Monday, August 7, 2017


There are many "moral" people in this world. 

The trouble is that, when we make a stand based on "moral standards," we enter into conflict with many others who have different "moral standards."

But whose morals are the correct ones?

There are also many others in this world who have no use for any moral standards. They are a law unto themselves. They reject any societal rules, common manners or ethics, and replace them with their own "situational ethics."

What we seem to fail to grasp is that we cannot function in our nation or the world with no moral standards or even divided moral standards. This is not to say that we should not have the freedom to have personal tastes but as Amos the prophet so aptly states:

Can two walk together, unless they are agreed?
Amos 3:3

The "If it feels good do it" mentality that has been so thoroughly engrained in American culture tells us that we are free - not to merely have our own tastes - but to create our own morals and ethics.

In the end, we will not be judged by our own individual morals. We will be judged by God's holy standards and morals which are extremely high. We will not be judged "on the curve" as many suppose, comparing ourselves to others. We will judged by comparison to Jesus who never sinned. In fact, God's moral standards are so high that we cannot possibly live up to them! That is because man is fallen and has a bent to live by fallen morals.  

What can we do?

We must turn away from our own fallen standards and turn to God. That is called repenting - or "turning away" from our sins! We do this by giving our lives to Jesus Christ!

This message has decayed through the years. Now we are told to merely say a prayer to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. No change is necessary - something like a "get-out-of-jail-free-card." Certainly such a prayer can be a wonderful tool - but God is not nearly as impressed with our words as He is with the condition of our hearts.

Jesus' taught us that there is a distinct difference between what we say and what is in our hearts:

"These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me."
Matthew 15:8
and instinctively  We are born with hearts that intuitively go astray. But when we turn to God, He supernaturally transforms our hearts - that is called, "the new birth," or being, "born again."

Without this new birth, we can only grasp in the dark to establish our own moral standards. One look at today's world should tell us that this has not worked very well!

We cannot fully be at peace and in agreement with our fellow man in this life. But the more we are changed - in the heart - the more our minds and hearts will be opened to God's standards!

Many criticize God in favor of their own man-made morals. But God tells us how it will be when He rules:

But the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Psalms 37:11

Ask Jesus in your heart today. We must ALL turn from your own ways and allow God to transform us. I dare say this is our only hope for each one of us personally and can even spread to changing our nation and our world!

Monday, July 24, 2017


Jesus warned of false prophets. Paul wrote that a time would come when men would not endure sound doctrine.

I heard of a great sermon called, "Error By Overemphasis."

The title of that sermon, itself, teaches us that many beliefs may not be false in themselves - but they can become false by over emphasis. Think of an old wagon wheel. It has a hub, an outer circle and spokes which connect the hub to the outer circle.

The hub must be as close as possible to the exact center of the wheel. The farther off from center it is, the more wobbly the wheel will be. If it is very far off center, the wheel can merely clunk along clumsily and may even break at the worst time.

Jesus must always be the hub in the exact center. There may be many accurate doctrines that make up the spokes, but if they become the center, or hub, instead of taking their place as mere spokes, they immediately become erroneous. At their worst, these alternative hubs can cause the wheel to fall apart to the harm of many!

A couple of examples to illustrate my point:

1. Money!

When a church constantly communicates messages about money, prosperity and blessing, they have gone off track. The blessings of God are certainly in the Bible - but are not, by any stretch of the imagination, the center. Thus a person may be communicating some truth - yet it becomes a lie by making it the hub or the center.

Remember Jesus Christ, His death, resurrection and Godhead are ALWAYS the center of the gospel message - never money! 

The Bible certainly seems to have many more warnings about covetousness, the desire to be rich and making money or things into our treasures, than it does encouragement to accumulate wealth.

There are times when money can be used properly. But there is a also great danger of being pulled away from putting Christ first, center and the hub of our beliefs!

