Sunday, June 28, 2015


June 29, 2015
John 9:39  "Then Jesus told him, 'I entered this world to render judgment--to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.'"

In light of the recent events in the United States regarding same sex marriage, it is pertinent and timely to discuss.  First and foremost, the more condemnation Christians bring regarding the topic, the more difficult it is to present a valid Christ-like argument against same sex marriage.  The topic of same sex marriage is as an emotional topic as abortion.  Any devout Christian should eventually come to the same conclusion regarding same sex marriage as abortion, that it is a sin in the eyes of the Lord.  There is no valid interpretation of the Bible to present any other argument.  If someone would like to suggest that Jesus  supports same sex marriage than he does not know Jesus or the Word of the Lord.

However, when Christians speak against same sex marriage as an abomination, they are presenting it in such a way as to close people's minds.  Jesus did not come to offend everyone so they close their minds, but to open them.  Jesus said he came to bring judgment on the actions of the world, to open the eyes of the blind and to show others where and why they are blind despite thinking they can see.  In essence, He came to judge with illumination.  Christians today wish to judge without presenting illumination.  We like to offend people so they close their minds to our argument.  They only way to not do this, unless you are actually Jesus, is to start being FOR something instead of being AGAINST something.  This is not a suggestion to be tolerant of sin but tolerant of the individual because he or she is blind.

The world is going to act like the world; a sinner is going to sin.  A blind man is going to stumble.  There is no need to be angry when a sinner sins, just like there is no need to be angry when a blind man stumbles.  Your job as a Christian is to illuminate the way for the blind man.  This is a call to action and should unite Christians in the effort to bring true Christianity to the world, but getting angry at them because of what they are doing only suggests they actually know what they are doing.  They are blind and do not see.  Jesus showed the truth, and by nature of the truth it brought judgment to people's actions.  But bringing judgment against people's actions without bringing the truth only makes a Christian look like a fool and does not win a brother or sister to Christ.

If there could be anything good about this situation, let it be the moment to realize there is a huge difference between the world and Christians.  This line only has and should become more apparent.  We are to be in the world but not of the world.  If you are shocked by the recent events it might be that you thought the world cared about the similar beliefs of a Christian, that they upheld your same belief system.  The world does not care about anything but the world, and the Lord decided this could be a choice.  The Lord allows us all the freedom to choose.  We can freely choose Him and His ways or way can freely choose our own path.  The world is choosing their own path.  This should not shock, nor make you angry.  Be appalled at the sin, but do not be appalled by the situation.

Thankfully, the United States is a free country.  This affords the freedom to serve the Lord in the manner He desires.  This also affords the freedom for others the opportunity to do as they wish.  It is not physically possible to legalize the Biblical view of morality.  We saw the success of this with the prohibition of alcohol over 100 years ago.  People must have the freedom to chose.  In other countries we are not shocked or angry when the cultural religious system is to worship a foreign god in a Hindu temple.  This is effectually the same disappointment in the eyes of the Lord.  We don't get offended when others want to worship their own god in a Muslim mosque, something they can and do on a regular basis in America.

If you illuminate the path for the blind man, and he doesn't stumble, he will thank you for it.  Please remember what Paul said in Romans 14:13, "Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister."

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Josh 24:15, Dan 12:3, John 15:19, James 5:19-20

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Pointless Miracle

Pointless Miracle
June 22, 2015
2 Kings 6:6  "The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float."

Elisha was empowered by the Holy Spirit with an amazing leadership career.  Elisha could even perform miracles, as directed by the Lord, and he possibly even performed miracles not directed by the Lord.  One such questioned miracle regards an ax head that fell off the handle during mid-swing.  The ax head fell to the bottom of a mucky river bed.  Alarmed by the misfortune, Elisha offered assistance to retrieve the ax head from the water.  By way of a miracle, Elisha enabled the ax head to float to the top of the water for ease of reclaiming.  Some people wonder the spiritual significance of this story being contained in the Bible.

