Archive for the ‘Christian Life’ category

True Liberty

September 4, 2016

The theme of “Moments for You” for the third quarter of 2016 is liberty. View it here.

Specifically, articles deal with the Christian’s liberty in Christ. We have freedom to do–and not do–many things. But we must understand who we are in Christ and what God’s grace has done for us.


It’s About Worship

February 21, 2016

The issue of Moments for You for the first quarter of 2016 is available. The theme is worship.

I enjoy this quarterly magazine, and I hope you’ll appreciate the issue linked above. Take a few minutes to read the whole thing online.

The Nine and the One

November 29, 2015

Luke 17:11-19–
11. And it came to pass, as he went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee.
12. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off:
13. And they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.
14. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed.
15.And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God,
16. And fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan.
17. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?
18. There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger.
19. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

The Sunday before Thanksgiving our pastor preached from Luke 17:11-19 on the need for us to be thankful, like the one leper out of ten who came back to give thanks to Jesus. His message prompted a couple of thoughts I’d like to share with you.

When the lepers cried out for Jesus to have mercy on them, He told them to go show themselves to the priest. According to Leviticus 13, there were several reasons those with skin diseases should show themselves to the priest. Jesus wasn’t asking anything unusual of these men.

Had they been to the priest before? We don’t know, but it’s possible they may have been, since they kept their distance, knowing they were unclean.

Notice they obeyed Jesus’ command. They had enough faith to follow His word. And their obedience was rewarded. They were cleansed–healed physically and no longer unclean.

Did they have any idea that would happen? We’re not told in the passage. Jesus hadn’t promised them anything.

I see an important principle here. The lepers obeyed and were rewarded with something they may not have anticipated. So it is with us. God’s word doesn’t always tell us everything we think we ought to know. Nonetheless, when we obey His word by faith, we are rewarded, perhaps with something good we hadn’t expected. Perhaps, like the lepers, we’ll get it sooner than expected as well.

Now comes the critical part–gratitude.

Nine of the lepers kept going on their way to the priest. The tenth turned around, raised his voice to glorify God, and bowed in worshipful thanks to Jesus.

Notice the passage mentions he was a Samaritan. The Samaritans and Jews didn’t want anything to do with each other. Jesus Himself referred to this man as a stranger.

Keep in mind, we who are believers in Christ were once strangers, spiritually speaking.

Perhaps it was leprosy that brought Nine Jews and a Samaritan together in a common bond because no one else would have them. Adversity can make strange companions.

Yet it was this Samaritan who showed his thankfulness to Jesus. And he was rewarded for it. Jesus told him his faith had made him whole.

Hadn’t the others exercised faith, too? They obeyed Jesus’ words, didn’t they?

But it was only the one who gave glory to God and showed gratitude. Perhaps it’s safe to assume he was not only healed physically, as were the others; but he was healed spiritually, too. In other words, Jesus gave him salvation.

Shouldn’t we be like that one leper?

Where Are the Other Nine? – Geoff Moore

They Don’t Really Hate Us…Do They?

September 27, 2015

John 15:18-27–
18. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.
19. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.
20. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
21. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
22. If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloak for their sin.
23.He that hateth me hateth my Father also.
24.If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father.
25. But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
26. But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me:
27. And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.

The verses quoted above are the words of Jesus to His disciples the night before His crucifiction. I don’t think we who are believers in Christ give them enough traction in our lives.

We’ve got it too easy in America. We’re fat and prosperous. We do our best to get along with everybody, overlooking faults and pretending they don’t exist. Christians rush to cozy up to the world, supposedly to be relevant and win some to Christ.

By the way, how’s that working out?

As my late friend Gerald Franz observed, when you stick a white glove in the mud, you get a muddy glove, not glovey mud.

Don’t get me wrong. We do need to get out the Gospel.

Nonetheless, we’re lulled to sleep and don’t see the hate the world has for Christians. Or we’re prone to overlook it.

Why? Consider a phrase in verse 20 of the passage above. It says, “If they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.”

Yes, sometimes the world quotes Scripture. Or at least they say the right things and do many good deeds.

Oh, sure, we hear about persecution now and then, such as the Kentucky county clerk who was jailed for not granting marriage licenses to homosexuals. But for the most part, we’ve got it pretty good.

We know we’re at variance with the world on many things, but they don’t really hate us, do they? If they do, they’re being nice about it, aren’t they?

Maybe. So far. At least in America.

But you can’t turn on the radio or TV without being bombarded by the world’s views. It’s easy to see what’s in their hearts. And it’s not friendly toward Christians.

How many TV shows are prohomosexual and ram it down our throats. This is supposed to be great entertainment, after all, and we’re supposed to lap it up.

How many discussions on science have you heard or read that take a totally proevolutionary stance? Nearly always Christians are portrayed as narrow minded and stupid. After all, science knows the truth.

I enjoy reading science fiction stories. Yes, I admit, they can be quite antiGod. And that makes them less enjoyable. I may read less of it in the future, because the antiChristian attitude becomes more blatant all the time.

I was going to give you an example and summarize one such story I read the other day, but I’ve decided not to dignify it. I think you get my point.

We’re immersed in what the world has to offer. That seems natural I suppose because we do live here. But let’s not kid ourselves into thinking the world doesn’t hate our Savior and Lord. And it extends that loathing toward us, too.

Right now we coexist relatively peacefully. It may not always be so. Therefore, as the Scriptures admonish in a number of places, let’s encourage and edify one another as believers as we see the last days and their perils rolling toward us.


August 30, 2015

“Moments for You” for the third quarter of 2015 is out, and the theme is Remember. I encourage you to read it here. (A new window will open when you click the link.)

Encouraging articles talk about God’s faithfulness, the hope we have in the salvation He offers, and how we should remember to trust Him.

One article handles the old saying “Forgive and forget” better than I’ve ever heard anyone else explain it. It’s likely not possible we can forget what someone has done to us, especially if the act is grievous. But with the Holy Spirit’s enabling, we can forgive and deal with the person as if he or she had not committed any wrong against us.

That’s good advice.

Don’t Give in to Shock and Awe

July 26, 2015

Lately I’ve been hearing Christians express fear and shock over recent events, which include the U.S. Supreme Court’s legalization of homosexual marriage and the deal with Iran on nuclear materials. I find the reactions disturbing and frustrating.

It’s disturbing because many are both uninformed about the nature of these events and about what God says in His word. It’s frustrating because I’m not sure I know the way to communicate with fellow believers on a level they can relate to without alienating them. Nonetheless, I shall try below.

He who is meant to receive it will. I can only leave the rest to God.

There’s a fear that Christians in America have lost–or are losing–religious freedom and will be persecuted because of the same sex marriage decision. We’ve suffered so little in this country, we don’t know what real persecution is. It’s normal throughout history in many places, and it’s happening now in many other countries.

While I don’t relish the thought of experiencing persecution myself or seeing others go through it, it may be just what we need to separate the wheat from the chaff in the body of Christ at large.

As for the deal with Iran, many fear for Israel. They fear if we don’t stand up for Israel, we’ll risk judgment.

First, Israel has plenty of nukes. If anyone doubts it, search it out. Israel is quite capable of taking care of itself. That may become necessary as America declines.

As for America being judged, forget about its relationship with Israel for a minute. Do you think the U.S. won’t be judged for killing tens of millions of babies? That alone should do it. But now there’s same sex marriage to tack onto that.

You can no doubt think of other things for which America deserves God’s judgment. We should thank God He has been so merciful up to now.

Back to Israel for a second. God isn’t going to let Israel be destroyed. Israel takes center stage in the Great Tribulation. Judgment will take place, but not destruction.

God will raise up His kingdom in his way and time, and His word is true. He will bring about prophetic events, and He will do it as only He can.

So don’t let the bloviators in today’s noisy media get to you. Don’t let your faith be shaken. Don’t give into shock and awe from the world or even other Christian sources.

As I was thinking on all of this the other day, 1 Peter4:12-19 came to mind. Look at it below. Remember, we have not yet begun to go through fiery trials. Keep Peter’s advice in mind for now and for the time ahead when we do go through such trials.

Look at it this way. If those of us who are Christians are persecuted, will we be able to say we’re persecuted for being righteous? Isn’t that far better than being persecuted for the things the rest of the world does?

Rejoice, Christian, if you’re counted righteous enough to be tagged for it.

Finally, remember 1 Peter 4:19. If you’re truly righteous, commit your soul to the only One who can truly keep it.

1 Peter 4:12-19–
12. Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
13. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.
14. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you: on their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified.
15. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men’s matters.
16. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf.
17. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?
18. And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
19. Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Not indispensable

July 19, 2015

Perhaps you’ve heard Christians say, “The battle is the Lord’s.” So many examples in the Old Testament point to the truth of that. Israel wouldn’t have accomplished mighty victories if it weren’t for God’s direct intervention.

And what about prophecy? Do we think we can do anything to change God’s prophetic plan? While we don’t know from our vantage point now how things will work out, one day we’ll look back and say, “So that’s how God did it.”

Frankly, I think we don’t hear enough about what God will do and has already done. We are so self preoccupied–as if God couldn’t run the world without us.

I’ve heard so much through the years about how we need to be available to be God’s instruments. Let Him use us.

Well, maybe He will, and maybe He won’t. He certainly doesn’t have to. It’s an honor and privilege when He does, but often I don’t know He has until after the fact.

While I do indeed want to be used of God, I also know I’m not indispensable. Knowing that makes His grace and mercy toward me all the more humbling and precious.