Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Children, Obey Your Parents

Eph 6:1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. 2 Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;) 3 That it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.

Nowhere in the Word do we see children having an option in obeying their parents. As children of God are to obey Him, so children should honor their parents.

Parents aren't always perfect, but they are always the parents. Parents aren't always right, but they are never wrong.

Dishonoring children of the Old Testament sometimes received capital punishment, disobedient children of our day ought to sometimes receive corporal punishment.

I have to be honest, I find very few consistently parent-honoring children these days, even among church kids. Disney, Nickelodeon and the Cartoon channels are surely no help.

If one ever hopes to lead, one must first earn that right by knowing how to obey.

Parents, we must be very loving, but very consistent in our child-rearing.

*Never give them what they whine for.
*Live a God-honoring example before them. Be consistent in your life. Love God and your spouse. The best thing you can do for your kids is to love your spouse.
*Turn the TV off and open the Bible.
*Give them responsibility and supervise the tasks through to completion.
*Never reward disobedience, never let it go unpunished.
*Never yell, firmly get their attention by having them look you in the eye, listen to what you have to say and then repeat it.
*Reward obedience, give constant affirmation and encouragement.
*Don't over-indulge them.
*Guard their lives! Beware of evil communications which corrupt good manners, these include friends, activities, entertainment, etc.
*Teach them to say "yes sir" and "no ma'am"
*Let them know that they must obey completely, immediately and with the right attitude, it may one day save their lives, or someone else's.
*Above all, foster a love of God in them. Encourage them to have a personal walk with God.

By the way, this commandment is the one designated “with promise”, that is, when children honor their parents, they are promised that things would go well and they would be blessed with a long life. Pretty good incentive, I say.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Have a Blessed Memorial Day!


It is the Soldier, not the minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.

It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.

It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.

It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.

It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.

It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.

It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

©Copyright 1970, 2005 by Charles M. Province

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Don't Mention It!

Eph 5:1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. 3 But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; 4 Neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. 5 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

I'm a list guy. I've even purchased a few books in the past listing lists. But here's one list Christians and churches need to pay close heed to, Paul's list of things that should never even once be named among the saints.

The List:

1. Fornication - a catch all word for all sexual sin
2. Uncleanness - physical or moral impurity
3. Covetous - avarice, the impure desire to have something for ourselves that does not, and should not belong to us.
4. Filthiness - obscene shamefulness
5. Foolish Talking - Silly buffoonery
6. Jesting - Ribald wittiness
7. Whoremongering - chasing after prostitutes or those who act emulate them
8. Idolatry - Serving or worshipping images

Yet, we all know supposed "brothers" who have succumbed to these unmentionable sins. From this moment on, let us avoid even having to discuss such debauchery among the family of God.

Friday, May 27, 2011


Eph 4:3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; 5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Amos of old posed this rhetorical question: How can two walk together unless they be agreed?

Much is made these days of having unity. Unity, they say ought to be foremost at all cost. But true unity can only be achieved as we agree on fundamental doctrines. For this reason, the apostle insists that we not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers.

Apologist John Ankerberg, my Facebook friend, had this to say yesterday about unity, "In its most important sense, it is basic doctrinal truth which unites God's people. True unity cannot be had without it. This is why the Bible commands Christians to stand together in unity against heresy and separate themselves from false teachers on the basis of sound doctrine (2 John 9-11; Romans 6:17, etc.)."

Unity connotes oneness. Paul enumerates those fundamentals of unity in today's passage. These are things we must agree on to have unity in our fellowship.
There is One:
*Body - His bride, the local church.
*Spirit - Third person of the Godhead who convicts, comforts, convinces, converts, leads, guides into all truth, speaks not of Himself, but of Jesus, gives unction, brings all things to our remembrance, fills, empowers for witnessing, etc., etc.
*Hope of our calling - sound eschatology.
*Lord - the Lordship of Christ, His sovereign dealings in our lives.
*Faith - the true faith once delivered to the saints, to be received, lived out and communicated to faithful believers who will disciple others.
*Baptism - Immersion in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, by the proper authority, in obedience to Christ and as a testimony of our newness of life in Jesus.
*Father and God - the dynamic of our theology, Who is above us in position, through us in transcendence and in us in power and might.

On these things we agree and by them we walk in unity.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A Prisoner of the Lord

Eph 4:1 I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

Paul, with the help of his amanuensis, Tychicus, writes to the Ephesian church from the Mamertine prison cell, near the Roman Senate and Congress at the head of the forum in Rome.

