Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Love and Consistency

Understandably, many Christians are upset about the recent Supreme Court ruling to legalize homosexual marriage throughout the United States. It appears that there are those in positions of power who are doing their best to steer us further and further away from God and His law.

How are Christians to react? In what way should we respond? We are at a point in time where the Christians have a great opportunity to let our light shine. It is my hope that each of us will prayerfully consider how we respond not only to the homosexual community, but those engage in any sinful lifestyle. I want to offer a couple of suggestions on how we should respond to those engage in a homosexual lifestyle.

1. With Love - God loves those who are made in His image. That being said, every single person on earth is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27, John 3:16). God loves those involved in homosexuality, murderers, thieves, liars, cheaters, adulterers, etc. There is not a sinner on the planet that God didn't send His Son to die for, and He wants them to repent. God desires that every human live a life which will allow them to spend eternity in heaven (2 Peter 3:9). We must answer this sin and all sin the way God does, with love for the sinner and a desire to help them leave the sinful lifestyle.

2. With Balance - Social media has exploded over the last week or so with the news of the Supreme Court decision. People have rushed to their keyboards to express their support for traditional marriage and their desire to maintain it. That is right and it is good, but we must be consistent. Are we as passionate about helping those in unscriptural marriages understand the errors in their ways? What about those engage in sexual activity outside the marriage bond? We must be consistent when defending God’s plan for marriage. Without consistency our voices become smaller to the world around us.

Christians, let us be upset about sin. Let us be upset about all sins, including our own (Romans 3:23). The church is at a point where she can do much good in the world. Purpose to be a light to this lost and dying world today and each day God allows the world to stand!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015


Grumbling has no place among members of the Lord’s body. Admittedly, it is sometimes difficult to avoid becoming a grumbler. As human beings we feel like we know how things should or should not go; and when they do not go as we feel they should, the grumbling begins.

Before we look into what Scripture has to say about grumbling let’s look at it from a purely secular point of view. What good comes from grumbling? In your life, in the times you have fallen into the trap of becoming a grumbler what good has come of it? Most likely no good has come, and quite often, bad has been the result of our grumbling.

When we grumble about others, whether it is our boss, a co-worker, teacher, or whoever it might be many negatives occur. First, we are impacting (often times unfairly) that person’s reputation. We would not be pleased if someone ran around ripping our reputation to shreds, yet that is exactly what we do when we grumble.

Next, we are affecting our relationship with that person. If there was ever an opportunity to have a positive relationship with the person, grumbling about them is a sure fire way to ruin it. Have you ever noticed how often our “ private grumblings” get back to the person they are about? Something to consider.

And finally, grumbling about others will have a negative impact on your reputation. Plain and simple, people get tired about hearing from “Negative Nancy,” all the time. More often than not, when the grumbler in us makes and appearance, our own reputation becomes tarnished.

Now let us consider what Scripture says about grumbling. Philippians 2:14 says “Do all things without grumbling or questioning, that you might be blameless and innocent children of God…” Next, consider what James 5:9 tells us, “Do not grumble against one another, brothers, so that you may not be judged; behold, the Judge is standing at the door.”

Christians, we are to avoid being a people who grumble, at all costs. We must understand grumblings come from Satan, resist!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

The snow is coming! The snow is coming!

Wow, what a week it has been weather wise. One of the really fun things about living in the south is, if you don’t like the weather, just wait, it will change. Weather forecasting is no doubt a tough job especially here in Alabama. I appreciate those who do their best to keep us informed of pending weather.

It has always seemed interesting to me how excited people get when they hear it might snow. The weathermen are on television for what seems like weeks talking about the pending storm. People flock to the grocery store to get milk and bread. What is the deal with milk sandwiches anyway? Businesses close, schools close, our world comes to what feels like a screeching halt. Everyone is paying attention and everyone is ready. It is nearly impossible to be caught unprepared.

What if the world would heed the warnings of Christ’s return as diligently as they did the weatherman's forecast? What if, we as Christians, were as excited about talking about the Second Coming of Christ as we are about the snow possibilities?

