I loved my Sin. I would sin, sin, sin, sin and sin some more.
I was lost spiritually, and It ruined my life. It cost me so much, but I still loved it.
But one day, a friend took me to his church.
I asked Jesus into my heart and He saved me.
Now I see how wicked and vile my sin is.
How Righteous God is and how filthy my sins are to him. Behold, I'm a new creation.

Sure, I still like to sin, just not as much.

See the Hypocrisy? God does.

If you say you have a new relationship with the Lord,
You'd better have a new relationship with sin.

If you don't have a new relationship with sin,
You do Not have a new relationship with the Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:2

2By this gospel you are saved,
If you hold firmly to the word I preached to you.
Otherwise, you have believed in vain.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I Never Knew You

71% of Americans claim to be Christians. That means that over 215,000,000 people in the United States, are "christian".

So if so many Americans are "Christians", then we could assume the following.

Today 3,700 babies will be murdered in abortion clinics.
2627 will be killed by "christians"

Today there will be 36 DWI fatalities
25 of which will have been caused by "christians"

Today 45 people will be murdered
32 of them will die at the hands of "christians"

Today 243 rapes will be reported
173 of those will involve a "christian" aggressor.

Today 2,600 vehicles will be stolen
1,800 of those cars will be stolen by "christians"

6,088 burglaries will be reported today.
4,322 of those burglars will be "christian"

Today 2,284 violent physical assaults will take place.
over 1,600 of them will be perpetrated by a "christian"

Do you see a problem here?

"I Never Knew You!"
Matthew 7:23

Saturday, September 26, 2009

1 John 5:3

"For this is the Love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are Not Burdensome."

Littered throughout the writings of John are clues, or evidences, that John gives us to let us whom believe in the Son of God know that we have Eternal Life. From the first verse to the last we see that there are many tell tale signs that we can rest assured in our salvation. Or, on the contrary, that we need to closely examine ourselves and our faith should we fall short of them. Today, I want to look at only one.

"For this is the Love of God"

In other words, we might re-phrase this "So we love God if" or "You know you have Gods love in you if".

"We keep his commandments"

This is not the first time we see this phrase in the New Testament. Remember in John 15:10 ~ "If you keep my commandments you will abide in My Love, just as I have kept my Fathers commandments and abide in His Love."

So we understand that when we abide in God's love and He abides in us, we will keep his commandments. But John takes it one very important step further in the latter part of verse 3 when he states "And his commandments aren't burdensome."

I think John went out of his way to phrase this like this for a reason.
What reason? I think there are at least two reasons.

1. I believe that he is simply trying to cut off at the knees any remaining belief system that would have you believe in a "works" based salvation.

2. I think he is showing and emphasizing the relationship we should have with God. i.e., that we hold the same views as our Father in Heaven on issues of sin and of the great commandments.

Here's an example of what I mean.

Before I found the love of my life and married her, I would have never imagined being "tied down" to just one woman. In fact, the thought of spending the rest of my precious, self centered, life with just one person seemed "burdensome" to say it mildly. But then, one day by the grace of God, I met Heather. Now, I can't imagine spending one day away from her. The thought of being close to another woman is repulsive and I can't believe how wrong I was in the past about monogamy.

In the same way, before we enter into a relationship with God through the blood of His Son Christ Jesus, we do not have the ability to love Him, much less the desire to. But, when we are truly born again, we are in a real relationship with God and we strive to keep His commandments. Not because we have to, but because we want to. And, to go one further, looking back we can't believe how we managed without Him for so many years.

Like any other relationship, we need to nurture our relationship with God if we want to grow in it. We should be willing to be in constant communication with him through prayer. We should desire to read his word daily so we can learn about our Lord. And we should naturally be drawn towards other brothers and sisters of our Father in Heaven. All of which should come naturally and with joy. None of which, to those of us who love Him, shall be burdensome.