Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Only On God!

"God reveals to Moses that he can carry out His instructions only if he takes his eyes off the people and keeps them on God. We must do the same. Our acts must be dedicated to God alone - not the approval of others." - Priscilla Shirer in He Speaks to Me. Also, this weeks Master Works Sunday School lesson from LifeWay.

She makes five good points:

  1. We must be focused on His glory.

  2. We must be focused on His priorities.

  3. We must understand God's attributes.

  4. We must grasp His acceptance.

  5. We must focus on His approval.

Just a thought!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Parents Be Warned!

Parents must take time to read this from Al Mohler. Here is an excerpt. To read the whole article go here.

Early in July,
OK! magazine featured a cover story about Jamie Lynn Spears and her new baby, Maddie. Newsweek reported that the magazine paid $1 million for the rights to publish photographs of the baby and mother. The young mom, now 17, is shown on the magazine's cover declaring, "Being a mom is the best feeling in the world." A good number of parents were understandably outraged.
This week,
Newsweek is out with an article that questions how Hollywood is presenting teenage motherhood. The magazine reports that teen moms and their babies have become "a hot plot device lately."
"Many teen moms and the adults who deal with them are glad to see a conversation about teen pregnancy out in the open," Newsweek explains, "But they say that big parts of the story are being glossed over: how that baby bump came to be in the first place, and just how hard it'll be for a teen to raise a child."

To Dishonor God

"To waste one's life sitting in the audience is to dishonor God, who makes the whole creation cry out in praise if His people will not." - Michael S. Horton in The Law of Perfect Freedom

Just a Thought!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

False Prophets Among Us!

A must read article from the Baptist Press.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (BP)--A new faith healer is making headlines for his claims of supernatural powers, but conservative evangelical leaders warn that Todd Bentley is a fraud and a false teacher.Bentley, leader of a revival that began in Lakeland, Fla., this spring, is known for his multiple body piercings and tattoos, his violent healing techniques, his claims of angelic visions and "holy" laughter and "holy" vibrating shakes. He even claims to have raised dozens of people from the dead.In one YouTube video, Bentley, who is Canadian, can be seen kneeing in the stomach a man with stage 4 colon cancer. When the man bent over in obvious pain from the blow, Bentley said, "I had to be obedient to the Lord, sir, but I believe that colon cancer is coming right out of your body now." In other videos, Bentley explains how he kicked an elderly lady in the face, banged a crippled woman's legs on a platform "like a baseball bat," choked a man, "leg-dropped" a pastor, and hit a man so hard it dislodged a tooth -- all because God supposedly told him to do so. The Associated Press said it could not confirm any of a dozen cases in which Bentley's ministry claimed medical verification for his miracles.Bentley claims to be visited regularly by angels, including a 20-foot-tall angel in his apartment on one occasion and on another occasion an angel that knocked him out of his body. One angel's name supposedly is Emma. Bentley also says that Jesus Himself appears to him. (Read full story here)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The Seven Churches of Revelation

On August 3 I will be begin a series of messages on the letters to the seven churches found in chapters two and three of the book of Revelation. As we begin this study of the seven churches of Revelation, I think a word of introduction and instruction is warranted. There are differences of opinion and interpretation concerning this section of Revelation. Admittedly, Revelation does present some difficulty because of the figurative language and symbolic nature. As a result many pastors have avoided preaching from this book altogether. Some believe the book to be too controversial or too mysterious to ever bother preaching from. I personally believe this robs people of the whole counsel of God. The first chapter of Revelation itself promises a blessing for those who will read and obey it's message.

Rev. 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near."

Many people view the seven churches in Revelation as representative of seven church "ages" or "dispensations" before the rapture. According to this interpretation, Ephesus would represent the first century church, then moving through the ages, the church at Laodicea, the seventh and last church, would represent the church at end times. While this view does carry support from well respected theologians and scholars, I, however, fall in line with those theologians and scholars who believe that these are literal churches in literal geographic settings (Asia Minor or modern day Turkey), with literal issues that the Lord Jesus Christ addresed. The messages to the seven churches are eternal. The issues that these churches faced ....we face today.

These letters are well worth our time to read, study, and apply to our lives as individual believers and a families of God we call local churches.

Just a Thought!

Two Special Blessings: Health and a Good Wife

We don't realize just how blessed we really are until we have lost our health. Last Thursday (July 17) I injured my back while doing something as simple as picking up an ice-chest. Early Friday morning (4:00 AM) I fell to the floor in tremendous pain and could not get up. Rhonda (my dear sweet wife) had to call 911. The paramedics used a back board to lift me up, put me in an ambulance, and carry me to the hospital. It took two treatments of medicines by I.V. to ease the pain and relax me enough to where I could move. I spent the most of the next five days lying flat on my back on the floor. I felt like the psalmist who said in Psalm 38:7, "My back is filled with searing pain; there is no health in my body." But God is good and today I am beginning to feel much better.

I must say that God has blessed me with a wonderful wife who looked after me and took great care of me. I don't know what I would do without her. When I think of my wife I think of what the Proverbs writer said in Proverbs 31:10-31:
"A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies. Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life. . . . She is clothed with strength and dignity; She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. A woman who fears the Lord is to be praised."

My prayer for all of you today is from 3 John 1:2, "Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."

Saturday, July 12, 2008

When the Bible Becomes Reviled

Good thought from Jonathan Falwell concerning a rediculous lawsuit brought against two Bible publishers.

