Tag Archive: God


Are there things in the Bible that are hard to understand?  How about things that I wish, at least on a certain level were not true?  Yes without a doubt.  Just a couple of examples.

I have both a cousin and a couple of friends from high school all of whom are involved in same-sex relationships.  Yet Romans 1:27  “And likewise also the men leaving the natural use of the women, burned in their lust one towards another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet”. Wow do I wish that wasn’t there.
Now that’s tough, but for me it gets worse.  Jesus said “I say unto you, that whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery”. Being a single red-blooded male I fail at this pretty much on a weekly basis.  I could go on and on.  But I think you get the point.

Does what I think matter?

R.C. Sproul talks about a revelation he had while at graduate school, “You are required to believe and to preach, and to teach what the Bible says is the truth, not what you think it ought to be.”  Maybe the examples above don’t bother you, but I’m sure if you haven’t found something you wish wasn’t there you will.  What ever it is really doesn’t matter.
I may not like what the Bible says, but if God is real and who he claims to be, which is what I believe to be true based upon what I can know.  Then I have to accept what He says to be true even if I don’t always understand why.  Otherwise I am assuming the role of God, and I have elevated myself to god hood.
Perhaps I should embrace something Jim Rohn used to say, “Don’t wish it were easier, wish you were better.”  Taking it a step further.  Don’t wish God was different, don’t just wish I was better, but work strive study to be better.  Work on disciplining my thoughts and emotions in order to be who God created me to be rather than wishing I did not have to be that person.

 

Are you willing to work to become the man God made you to be, or are you just going to wish God was different?

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Personal,but not private

Night Light

Night Light (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Matthew 6:1

Ever try reconciling the above?  Seems, at least at first glance, that they contradict one another. The best I can figure out the first is about our lifestyle, the second is about our financial choice.

Either way it seems to make clear in the first case that my relationship with God is meant to be personal, my actions impacted by who I am in relation to Christ. But that within that relationship, my actions are to be public otherwise others could not see and glorify God.  Too bad what others all too often see would not reflect very well on the Father.

But those are my marching orders

My actions are to be done in such a way that they glorify God.  When I was younger that was rarely the case.  Rash, brash, and self-absorbed, I would rush head long often doing the first thing that came to mind.  Actions that would often not bring glory to God.  Want I needed to do was slow down, stop and think about how what I am about to do and how it will reflect on God.  Still I far to often still jump in with both feet without asking how does this show the Father, what will people think of God if I take the action I am thinking about?
Just like me, most people probably identify you as a Christian.  It probably doesn’t matter if you’ve told them or not.  The question is do you let your light so shine that people look at you and glorify your Father?

What are you doing to make your light shine brighter?

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Faithful Unto Death – Christianæ ad Leones (Ch...

Faithful Unto Death – Christianæ ad Leones (Christians to the Lions). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Notice I didn’t say like.

Our command, our marching orders are to love.  Not because it’s easy, or even fun, but that’s the Christian ethic.  Sometimes we have to love people we may not even like very much.  We are not told to revolt, rebelling against the rightfully, God established government.  Neither are we to collaborate, trying to reach some weak-kneed compromise.  And don’t even think about withdrawing, if Jesus wouldn’t pray that we be taken out of the world, then why would we ever think that’s the best answer.

I am still hearing all kinds of goofy talk about revolting against the authorities in place.  Not sure what part of Paul instructing the early Christians to submit to the magistrate some people are thinking does not apply to them.  Lets be honest any kind of “persecution” you or I face today as a result of our Christianity is little more than a pinch compared to what the early church went thru.  I don’t know about you but I have not heard of a single Christian in America being used as a living torch for an executive BBQ.  No reports that I am aware of a circus lion noshing on anyone for claiming the name of Christ.  So let’s get real about persecution.  Let me be blunt and probably irritate more than a few, but the Church in America should be so lucky as to come under real persecution.  Before you rant go look at what is happening to the church in China.

Love isn’t compromise

The another option is to collaborate.  I know some would say let’s find the common ground and work on that.  Now I’m not saying be antagonistic for the sake of argument.  But what is going on when a church leader is ignoring the Christian ethic we are commanded, not a suggestion by the way, to tell and show the truth.  For example what the heck is the snuggling up to Hinduism, Buddhism, or some other ism because there is 10-15% similarity.  Are you really going to try to convince me, or worse yourself that God is going to someday in the future tell you that since you had good intentions that is good enough?  I would love you to show me where you read that in the Bible.
Finally, disappearing into the mountains in Montana with freeze-dried food and a handful of guns isn’t the answer either.  If Jesus wouldn’t pray for his disciples to be taken out of the world, what makes you think your special?  What’s more the world needs you, your salt, your light.  You have an obligation, a duty to show people Jesus, in word and in deed.  If you’re not then what value does your “Faith” really have?