In this inverted bowl-shaped grotto, also called the Tullianum, a good portion of our New Testament was penned.

It is noteworthy that Paul was not complaining about his bonds, but spent these days giving us the greatest spiritual principles in which to order our lives and walk with God.

If he were suffering as an evildoer, he would be employing his pen, ink and paper to seek pity and aid for his defense. But he was not ashamed of his bonds. He allowed them to serve as tools to sharpen his message.

Paul shows us that bonds need not shackle the soul, jail cells must not imprison the spirit.

In the same way that Martin Luther King, Jr penned his soulful "Letters from the Birmingham Jail" to encourage his compatriots in the struggle, we must allow the crosses we bear to bless and instruct others.

Rather than complain, confirm. Instead of whining, be winning. Don't be stressed, but stress the gospel message. Rather than loathe your situation, love your opportunity.

Whatever the confinement you are experiencing, whether it be a cross you are bearing, a sickness you are enduring or a situation you are abiding, remember that God brought you to it so that He would bring you through it. In the meantime, let Him turn your trial into triumph, your jail into a journey, your prison into praise and your bane into a blessing.

Paul did so, and it resulted in the books of Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon and Philippians.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Apostle Hits His Knees for Us

Eph 3:14 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Eph 3:15 Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named,
Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
Eph 3:17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love,
Eph 3:18 May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height;
Eph 3:19 And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Eph 3:20 Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,
Eph 3:21 Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

Paul's prayer for the Ephesians in chapter 3 brings me tremendous joy, for this inspired prayer reaches across the years, assuring us that God wills the same things for us today.

The prayer points:
*That God would grant strength by His Spirit for our inner man
*That Christ would dwell in our hearts by faith.
*That we would comprehend just how comprehensive His love is for us.
*That we would fully know His unknowable love.
*That we would be filled with the complete fulness of God.

Shall we pray these things for each other as we struggle through these difficult days?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Spirit that Now Works in the Children of Disobedience

Eph 2:2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:

The rise of the internet has given a platform for the God-haters to spew their venom. The relatively small percentage of hatetheists seems like a huge number when you read their comments as they reply to YouTube videos, various articles, etc., about "foolish Christians praying to some man in the sky." But they are merely the sad little squeaky wheels seeking some attention grease.

We must realize however, they are not always acting alone. They have an evil power working through them. It is a spirit from below which inspires them to speak so vehemently against the Lord and His people.

Just as the Holy Spirit of God fills the believer and gives him unction to speak the truths of the Word of God, whether by preaching or testifying, so the unholy spirits of the father of lies fills these wicked souls, giving them unction to blaspheme.

But God will have the last word, literally, the last laugh.
Psa 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Blessings Every Believer Can Claim.

Eph 1:3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Ephesians 1 has Paul listing the blessings possessed by each Ephesian Christian. These blessings are shared by every believer, including you and me. I pray this list will find you rejoicing in what you have in Him.

1. Blessed to be Blameless! We are chosen in Him to be holy and without blame before Him. vs 4
2. Children of the King! We are predestined to be adopted as children. vs 5
3. Feeling at Home! We are accepted in Him and in His family. vs 6
4. Winners of the Lottery! We are redeemed, bought back, by His blood. vs 7
5. Clean! We are forgiven of all sin according to the riches of His grace. vs 7
6. Wellsprings of of Wisdom! Wisdom and prudence (insight) we have in abundance. vs 8
7. Insider Information! We are privy to His will. vs 9
8. Our Fortune Awaits! We have obtained an inheritance vs 11
9. Things to Do! We are predestined to a high calling and purpose. vs 11
10. The Down Payment has been Made! We are sealed with the Holy Spirit to His promises and purposes. vs 13, 14

Now, perhaps you will realize just how blessed you are, no matter what circumstances you face today.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Support the Weak

Rom 15:1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

Oh, how my heart goes out to folks I know who are weak to the point of breaking. Between the enemy's darts, the results of their own poor choices and what the Lord has allowed to come upon them, they are deeply hurting.

I am tempted to throw in the towel for them, but then, I really don't want to be in league with the fickle friends of Job.

And so, with God's help, I plan to help them shoulder their burdens, denying my own ease. After all, what would I expect from them if it was me who was about to crumble under the weight?

