Friday, April 23, 2010
Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. ( Proverbs 22:6)
The basic problem with this nation is, in fact, that most Americans have not trained up a child in the way they should go. Because of this this nation is more and more corrupt everyday. The former president of this country, Richard Nixon, said once that this country was made up of the family unit. He was and is absolutely right! So what happen?
We have just about, if not more, kids born into this world without a father, without a family unit, without core values that once made this country great. So what are those core values? Well here are a few. We had families that had diner together, said grace over the meal, and discussed their problems, but now there is McDonalds and no family meals. We had a father and mother that would say no and mean it. We had parents that would not just send us to church, but they would go with us. What happen? There was a Bible in every home and it was read. Now we have a generation of kids that does not even know one name of a book in the Bible, and we blame the kids. Where does their parents fit into all this. They will have to answer to the Lord, one day, for not training their children up in the way they should go.
In his book, A Spiritual Clinic, J. Oswald Sanders wrote about the lasting family legacies of two families from New York.
"Two families from the state of New York were studied very carefully. One was the Max Jukes family and the other was the Jonathan Edwards family. The thing that they discovered in this study is remarkable and it only backs up the scripture that is the theme for this article.
Max Jukes was an unbelieving man and he married a woman of like character who lacked principles as was talked about early on in this article. And among the known descendants, over 1,200 were studied. Three hundred and ten became professional vagrants and vagabonds; 440 physically destroyed their lives by immoral lifestyles; 130 were sent to the penitentiary for an average of thirteen years each, 7 of them for murder. There were over 100 who became alcoholics; 60 became established thieves; 190 public prostitutes. Of the 20 who learned a trade, 10 of them learned the trade in a state prison. It cost the state about $1,500,000 and they made no contribution whatever to society.
In about the same era there was the family of Jonathan Edwards. He was a man who served God, and married a women who served God. The study showed the following about Jonathan Edward's descendants: Three hundred became clergymen, missionaries, and theological professors; over 100 became college professors; over 100 became attorneys; 30 of them judges; 60 of them became physicians; over 60 became authors of good classics; 14 became presidents of universities. There were numerous giants in American industry that emerged from this family. Three became United States congressmen and one became the vice president of the United States."
Parents should never forget the impact the life decisions that they make will effect your marriage, and on your children. We must remember the decisions that we make in this life are building a legacy that will last for generations!
And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matthew 24:12-13
The Bible speaks of a great falling away in the last days (2 Thessalonians) before the end of the age arrives, and it seems that we’re seeing it on a grand scale all around us. Virtually everywhere we look we're watching the downward drop in morals and ethics,
in government, entertainment, and our social culture. It seems hard to deny that we're living in the final days of abundant and abounding sin, immorality, wickedness, and iniquity which The Lord predicted.
This is not an easy time for true believers of our Lord Jesus Christ. The evil around us can be so disheartening and the darkness that this world has to offer is so oppressive and sometimes it seems that it is so dominating that it really threatens our inability and power to walk in love as we all should. Yet, as we look, the reality of the gospel is brighter and more relevant than ever it ever has been in this world. And that light of the Messiah that is in us will be even more
overwhelming, and warm in this dark old world. We as Christians need to fill our most inter beings and souls with Christ's love in these last days of this old world. The political correct society in this world today leaves little space or have much regard for the Christian, but let us remember that we have that deep love in us that only comes from the Lord. It is a love that is deep down in us that will never die or the flame of that love will never go out.
We should never allow our love to grow cold in this ever increasing evil world. We can see everyday the proof that God is still in control and our Lord is still on His throne and His Holy and His precious Word is being fulfilled right before our eyes just as He said it would.
Monday, April 19, 2010
We , sometimes, are more concerned with the details and miss the bigger picture in our relationship with the Lord. On Sunday Mornings we experience worship services without really experiencing worship. We sometimes have Bible studies without fellowshipping with the author. We do works of ministry without relying on the One who would minister through us, if we would only let Him. Some Christians go from a personal relationship with The Master to Him being the object of it. We, as Christians, must realize and understand that someone greater than all our church activities and beliefs is here. When Christians realize this more prayers would be answered, more people healed, more of the Glory of The Lord would be felt.
The question that all Christians must ask their self is what part of our faith is a genuine relationship with the Lord and what part is just religious activities. We must know the difference between the two. We can criticize the blindness of the Pharisees and their short comings toward the Lord but the church world can be just as blind. It is easy for some Christians to go from knowing our Savior to just practicing Christianity. When we do this we are no different than the Pharisees of Jesus' time.
It is so sad for Jesus to become someone that we talk about, the founder of our faith, rather than someone we talk to and are close to. Someone that we have a daily fellowship with. We must always know who walks with us and who the keeper of our heart is.
A great many of the churches and denominations, today, are more like a social club than a church of our living savior. They have garage sales, yard sales, soup sales, chicken dinner sales, fashion shows, bingo, and many other things to make money for the church to become more big and more noticed. They have basketball courts, fashion shows, rock concerts, cruises, and many other things to entice people to come to church. On the sign in front of the church we read messages that advertise all the above. I'm not saying that most of these things are wrong but the House of God was not intended for all that. My question is where does Jesus fit into all of this?
A church is to bring people to Christ and that is by the drawing of His Spirit and the Word of God when it is preached, not by the many things listed above. All we need is Jesus.
Sunday, April 18, 2010
“I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting”
Can you think about the feelings and shame Saul must have felt when the risen and ascended Jesus met him on the road to Damascus? Wow! What a uptake that was. Saul's whole life was wrapped up in following the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and to understanding the law of Moses. He was a true blue die hard Pharisee and was very good at being just that. He thought that he was the best by his own thinking and he was convinced and positive in his righteous and thinking before God. The sad thing is he was zealously persecuting the very God that he thought he was humility serving righteously.
