Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Not according to plan

I was in construction for 20 years of my life and I have read a few blue prints in my day. Towards the end of my construction career reading those prints was a majority of what I did. It was always amazing to me and yet frustrating when the architect would come on the job and begin to question why something was done a certain way or why it looked like it did? My answer was always the same, because that's what the plan shows. After realizing it wasn't what they wanted, here comes the change orders.
 I used to be a model car enthusiast and the parts that were required to put that thing together, wow! Everyone reading this has probably purchased something that required assembly and most of us have probably had to back track because we skipped or missed a step in the process. Its probably happened but I cannot remember a time when I bought something to assemble and it didn't come with instructions. I can say however there has been a many a time Ive tried to do it without them. Rarely does it go according to the plan.
 LIVING FOR GOD IS NO DIFFERENT!!! There is an instruction manual. God has given us pastors and teachers to help with those instructions. Its not even that difficult to understand most of what we are taught and even what we read. At least not the New Testament.
 This blog is to convey a real simple message. If you don't read and obey the BOOK your life will not go according to plan. Way to many of us are struggling in our lives simple because we choose not to follow the instructions. And I'm mostly writing to those of us who know them. We choose to justify our actions based upon our feelings and emotions rather than base them on knowledge and understanding. We want to believe that what we are doing is acceptable with God and in fact what God would have us to do regardless of what the bible actually teaches.
 Over the last month or so I have been teaching on Gods plan according to Ephesians and its a great plan but if we choose not to read the instructions our lives will not align with the blueprints.
  If we try to put the model car together with out the instructions I would venture to say the only thing that would look like the plan is the body of the car. The interior and the details of the engine compartment may not get completed. Its certainly happened more than once that a plan wasn't read or was read wrong and the door was in the wrong place, the windows were to high and the closet in the bedroom, well maybe this room doesn't get a closet.
 But were talking about life, not just eternal life but the life were living now. This life needs instructions. The bible is the only source of Gods word for it. Don't live life without it! Don't disregard it! And don't try to make it fit your life but make your life fit it!
 If your life doesn't seem like its going according to Gods plan, pick up the book and read it. Get off the couch and into the church. And by all means include your pastors to help guide you.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Suffering with Christ

Rom 8:16-17
 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
 Sometimes I think we get the wrong impression about this statement, "we are children of God." Do we think that because we are children of God that we will not suffer the trials of our flesh? Do sometimes think that because we are the children of God that we wont be effected by our surroundings? Do we think that we are untouchable by the evil of our day simply because we are the children of God?
 If my father were a police officer I would still have to obey the law or I could be arrested for breaking it. If my father were a doctor I would still suffer colds and sickness. My point in this is that whatever profession my father were in I wouldn't be exempt from what this life brings!
 Sin has destroyed the perfect world and the life that God had created for us and because of sin we suffer, we struggle and life at times can be very difficult.
 I am not saying that there is no pleasure in or benefits from serving the Lord. On the contrary, without Him this suffering would be in vain. Yet we are not exempt! I often share my opinion when it comes to battling in this life. To battle this life without Jesus and without His church would be unbearable to me. I have a friend, a counselor and a Comforter in Jesus and though I am not isolated from the pain, I am insulated from its full devastating effects.
 Being an heir simply means I have something coming. Its not in my possession but in the end I will obtain it. Had a parent willed something to their child, that child doesn't receive it until the passing of that parent. When I became a child of God I received certain things in my life for this life, other things are promised to be given and I patiently wait for them.
 We have become joint-heirs with Christ id so be that we suffer with Hi, that we may be also glorified together.
 There is no promise of easy living. The bible teaches that the road to heaven is straight and narrow not smooth and easy. A mathematical question once asked, What weighs more? A ton of feathers or a ton of bricks? It is amazing how many people will respond with the wrong answer. Of course the weight is the same but the perception is not. The weight of the world to those without Jesus would feel more like the bricks. The weight of the world to those with Jesus would feel more like the feathers. Same weight but different effect. Jesus bears our burden but we still have to carry them to Him. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Church errors!

