May 31, 2019

"Don't Let the Past Remind You of What You Are Not Now!"

Crosby, Stills and Nash
Birthdays (mine is tomorrow) provide an opportunity to reminisce on the past, evaluate the present, and wonder about the future. I have been enjoying my senior discounts this past year, and now I am firmly planted in a "discounted life."  This may be true in the secular world but it's far from true in the sacred world and the world of the future. I desire my life to count for that which is significant and eternal. That means living my life for things that matter most.
Jesus put it in a way that was both profound and paradoxical. He said to His followers and most specifically to Peter:
"For whoever wishes to save his life shall lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake shall find it."  Matthew 16:25
There is much to consider in this phrase addressed to believers of the first century and those of us in the twenty-first century. This is the clarion call to discipleship; to invest our life for things that matter most by living in this world while focusing on the world to come.
As age intrudes and invades us, we cannot escape its encroachment on our life. As a result, many affirm the cynical slant of Reginald Saki; "The young have aspirations that never come to pass, the old have reminiscences of what never happened."

I prefer to live as the Apostle Paul declared: "Forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus."
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
May 24, 2019

How Do People Lose Their Spirituality?
The answer is first gradually and then suddenly. I had to fix a tire last week. It was a slow leak until it wasn't. It was gradual and then it was suddenly flat. The danger of a slow leak is that you do not take notice of it until it is too late.
What are the signs that you might be experiencing a slow leak in your spiritual life?
  • You Realize that you are reading the Bible less.
     Remember Psalm 119:9-11
  • You Realize that you pray less in terms of quantity and quality. 
    Remember Matthew 6:9-13
  • You Realize that Jesus does not feel real or seem very close to you.
    Remember Philippians 4:8
  • You Realize that you are not bothered by your lack of spiritual concern.
    Remember Revelation 3:15-16
Does it sound like I have been reading your mail? 
I do not want to end with something banal nor too bombastic, but I do want to be biblical.
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and may find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16)
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,
May 17, 2019

Truth Erosion Produces Trust Implosion
Millennials have a unique way of seeing things and thinking about things. As with most things this is sometimes good and sometimes bad. The issue is not only what we think about, but how we think about anything.
As Shakespeare said; "Things are neither right nor wrong but thinking makes them so." That is wrong thinking! Some things are right and other things are wrong. The question is, how do we determine which is which?
As Christians we look to the inspired word of God, the Bible, the sacred scriptures, to guide our thinking and living.
But make no mistake, Satan seeks to confuse the saint by contorting the scripture. This is what the serpent did in the garden of Eden, challenging God's word and reinterpreting its meaning.

Mark it well, from the beginning the devil desired to distort and deform the truth of God's word. The apostle Paul reminds us of this truth in his day and for our day as he writes in Ephesians 4:14; "As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming..."
Notice the potential danger of being tossed and carried about by the wind and waves of false doctrine. This is done by men who are tricky, crafty, deceitful and scheming in their methods.
Forewarned is to be forearmed. We must be people of the Book. We must not traffic in the secular and trifle with the sacred. Are you being blown about by the messengers and the message of the media? Are you confused as to how we are to live in this secularized culture?
Let me suggest you feed upon and digest Psalm 119 this week.
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

May 10, 2019

"Whatever is morally wrong, is not politically correct."
~Abraham Lincoln~
What do LGBT, Abortion, Infanticide, Eugenics, Suicide, Racism and Immigration all have in common? They all include manifestations of Legality and Morality. They all have an ethical component. For some, ethics refer to rules provided by an external source, and result in codes of conduct in workplaces or principles in religions. Morals refer to an individual's own principles regarding right and wrong. Laws often reflect a society's combination of both.
Notice also that each of these social-ethical-legal-moral issues also contain a Theological principle. And this is the underlying problem that is fracturing our society and changing our culture. It is not as easy as a binary decision regarding Theism or Atheism. There is a world of difference in those two world views. But to complicate the issue, inside of theism lies options of Islamic monotheism, New Age Pantheism and Mormon Polytheism.
All of these "isms" result in ethical and moral consequences because as Richard Weaver wrote; Ideas Have Consequences.
But what happens in a pluralistic world that seeks the progressive ideas devoid of theological truth?  It is as G.K. Chesterton said;
"Under the smooth legal surface of our society we are already seeing some very lawless things. We are almost near the breaking point when we care for what is only legal and not for what is moral. Unless we have a moral principle about such delicate matters as marriage and murder the whole world will become a welter of exceptions with no rules. There will be so many hard cases that everything will go soft."  
Soft & Squishy indeed!
The radical social agenda and ethical issues of the day are deliberated apart from the biblical foundation that this country was framed upon by the founders. Today's organizers are seeking to rebuild a society deliberately without a religious foundation. The result of such an adventure is that truth in any absolute sense has been abolished. We dare not forget a classic Orwellian truth; The further a country drifts from truth the more it will hate those who speak it.

Cut flowers are very beautiful, for a time. But they begin to wither and wilt and eventually die having been severed from the life giving and sustaining nutrients of the ground.
Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,

May 3, 2019

                  Today's Peacock is Tomorrow's Feather Duster

It appears that celebrity and contrived popularity often come at the expense of competence and rational judgment. This seems to best explain the "Bernie" factor and the "AOC" syndrome. 
Unfortunately, this is not only true in the political world, but it is also seen in the church of Jesus Christ. The self-importance of some pastors and church leaders is disconcerting and their self-efficacy rating is disturbing. As of late many evangelical rock stars have crumbled, fallen, imploded.

Imagine pastors of churches with tens of thousands caught up in materialistic idolatry and marital infidelity. Many are belligerent, pugnacious, self-willed, egomaniac bullies! Pride comes before the fall and oh, how many of the mighty have fallen....and others will.

Unfortunately, this is not a new phenomenon. The Apostle Paul warned the elders at the church of Ephesus (which was founded by Paul and pastored by Timothy) that some from the that church and even from the elders themselves would come and do harm to the church (Acts 20:28-30).

The Apostle John warned the church that a church leader named Diotrephes "who loved to be first among the church" would not listen to the Apostle's instruction (3 John :9).  Sounds like hubris to me!  
Please do not stop going to church and do continue to pray for your pastor. But we must be aware to beware of the schemes and methods that Satan seeks to use to harm the saints. And one of the oldest involves and includes the tinsel sham of a temporal world that deludes the eye and beguiles the heart.

Celebrity on earth is not that difficult to achieve. But true celebrity in the kingdom of God is achieved by faith and fidelity to the Lord Jesus Christ. It is to be found in those who have done unknown and unhistorical acts, but have lived a faithfully hidden life and rest in unvisited tombs. But one day, true celebrity will be on display for all to see.

Serving Him with you
Until He comes for us,