I invite you to join discussions, it enhances the reading experience for everyone. Please share your thoughts, opinions and knowledge in a respectful manner. May we all learn something in our endeavor to educate our hearts and minds. I look forward to hearing from you!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

What Does Gideon Have To Do With The 2012 Election?

God is so good.

His timing is perfect.

I’m doing a Chronological Study of the Bible.

Two days after the presidential election I came to Judges 8.  

Amazing account of what God can do with a small number of devoted followers. But that’s not what stood out to me.

Verses 22-23 did, “Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, both you and your son, and your grandson also; for you have delivered us from the hand of the Midians.” But Gideon Said, “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the Lord shall rule over you.”” 

Get it?

Israel wanted a KING! 

Not just to rule over them, but to protect them. 

Gideon put them in their place- GOD was their KING!

How quickly they forgot.

God had just delivered THOUSANDS of men to them with only 300! 

But instead of realizing God was the one who protected, guided and ruled…they wanted a man! 

Gideon’s reply is rare in this world. 

He was offered the position of king and he turned it down while pointing the people to the true KING- God.

After prayer, meditation and communing with God, I think one of the reasons Romney lost the election because so many placed their hope in a man and not God

I’m not saying everyone did this, but I think many did and it did not please God.

He is our provided, our shield, our portion, our deliverer, our strong tower. 

He is our EVERYTHING! 

Not man.

Man cannot fix this nation…only God can.

Tough times are coming in the next four years.

I am reminded of these words by Thomas Paine, “These are the times that try men’s souls.”
Only by the grace of God can we, not only endure, but also flourish. 

You may think I’m being dramatic. 

If so, I encourage you to seek God. Delve into the scripture like never before and learn history.

But I don’t want to scare you. Instead, I want to encourage and inspire you. 

While the road ahead will be long and perilous we, as the Body of Christ, are going to grow to heights unknown in our generation…if we seek God. 

“Without the burden of afflictions it is impossible to reach the height of grace. The gifts of grace increase as the struggles increase.” St. Rose of Lima

History epiphany: After reading the account of Gideon turning down the throne, I can’t help but realize George Washington must have been very familiar with this passage of scripture. He too turned down becoming King of the United States when it was offered to him. Read George Washington’s Sacred Fire by Peter A. Lillback.

What has God been speaking to you about the election and/or the upcoming 4 years?  

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Cost of Discipleship Chapter 19

Sermon on the Mount Continued

Matt 7:13-23

“Never let a disciple of Jesus pin his hopes on large numbers.” 

Narrow is the way and few find it. 

Not only is salvation hard for many to grasp…but following Christ down the path of discipleship can be lonely and dangerous. 

“But if we behold Jesus Christ going on before step by step, we shall not go astray. But if we worry about the dangers…if we gaze at the road instead of at him who goes before, we are already straying form that path. For he is himself the way, the narrow way and the straight gate.” 

But keeping our eyes solely on Christ is hard. Our journey is full of doubts and fears, frustrations and failures. Sometimes we wonder if we’re on the right path, especially if fellow Christians aren’t suffering as we.

 But we can have confidence we are going the right way by this: “…the very narrowness of the road will increase our certainty.”  

As our nation braces for the next four years under the current administration, I can’t help but find this chapter timely. 

The road is going to get narrower…few have found it at this point…hard times will weed out the pseudo-Christians from among us…but our faith will grow as we embrace the Cross with everything we have (fix our eyes solely on Christ). 

It can be tempting to want to seclude ourselves from the madness of the world. But we can’t.
For even if we were to cut ourselves off from the world, the world would still seep in.

Jesus warns in verses 15-20 that there will always be wolves in sheep clothing. 

“He looks like a Christian, he talks and acts like one. But dark powers are mysteriously at work…It is not faith in Jesus Christ which made him one of us, but the devil.” 

This could make us paranoid. We could start “witch trials” if we allowed our imaginations to run wild. 

“Who’s a wolf?” 

But we don’t have to fall prey to this paranoia.

For by their fruits we will know them.

Darkness cannot hide forever.

And a tree can’t help but bear fruit. 

“There is no need to go about prying into the hearts of others. All we need do is to wait until the tree bears fruit, and we shall not have to wait long.” 

