Saturday, November 17, 2007

The End of a Christian Nation - Apathy

I feel that the end of the United States as we know it is close at hand. To read and hear quotes from the founding fathers of this nation is to understand how much our fathers were devoted Christ Followers. Oh yes, you can find the one here or there but they are very rare.

Today, we have a nation that is blurring the lines of morality for its own pleasure. It is interesting though that I do not feel that the end of this great nation is at hand due to satans work outside of the church in the hearts and minds of unbelievers. No, the end of this nation falls on the responsibility of those that are warming the church pews on Sunday but living like this world the rest of the 6 days and 23 hours. Apathy among Christians will be the ultimate downfall of this nation.

As I spend more time in the Bible (THE WORD OF GOD), I am more convinced that there are very few 'grey' areas that are open to interpretation. There are a few... but areas such as homosexuality vs. sex only between male and female, sex outside marriage, evolution vs. creationism, only ONE way to heaven vs. only believing in a god... these are very, VERY clear.

Christian people are you listening?!? This nation is heading towards hell as we sit back on our rears and do nothing! Stand and be a Christ Follower! From 2 Timothy 1:7-8 in the Holy Bible, Paul is saying to Timothy "For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God (speaking of the Holy Spirit), which is in you though the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy life-not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. DOES THIS SOUND LIKE "SIT BACK AND DO NOTHING???"

I am sick and tired of people telling me that my faith is a personal thing and I should keep it to myself. Yes, it is personal but that personal relationship to my God gives me an intense desire to see the lost with the love of God. I can't just sit back and watch them tumble towards hell. I must do SOMETHING. Please join me...

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sign Posts - Are We Listening?

I read about Christ's crucifixion in two of the gospels this morning. It was hard to read and yet I am awestruck with the love that God has for us. Over and over and over again, He is saying 'here I am'. He is pleading with us to follow Him for eternity but with the love that only He can have, He allows us to make the decision.

The Bible is chock full of prophesy ... sign posts of things to come. Many, many, many of the prophesies of the old testament come true in the new testament. Many more have yet to pass but I am assured that they will indeed happen. The Bible is the Word of God... all of it and God cannot lie. Therefore it will happen.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Am I Listening?

I have read all of one sentence in Matthew this morning and I am aware of God saying... "Are you listening to what I'm saying"? Jesus is talking to His disciples saying "As you know, the Passover is two days away - and the Son of Man will be handed over to be crucified." (Matthew 26:1)

Here is Jesus speaking to His disciples and it could not be any more clear... at least to us. You see we know what happens. How often is God speaking to us just as clearly and yet we hear only what we want to hear. This is quite convicting to me this morning.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Will There Be A Tomorrow? TODAY IS THE DAY!

I was reading in Matthew 24 this morning about Christ's second coming. We are to be on our guard. to be vigilant in our watch. But not only that, we are to be tending to the responsibilities that God has placed in our care. I believe that that means that we are to be always tending to the the souls of the people that God has placed within our circle of influence. How will I minister to them today? How can I show God's love? How can I tell them that time is short and that He will come again SOON to collect His children unto Himself? We are told that as birth pains increase in intensity and come at closer intervals.... so will the signs showing the second coming of Christ. Wars, rumor of wars, earthquakes and other natural disasters will increase. Godlessness will be rampant. The elect will have their eyes on Israel looking forward to His second coming.

I don't have time to mess up today. God has given me today to serve Him and I will do so with all of my heart and with all of my strength.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Please God or Please Man?

I just spent a weekend on a retreat with 170 men from my church. Our focus was on a verse from 2 Timothy 1:6-8 (For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.)

What a tremendous weekend to rest and reflect on where I am today and where I see that God wants me to go. A major revelation came to me over the weekend on how I focus myself. It is really important to me that those around me have a favorable opinion of me. Now keep in mind that it is not everyone but those whom I respect, I also seek their respect of me. People that have a Godly character I long to have them say 'good job' or 'well done'.

That in and of itself is not bad but this weekend I came to the realization that I was placing this before seeking to please God. Now if I'm seeking approval from Godly people isn't that the same? NO WAY! Even the pharisees did that in Jesus' time. They paraded around seeking the approval of man but could care less for God and His approval of their thoughts or actions.

Starting this weekend all of that is changing... I am seeking GOD's approval first. I know that He is right beside me (even now) and His Holy Spirit dwells within me.

It reminds me of a scripture verse...

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)

Friday, November 2, 2007

Satan's Attacks - Cower or Fight?

This week has been a classic example of how satan can attack me and my marriage. Through many small issues throughout the week, he has created an enormous amount of friction between me and my eternal love. None of these issues by themselves would hardly even get a glimpse but piled up together, they have created all kinds of turmoil.

My wife and I have become short with each other... we have been taking words and issues way out of context... we have both been dealing with feeling inadequate towards each other as well as towards the missions that God gives us each day. You know, the bottom line is that it has been a really stinky week as far as our relationship is concerned.

It is often said that if your on a mountaintop to hang on because there is only one way to go and that is down. Down, down, down to the valley's of life. Down in the valleys where the scenery is not as spectacular but it is where things bloom and grow. Several weeks ago we were on that mountaintop. We rode on a Dinner Train and spent an incredible weekend together. We laughed. We praised God. We dreamed. We planned. We focused on the trinity that makes up our marriage (myself, my wife and God).

I also have come to know that spiritual attack from satan is a true sign that I (we) are on the right track. Well if that is the case, we must be doing God's work because we have been attacked. Spiritual warfare is not new to me but I look upon it in a different way than I used too.

In the past I have tended to cower and play the weaker role waiting for the attack to cease. I 'holed up' within myself saying little and doing very little but having a humongous pity party in my soul. This past week, my soul has wanted to take that path and I have taken a couple of steps down it several times in the past couple of days.

But no more, satan! I'm standing my ground. I'm standing on the Rock... the Rock of Salvation in Jesus Christ. As spiritual leader of my marriage and family, I will NOT let my anchor be set in this world. It is steadfast in God's promises and God's oath. I do not need to drift in pity and sorrow. I WILL rejoice in the eternal strength and allow Jesus to embolden me to fight the battle with His strength and not my own. I have decided to trust God and live with hope... even in the storms of life. GOD WILL COME THROUGH!

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." Jesus Christ (John 16:33)

Do I choose the doubt that satan places in my path or the faith that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. I choose faith!

Do I choose the anxiety that satan throws at me or the contentment that God has everything under control. I choose contentment!

"But blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
whose confidence is in him.
He will be like a tree planted by the water
that sends out its roots by the stream.
It does not fear when heat comes;
its leaves are always green.
It has no worries in a year of drought
and never fails to bear fruit." (Jeremiah 17:7-8)

That reminds me of my very favorite verse in the Bible... my 'life verse' so to speak...

"But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods of your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)(emphasis my own)