Not easy doesn’t mean hard.

What the heck made you think it was going to be?  Maybe someone told you when you came to Christ the suffering would be over.  “Just come to Jesus and it’s all going to be  rainbows and unicorns.”  I hope not, but if they did I’m sorry.  It’s not easy, but compared to the alternative what else are you going to do?  Being a Christian is not for the faint of heart.  On the upside the one who runs the show has said he will be there no matter what happens.
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What is enough?

Who am I to expect more?

Ask – sure
Want-ok
Work for – of course
But expect?
How dare I. How presumptuous of me to expect anything beyond the grace of God.  Even expecting that seems, as I am writing this, to be the pinnacle of arrogance.
Max Lucado in his book “In the Grip of Grace.” Tells the story about praising God for saving his daughter from drowning.  “As clearly as if God himself were speaking, this question came to mind: Would I be less wonderful had I let her drown?”  I have to admit I probably would scream YES, yes you would be less wonderful.

What is the right perspective?

Right now I do not have the perspective to even really know what is good for me.  Yet I actually try to make that decision.  Should I keep working to build a business that is struggling?  What about being single, when not only do I not really want to be, after all didn’t God say “It is not good that the man should be alone.”  Yet if I was married I don’t see how I could work full-time(and then some), teach a couple of small-group classes, write this blog, study trying to better understand God, and love a wife as Christ loves the church.
My humanity, my desires, seem in conflict with my Christian ethics, my belief that God’s best is best.  Knowing that I just don’t have the wisdom to make the call, doesn’t necessarily make it easier, but it does make it do-able.
I may not have the answers, but I do know the one who does.
 Now if I would just be ok with that.
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Our Side

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth Presid...

English: Abraham Lincoln, the sixteenth President of the United States. Latviešu: Abrahams Linkolns, sešpadsmitais ASV prezidents. Српски / Srpski: Абрахам Линколн, шеснаести председник Сједињених Америчких Држава. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“We should not pray that God is on our side, but rather that we are on His.”  Abraham Lincoln

Right to bear arms, abortion, welfare.  So much dividing our country right now.  I wonder if anyone is praying as President Lincoln, not that God was one our side but that we are on His.  As Christians are we assuming too much?  Some who dare to call themselves by the name of Christ, presume to know the mind of God, but I wonder how much time has been spent seeking God’s will before taking action.  Or do we just jump in with what we think is the correct Christian ethic, never stopping long enough to seek God’s will.

neither for or against

Back before the children of Israel entered the promised land Joshua is standing near Jericho.  I wonder if he is thinking about the battles to come.  Is he contemplating the lives that will be lost fighting?  I don’t know and it doesn’t say.  But then he sees a man standing with his sword drawn.  And Joshua asks him “Are you for us or for our enemies.”, and what’s the response?  “No, but as captain of the host of The Lord I come.”  Is God for Israel?  It seems to me God saying, I don’t do this for you, I do it for me.

Are we thinking God is on our side and forgetting that we need to be on his?  Until we get on his side we are not doing it for his glory, but for ours.

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Isn’t there more?

Being what some would define as moral does not mean your kind.  But as a Christian we are to be kind, gentle, humble.  And what’s more to love our enemies.

I don’t know of anyone who is seen as simply moral, who also loves their enemy.  Marcus Aurelious was known as a moral leader, his writings about stoicism are still read, studied, and followed.  Often by those looking for a moral guide to life.  Yet this was a man who had no problem persecuting Christians of his day, because they were the other.
We are called to more than just a moral life.  We are called to be more.  Christian ethics mean to be not just good people, but to be a reflection of our Creator.
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Or so I used to think.

Earlier this morning I was talking to God.  And in typical fashion when I was discussing my financial needs with Him, I was saying to God, just get me to “Here.”
This year has been, from a business stand point anyway, the roughest I have ever had.  I started in real estate 15 years ago, and I have never had a tougher year in this industry.  You know the kind, one step forward two back.  So I am praying about the things I need to cover expense wise, new tires, insurance, marketing costs and a handful of other things.  I had added up the dollar amount and was praying to God just get me to here.  When I realized, then what?  Am I really so bold as to think I could actually handle it from there?
How ridiculous it seems now just a few hours later.   To say to God “Just get me to the edge of the Promised Land and I will do the rest.”  Only to realize then what?  I can’t do it on my own.  Just look at my life and it becomes obvious.