Just think when he heard those words ,“Saul, Saul, Why persecute thou me?”, what he must have thought. In a split second, in a heart beat, in the twinkling of a eye, Saul went from thinking that he was a great friend of God to a person who help put God incarnate and some of the Lord's followers to death. What a staggering blow that he came face to face with. Now what was to happen to him because if it was the god he served it would be instant death! The god that Saul knew would have stricken him down immediately. But this did not happen to Saul. The God that Paul finally came to know and serve revealed his sin and showed him the way to true salvation. Oh what mercy! What a merciful God we serve. In the most painful point in Saul's life he found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
All of us should thank God for that Grace even if we did not sin as bad as Saul did. Thank God for that Grace. We need it just as bad as Saul did. When we hear that truth about ourselves we should be no less humble as Saul was and be thankful of God's Grace. The plain fact is we were all once enemies of God. That is our true nature. (Romans 5:10) We must make no mistake about it speaks the painful truth that we sometimes do not want to hear and that truth can be very humbling, in fact incredibly humbling.
The thought here is God wants us to walk in this kind of humility. No redeemed and saved person is above being spared knowing their offenses before the Lord, because that is the only way that we can stand in his Grace. If we have pride or stubbornness in how we relate to God let it be undone by the truth of God's Word and the comfort of knowing His Grace is sufficient.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
“I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish that I may gain Christ and be found in Him” (Philippians 3: 8-9)
There is a place of shelter, a place of rest and faith in The Lord. There is nothing else like it. We just need to be in that place. We are all in places, sometimes, that are scary, frightful, and sometimes places that are terrifying. How good it is to hear that voice that says, “It is I; do not be afraid “ (Matthew 14:27) He is always there. Remember the disciples when they we in the boat and there was a very bad storm? Jesus came to them. He was There. How can we know that Jesus is there? The answer is to be in Him. When we are found in Christ doing His will not ours we will not fail in what we do. He will watch over us continually. The key is; “ To be found in Him!”
Sometimes we are nearly weighed down with all kinds of troubles and problems. Sometimes they nearly crush and defeat us. Sometimes we think that we will never get out of the troubles, struggles, and difficulties that we are in. But if we are in Him we can also hear The Lord say to us as He said to His disciples: “It is I; do not be afraid “ God loves the fearful, the helpless, the sinner, the ones living in darkness who have not seen the light.
A part of being that light is to be in a place where we can be: “A part of his Sufferings” (Phil 3:10) What do I mean by That? We must have compassion for that sick person, the weak and helpless person. If we can, we should try to lighten their burdens. There is a lot of times in your life and mine that we have missed a blessing or a victory over something in our life because we do not have compassion at the needed moment in someone else’s life. Sometimes, as humans, we fail.
When we are truly found in Him our natural life ceases and by God’s help and power we rise to a new life where the Lord rules and reins. When we are truly broken and then built up is when we will be found in Him.
Thursday, April 8, 2010
Many Christians are called by God but they miss their call because they become dry and dull of hearing. They just do not hear that small still voice speaking to them. The cares of this world have that small still voice choked out. There is something in that call, my friend, “Many are called, but few are chosen” (Matthew 22:14) Some people have this idea that because they are not successful in everything that they want and desire to go forward in, there is no hope for them in their calling. Satan will come and say, “Look at the big list of your weaknesses, your failures, and your infirmities. He will say that you can never expect to be in that calling”. He lies because yes you can! God says it in the scriptures. It is weakness that is made strong (2 Corinthians 12:9) tells us this: And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. We read in (Matthew 19:30) that it is the last who can be made first. How can we turn things around so we do not miss our calling?
God said that he feeds the hungry with good things, but the ones that are satisfied He sends away. What must we do to make things different in our lives? We must confess our helplessness. (Luke 1:53) we must be hungry for God. If you want to grow in the grace of God you must get hungry enough to be fed, get thirsty enough to cry out, be broken enough that you do not want anything in this world unless it comes from the Lord. Let God strengthen your weakness and let Him help lead you into the place that He has chosen for you because “ many are called, but few are chosen”
Sunday, April 4, 2010
In this verse Christians are given a very good name. In the Bible we are a lot of things, including sinners, sheep without a shepherd, children of wrath, blind, lost, and many other things but the good news is none of that matters because when we met Christ we have became a new creation. We became, in fact “children of the resurrection”. When Jesus comes into our life we are different. All things become new.
Suddenly, because of what Jesus did on the Cross, everything is different. When we came to Jesus everything is different. Now that is something to really give thanks for. Our defining quality is no longer what we were or what things, bad or good, we did in the past. We are no longer under that pollution and corruption that Adam and Eve Passed on to us through the generations. That sin nature no longer rules our life. We are now defined by something different and way above this old sinful world. It is the resurrection. It is, in fact, who we are. We are the children of the resurrection.
What does this mean? It means we no longer have to look at our past failures, we only have to look at the resurrection of Jesus and know that all things are new, because we are new children. When this old world encircles us with its small-mindedness, hostility, and anger we can live in a inspirational and uplifting way, with our hopes, faith, and all our values fixed firmly above the things in this old crazy, sinful world, because we have our eyes fixed on Jesus.
This is all because of what Jesus did for us when He died on that cross at Calvary. He paid the price for you and me. Oh what a difference when Jesus passes by! So when you go to church this Easter Sunday remember that you are fruits of that resurrection, that happened so many years ago. That is something the world cannot take away.