Bear ye one another's burdens, the apostle told us. Do good to all men, especially to those of the household of faith.

God, grant me the ability and strength to help another in need today.

Friday, May 20, 2011

No Fair! Give it Back!

Joshua 1:3, 4 Every place that the sole of your foot shall tread upon, that have I given unto you, as I said unto Moses. From the
wilderness and this Lebanon even unto the great river, the river
Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and unto the great sea toward
the going down of the sun, shall be your coast.

That’s what God said. However, President Obama has a much different border plan for Israel. In his sweeping speech in regard to mid-east peace given on May 19, 2011, his eminence has proclaimed that the pre-1967 borders need to be honored. That is,
Israel needs to give back the land, granted to them by God, which they captured AFTER they were attacked by the surrounding Muslim nations (Egypt, Syria, UAR and Jordan) in the 1967 6-Day War. The Wailing Wall, give it back! The Mount of Olives, return it! Gethsemane, no longer yours. Holy Sepulcher, let go of it. Defensible borders, can't have them.

Let’s get this straight, the US president, from 4 thousand miles away,
dictates to Israel that they need to gift the Sinai, the Gaza Strip, the
Golan Heights, the West Bank and East Jerusalem to the people that
hate them and are bent on their destruction. He wants Israel, our
former ally, to reduce the size of their holdings to less than 30%!!!

Hey, how about the US redefine our borders and return the
land to our Palestinians, the native Americans, to pre-1700 borders?
We can keep DC and a few of the Colonies and give the rest of the
kit and caboodle back to the indigenous peoples.

Wait, scrap that idea, knowing your record, you would readily go for
something like that.

Instead, let’s just go back to pre-2008 and you give our whole
country, which you have stolen from us, back to the people.
Whaddaya say, Mr. Prez?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lord of the Dead and Living

Rom 14:9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

"Lord" to have dominion over
"Dead" a corpse

What is the use of lording over dead bodies? Because Jesus died and
rose again, proof has been provided that that which is dead can live

As a pastor surveying a Sunday congregation, some of whom have
obviously stayed up too late viewing the late movie, this is an
encouraging proposition.

There was a time when I was dead in trespasses and sins, but I have
been gloriously quickened, made alive by the Spirit of the living God.
We call it the new birth and new life in Christ.

Christians are not zombies, as some would accuse, that is, the living
dead. But we are alive in every way, lively stones built up into a
spiritual house.

Jesus said that unless a seed of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it
cannot bring forth much fruit.

Therefore, in Him, we believers live and move and have our beings.
When we came to Christ, we just started living.

It is the rest of the world that is dead and decomposing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

No Man is an Island

Rom 14:7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. 8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord's.

It was John Donne (1572-1631), a believer, who in his sickness wrote the following;

"All mankind is of one author, and is one volume; when one man dies, one chapter is not torn out of the book, but translated into a better language; and every chapter must be so translated...As therefore the bell that rings to a sermon, calls not upon the preacher only, but upon the congregation to come: so this bell calls us all: but how much more me, who am brought so near the door by this sickness....No man is an island, entire of itself...any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

How intertwined our lives truly are! What does that say then about our testimonies? Not only are we being watched by others, but we are affecting them in our actions, by our words, even with our attitudes.

It is said that, on average, each of us has a strong influence on the lives of nine other people! Let's influence these people who are looking to us for Christ.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Today (May 17) is Law Enforcement Memorial Day

Law Enforcement Memorial Prayer – May 17, 2011

Almighty God and Father of mankind, it is because of thy great mercy that we are not consumed, thy compassion faileth not.

As we gather here on this solemn occasion, we acknowledge thee as our Creator, our Redeemer and our coming King.

We feel deeply indebted to those who offer themselves up for the safety and well-being of others. Thy beloved Son is the chief example of One Who gave His life that others might live.

Our military and our firefighters come to mind when we consider the selfless act of ultimate sacrifice on behalf of others.

But today, we pause to remember the brave men and women of law enforcement. They donned the badge and the uniform. Their commission was to serve and protect their community. But their service resulted in their untimely and unfortunate deaths.

Their passing leaves a void in our world, but their heroism leaves our world a much better place. Therefore we venerate them in this ceremony, in our hearts and in our memories.

Lord of lords, crown their memories with blessing and honor. Instill in our hearts and minds a deep and abiding respect for their ultimate sacrifice.