Bonhoeffer goes on to say, “We may have to decide, not in some spectacular matter, but in quite trivial, everyday affairs. And then we shall see and discern the good from the bad.”

How someone lives day in and day out will tell us what we need to know about their dedication to Christ as Lord.  

We only have to look at fruit. Someone can disguise themselves for a while, but eventually their hearts will show them. “The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.” Luke 6:45 NIV

But it’s not just others fruits we need to look at.

We need to look at our own.

What are we producing?

Satan can deceive us all. When trials come, our own hearts will be revealed to us…and we may find we, ourselves, are pseudo-Christians! 

If that happens, how will we respond?

Will we come into a true relationship with Christ or find that following Him costs too much and join the world? 

God tests our hearts because He loves us. He wants to reveal Himself to us and sometimes trials are the only way to get our attention.

In the coming days, we will see changes in our church. Some will leave, some will stay and new members will emerge.

Trust in God. Look solely to Him and He will reveal His will and your heart to you.
What you do from there is up to you.

Remember, “God will not ask us in that day whether we were good Protestants, but whether we have done his will.”

So I ask you: Are you doing HIS will…or your own?
I encourage you to not feel lonely as you follow Christ.

Take comfort in knowing Christ warned us of this narrow road. 

Our journey…the aches, pains and trials we face are known by God. They haven’t caught Him by surprise. 

He is the author and finisher of our faith! (Heb 12:2)

People can’t make you secure…ONLY God can. 

Fix your eyes SOLEY on Him. 

Don’t worry what fellow Christians are doing or aren’t doing. 

Don’t fear the wolves among you…Look at their fruit…trust the Bible…and cling to God ALONE.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

Times are hard for many.

Sometimes it's difficult to count our blessings and to be thankful for the things we have when the things we don't have seem insurmountable.

But the Bible tells us, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 NIV

If you're breathing, there's a reason you're here...So please have hope this holiday season.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!" Philippians 4:4 NIV

ALWAYS...when it feels good and when it doesn't.

I pray this Thanksgiving holiday God will help you count your blessings and know that He is good.

"Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalms 106:1 NIV

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Cost of Discipleship Chapter 18

Sermon on the Mount Continued

Matt 7:1-12

So far, Jesus has taught His disciples that following Him makes them different from the world.

In this chapter, Jesus warns them not to get a big head.

“How easy it would have been for the disciples to adopt a superior attitude, to pass unqualified condemnation on the rest of the world and to persuade themselves that this was the will of God!” 

Jesus tells the disciples the only thing that makes them different from the world is HIM. 

We cannot judge the world, for we were once no different. 


Instead, a disciple must view others through the eyes of Christ…the eyes of Love.

To use our righteousness, God’s words, or Christ’s standards on someone else only show’s how far we are from Christ. 

“…Christ is not a standard which I can apply to others. He is judge of myself, revealing my own virtues to me as something altogether evil.” 

Christ saved me even though I was a sinner. He gave me love when I didn’t deserve it. Now, I must give that type of unconditional love to those who do not share my belief in Christ. That type of love is all encompassing

“If we love, we can never observe the other person with detachment, for he is always and at every moment a living claim to our love and service.” 

Does this mean we overlook sin? 

No, it means we recognize sin as opportunities to show God’s love and forgiveness. 

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating. By judging others we blind ourselves to our own evil and to the grace which others are just as entitled to as we are.” 

We need to check our motives when we judge sin in others. 

If we are wanting “to destroy evil, we should look for evil where it is certain to be found…in our own hearts.”

If we want to justify our sins, we are saying God’s grace works one way for us, but not for another. “We are trying to claim for ourselves a special privilege which we deny to others.” 

But judging others isn’t the sole topic of this passage.

We can’t force the gospel on people.

We can’t orchestrate their salvation. 

We can’t push God where He is not wanted.

The Word of God knows that. But do we? 

“…the Word of God…takes the risk of meeting the scorn of men and being rejected.”

There’s a difference in being religious and following Christ.

A difference between witnessing and forcing beliefs.

 A difference between a nation founded on God and a nation controlled by religion. 

