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Showing posts from October, 2013

Renewing Your Love

Dear friends, I’m not writing a new commandment to you, but an old commandment that you had from the beginning. The old commandment is the message you heard.
-1 John 2:7

If you are wanting to mature in Christ and get closer to God, to live the life; you might be searching for the deeper things, the deeper teachings, or the deeper knowledge.  There are dozens of things you might do, which I will not list.  Most of them are dead ends.

Only Jesus himself is the way, the truth and the life.  The essence of the Christian life is the person of Jesus Christ.  It is personal.  Do you as a person know him as a person?  

To find out what the Christian is all about, we have to look at where we came from.  What birthed Christianity?  Christ birthed Christianity, but where did Christ come from and how did Christ happen and what was Christ all about?  In other words, what was the motivation of Christ or God in Christ?

If the Christian is part of a family, referred to as friends or beloved: brothers, s…

Many Thoughts, Many Cares

When the cares of my heart are many, your consolations cheer my soul.
How amazing are your thoughts concerning me! I couldn’t even begin to count them.

-Psalm 94:19 & 139:17

I was thinking about thoughts and worries or cares.  Some translations do a play on words for 1 Peter 5:7, stating, "cast all your cares on him, for he cares for you."  Simply stated, the only way to live the life is in and through Christ.  We must interact with Christ to live the life.  That's discipleship.

If you've got worries or negative thoughts, your antidote or medicine is God's thoughts: specifically, God's thoughts concerning you.  He loves you.

So, if you have a bad thought; take another thought, from God.  It is that simple.
Jesus loves me this I know
For the Bible tells me so... So, if I get it that he loves me, then how does that change my thoughts?

Healing or memories and transformation happens from taking another thought.  The light of God's thoughts changes the a…

Sky Links, 10-27

All things are from him and through him and for him.
May the glory be to him forever. Amen.
-Romans 11:36

These are a few of the interesting things I read over the past two or 3 weeks:

Have you heard about food allergies, wheat allergies, or gluten intolerance in particular?  I started hearing about these allergies about nine years ago.  So, what about bread in the Bible?  Luke Gilkerson wrote on Is Gluten-Free Biblical?.  One take-away is that today's wheat is not the same as in the Bible.

I remember in High School, that we had an assembly where a lady came and told us her story about going through World War Two in Europe.  We who have been born in the USA and never known anything else, don't really know what it would be like to live under a totalitarian government.  It is interesting that before Nazi Germany, Germany was a democracy and Hitler was democratically elected.

Kitty Werthmann lived in Austria during the time of Nazi Germany.  Her country was taken over by Germany,…

Jesus Burst into Tears

Jesus began to cry.
-John 11:35

Have you cried lately?  I mean, have you shed tears?  Specifically, have you shed tears over someone else's plight?

Jesus shed tears.  He burst into tears when they were taking him to Lazarus' tomb.  Why?  The surrounding verses tell us that he was moved deeply and that he loved the man who died and his grieving sisters.

But, what makes Jesus tears so astonishing is that he is God.  He and Father are one.  Many verses in John teach us about Jesus' divinity.  He is God, so we should listen to him and follow him.

History is filled with man seeking after God.  Who is God?  What is God like?  Jesus comes and reveals himself as equal to the one God, and we start to learn about the Trinity; God in three persons- the Holy Spirit being the third person.

But that is not the most amazing part or the key.  What is the most amazing and unique thing about Jesus that sets him apart is that he is God and man: fully God and fully man.  Jesus was not an ava…

Subhuman behavior in the Church

But if you bite and devour each other, be careful that you don’t get eaten up by each other!
-Galatians 5:15

There are people in Christianity, in Christendom, in the church world who act nothing like Christ, but have taken on beast-like behaviors.  They attack other Christians so savagely, that they seek to utterly destroy them.  Behold, the abominable Christian.  

The Bible warns us about the negative power of words:
The tongue is a small flame of fire, a world of evil at work in us. It contaminates our entire lives. Because of it, the circle of life is set on fire. The tongue itself is set on fire by the flames of hell.

Children of snakes! How can you speak good things while you are evil? What fills the heart comes out of the mouth.
-James 3:6. Matthew 12:34 This verse from James is addressed to those who wanted to be teachers in the church and the verse above from Matthew is addressed to the quintessential teachers of the people of God, in the time Jesus lived.

The warning that Paul …

The Christian Way of Talking

Don’t let any foul words come out of your mouth. Only say what is helpful when it is needed for building up the community so that it benefits those who hear what you say.
-Ephesians 4:29

Are you into construction or destruction?  Are you helpful or harmful?  Have you got a mountain of bitterness and rage that is ready to blow, if set off?  Or, does Christ take the lead in how you treat others, with compassion and forgiveness?

It would seem obvious that Christians ought not be cussing people out.  If you do, it is forgivable, but should not be your normal, right?  But there is another kind of foulness that some Christians take part in.  The foulness of words can be described in two ways:  They tear down and they are unkind.

Did you know that it was common for Christians to kill other Christians over differences for centuries?  The murder starts off with words, foul words.  Small foul words lead to fouler words.

Foul words (hear the referee whistle and cry "foul!") are words …

Positive Thinking

From now on, brothers and sisters, if anything is excellent and if anything is admirable, focus your thoughts on these things: all that is true, all that is holy, all that is just, all that is pure, all that is lovely, and all that is worthy of praise.
-Philippians 4:8

What do you focus your thoughts on?  What we think determines what we say and write, how we act and what we believe.  Our thought life is a powerful thing.  We need our minds to be renewed (Romans 12:2).

Did you know that God is the author of positive thinking?  To think positive is to see the best in people, and to see what people could be; with God in their lives.  To think like God is to be gracious in our thoughts towards others and in how we see situations.

God is optimistic.  God is always willing to forgive.  God has an abundant supply of mercy.  God also calls sin what it is.  God loves the person while hating their sin.  God is hopeful.

When we "go negative", we are moving away from our connection wi…

Raised With Christ

Therefore, if you were raised with Christ, look for the things that are above where Christ is sitting at God’s right side.  Think about the things above and not things on earth.  You died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.  When Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

-Colossians 3:1-3

Have you died and been raised with Christ?  To live the Christian life you must first die and then be raised to life in Christ.  Your whole Christian life is one of death and resurrection.  You can not be a Christian unless you have been to the cross.

When you go to the cross, you see Jesus there and receive forgiveness and give your life to him.  Your sin life died with Jesus on his cross.  Jesus raises you from the dead to new life, his life in you.  That is the Christian life.  You can only live out the Christian life as Christ Jesus lives through you.

I wanted to look at the verse, "The word of Christ must live in you richly" (Co…

Quick to Listen, Slow to Speak

Know this, my dear brothers and sisters: everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to grow angry.
-James 1:19

The book of James is intensely practical.  James reminds me of Proverbs.  Most of James is not deep theology that is hard to understand, but basic, boot camp material.  Some people want to move on to the deeper waters.  Practical must mean shallow and not very spiritual, right?

A secret of the wise is that everyone needs the basics, the fundamentals.  The so-called deeper material is built on the basics.  To swim in the deeps, everything you learned in the shallows has to be second-nature.  If you observe athletes in training, you will see them practicing the basics; the simple stuff.

How we listen and how we speak are fundamentals, they are basic building blocks that our Christian lives are built on.  If they are faulty, it will negatively effect our lives in Christ.

When we are slow listeners, we are not tuned in to others.  We are distracted.  We talk bac…

Payback Time

This is the God who avenges on my behalf
He is the God who pays back those who harm me

The God who exacts retribution for me
God who has given me complete requital
-Psalm 18:47a (CEB, NLT, R. K. Harrison (1), J. Goldingay (2))

Do you know the God who punishes your enemy for you?  This is what David said and wrote, giving us a psalm or song with these words in it.  "This is the God who pays back those who harm me".

Was David proclaiming something only true for him, or also true for all God's children?  Psalm 18 is replicated in 2 Samuel, 22.  2 Sam. 22:48 is about the same as Psalm 18:47.

You might know the song, "Oh Magnify The Lord", that states:
The Lord liveth and blessed be the rock
And may the God of my salvation be exalted Those are the words of David in Psalm 18 or 2 Samuel 22, just before the words, "This is the God who avenges me."  I recently wrote about being saved from my enemies, asking the question, "who is my enemy?"  Another dimensi…

Jesus People

While Jesus and his disciples were traveling, Jesus entered a village where a woman named Martha welcomed him as a guest.  She had a sister named Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his message.  By contrast, Martha was preoccupied with getting everything ready for their meal. So Martha came to him and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to prepare the table all by myself? Tell her to help me.”

The Lord answered, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and distracted by many things.  One thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the better part. It won’t be taken away from her.”
-Luke 10:38-42

Have you ever been in love?  More specifically, have you ever been in love with Jesus?  When you are in love with Jesus, you think about him all the time, you talk about him all the time, and you talk to him all the time.  It is all about him.

And when you are not talking about him, sharing about him, or talking to him; you are listening to him.  You might be reading the red…

Sky Links, 10-1

Should a church vote?

The apostles and the elders gathered to consider this matter.  After much debate, Peter stood and addressed them...
-Acts 15:6-7a

Dave Black posted another excerpt from his book, he is working on, titled, Seven Marks of a New Testament Church:

In chapter 4 ("Genuine Relationships") I deal with the matter of "voting" in church. In case you might be interested ....
In the third place, here was a church where unity was valued. We saw in our
last chapter how this unity played out among the leadership of the church in New Testament times. There was no hierarchy, no senior pastor (other than
Christ), no so-called first among equals. Their leadership was shared. How rarely is this seen in a modern church, even one that practices plural eldership. I am quite certain that nobody would object if the “senior pastor” in their church rescinded his title and receded into the group! Unity was also seen in their decision-making. A feature of the early chur…