And for these and all your favors we give thanks. We pray in the name of our blessed Lord and Savior, Amen!

Chaplain Gary Fuller - Lincoln Police Department / Lincoln Fire and Rescue

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Read 'em and Weep

Rom 10:1 Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

What Made Paul the Greatest Christian in History?

I've known some mighty fine Christians. These were people who walked with God, who
loved and served Him whole-heartedly, folks who turned many to righteousness. Some
suffered greatly for His holy name. Others knew the Book intimately. Paul was all of
these, but one thing puts him on a whole other level. His desire to see others saved was unrivaled. It was to the point that he was willing to suffer eternity in hell if others would come to Christ. Here are the verses. Read 'em and weep!

Rom 9:1 I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost, 2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

No Condemnation

Rom 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

Condemnation = Katakrima = adverse sentence.

I am presently trying to help a young man sitting in jail, awaiting extradition to a faraway state for crimes committed there. He knows he did wrong and deserves to pay a debt to society. His hope is that the judge will look upon his utter helplessness and get him into some counseling rather than locking him up in the slammer.

I can relate. I am a sinner, guilty before God of crimes against His holy law. In fact, I have broken about all of His laws, whether in word, thought or deed. I deserve to be thrown into hell. Yet, because of my trust in Christ, the Propitiation for my crimes against heaven, God, in His mercy, love and grace, has looked kindly upon me and has allowed me to skate! There is now no adverse sentence against me. I am totally free from condemnation as I go on my way walking after the Spirit.

Freedom, ah, it never smelled so good!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Frustration! A Real Dog Fight

Rom 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. 15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. 16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. 17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. 19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. 20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. 21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. 22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: 23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of

I take solace in the fact that the greatest Christian in history went through the same frustrations that we face on a regular basis.

We have a duplicitous nature within us which causes the strongest of us to acquiesce
time and again to sin.

Actually, there are two natures within each believer fighting for control. The natural man, our sinful nature, driven by the flesh which wants to fulfill its desires, while the spiritual man, made alive by the Spirit of God within us which desires to serve and honor God.

Our evangelist friend Al Wells, now with the Lord, tells how an old Indian medicine
man, saved by God's grace, explained this dichotomy within. He said that there are two dogs fighting within him, a white dog and a black dog. "Which one wins?" the
evangelist asked him. "The one I say 'sick 'em' to!"

This is so true, but actually, it is more that we say "sick 'em" to the Lord in that it is He that we yield ourselves to so that He might give strength for the victory.

Even today, the battle will rage within you to stay strong for the Lord or give in to the old nature. You will have a choice to make, so foster the new nature by relying on the Holy Spirit, saying no to the old man within you!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Paul's Questions in Romans 6.

Paul gently leads us through a series of rhetorical questions to help us reason and understand how and why to live the resurrected life.

Not to diminish from all the others nuggets he presents to us in this classic chapter on the crucifixion of the old man and living after the new, but if we just ask the questions, we can gain some real clarity. Here they are:

*What shall we say then?
*Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
*How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
*Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
*What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace?
*Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
*What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed?

It makes it pretty simple, doesn't it? That's rhetorical, you don't have to answer it...do you? :<)

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Honoring Mom

Exodus 20:12 Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.

When Robert Ingersoll, the notorious skeptic, was in his heyday, two college students went to hear him lecture. As they walked down the street after the lecture, one said to the other, “Well, I guess he knocked the props out from under Christianity, didn’t he?” The other said, “No, I don’t think he did. Ingersoll did not explain my mother’s life, and until he can explain my mother’s life I will stand by my mother’s God.” - James S. Hewett

This weekend, we are expected to honor our moms. But let’s obey the Bible and always be honoring to them. This is the commandment with promise.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Peace with God

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Believers have a promise from Jesus that isn't so comforting, "In the world ye shall have tribulation." Man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward, the Book of Job tells us.

On every hand we find difficulty, heartbreak, setback and tragedy. But there is a tremendous blessing the child of God is assured of, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said that in Him we might have peace, therefore we can be of good cheer. John 16:33.

War is over, the armistice has been declared, the peace treaty has been signed in the blood that was shed at Calvary. Though we remain at war with the world, the flesh and the devil, there is complete peace in, through and with the Lord thanks to the offering of Christ on the cross.

In various scriptures, He is called the King of peace, the Lord of peace, the Prince of peace, the God of all peace. This is the peace that passes all understanding, the peace in the midst of the storm. Paul prays on different occasions that that peace be multiplied in us.