"In Matthew 10:22, Jesus, while giving instructions to the twelve disciples who would lead the church following His ascension, said, “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake ….”

Jesus knew that His followers would be routinely criticized for furthering the gospel and adhering to the tenets of God’s Word. His words are certainly relevant today, as Christians are increasingly disparaged and mocked for living faithfully according to the Bible.

This week, reported that a homosexual man has brought suit against two Christian publishers, Zondervan and Thomas Nelson, alleging that the Bibles they publish violate his constitutional rights and cause him emotional pain because they say homosexuality is a sin.

And while a U.S. district judge in Michigan has said he has “some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of these claims” made by Bradley LaShawn Fowler’s lawsuit, it is still disconcerting that we have reached a point in time when Bible publishing or publicly honoring the Ten Commandments or mentioning God in the Pledge of Allegiance have become the focus of lawsuits.

Are we too blind as a nation to see that as we have increasingly discounted and ignored God’s Word our society has correspondingly disintegrated? reports that Mr. Fowler is seeking $60 million from Zondervan and $10 million from Thomas Nelson. Sure, it sounds frivolous, but so did the idea of two men marrying a few years ago.

Recall that celebrated actor Ian McKellen told London’s Telegraph that he rips verses from Leviticus out of Bibles in hotel rooms. He told that he has determined this passage prohibiting homosexuality to be “pornographic.”

There was no media outcry over news of this. Imagine twenty or thirty years ago an actor admitting to destroying a portion of the Bible because he believed it “pornographic.” The phrase “you’ll never work in this city again” would have held true.

Today, our nation yawns.

Because this apathy exists regarding matters that were once deemed sacred it is possible for the Bible to be progressively more denigrated within our society. Look no further than today’s typical depiction of Jesus Christ in Hollywood to see that we have, as a nation, accepted His vilification.

I believe that our present moral climate — in which all truths are embraced — will eventually lead to severe persecution of those who choose to live their lives by adhering to God’s Word.

So what shall we do? Panic?

No, we must keep speaking the truth of God’s Word in love and kindness even as the temperature rises. As Paul noted in I Corinthians 9:22, we must reach out to all so that some will believe.

Also remember this: “But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). We must never waver in the defense of the Bible or attempt to modify the “sound” truth of God’s Word in order to accommodate an ever-changing society.

As the Bible warns, “Do not be carried about with various and strange doctrines ….” (Hebrews 13:9).

I pray that as our times become ever more desperate that God’s people will humble themselves and reach out, as never before, to our lost and dying world, even when that world increasingly rejects us. May the grace of God sustain us and strengthen us as we work for Him."

Amen Jonathan. Just a Thought.

Monday, July 7, 2008

We Need More Irreligious Leaders

History is being rewritten today. We’re being told by secularist educators and media that the founding fathers of our country were more deistic than Christian. A deist is someone who believes in God but that God is not involved in the happenings of mankind.
One of those most mentioned as a deist and irreligious is Benjamin Franklin. While I cannot speak to Benjamin Franklin's daily walk with the Lord, I do know that in the summer of 1787 he spoke some of the most powerful words ever uttered on our soil.
Representatives were gathering in Philadelphia to write the Constitution for the United States. They worked for several weeks with no progress. Finally eighty-one year old Benjamin Franklin arose and spoke to the troubled group of men:

"In the beginning of the contest with Britain, when we were sensible of danger, we had daily prayers in this room for Divine protection. Our prayers, Sir, were heard and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a super-intending Providence in our favor...Have we now forgotten this powerful Friend? Or do we imagine we no longer need His assistance? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth: that God governs in the affairs of man. And if a Sparrow cannot fall to the ground without His notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without His aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the Sacred Writings that except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the builders of Babel. I therefore beg leave to move that, henceforth, prayers imploring the assistance of Heaven and its blessing on our deliberation be held in this assembly every morning."

If this is what it means to be irreligious then I wish all of our leaders in government were irrelgious. Just a thought!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

From Our Morning Devotions

Rhonda and I are reading through John McArthur's "Strength for Today" for our morning devotions. For the last Seveal weeks we've been studying the book of Daniel. This morning he had a great thought from Daniel 6:1-3.

"Daniel served in Babylon for seventy years under three kings, each of whom recognized him as a man for unique wisdom and integrity. King Nebuchadnezzar "made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief prefect over all the wise men of Babylon (Dan. 2:48). King Belshazzar "clothed [him] with purple and put a necklace of gold around his neck, and issued a proclamation concerning him that he now had authority as the third ruler in the kingdom" (Dan. 5:29).

Now King Darius is about to appoint Daniel as prime minister over the entire kingdom, and within a year the king will issue a decree for the Jews to return to Judah, thereby ending the seventy-year Babylonian captivity (Ezra 1:1-3). I believe Cyrus made that decree because of Daniel's wisdom and influence.

Through Daniel's faithfulness we learn that God is sovereign and will accomplish His plans regardless of human authorities. So depsite any political, social, or economic changes that may come, remain faithful to Christ and He will use you in ways that are exceedingly abundantly beyond all you ask or think (Eph. 3:20)." (italics mine)

I am constantly hearing how the economy is failing and that there is no end in sight. I walk in on conversations where conversers are complaining about the future of America because there is no confidence in either presidential candidate. What the future holds for us either politically or economically is not the issue. The issue is will we hold fast to the faith and bring glory to Christ no matter what our circumstances may be. Take to heart the words of the apostle Paul in 1 Cor. 15:58 "Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord."