Monday, December 29, 2008
I am not one to make a lot of new year resolutions. I do like to spend the week between Christmas Day and New Years Day setting some personal goals for the next year. But for those of you who like to make new year resolutions, let me give you ten resolutions to consider. These come from Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, as penned in Proverbs chapter three.
1. LET LOVE AND FAITHFULNESS NEVER LEAVE YOU.
2. TRUST IN THE LORD WITH ALL OF YOUR HEART.
3. DO NOT BE WISE IN YOUR OWN EYES.
4. HONOR THE LORD WITH YOUR WEALTH.
5. DO NOT DESPISE THE LORD’S DISCIPLINE.
6. SEARCH DILIGENTLY FOR WISDOM AND FIND IT.
7. HAVE NO FEAR.
8. DO NOT WITHHOLD GOOD FROM THOSE WHO DESERVE IT.
9. DO NOT PLOT HARM AGAINST YOUR NEIGHBOR .
10. DO NOT ENVY A VIOLENT MAN OR CHOOSE ANY OF HIS WAYS.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
"All is calm, all is bright"? I don't think so.
Some of the most beloved Christmas carols totally misrepresent the truth that Jesus, though fully God, was also fully man, and was born a real baby. "Silent Night" would have us believe that a teenage girl giving birth to a baby in the middle of the night in a stable was a situation in which all was "calm" and "bright". Unlike most babies, we're told that the baby Jesus was "tender and mild", and that radiant beams shown from His holy face. According to "Away in a Manger", the baby Jesus slept peacefully in the hay, and when the lowing of the cattle awoke Him, "no crying He makes".
I think Andrew Peterson's song is a bit more accurate:
Sunday, December 14, 2008
On Tuesday, the governor was arrested in a glare of publicity and charged with going on "a corruption crime spree," as U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald described it -- including alleged attempts to sell President-elect Barack Obama's Senate seat. . . .
In the wake of Blagojevich's arrest, many Americans are left wondering once again how intelligent people can do such stupid things -- especially when they've achieved the pinnacle of power.
The answer comes down to pride.
At the height of Watergate, a dear friend of mine, Tom Phillips, then CEO of Raytheon, invited me to his home. As we sat in his kitchen, Tom read to me a chapter on pride from a little book by C.S. Lewis titled "Mere Christianity."
I strongly encourage you to read the whole story here.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
"Israel is a luxuriant vine that yields its fruit. The more his fruit increased, the more altars he built;as his country improved, he improved his pillars. Their heart is false; now they must bear their guilt. The Lord will break down their altars and destroy their pillars" (Hosea 10:1-2, ESV).
Only one of Jesus' miracles probably brought sorrow to Him. This was the miracle of judging a fruitless fig tree (Matt 21:18-19). As He later explained to the Pharisees, this miracle signified the removal of God's blessing from fruitless Israel, and bestowal of the blessing upon another nation. In the Old Testament, Israel was God's chosen vine. But Hosea points out that national hypocrisy had dried the fruit and withered the branches of the vine. Today God has entrusted the sacred task of bearing fruit to another nation which Peter calls "a holy nation" (1 Pet 2:9). Peter is refering to all genuine believers. In view of this glorious privilege Peter warns all Christians to lay aside all hypocrisy and bear fruit (1 Pet. 2:1-2).
Just a Thought!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
- The Sunday School is imperative as the reaching, teaching, winning arm of the church. When it fulfills these purposes, it enlarges the church, influences the community, and reaches the world.
- If the Sunday School is to improve, it must change. If it is to grow, it must plan for growth.
- A Sunday School can never grow beyond its ability to care for its guests.
- Start new classes, start new classes, start new classes.
- Put as many people in the class as possible in positions of leadership or responsibility.
- Station a friendly, outgoing person at the door to serve as a greeter.
- Contact all visitors within 24 hours.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
The question remains for each of us: WHICH ECONOMY ARE WE GOING TO OPERATE OUR LIVES BY RIGHT NOW? Will we operate by our global economy or by God’s economy? Could it be that America is going through this tough time because so many of God’s people are not giving to God what God has asked us to give?
Do you realize that Christians last year gave less than 2.5% of their income to any charity at all, including their own church? This is amazing, I mean really amazing, to me. Are we really people that believe the book of God called the Bible? How can we continue in this mode?
How can we expect God to bless America when Christians are “stealing from God” financially? You may say, “Well, that is rather tough language.” Well, it is exactly what God’s indictment was towards those in Malachi’s day: How can you keep on robbing from God?
Christians need to stand up and be biblical Christians! We must understand and practice biblical giving. Honoring God with at least one-tenth of all God gives you weekly is exactly what God wants from us. Anything less than that is just not biblical giving.
We might be really surprised what would happen in America’s economy if believers would start practicing biblical giving. Are you ready to do so? Are you already doing so? Will you do so?
God’s economy is the best way, really, the only way . . . God’s way.