Rest in that wonderful, blessed peace as you serve Him today.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Believing God

Rom 4:3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Abraham is famous for believing God. He pulled up stakes (literally) and moved lock, stock and barrel to the place God told him to go. He did it without hesitation. This was no small thing. Consider that he had no idea where he was going and how he would subsist. It was an all or nothing, make or break, boom or bust proposition and it all depended on God's promises.

It got me to thinking, what am I believing God for today? Of course, I believe Him for all the big things I know are covered; salvation, eternity, sins forgiven, power for living, needs met. But there ought to be something demanding my obedience and faith, a calling, a burden, a command from God which demands my belief.

What good does Abraham's example do me if I can't appropriate a promise from God after He has given me a direction? I am not waiting for a voice from a burning bush, nor a booming call from heaven, but that still, small voice which speaks through the Word as I prayerfully peruse its pages.

God bless you as you read His Word today, and if you find a personal command, believe God for the wisdom, strength and tenaciousness to do what He would have you to do. It will be counted as righteousness.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Commitment Deficiency

Rom 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

My, how utterly discouraging these words of Paul as He quotes David:

Psa 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good. 2 The LORD looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. 3 They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

As we look for those who seek what God seeks, who love God with their whole heart, soul and might, we find so very few who are "all in" for God.

Even as God looks down from heaven, seeking one to whole-heartedly seek Him and understand His will and ways, He comes up empty.

As much as I am saddened by the lack of commitment in other believers, I am smitten in heart to know that I am included in that number of those who fall short of righteousness, understanding, determination and profitability for God.

DL Moody said, "The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him. I will try my utmost to be that man."

At the end of his days, Mr. Moody concluded, "The world has still yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in and by the man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him."

Perhaps you and I would make an effort, by the grace of God, to consecrate every fiber of our beings fully and wholly to Him.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Three Fingers Pointing Back at Me!

Rom 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.

On Friday a friend tells me, "I love Jesus with all my heart and I just want to serve Him as much as I can!" But when I call him on Sunday to ask him if he is ready for a ride to church, he says, "There were dogs barking all night and I didn't sleep well, so I don't feel much like coming to church."

The previous weekend, "It's Friday, but Sunday's coming" meant crucifixion and resurrection. But for this friend, that same saying a week later meant commitment would drop off drastically.

Now, as amused and cynical as I am at that hypocrisy, I need to realize I am guilty of doing the exact same thing. No, I would never miss church because of barking dogs (well, unless I was sitting in jail because said K-9s were in the doggy morgue thanks to my friends Smith and Wesson). But, I have no problem spouting off about how much I love the Lord and want to serve Him, yet I will go several days without telling someone the gospel message. Hypocrite!

So I figure, I can do one of two things: Quit telling people how much I love the Lord or, start telling others how much He loves them!

Monday, May 2, 2011

When in Rome...Preach to the Romans

Rom 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
Rom 1:17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
Rom 1:19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
Rom 1:20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
Rom 1:21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom 1:22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
Rom 1:23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
Rom 1:24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
Rom 1:25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Rom 1:26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
Rom 1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Rom 1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
Rom 1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
Rom 1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
Rom 1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

In reading this Scripture, I am struck that the debauchery mentioned herein is correlated to the culture of the pagan Romans. They practiced emperor worship, exalting Caesar to godhood. Homosexuality was rampant in that society. Holidays occurred 2 to 3 times per week. For every citizen, there were 2 servants. The Roman army was cruel beyond imagination. Their instruments of death and torture were inventions of depraved minds. They thought they were so brilliant, but they were mere fools.

Rome crumbled from within because of the cancer of iniquity which ravaged its culture.

America’s sins are beginning to rival the debauchery seen in Rome. Most of the sins listed in Romans, chapter one, mirror the litany of iniquity found in our society today. Just as Paul wrote to the believers in Rome, we remind the Christians in America to not be conformed this culture, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.

America will, no doubt, find itself on the ash heap of history someday soon, taken down by sin. We are told that the nations that forget God will be turned into hell.

Our nation, founded on the principles of the Word of God, has, for the most part, forgotten God. It has a form of godliness, but has denied the power thereof.

Let this be a wake-up call to pray, live righteously and to preach the gospel, unashamedly, for it is the power of God unto salvation. Lest we find ourselves fiddling while our nation burns.