Tuesday, June 14, 2011
But, what is so bad about denominations? The one arguement that the above defenders would say is that the modern church is divided and not acting as one. Jesus prayed that we would be one as He and the Father are one. So either I must be sinning, or every church is sinning by having their church over there, while I have this perfectly good one right here!
This arguement sounds good on the surface, I used to be a proponent of it. There are several "one another's" throughout the New Testament, so why can't we get along?
Just as there are millions of people and we all have similiar, yet different personality traits, so too does a church. People's preferences are as wide as the Grand Canyon. I really don't think Jesus is upset that we have Baptists, Lutherans, Presbyterians, Catholics, or Pentecostal denominations.
The book of Acts tells us of only four events the early church partook of: teaching, fellowship, meals, and prayer. There were elders appointed in each church per Paul's instructions to Titus and similarly to Timothy. Beyond that the look and feel of a church is pretty much up for grabs. Now, understand that alot of churches are doing it right and alot are doing it wrong, just look at the first seven churches listed in Revelations. This blog isn't about right and wrong practices, at least, not today. This blog is about denominations not being sinful.
Some prefer small and quaint, some like big and loud, some like traditional, some like rock shows, some like preaching, some like singing.
I hope you don't get bent out of shape about denominations.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
When Jesus says we are to love our enemies and then says if they slap us on the cheek we are to turn to them the other cheek, is He just being facitious? Or, does He really mean it?
Luke records Jesus' words in Chapter six, verses 32-36, saying that the unconverted person will only love those who love them back. Jesus says that this is no credit to His people if that is all we reciprocate. If we only love those who will love us back and do good to those who do good to us and only lend to those with whom we expect to recieve back then we have fallen short.
Jesus really raises the bar on His people!
To turn the other cheek is to go beyond people's expectations of love. To give them our shirt after they have taken our coat is to go beyond comprehension of true love.
Jesus reminds us that His Father is gracious to the ungrateful and evil and that He is a merciful father. If we are to be sons and daughters of the Most High God then we too must be gracious and merciful. This is no small feat!
But, why, why must we love like this?
Because Godly love makes the Gospel believable!
They may be our enemies, but one day they will stand before a holy God and then they will see who their real enemy is. God will destroy all His enemies on the last day. So, today is the day of their salvation. They cannot wait until judgment day - it will be to late!
We must show them Godly love, so that we will have a platform for presenting the Gospel to them.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
- love your enemies
- do good to those who hate you
- bless those who curse you
- pray for those who abuse you
Jesus doesn't leave a lot of gray area does He? I wonder if He really understands what His people go through on this earth? How we have to deal with enemies who sometimes exist in our very own families.
There are so many examples in our society of this rampant denial of this command. Divorce, abuse, law suits, videos on Youtube of school bus fights. We tell our kids to not start a fight, but you "shore b'ter finish it!"
Jesus went as a gentle quiet lamb to the altar where His neck was slit and His blood drained out. His blood was applied to all the utensils in the meeting place of God. He never spoke a vicious word to His murderers.
If we love Him we must keep His commands. Oh, my dear brother and sister, you must submit to Him and love those who hate you. If you love Him, ask Him to help you in this area of your life.
"You are never more like God then when you forgive." John MacArthur.
Monday, January 31, 2011
1. Tithing causes us to fear God - Deut 14:23. As we learn to give a portion of our income to God we will either trust Him more knowing that He owns it all anyway or we will not trust Him thinking we can't make it by giving 10% to Him.
2. The tithe is most definitely His, it is holy - Lev. 27:30. Yes, God owns it all and we are stewards, but the tithe MUST be His. This leads easily to the third principle.
3. Not tithing is robbing God - Malachi 3:8-10. We see clearly that to not tithe is to rob Him.
4. Our tithe must be the best, not left-overs - Prov 3:9. God denounced the Israelites for bringing to Him decrepid animals for sacrifices. He wants the best. This teaches us that He knows what we need and will provide it. It teaches us to trust Him and depend upon Him always.
But, isn't tithing a law? Christians are under grace, therefore, we don't have to tithe, we just have to give joyfully whatever we feel like. WRONG!
We aren't to murder, but Jesus raised the bar and told us not to even hate someone. We aren't to commit adultery, but Jesus raised the bar and told us not to even lust after another. If He came to fulfill the Law, Matt. 5:17, then the Law still stands. We are required to tithe, it is our duty.
Yet, as believers, who understand how wretchedly sinful we are and from what we have been saved, to tithe should be a small incidental detail to us. We shouldn't mind obeying His Word. The real obedience takes place when we begin to give beyond the tithe. Just like when we go beyond not murdering to not hating, beyond adultery, to not lusting.
The tithe was God's plan for using earthly resources to empower His Kingdom agenda. The tithe caused the people of Israel to focus all their energy into Him. That hasn't changed today. The church is the HOPE of the world. Our giving supplies the agent which God will use to save men, women, and children from eternal damnation.
Do you tithe? If you don't, I hope you will begin to wrestle with this and ask the Lord to guide you into this biblical truth. We are sanctified by His Word!
Monday, January 17, 2011
This is the hot or cold and gonna vomit you out of My (God's) mouth passage. Jokingly, he told our congregation that I did not suggest this passage!
God's Word through this brother was convictioning to me. Am I content in my relationship with Jesus, or am a stoking the fires of renewal? To make something hot you must add energy, to make something cold you must extract energy, to make something lukewarm you simply do nothing. WOW!
I want to be hot towards my Lord! I must pour into our relationship just as I do with my wife or kids or friends.
I hope you will be zealous, hot for the Lord, too!