June 25, 2021

Do not let yesterday take up too much of today.
-Will Rogers-

I find that as I get older many changes are occurring - both physically and psychologically. I will spare you the former but make mention of a few of the latter.

As I awake early in the morning, I find my mind pondering the problems of today and wondering over the wreckage of the past. My mind harkens back “in search of lost time, in remembrance of things past.” Often my mind is filled with memories that make me melancholic.

Late at night while cleaning out my email and checking my Facebook account, I encounter messages and memos and pictures of people from long ago. This may sound like pleasant nostalgia, but to me it is often a painful reminder of so much left undone and a few things done wrong.

The insight of the artist, Goya, was profound in his work; The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters. Man’s reason guided by God’s revelation provides a clearer picture and understanding of life. That is why I diligently desire to do what the apostle Paul encouraged and exhorted his ancient audience and today’s modern audience - “We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” (2 Cor.10:5)

We are to saturate our minds and soak our souls in scripture. As Paul declared, “…whatever is true whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is anything worthy of praise, let your mind dwell on these things.” Phil 4:8”  

Evening and morning You are with me.”
“Where can I go from Your presence?... When I awake You are with me.”
“You are the Alpha and the Omega.”

Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,

June 18, 2021

"I am certain that nothing has done so much to destroy the judicial safeguards of individual freedom as the striving after this mirage of social justice." 
-Friedrich Hayek-

Today it should be extremely clear that social justice is not biblical justice. The two systems are based on and built upon different world views. Biblical justice is built upon a sacred declaration from God. Social justice is built upon the convoluted, confused, and corrupt secular mind of man. It is possible that the sacred and the secular can intersect but only when divine truth trumps human wisdom. That does not seem to be very often these days.
The American evangelical church has forgotten that in the past many churches thought well of the hope of Hitler, the plan of Stalin, and the revolution of Castro being deceived by the promise to take care of “the people.” However, once the body count of the people started to become public the church backed away realizing that socialism is always led by tyrants.
Today’s brand of social justice appears to be motivated to help people but as always it is at the expense of other people and often at the expense of society. One expression that concerns me as a professor at a seminary is that the perversion and moral corruption of today’s social justice advocates is being forced upon Christian institutions never mind what is being taught and modeled in the public schools. Freedom of religion let alone freedom of speech and expression is under attack. Censorship and control of ideas is the beginning of the demise of a free society.  
As always, this type of transformation is carried out by the change of laws and the creation of legislation. It is through secular laws that are devoid of sacred morality that we see the perversion of justice, the subversion of society, and the corruption of culture.

As Tacitus, Senator of Rome in the first century, said: “Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges.” (The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.)

Nevertheless, Christianity and the church of Jesus have never been dependent on a friendly host culture to survive or to thrive. The power of the church is its relationship with the person of Christ. Its strength is through the power of the Holy Spirit. And its confidence is in the plan of the Father. Let me encourage you to read Ephesians 1:1-14 and gain the sacred mindset as you live in a secular world.

The men of Issachar understood the times and knew what to do. (I Chron 12:32)
Do you?

Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,

June 11, 2021

A Good Traveler Leaves No Tracks
-Lao Tzu-

For some Christians, the goal of life is to sneak into heaven incognito and leave no tracks. This is not my goal. I want to leave tracks. I want to have made a difference and made a statement. I want to compel people to see Jesus in what I say and what I do. I want to bear testimony with my life and my lips. As Joe Aldrich said, "I want to proclaim both the music of the gospel and the message of the gospel.” This is not accomplished by my willing it, but by the power of the Holy Spirit who indwells me. (“Not by might nor by power but by my Spirit says the Lord of hosts.” Zech 4:6) It occurs as I surrender to the leading of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to guide me, fill me, and direct me in all my decisions moment by moment, in whatever situation I am in and whomever I am with.

However, that does not mean everyone will be happy or receptive to what I say and do. Speaking the truth in love is not always received well. But if love is as Dr.John Mitchell said, "sincerely wishing God’s very best for someone else and doing what you can to see it come about,” then we must not be surprised that the world might not always like what we say.

I am not in the business of keeping a salvation score or counting conversions. In fact, it is not about me it is about Him. But what I do know is that I do not want to preach what people want to hear, but what they cannot live without. Is that not what Paul desired when he proclaimed his purpose? ... That I might present every man complete in Christ. (Col. 1:28).

Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,

June 4, 2021

To Be Persuasive, We Must Be Believable;
To Be Believable
We Must Be Credible; To Be Credible,
We Must Be Truthful 
~ Edward R. Murrow ~

I am teaching a summer seminary course on Christian Apologetics where students are learning how to defend their faith. We can defend our faith defensively by explaining why we believe what we believe. We can also defend our faith offensively by asking others to explain why they believe what they believeWe all have assumptions and presuppositions. The question is - are they rational and reasonable? Do they provide an explanation for what is possible, plausible, or perhaps probable?

As Jesus did, we must also be able to flex three muscles simultaneously - Compassion, Courage, and Conviction. This is what creates credibility. All of this does not take away from the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives of the people we are talking with. But remember, there is no premium for stupidity in the Christian faith. We are to be disciplined in our efforts to be believable and we are to be dependent on the Lord to draw people to Himself.

It seems like most Christians have a goal in life of being able to sneak into heaven incognito. I trust that is not your goal. Summertime brings a change of pace and allows us to see a variety of people. Are you ready “to make a defense of the hope that is in you?” 

If you are not sure where to start, then let me suggest you engage in the most powerful action you as a Christian can do; pray to the Lord and ask Him to lead you and guide you to someone who needs to know Him.

If you do that, do not be surprised if you find yourself busy this week!

Serving Him with you
until He comes for us,