Unlike the weather forecast, which is subject to change, the Second Coming of Christ is a definite. Is it possible that since Christ has delayed His coming, we have allowed ourselves to “fall asleep” spiritually? If we knew a definite date of His return, would that cause us to be more vigilant against the wiles of Satan? Maybe if He would make an appointment with us, we could rearrange our schedule to be better prepared for His return? Friends, we must take heed to the warning found in 2 Peter 3:10, “But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a roar, and the heavenly bodies will be burned up and dissolved, and the earth and the works that are done on it will be exposed.” Jesus is going to return, and He has given us all of the notice we are going to get, in His word. He told us He will come back for us, just as sure as He is preparing a place for us. He also told us, that He does not know when He will return, only the Father knows that (Matthew 24:36). Friends, if it was today he was to return, would you be ready? What about those who are special to you? It is time to sound the alarm, get ourselves ready and to tell everyone that Jesus will return!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

But I want to legislate morality!

After His arrest, it was the court of public opinion which lead to the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Pilate gave the howling mob a choice between releasing Barabbas, a known criminal, and Jesus Christ. When given the opportunity to release Jesus, the crowd shouted, “not this man, but Barabbas” (John 18:40). The tide of public opinion had become so corrupt that they desired a robber be released over and innocent man.

Though Pilate found no fault in Him (John 19:6), and tried to reason with the mob, he could not save the Son of God. The religious leaders of the day stirred the crowd, and the crowd responded by yelling out, “crucify Him, crucify Him!" (John 19:15).

Looking back on the events of Jesus’ life it is easy to see the dangers presented when “the court of public opinion” is allowed to rule. Whether this is the “public opinion” of the world, or the church, Christians must follow God. We must be careful to not allow the commandments of the Father to become subject to a popularity contest. In recent years, months, and even days, we have seen just that happen. The public, and her courts have ruled time and time again against God.

Does a court ruling or the tide of public opinion have any bearing on the commandments of God? Certainly not! We must always remember that God is not subject to us, but we are to be in subjection to Him. We do not have the right to simply throw out His Word because of what we perceive as “fairness” or our “rights.” When approaching Scripture we are to always remember “His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are not our thoughts.”

So what are we to do when “popular opinion” seems to turn away from God? One word, love. Love the people who reject Him. Love the people who choose the world and its riches over becoming a child of the King. Love the people who make fun of you for trying to follow God’s law above that of man’s law. Love.

We cannot legislate morality, it is a choice. We cannot force people to love and obey God, it is a choice. We CAN choose to love those made in His image. Love.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Exposing The Deceiver - Tolerance Equals Love

tol-er-ance (noun) – willingness to accept feelings, habits, or beliefs that are different from your own.

To be loved is the one thing every human being has need of. While we all have a need to be loved, recognizing what love is often proves difficult. Satan has used society to twist the meaning of love so severely, that many people cannot truly identify when someone is showing love toward them. There is a pervasive thread that has been woven into the fabric of our culture which claims that, in order to love someone, we must be tolerant of every aspect of their lifestyle.

Is it possible to love a person without condoning aspects of their life which the Bible calls sinful? Without hesitation, I suggest it is not only possible, it is commanded! First, God calls us to love all of humanity, not just those who look, talk, or act like us. Consider what Jesus said in response to the Pharisees question about the greatest commandment. First Jesus said, you must love God with all of your being, and in the very next breath, He said, “the second is this: ‘you shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these’” (Mark 12:31).

As Christians, we are to love even the vilest of sinners. You might be wondering why God would command us to love people who we might consider the worst of the worst in regards to sin. Simply put, they were made in His image, and He loves them just as much as He loves us (John 3:16, Romans 5:8). God wants His creation redeemed from their sins, regardless of what those sins are (2 Peter 3:9). Their sin and our sin have the same consequence, separation from God. The good news is, not only does God desire for all mankind to be saved, He has provided a way to make it happen, Jesus Christ (1 John 2:2).

