Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bible v. Christian Tradition

Mark 7:7-9
 Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.
8 For laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men, as the washing of pots and cups: and many other such like things ye do.
9 And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.
 Col 2:6-8
 As ye have therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk ye in him:
7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
 The more bible studies that I teach and the more I have conversations with professing Christians the more I realize that many of them live their lives based on what others have preached to them and they believe and that they know very little about what the bible actually says.
 The basis of this writing isn't to judge or even debate ones belief from another but to challenge and encourage all believers to search the scriptures and to align their beliefs with the word of God.
 The importance of this is off the scale considering it is the word of God alone that will be our judge when we stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
 Adam and Eve had sinned against God when they ate the apple in the garden! Three wise men brought gifts to Jesus at His birth. The bible says God helps those who help themselves. Of these three which one is true? The answer is none of them are true. They ate a fruit, wise men brought gifts and there is no scripture that says anything about God helping those that help themselves!
 Far to often do I hear people say, The bible says, followed by a statement that is not in the bible. The problem is that when people hear someone say that the bible says they tend to believe it automatically. The reason for this is sad but true, not enough Christians read their bibles to know what it actually says. No this is not what your pastor, priest or minister is for, they are to preach the word of God, encourage the saints and guide them in life's journey but it is the individuals responsibility to know the word of God for themselves.
 The apostolic church of Acts based its teaching on bible doctrine but many of the churches today are teaching based on church tradition. The book of Acts is the history of the first church so the church of today should look and align itself with it as far as biblical teaching, exhorting and even church discipline goes.
 Follow along with these next few verses to see the trouble that can arise when we don't know or are unsure what Gods word says. Gen 3:1-3
 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
2 And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:
3 But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.
 Did you catch the mistake. Eve was quoting Gods word but then she added her own belief. God said you shall not eat of it, hear it is, neither shall you touch it. God never said anything about touching it. You can say that that's semantics but that cost Eve her life!
  When it comes to salvation and Christian living the word of God is the only source of truth. Mans opinion and even his own belief does not hold a light to Gods written word. When dealing with beliefs you have to ask yourself what does the bible say and is what I believe the same thing. Don't just answer yes because you want them to match up. This is your eternity that were talking about, take the time and search the scriptures!
 The word of God has not changed but church traditions have taken much of its place. Just because something is widely accepted doesn't make it acceptable.
 Do we believe the bible or are we following the traditions of the church?

Monday, March 16, 2015

No offence taken!

Proverbs 18:19
A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle.
 I have certainly had to deal with people who fulfill this description of  the offended and once again the scripture is absolutely correct. People who have been offended are almost impossible to win. In many of cases they have justification for their hurt and reason to avoid and be cautious. I am not denying them their feelings.
 This is the very reason that we who are Christian need to season our words with salt and to speak as the oracle of God and with love.
Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? Why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded?
 As we can see here there is a much higher road to be taken but it will require a greater humility. Humility comes much easier when the cause is of such great price.
 Now I will try to convey the purpose of this writing. I am not writing to those who will offend as much as to those who may be offended. We have probably all been in that conversation when a statement is made followed by the words, No offence. And the recipient usually responds, None taken!
 Offence much like unforgiveness is detrimental to the one who carries its burden. Rarely does the offender suffer from the cause of the offense. I do not make excuse for any who offend and I will go on to say that they need to become repentant but the offended are the ones in troubled waters. As Proverbs has stated a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city.
 I cannot allow myself to be taken by offence to a place where it will become difficult to return from. I do not want to be in a place where the love of others and even the love of God cannot reach me.To be offended puts me in a gated community which may not allow others in but will not allow me out either. The bars of a castle can be for protection or can become a prison!
Acts 24:16
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Why I suffer!

"We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God."
Acts 14:22

God's people have their trials. It was never designed by God, when He chose His people, that they should be an untried people. They were chosen in the furnace of affliction; they were never chosen to worldly peace and earthly joy. Freedom from sickness and the pains of mortality was never promised them; but when their Lord drew up the charter of privileges, He included chastisements amongst the things to which they should inevitably be heirs. Trials are a part of our lot; they were predestinated for us in Christ's last legacy. So surely as the stars are fashioned by his hands, and their orbits fixed by Him, so surely are our trials allotted to us: He has ordained their season and their place, their intensity and the effect they shall have upon us. Good men must never expect to escape troubles; if they do, they will be disappointed, for none of their predecessors have been without them. Mark the patience of Job; remember Abraham, for he had his trials, and by his faith under them, he became the "Father of the faithful." Note well the biographies of all the patriarchs, prophets, apostles, and martyrs, and you shall discover none of those whom God made vessels of mercy, who were not made to pass through the fire of affliction. It is ordained of old that the cross of trouble should be engraved on every vessel of mercy, as the royal mark whereby the King's vessels of honour are distinguished. But although tribulation is thus the path of God's children, they have the comfort of knowing that their Master has traversed it before them; they have His presence and sympathy to cheer them, His grace to support them, and His example to teach them how to endure; and when they reach "the kingdom," it will more than make amends for the "much tribulation" through which they passed to enter it.
Charles Spurgeon

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The winds of change!

I recently returned from a church conference and every message from every speaker was speaking directly to all that I have been dealing with and praying about. I have been struggling with decision making and making the right choices that would not only benefit my life but the lives of others.
 First I would like to confess that over the past few months I have not been the witness of Christ on a level that I believe that Jesus wants me to be! Not that I have been acting out in an ungodly manner but I haven't really shared the good news of the gospel or have offered the hope of the same. To some they might say that it doesn't matter or that we really don't need to but that is where I have come to a different understanding of my purpose.
 When I had come to the understanding of Gods word that Christ had shed His blood for my sins, this was the beginning of the winds of change for me! As I gave my life to Him having repented of my sins, had been baptized in the name of Jesus and being filled with the Holy Ghost my purpose was now clear, that I would be a witness of Christ! I would live my life for His glory and that others would come to know Him because of it! Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven!
 Today I confess and apologize to all that I have not offered words of hope and encouragement when you needed them. Having focused on my own life, family, church and needs I have not been the pastor, brother, husband, father, friend and co-worker that you deserve. I am thanking God for the winds of change!
 Tomorrow morning in the church service I will be preaching about the passion of the Lord and how that passion is now once again burning in my soul. My passion is to be a witness of Christ to a troubled world! It is to be an open ear to listen to the brokenness that others may be facing! My passion is to have hands outstretched not to receive but to offer others what I have! My passion is to preach the gospel to all the world( the world that encompasses where I live) so that they may have opportunity to come to Jesus.
 I don't intend to be a religious person, quoting scriptures, making judgments and personifying a holier than thou attitude but I will strive to demonstrate that loving relationship that I have with the Lord and make every effort to share the peace, joy and the passion that I have because of Him!
 Change my heart oh God, Make it ever true. Change my heart oh God, may I be like you!