I believe everything contained in the Bible is there for a reason.  There is not one ounce of drivel; every word can become a choice morsel.  I once heard, however, a very prominent Christian leader say that this certain miracle recorded for perpetuity is considered a "throw away" miracle.  The Christian leader was suggesting that if you took these few passages out of the Bible regarding the ax head, then there would be no consequence, no dissolution of the Bible's contents.  I disagree, but without absolute certainty as to why it must be contained in Scripture.

There are a few theories as to why it is recorded in our Canon.  One such theory suggests it was written down so we can grasp that the Lord cares about trivial matters, too.  If the Lord cared enough about a person to perform a pointless miracle, then it demonstrates His caring nature.  Or maybe the story was put in there because it might have bolstered the faith of those who witnessed the miracle.  These both are truly theories and ideas that cannot be made with any degree of certainty and hence the reason for the consideration of a "throw away" miracle, or a miracle that really has no spiritual significance.  But I believe there is more to it, more to the story than we will ever understand.  In fact, I won't share my theory about its significance right away.  I'd like you to chime in.  Before I share an alternate theory as to why this miracle is recorded in the Bible, I'd like to hear your thoughts.

Aside from the two theories I listed above as to the significance of this miracle's containment in the Bible, please suggest your opinion.  Read 2 Kings 6:1-7 and reply with your thoughts as to its significance.  If you are reading this online, in a format other than e-mail, please see below the post for a place to record your comments.  In an effort to shine light on the relevance of this story in the Bible, declare your thoughts and ideas regarding why the Lord thought it pertinent to perpetuate the recording of this miracle.  Share with me your thoughts and I'd be glad to share with you some additional possible insight regarding these bizarre few verses.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  2 Kings 6:1-7

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Tough Sow

Tough Sow
June 15, 2015
Psalm 125:6  "Those who go out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with them."
The Bible discusses topic of planting and harvesting multiple times throughout Scripture.  It uses the conversation to parallel how principles work in the Lord's kingdom.  The physical representation of a farmer planting his seeds and the physical representation of the farmer harvesting his crops are analogous with sowing and reaping in the spiritual realm.  This is no hidden truth in the Bible; I think we are all familiar with sowing and reaping.  But there is an aspect many of us gloss over in the sowing/reaping analogy.  We often forget their is pain in the sowing process.

We think if we sow kind words toward others, we will reap kind words.  We think if we give the Lord a little money here and there, we will reap more money here and there.  We think if we sow some good works for others then they will feel indebted to us and we will reap similar regards in return.  While this is slightly the case, we are sowing inappropriately.  Scripture says the man who sows with weeping will reap his harvest with great joy.  For a farmer to sow with an attitude of weeping, he is using his last bit of grain for seed rather than for food.  He is putting it into the ground, with no guarantee of return or food, in exchange for the hope of an abundance of food for his family in the near future.  His family may be watching him, or even helping him plant, imagining the current meal they could be having but instead they are hoping for a better future.

This same principle is true in the spiritual realm but we do not always realize how we should be sowing and what it is we should be sowing.  The analogy of this farmer sowing his seed is planting while experiencing sacrifice.  He is experiencing pain during his planting process, something you and I don't readily entertain.  When we plant, is it easy to do if there is excess.  But how many times do you plant when there is nothing but your last few morsels?  Are you willing to put them into the ground without the guarantee of a return?  Are you willing to rid yourself of your last few drops of sweat for only the hope of a harvest?

We have lost the art of self-sacrifice in the church.  It started with the lack of teaching on fasting (which is to train the mind and the body how to sacrifice) and it has culminated with the prevalence of the social media selfie entertained by our pastors.  When you tithe, if there is not enough money left for all your bills, do you sacrifice the bill in order to tithe?  When you consider the eternity of others, realizing you should do your part, do you plow through when it is tough or do you only attempt to sow into the spiritual lives of others when it is easy?  Do you go out of your way, at a cost to your comfort and standard of living, to help those the Lord has asked you to help?  Do you purposely live below your potential standard of living just so you can sow into the lives of others?