Doing the right things may not be enough.

I can do all the “right” things, and usually do.  Plan, set goals, do the work (lots of it), but without God’s blessing, I am going to if not fail, at least struggle mightily.  Don’t get me wrong I’m not saying don’t try.  I am saying that realizing my utter and obsolete dependence on God is not just for today.  I am going to have to continue to rely on God.  Probably more so when things are going great, then during the struggle.
When work is not going well, or anything else for that matter, it’s easy to rely and trust in God, at least for me.  But when things are going well how easy it becomes to say “Look how great I am”, or “Look at what I’ve done” or to even say to God “I’ve got it from here.”
Oh the arrogance.  Guess that’s what I get for praying for a humble heart.  God pointing out where I am arrogant and powerless all at the same time.  Not at all the type of wisdom I was looking for, but I guess God doesn’t always give us what we want, but he does always supply our need.
Has God ever given you what you need, even if it wasn’t what you wanted?
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Born Again Christian?

Is there any other type?

I keep hearing time and again the term “Born Again” being used to describe Christians, and I have to wonder about it.  Often it’s used to describe those that attend one of the newer denomination church’s such as evangelical, four-square, Pentecostals etc, and usually not when talking about a Methodist, Lutheran or, Catholic.
And yet I wonder is there really any other type of Christian?  John 3:3 states” except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of Heaven”.
Now this did not start with someone outside the church as best as I can tell.  Instead it seems that this started to be used by some followers of Christ as some sort of way to differentiate themselves from other followers.  That’s all well and good but, really what is the difference?
Now comes outsiders using this same term as if there is some sort of difference.  But the truth is there is not.
And we need to stop trying to set ourselves apart from each other.  Are we called to be seperate from non-believers?  Of course,  not from each other.  Would we say “I’m an ear Christian, or a hand Christian?”. That would seem pretty silly.  But isn’t that what we are saying when we use this born-again Christian thing.  Born again? Yes.  Christian? Yes. But born-again Christian, kind of like saying I’m a Christian/Christian.  You are either a Christian or your not. And if you are then you’re born again.
Haven’t we had enough of giving outsiders one more thing that does not reflect well on God, and adds to the confusion about what Christianity is.
Let’s stop with all the devisifness and celebrate and embrace our alikeness and while using our differences as a way to learn from each other and grow.
What are your thoughts?  Are we making too many distinctions in an attempt to separate ourselves only to be causing division?  What would you think if you weren’t a Christian?

Unfit to lead?

Is there anyone qualified to actually lead on a big, huge, outsized level?

Reading and listening to a handful of Atheist and critics of God, and what is sticking out is a focus on the actions of individuals & organizations as a yardstick of what and who God is.  Beyond that is either a lack of exposure to a true Christian or a willful disregard of those they have.

First to those of you that are setting yourselves up as leaders.  Yes I’m sure you want to believe that God is calling you to be his servant.  But if you cannot keep your hands off of a little boy’s butt,  or a big girls boobs.  If you can’t allow God to have all the praise and the money.  Then trust me it’s not God “calling” you to be a leader.  Maybe he’s telling you he wants’ to use you for good, but first you need to be good.  If you aren’t doing what’s right, quit trying to lead when you are going the wrong way.

Now while you egotistical knuckleheads are stewing over that, the rest of us are going to point to Jesus as an example of what God is like.  If we do not keep pointing at Jesus, the cross, and the empty tomb as what God is about and what people should be really looking at.  Then we will not only have to answer to God for screwing up people’s lives, but also for trying to take his place.

Now some of you are all bent out of shape saying “Who are you to judge” or “Judge not that you be not judged” And I could get all snotty saying who am I not to.  But instead let’s keep this civil, at least for the moment.  Jesus, Paul & others made it clear that there would be false prophets, bad leaders, and plenty of “Wolfs in sheep’s clothing” Also stated multiple times is the concept of holding leaders to account, and finally that people will be known by their actions.  Add in that only God is good.

If anyone is out there saying –look at me, look at me, look at me I would suggest, that is enough on its own to make them unfit to lead.  The truth is you want to know what God is like look at Jesus, that’s where the answer is.  If you must have a human representative, though not a guarantee, start with one who will say “Look at him, Look at him, Look at him