Thursday, October 25, 2012

Are You A Good Example?

As Christians we spend a lot of time talking about being a witness to the lost world, and rightfully so.  One of the last things Jesus said before He ascended back to heaven was for His followers, His church, to make disciples throughout the whole world (Matthew 28.19-20).  However, I was thinking today about how we are witnesses to one another in the body of Christ.  The truth is, our witness in the body of Christ is just as important as our witness outside the body of Christ.  As a maturing and growing child of God you have the potential to be a tremendous example to other Christians of what it looks like to walk with Jesus in this life.  The apostle Paul said to the church at Corinth, “Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ” (1 Corinthians 11.1).  What an amazing idea.  The church meeting together for worship, believers interacting with one another throughout the week, all the while sharpening one another with the example of their walk and obedience to Jesus.  Could it be that this is one of the reasons the writer to the Hebrews commanded us not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together (Hebrews 10.25)?  Beloved child of God, what kind of example are you setting for others in the church?  Is your life a light that others might follow as they too learn to follow Jesus?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Moving Away From God

   In the 8th century B.C. God sent a prophet to preach in Israel.  That prophet’s name was Isaiah.  God’s charge against Israel was that they had forsaken Him, they had turned to evil and broken his holy laws.  We can almost hear Isaiah as he described the ugliness of their sin, “Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, A seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: They have forsaken the Lord, They have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, They are gone away backward. 5 Why should ye be stricken anymore? Ye will revolt more and more: The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. 6 From the sole of the foot even unto the head there is no soundness in it; But wounds, and bruises, and putrifying sores: They have not been closed, neither bound up, neither mollified with ointment” (Isaiah 1.4-6).  Isaiah’s description of the ugliness of sin is spot on.  The nation of Israel was full of wickedness, murders, bribery, injustice, immorality of every kind, and worst of all they had turned to idol worship, idolatry.  Because of the nation’s sin God was going to send judgment upon them.  Isaiah was there to warn the people and give them a way of deliverance.  This was God’s offer, “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool” (Isaiah 1.18).  If they would have repented of their sin, asked God for forgiveness, and turned to live for Him, God would have forgiven their sin and preserved their land.  Alas, the biblical and historical record tells us of Israel’s continued pursuit of sin and the devastating judgment of God upon their land and nation.  There is a frightening parallel to this story taking place in our own day, in our own land.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Dan Savage And His Double Standard

   A prominent news agency recently reported an incident involving Dan Savage and his speech at a National High School Journalism Conference called Journalism On The Edge.  This conference was held in Seattle and was attended by high school students and others interested in journalism.  Because Mr. Savage is a syndicated writer, he was invited to the conference as the key speaker.  For those who don’t know who Mr. Savage is, he is a militant homosexual and a self-proclaimed expert in sexuality.  I use the term “self-proclaimed expert” because he has a B.A. in theater, no formal training or education in the area of sexuality as far as I can tell.  Mr. Savage has a history of bashing Christians and anyone else who holds a conservative social view.  He is no stranger to attacking the Bible and belittling anyone who believes in God.  Though there is a lot I could say concerning Mr. Savage’s views, my focus in this writing has to do with the clear double standard at work in his agenda.  Here are a few thoughts concerning his conduct at this event.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Fasting, What Is It and Should We Do It?

   From time to time I hear Christians get into discussions concerning fasting.  They ask questions like, “What is biblical fasting?  Should we fast today?  Is there any spiritual benefit to fasting?”  The best way to answer all these questions is to look at what the Bible has to say about fasting.  Let’s go there now.

Friday, March 9, 2012

What Is A Carnal Christian?

   I received an email today from a person who asked a very good question.  The question is so pertinent to what we see in Christianity today that I thought it best to answer it via my blog so everyone would have the benefit of reading the answer.  The question concerns what it means to be a carnal Christian.  What does carnality mean and how might we see or experience it in the Christian life?  Let’s go to the Bible for the answers to these questions.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Costa Concordia, Compromise & Complacency

   On January 13, 2012 the cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground and sank.  As the details of this tragedy continue to emerge, a picture of compromise and complacency has begun to take shape.  Recent reports reveal the ship was moving through the water at some eighteen knots and at times not more than a few hundred yards from shallow water, clearly marked on navigation charts.  It seems Captain Schettino realized he was too close to shore and made a starboard turn toward deeper water.  However, when a large ship, such as the Costa Concordia, is moving eighteen knots, the rear part of the ship will move in the opposite direction.  As the bow or front of the ship moved toward deeper water, the rear of the ship moved closer to shore and made contact with submerged rocks.  In the same way the Titanic was damaged by an ice berg, the rocks cut into the side of the Costa Concordia, leaving a gash some 160 feet in length.  The ship is designed to handle a certain amount of flooding in water tight compartments, however, few ships, if any, can sustain a 160 foot gash below the water line.  The ship flooded and sank.  The chain of errors and poor judgment will no doubt be the subject of discussion for years to come.  However, this story is a real life example of the price of compromise and complacency. 
Let’s think about what that means.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Evidence Of Saving Faith

   There is a certain man I know whom I have had the privilege to speak to concerning faith in Jesus Christ on numerous occasions.  Every time our conversation turns to spiritual matters of the heart and soul, this man quickly affirms to me that he is saved.  To make sure he and I are on the same page when we speak of being saved, I have been careful to articulate the necessity of confession and repentance of sin as well as faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  He assures me he understands and that he is saved.  You might be thinking at this point, why do I keep asking him if he is saved?  Why do I continue in my effort to clarify for him what it means to be saved?  The answer, there is no discernible evidence in his life that he has a saving relationship with Jesus Christ.  I see this man’s life and there is no visible evidence of any conviction over sin, holiness, or testimony for the name of Jesus.  Let’s take a look at what the Bible has to say about this man and the many like him that profess Jesus, but have no evidence in their lives that they are truly saved.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Church Membership, Is It Important?

   In our day of rampant consumerism, church membership has taken on some erroneous connotations.  It seems in many cases people shop for a church much like they would shop for a coat or a new car.  The criteria seems to be based on what makes them feel good or on what meets a perceived need in their lives.  Neither of those are biblical reasons for church membership.  What exactly is church membership all about?  Let’s see what the Bible has to say about the subject.