“To try and force the Word on the world by hook or by crook is to make the living Word of God into a mere idea, and the world would be perfectly justified in refusing to listen to an idea for which it had no use.”

So how do we ensure we are witnessing and not forcing?

“The only way to reach others is through him in whose hands they are themselves like all other men.”

We are equal sinners.

And we can all be equally saved.

“The evil in the other person is exactly the same evil as in ourselves.” 


We are to love God above all else and our neighbor as ourselves. 

When tempted to judge, put yourself  in their shoes.

Would you want to feel that condemnation? 

Would you want to hear those harsh words?

I know I don’t like having mean things said about me…no one does.

I don’t like being judged harshly, even if I deserve it…no one does.

“…do to others what you would have them do to you…” Matt 7:12

1.        God’s willing to be rejected by men…are you? Or do you allow fear to keep you from witnessing?
2.       What other excuses do you use to NOT witness?
3.       How can you show love to others without condoning their sin?
4.       How does being a follower of Christ look to you? Do people see Jesus in you?

BTY, I had the honor of having one of my post published on Go Forth and Fish. You can check it out here!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

If You're Wondering Who to Blame...Look in the Mirror

My heart was heavy the day after the presidential election. 

God, how did we get here?

God prompted me to read Matt 9:35-38. 

Jesus saw the multitude and had compassion on the hurt, the lame and the dejected in society. He saw the potential they had…He saw the harvest!

Today’s world is no different…and yet it is completely different.

People in our society are crying out for a Good Shepherd. 

But few inside the Family of God have stepped up to fill that role.

It is to our shame, Church, that the world stepped up where we didn’t.

Satan knows the Bible. 

He used Jesus’ own play book against us.

Satan saw the hurt, the lame and the dejected…and he saw God’s people sitting comfortably in their pews or luke warm at the ball games and he sent workers to reap the harvest.

People were hungry for HOPE and CHANGE…satan only provided what the Church did not. 

An Answer!

It is on our heads that America has fallen from her seat of Truth.

The Left answered the call of those crying out for help.

The Church, the Body of Christ, was too busy, too blind or too wrapped up in the lust of the flesh, the pride of life or tolerance to be the effective vessels we were created to be.

“The harvest is great, but only Jesus in his mercy can see it…It is hardly surprising that so few are granted to see things with the pitying eyes of Jesus, for only those who share the love of his heart have been given eyes to see.”- D. Bonhoeffer

The cares of the world have blinded the Church until she is ineffective in battling evil or answering the cries of the lost.

We have lost our first love and therefore we have lost our vision.

Heaven help us. 

We have failed.

Progressives answered the pleas of desperation…and those wounded souls returned the favor and voted for their shepherd.

I can hear so many now, “You’re being over dramatic”,You’re being ridiculous” or something similar.

Hear me out. 

People have longed for healing…physically, emotionally, morally, financially, spiritually and so on. 

Instead of love…the church gave condemnation.

Instead of guidance…the church gave tolerance.

Instead of hope…the church gave watered down messages that cheapened the power of God. 

The Church failed.

We failed because love of the world crept in and we lost sight of our first love- GOD.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV

What actions of love have we shown? (Besides our pocket books?)

We have given the world religion …not God.

We have been sanctimonious …not Loving.

We have judged the world…and forgotten the level ground at the foot of the cross.

“Judging others makes us blind, whereas love is illuminating.” -D. Bonhoeffer. 

When we fix our eyes solely on Christ, THEN and only then, can we see by the illuminating light of LOVE shining down on us all from the cross.

Time to take responsibility Church…then take ACTION!

Return to your first love.

 “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God...Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” James 4:4, 8-10 NIV 

God promises to lift us up…but first we have to fall before Him. 

An elected official isn’t going to bring the change this world needs.

A government program won’t provide the hope people hunger for.

And a religion won’t mend the broken hearts of the lost.

The time for sitting in our pews hearing feel good messages is over.

The time for assuaging our hearts by writing checks is done.

The time for another committee has passed.

The time for ACTION has come!

Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” 1 John 3:18 NIV

1.      Do you see the harvest or overlook those not like you?
2.      Do you DO anything besides go to church and possibly tithe?
3.      Did this post cause you to say, “OUCH”?  (BYW, this post made me say OUCH!)