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You MUST Forgive!

Overview: Luke 17:1-4 is the text I will cover in this post and it deals with the following subjects, temptation, sin, offenses, rebuke, forgiveness, judgment and repentance. I will briefly be looking at all of them, however the one I really want to zone in on is repentance and forgiveness. When someone does us wrong we have a tendency to hang by the neck awaiting for an apology, then when it finally does come along, depending on how close the relationship is, we often want to punish the offender by holding out on the forgiveness side of things. Have you ever stopped for a moment to wonder why that is? Perhaps it’s because we have been hurt so badly that we naturally want to hurt back? When the one who has wronged comes to their senses and humbly offers an apology it then puts the offended in the power seat, does it not? Is that not an offense […]

Not A Hope In Hell

Backwards in Eternity: The poor become rich and the rich become poor, the beggar becomes prosperous and the prosperous a beggar. Such is the case with the “Rich man and Lazarus”.  Because our world is so busted up with sin, much of what we see and even come accustom to is completely backwards to how God’s kingdom operates.  God’s kingdom is free from sin and is no respecter of persons. I’m going to be really candid, I struggle with being a respecter of persons, it’s my weakness. I don’t think that it’s because I love others more but rather that I have a sinful tendency to flock towards people that I think can improve my situation. I would likely have passed the guy sitting at the gate with dogs licking his wounds just to catch up and talk to the super rich guy. Why? Because he can likely do something for me and my selfishness. Pride and greed are ugly sins that […]

Today is the Day of Salvation

(*Note: Belated Post ) Opening Thoughts: The other day myself and family were at a baptism at the beach with the church we are part of. I love baptisms they are such an amazing testament of God’s saving power.  It’s actually quite an amazing thing that as a church we are able to gather and talk about the Glory of Christ in public. Just today I read a post of 15 church leaders in China that were arrested while worshiping together. “On June 9 more than 30 house church leaders were arrested while gathering in a house church in Langzhong city, Sichuan province. Thirteen leaders were given 15 days of administrative detention, and five of the leaders were placed under criminal detention. The other leaders were released…..” (see the rest of the story) I think sometimes it’s hard for us who have so much freedom to actually imagine what that looks like. Say you are at your “community group” pouring out your […]

DEATH TO “YOLO” – You Only Live Once

“This new Generation of teens is referred to as “YOLO” (You Only Live Once). The enemy of our souls would love for us to believe that we would only live once. The truth is that for those who are enslaved to sin and without freedom from Christ there is no life at all. Temporary relief from the pain of this world is all they can hope to have. Have you ever heard someone say “I feel like my life is a roller-coaster? That’s what you call living for the moment, and when the moment provides temporary relief and distraction from the reality of sin, bondage and life’s pain, they feel good. Inevitably that feeling does not last long and they usually find themselves in the pitts either looking for the next feel good thrill to fill up the thirst tank or they wish they could end it all. Our culture […]

Should Their Parents have Used Birth Control?

I’m gonna BLOW some Steam here. Yesterday I posted a picture on Facebook of some children who were starving, partnered by a pic of well fed Americans with their arms stuffed with products from a store (likely a blow out sale). Some of the comments, well I guess you could say they got me a little worked up! Here’s my vent: It bothers me to hear the words “they should have been on birth management or birth control” in reference to ANY children, starving or not. Children are not livestock and God has a purpose and a plan for every single one. These little souls are eternal and any Idea that “They would have been better off if their parents would have put a cork in it” is damnable thinking. What is the heart of God? The heart of God isn’t “They shouldn’t have been born under these conditions, but […]

Do it all for the glory of God

Grasping The Gospel: The other day we were at costco trying to get some shopping finished in a hurry and had grabbed some books for the kids to look at while we scurried around. As we were checking out, Max (our son) asked if we could buy the coloring book he had been looking at. Normally we would go through each page and see if it was appropriate, but for some reason we agreed to to purchase it and away we went. Our blunder that could have caused our little one to stumble turned out to be for the Glory of God, both through our repentance and Max’s developing discernment. The very next day Max who is one week away from 6 years old, was coloring in this new prize book of his, after he had spent about 30 minutes on one page with a lot of excellent detail, he turned to Danae […]

God is Sovereign Over Your Life and Death

Opening thoughts: I love that God is Sovereign, don’t you? The thought of Him not being Sovereign, to me, is down right terrifying! Let’s think about that for a second… there has been an ongoing war in the middle East for what, ten years now? What if God is not in control over that situation? If all we can do is watch and wait as men and women battle it out, where is the comfort in that? If that is the case, we should be numb with fear. Have kingdoms not risen and fallen throughout the ages as a result of war? Have leaders not toppled due to other nations conquering and bringing them down? Is God not in control of all of that? The Scriptures are filled with assurance that God indeed is in control of all things, and is supreme over them all. The desire to take supremacy into our own hands […]

Bent Down Toward Sin

Opening Thoughts: The other day I was in the bank and saw an elderly man who was all hunched over. His back was so bad that he was literally looking at his feet, and when this gentleman arrived at the counter it was all he could do just to raise his head enough to catch a glimpse of the teller. It looked so painful and uncomfortable, yet no matter how much he wanted to stand up straight, it was an impossibility. In Luke 13:10-17 Jesus addresses a woman in the temple who was in the same boat as the man I just described to you, only this woman was about to be changed for the Glory of God. Let’s take a look. Luke 13:10-17 ESV .. Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She […]

Is the Axe Near Your Roots?

Opening Thoughts: The last few days there has been a lot on my mind, mostly to do with some pictures I’ve seen lately. One of the pictures I saw was of a man who was wearing flattened plastic water bottles on his feet as shoes because he has no money at all and he uses the only thing that he has or is able to find to give him some sort of protection for his vulnerable feet. While I sat there looking down at my feet that were wearing, not the most expensive but nevertheless comfortable and stylish ‘Vans’, I couldn’t help but get a lump in my throat. Here I am sitting in a nice coffee shop drinking a $4 whatever, working on a $900 lap top, wearing nice jeans, and shoes that cost me about $60, while this other human being created in the image of God has bottles strapped to his feet. Then […]

Not Saved by Association

Opening Thoughts: How many of you ever read “The Jungle Book” growing up? The story of an orphan boy who was raised by wolves in the jungle. He grew up thinking he was a wolf, playing with the other wolf cubs as if they were his siblings. The problem was that although he lived with wolves, played like a wolf and ate like a wolf, he wasn’t a wolf. No matter what he did to adapt to this way of life, he would never be able to become a wolf. Thankfully though, he finds out that he is not a wolf and is in fact human. The same is true for the church. There are scores of people who have been born into a church going home, they grow up singing all the familiar songs, playing with other Christian kids, learning their Bible stories, praying at mealtimes and bedtimes, and […]