There is, in Scripture, such a thing as positive anger. We see this in the anger of Jesus. Jesus expresses anger on more than one occasion. You may already be thinking of the most famous of these – His encounter with the money-changers at the temple. In John, Chapter 2, we learn that Jesus came to the great house of God and found a thriving business venture in process – the selling of sheep and oxen, the exchange of money, and the making of fortunes. Jesus carefully constructed a whip mode of cords, and He set about driving out all the purveyors of the sacrifice industry. Not only that, He overturned the tables and let all the money fall on the floor. (John 2:14-15)
Your local YMCA is crowded with people who have come to relax. They take refreshing swims or work up a healthy sweat in the weight room. It’s a place where you go for recreation – unless you happen to be the man in change. George McCauslin directed a YMCA facility in the Pittsburgh area, and things weren’t going well for him. The job was eating him up inside.
George was struggling with his work. The club’s membership was on a downward spiral. It was operating in the red with high debt, and George had to contend with critical staff problems. People came here to work off their tension; where could the director go with his own? Read more
The idea of the wrath of God is often something people struggle with. Outspoken atheist Richard Dawkins wrote:
” The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving, control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully. Those of us schooled in his ways can become desensitized to their horror.”
I hear lots of excuses for why believers and disciples of Jesus don’t evangelize. I listen with a heavy heart to what amounts to justification for rebellion. The spiritual atmosphere is so oppressive; people are just not interested; it’s not my gift; I have tried and it never works; I am tired of being rejected; I don’t know what to say; I never have an opportunity to talk about Jesus; I don’t have time. Really, they are simply excuses and the grounds for rebellion.
Jesus said to His Church – the true believers and followers – to “go into all their world and make disciples.” In other words, join Him in His work of seeking and saving the lost (Luke 19:10). It was not a suggestion – it was a command. It was not an option that we get to choose or reject. It was a command to His people. It is the reason there is a Church and the only job description for the Church found in the Scriptures. And, Jesus said, if we love Him we will obey Him. So, if we are not obeying Him then obviously we must conclude that we don’t love Him – in spite of standing and singing with others on a Sunday telling Him how much we really do love Him. Read more
Sharing the good news of the Gospel with others is MY RESPONSIBILITY. It is not an option I can sign unto like a new cable station on television. It is not a take-it or leave-it proposition. It is a command from The Lord and those who love Him will obey Him.
Ezekiel the prophet had a message from The Lord and he was commanded to deliver it. Here is what God spoke regarding this… “You must warn them so they may live. If you don’t speak out to warn the wicked to stop their evil ways, they will die in their sins. But, I will hold you responsible for their death.” (Ezekiel 3:18 NCV) Read more
As new creatures in Christ we are supernatural in nature. We were created in God’s image and He is a supernatural God. Once we are connected to Him relationally by being born again we enter the supernatural realm and walk with Him on a daily basis.
The supernatural and the natural realm co-exist. In the place you are sitting and reading this there is the natural realm but there is also the supernatural realm. As new creatures in Christ we are now able to see both realm, live in both realms, and minister from one realm to the other. We are able, as 1 John 1:1-4 states, to see, hear, and touch God. This is truly the most exciting thing about the Christian faith – heck, about all of life. We can see and hear our Heavenly Father and know His heart towards us, His plan for our lives, and His purpose for us being here. Read more
On Sunday we were discussing the Church that Jesus is building and some of the history of how the Church started so well but so quickly went off the tracks… And, we looked at some of the major changes that the Head of the Church, The Lord, would be having His people (the Church) make to bring us to the place where we are truly His Church…
In these three supplementary articles or blogs we want to look at the church that is – the pastoral model – and then compare it to the church that will be – the apostolic model. Let’s jump in… Read more
On Sunday we looked at the need to build good, solid spiritual friendships. These are the people who are friends for life and are always there for you. As we continue to look at spiritual friendships and belonging to the local church through relational connections, I thought it would be good to look at some of the characteristics of a true friend…
The New Testament talks about friends and friendships, and it’s mostly positive. Albeit, friendships can be unhealthy and compete with the Lord and His interests. They can be based on co-dependency and be a real burden to some. But, I want to look at friendships in a positive light, as the New Testament mostly does. Read more
On Sunday we were sharing about the three basic benefits of belonging to a local church and being connected to other believers at more than a superficial level. We saw that the benefits included: strength, support and spiritual warmth. Without being intimately connected to other disciples of the Lord we are simply church goers and cultural Christians. Jesus is looking for those who are converted Christians and thus live a different lifestyle than the culture they were born into, A lifestyle focused on helping others to enter into the Kingdom through godly sorrow and repentance of their sins. Read more
When I speak to other people I need to be tactful not just truthful because … the primary way that we show respect is with our words.
Proverbs 15:33 (Good News Bible): “What a joy it is to find just the right word for just the right occasion”
And Proverbs 15:4 (NIV): “kind words bring life but cruel words crush your spirit.”
Now what he’s talking about here … is “tactfulness” And tactfulness is a quality, that we don’t hear about too much today … about watching how you say, what you say Read more