There are a few who have chosen to sacrifice for the spiritual benefit of others; we use to call them pastors and missionaries.  But you and I, fellow Christian, are to be one and the same with the pastors and missionaries of yesterday.  Our lives should be a life of self sacrifice in order to sow fully into the lives of others.  Even our own Christian walk, when we feel the tug of the world and are tempted to share in its wealth and experiences, though not necessarily a sin, should be filled with self-sacrifice in an effort to set a standard of living for the Lord.  When was the last time you physically cried when you were compelled to do something for your Christian walk and faith that was sacrificial?  When was the last time you opted to forgo the family vacation in order to put the time and money into a missions trip?  The Lord would suggest it should be more often than not.

This same principle is true in our own spiritual relationship with the Lord.  We must sow of our own personal time, spending it with the Lord and His Word sacrificially, in order reap a personal spiritual harvest full of joy.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Ps 126:5-6, Lk 10:2, Gal 6:7-9, James 4:3

Sunday, June 7, 2015

On The Rocks

On The Rocks
June 8, 2015
Matthew 7:24  "'Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.'"

The Bible uses a great analogy regarding the foundation of our Christian walk.  In fact, the analogy came straight from the lips of Jesus.  He said any man who is wise would build his life on the foundational teachings directly from Jesus Himself.  The analogy compares putting into practice the sage instructions to a man who built his house on a solid rock foundation.  Jesus said the wise man would dig a deep foundation for his home in the bedrock and when the storms come the house would not be washed away.  This is in comparison to someone who took the short way out and built a house on sand, possibly a beach.  When the storms and tide roll in, the house is washed away.

But there is more to this analogy than just building a house on a rock.  Continuing with the parable, Jesus said the man had to dig deep into the rock.  If you've ever put a shovel into the ground and hit a rock, you'll know this isn't easy work.  In fact, my personal residence is one such home.  My house was built into the side of a hill and at first glance makes ones nervous.  But my house is older than I am and there isn't a single crack in the foundation.  My house was built on solid rock.  When the builders commenced work on my home, they had to blast their way through the rock in order to pour my home's foundation.  The rock removed from the footprint of my home was cast into the surrounding dirt.  I recently lost a large tree in my yard (a fast growing, nuisance of a tree) and had to dig out the roots.  The tree attempted to grow into this rock as well but never stood a chance.  It's roots tapped deep down into the soil but constantly hit rock.  With every shovel I thrust into the soil, I hit a rock, too.

Along with a great foundational bedrock comes the inability to grow something without intent.  This tree planted itself from a wind blown seed but because it was not planted with intent, in a strategic position without rock, it could not survive.  I've planted several trees in my yard that are thriving, but they were done strategically, with knowledge of the good soil locations.  However hard this tree tried, it wasn't going to make it, my bedrock foundation was too strong for it.  The persistency of the tree was never going to win.

When Jesus discussed the foundational bedrock, He never said it would be easy work.  Remember in the parable He said the man had to dig down deep in the rocks.  It was and is with intent that we place our foundational Christian walk in the instructions of Jesus.  It takes work, hard work to build on rock and must be strategic.  If done with intelligence, then the house will not be shaken when the storms of life arise.  Furthermore, if something tries to plant itself, without the permission of the homeowner, it cannot be done.  No matter how hard something tries to come against the foundation of Jesus in our lives, it will not prevail.

How much intent do you have in your personal foundation of Jesus Christ?  How much work have you placed into digging down deep to set it in stone?  I pray you work hard at it, choosing the right bedrock, thereby also hindering the weed-seed that would attempt to plant itself in your life.  Try, though it may, succeed will it not!

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matt 7:25, Lk 6:48, Lk 8:6