We must hold the same view as God does when it comes to humanity, love sinners and hate sin. It is important to understand that we cannot tolerate sin in our lives or in the lives of others. When Christ on the cross was made to be sin (2 Corinthians 5:21), God turned his face from Him, causing, Jesus to cry out “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:46). This scene serves as an example as to the destructive nature of sin when it comes to our relationship with God. God never stopped loving Jesus, yet he could not look upon Him as He bore our sins on calvary.

Satan is crafty and ever working towards making Christian truths seem more and more unreasonable and uncaring. The truth about love is this, tolerating sin is not love. Love is meeting someone where they are, and caring enough about them to not leave them there. To truly love someone is to share what God expects of them. To truly love someone is to help them know how to take advantage of the wonderful gift of Jesus Christ. Show some love to the world around you today!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Exposing The Deceiver - Porn...It's No Big Deal

You know, pornography really isn’t that big of a deal when you compare it to other problems in the world. I mean, it’s something that consenting adults agree to be a part of for the purpose of making a living by entertaining others. As for the folks who consume pornography, it’s their own private decision, it doesn’t bother anyone else. Isn’t it better for someone to watch porn than to go and cheat on their wife? Isn’t watching porn just as valid as any other form of entertainment? Isn’t watching porn better than living a promiscuous lifestyle? It simply cannot be that big of a deal.

Pornography isn’t really that big of a deal, unless you consider…

• It Leads To Spiritual Death – Make no mistake about it, sin separates us from God (Isaiah 59:2) and lust is sinful. Consider what Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” We must be honest with ourselves, one cannot watch pornography without being found guilty of the sin of lust, it is just not possible. We will not get to be in heaven with God if we use pornography (Romans 1:29-32).

• 68% of Adult Men and 18% of Adult Women Use It – According to one study, this staggering percentage of our population are involved in viewing pornography. With numbers like this, the pornography business affects all walks of life, teachers, counselors, moms and dads, preachers etc. These numbers serve as a snapshot of just how powerful this tool of Satan’s is.

• It Destroys Trust Between Spouses – When a man or woman is caught (or admits freely to) using pornography by his or her spouse, it severely damages the bond of trust. The spouse who finds their loved one using porn is left feeling inadequate, insecure, and insufficient. When they made their vows before God and witnesses they promised to keep themselves only for each other, pornography shatters that promise.

• Porn Cheapens The True Beauty of Women – Women, like men, were made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Their beauty as God would have it comes from within (1 Peter 3:4). Pornography sells women (and men) the lie that their total worth comes from their sexuality which is directly opposed to what God says.

Friends, pornography is the elephant in the room. It is the subject that nobody likes to talk about, but we need to be talking about it because its effects are disastrous. Satan has done a masterful job selling us the lie that porn is no big deal. Make no mistake, it is an eternally big deal. If you are struggling with pornography, you are not alone., There are many other people who struggle as well. Get help. Pornography will ruin our relationships with others and more importantly, our relationship with God.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why I Love God - He Gives Great Gifts!

More than likely in the coming weeks you will be hitting the stores in search of the perfect gifts for the people whom you love. The holiday season is a time where we show our love and appreciation for the people in our lives whom we hold dear. If asked, most people would likely admit they enjoy receiving gifts and feel it is a great way to express appreciation and love to someone.

As great as getting gifts from friends and family is, they all pale in comparison to the wonderful gifts showered upon us by our Father in Heaven. If we were to take inventory of our blessings, it would not take long for us to realize how good God is. Unfortunately we often miss out on appreciating the great gifts God gives to us because we focus on what we don't have. Christians ought to be a people who are thankful and excited about our many blessings.

The fact that every good thing that I have comes from God causes me to love Him more each day, consider “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning” (James 1:17). Rusty mentioned in his Sunday lesson that not only has God blessed us greatly up to this point in our lives, but he will continue to do so! What a wonderful feeling it is to know that God will never turn His back on us or decide that we have had “enough blessings,” and turn off the valve!

We have a responsibility of using those blessings to serve God and others. The great truth is when we use our blessings to serve and honor God, He will give us even more to serve and honor Him with! Consider what Luke says in Luke 6:38, “give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”

Take a quick inventory of your blessings, are you using them to serve God and bless others?