First let me start off by saying the Church is the greatest living organism on the planet. If not for the church this world would have nothing left to continue on for. Many will say that the church is what's wrong with the world but I beg to differ and would say the church is what's right in the world.
 The church is the only thing that the gates of hell cannot prevail against and so it is in the church that I will remain.
 However, people make up the body of Christ i.e. the church and with that comes the imperfection that we all can admit to. Like any family, organization or group we may not all agree on everything and our personalities may clash at times but nevertheless we strive for the unity of the Spirit.
 These are not the errors that I am referencing however, but pointing out that we are all still human beings after all. The church errors that I am writing today about may be our focus, our purpose and our agendas.
 As I had recently preached in a message to the church I made this statement, "The church is not in this community for the churched, The church is in the community for the community." the unchurched is why we are here. Church cannot continue to be the gathering place of the saints but it has to be the church for the sinners.
 I love to enter into His presence for worship and praise but ultimately it is the atmosphere that we are creating for the lost that should be our focus. If the service is for the saints then when does the weary soul find their rest.
 Jesus demonstrated how He felt about the temple being used improperly. Matt 21:12-14
 And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13 And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
14 And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple; and he healed them.
  It wasn't until the house was in order before those with the greatest need would receive their healing from the Lord.
 I pray the errors that the church has made will quickly be corrected so that the church can manifest once again its true purpose. The church is not our social club but the place where we serve those in need!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Pro Choice

Choice is a God given right. No-one gets to take that away from us. You may not agree with my choices and I may not agree with yours but we have been given the right to choose. With that said, let me quickly rebut what you may be thinking. I am Pro Life but I am also Pro choice.
 The debate shouldn't be between life and choice, the debate is between life and abortion. I am not pro abortion. Choice is something that if ever taken away, would cause us to cease to exist as human beings. From the very beginning in the garden of Eden the ability to choose is what separated us from every other living thing. Adam and Eve both chose to disobey God and that was their right to do so. Sure they were punished, not because they had made a choice but because their choice was in direct violation of Gods word. They were even warned what would happen if they made that choice and God didn't stop them from doing so.
 When making decisions, there is a lot to consider, and when we fail to consider the outcome of our choices is when trouble may arise. Its cause and effect. There are consequences for every action, good or bad.  We as the individual are not the only ones effected by our choices even if were making them for ourselves. One of the first questions that we should ask ourselves before making decisions, especially life altering ones is, Who will be effected?
 This blog originated from a recent gathering that I had attended as a police chaplain. We had met a few folks at a coffee shop and amongst them were business owners, retired lawyers, engineers and a couple police officers. As I was being seated, introductions were being made and of course I was introduced as a police chaplain. Immediately a lady at the table says out loud, for all to hear, that so and so is an atheist and I was seated right next to him. Did I rebuke him? No. Did I begin a debate with him? No. What I did was except his right to make that choice. Are there consequences for him if he doesn't change his mind? Yes, but his right to choose is still his.
 I may not agree with the law and so I choose to break it, that's my right. You may not believe what the bible teaches and that's your right. You may disagree or even disapprove with the way someone is doing something or how they are behaving but again that is their right. However, our right to choose doesn't declare our innocents nor does it mean that there will not be consequences to our actions.
 It is of my opinion that our choices and decisions shouldn't be made on a whim or off the cuff but should be carefully thought out and even include others in your circle of influence.
 Proverbs 24:6 For by wise counsel thou shalt make thy war; and in the multitude of counsellors there is safety.
 I have made plenty of bad choices in life and had I included others I may have saved myself some headaches. Most of the consequences that we suffer from our choices could be avoided by communicating with others who have been down a similar road before us. Ultimately we make the decision, but in most cases, education is great assistance.  

Friday, April 28, 2017

Am I saved?

Let me start out by saying that this post is not to offend or to judge one mans belief or religion over another. Matter of fact this post really isn't for all readers. This post is to those and for those who proclaim Christianity and believe that the Holy Bible is the infallible word of God.
 In a former post titled "Christianity has been high jacked " I talk about the way people in all of Christendom  identity with the denominations of Christianity rather than with Christ Himself. When people are searching for a church to attend most will look to the represented denomination rather than to the doctrines of the bible. We are looking for a church that will fit our beliefs rather than fitting our beliefs to the word of God! And so with that said, as we have so many denominations of Christianity these perplexing questions arise, Which one is right? What are the differences? And Does it really matter?
 From my experience the most highly recognized and even excepted denominations of Christianity all have at least one thing in common. The Holy Bible. So we can deduce from that, that the bible is the foundation of these denominations and it is the bible that we must look to and learn from as we live our lives for Christ.
 My post today is not to give you my opinion or theology on the subject of salvation. Today is about self study. One of the greatest concerns that I have for other believers is that they simply believe what they are told rather than look to the scriptures for these truths. I'm going to provide a few verses on salvation and without any interpretation on my part I want you to conclude from what you read as to the necessary steps to being saved. If you find that you have questions on what you have read or you want to share with me what conclusions you have come to, feel free to comment.
#1Heb 11:6
 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
#2Luke 13:3
 I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
#3Mark 16:16
 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
#4Acts 2:37-38
 Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?
38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
#5Heb 12:14
 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:

One last thing. As you read these verses with salvation in mind read them not from a denominational mind set but one that is desiring to know, Am I saved according to the bible?

 John 5:39
 Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Scripturally divided!

John 7:37-43
 In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.
38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
40 Many of the people therefore, when they heard this saying, said, Of a truth this is the Prophet.
41 Others said, This is the Christ. But some said, Shall Christ come out of Galilee?
42 Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?
43 So there was a division among the people because of him.
 I know that there are some who would say that we are divided on the scriptures because everyone has their own translation and interpretation and they may be partially correct. However I want to speak to the subject of what a person believes the bible says verses what the bible actually says. Now I am not writing to debate one persons understanding of the verses but to challenge everyone to read the scriptures (the bible) to know what it actually says.
 Jesus in verse 38 says to believe on Him as the scriptures say. So to obey His desire we need to open the pages of the bible and read it for ourselves to gain knowledge and understanding of who He is. I love talking about and hearing about Jesus but I must compare what I hear and learn to what the bible actually teaches.
 Jesus in this verse also taught that there would be a manifestation in a persons life when they gain their understanding from the bible. Out of the belly shall flow rivers of living water! When I glean understanding from the Scriptures and learn of Jesus the Spirit then is available to receive!
 A persons salvation and transformation doesn't come from a belief in a god but comes from the knowledge of the True God, Jesus Christ. John 8:31-32
 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
 John 14:6
 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
  To know truth is to know Him. To know Him is to know the scriptures.
 Division occurs when we have a belief based upon tradition, religion, and even conventional(mans) wisdom and not scripture. For example, and this may seem trivial but it gives us a simple correlation to the subject matter, Eve ate and apple. The bible doesn't say that she ate an apple but the fruit from the tree. Another example, there were three wise men that came to Jesus after His birth. The bible teaches us that there were wise men who offered three gifts. The bible says, God helps those who helps themselves. Now I have read my bible a couple times through and I have yet to find this verse or this type of teaching any where in the scriptures. Its simply not there. Again, trivial? Perhaps, but the point is that we are dealing with division because of beliefs based upon what we have heard or have been told rather than actual knowledge of the scriptures.
 This was a problem in bible days as well. Jesus fulfilled every prophecy concerning the Messiah yet the people, because of there own preconceived ideas, failed to see Jesus for who He was!
 Pay close attention to the first part of verse 42. Hath not the scripture said? Gen 3:1 ends with very similar verbiage, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? Had Eve known exactly what God had said maybe she wouldn't have been deceived.