2. Being "connected."

There is also a great emphasis in modern churches on "being connected." Again, the Bible clearly teaches that we should be connected with our brothers and sisters in Christ. However, exalting "connectedness" above all else, again transforms a Bible truth into a lie by overemphasis!

We are to be connected. Yet there often seems to be almost no communication, today, that Bible strongly emphasizes our personal walk and solitude with God. This consists of a walk in solitude with God apart from others - apart from community.

Most church events center around community events. (Remember the hub!) The personal part we play is not greatly emphasized in many churches!

To truly excel as a Christian, we must have our own personal walk with God. We are to study and mediate on the Bible diligently. We are to have strong, individual pray times. We are to press to know God intimately so we can know His will for our lives and discern our individual callings.

This allows the fruit of God's spirit to grow within us, and receive his strength and wisdom to guide us.

When we stress only for connection, and leave out personal growth in Christ, we are eliminating some of the spokes from the wheel. Again, if not corrected, this will lead to a wheel that breaks - resulting in severely diminished Christian lives or a dangerous crash!

Remember to keep Jesus first and in the center:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew 6:33

Wednesday, July 19, 2017


For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.
2 Corinthians 1:5

What are "the sufferings of Christ?"

When we suffer for Christ, we are suffering for Jesus' sake or the sake of His holy name!

We may suffer for His SAKE!

We may be suffering because God has called us to a task or place in which we give up something for something much greater.

For example, God may call you to the mission field, or to work for far less pay locally in the ministry. Your family may call you up and brag about how they just received promotions and  how they are now making huge salaries. They are partaking of all the luxuries of life while you are toiling in a hot climate or living from paycheck to paycheck. But remember - your suffering is for Christ's sake!

We may suffer through PERSECUTION!

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
2 Timothy 3:12

Normally, people are not persecuted for wearing a Jesus button or going to church. It is when we "live godly" that we are persecuted.

The level of what we call persecution, in America, is often at a much lower level. This is a generalization, of course, but consider that in many countries, when a person confesses Christ, he or she is doing so at the risk of being tortured or killed!

Suffering is subjective!

We all suffer in some way. Some who think their steak was undercooked consider themselves to be suffering. On the other end of the spectrum, others are imprisoned, being tortured or enduring great trials for Christ's sake. 

All suffering cannot be defined as "the sufferings of Christ." 

We may simply be reaping what we sow in some cases. Suffering comes to those who don't follow Christ as well as the who do. Likewise, blessings come to both.

The Good News About Suffering!

The good news is that when we do endure "the sufferings of Christ," God has our back!

Read the Scripture again:

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.

God will ALWAYS come to comfort us when we are suffering in Him, for Him, or for His name!

If we are suffering outside of Christ, He is calling us to come to Him, and to submit to Him,
ALWAYS ready to bring us into His family, and receive the comfort that His children receive.

But remember - WE MUST COME!

Friday, March 3, 2017


I have done some traveling lately, in the air, driving, by bus and on foot. During those times, I have picked up some lessons that apply to many areas of life. I am thinking particularly of my walk with God.

Below are some helpful hints for traveling through life with God.

You never know what is around the bend!
You may look ahead and see nothing promising. Your imagination will lead you to believe that there is nothing around the bends in the road. But all things are possible with God. He may have a new challenge, opportunity or blessing up ahead that you cannot see now!

Look down at the path - not too far ahead!
From time got time we should look up to make sure we are still heading on the right path to our destination. However, I have noticed that if I constantly look ahead, I seem to be making no progress. 
This is especially true on a long journey. God's Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our paths. The light does not always shine far ahead. If you look too far ahead, you may stumble over something right in front of you.

Keep stepping!
A journey requires one step at a time. If we keep moving, we will eventually get there. On a long journey, we may sometimes have to camp for the night, but if we constantly stop and think about how hard it is, we will become discouraged.

Do the right thing along the way!
We may encounter opportunities to help others or meet new friends along the way. We often tell ourselves, we have no time for that. But especially when it comes to our walk with God, our actions and how we treat others along the way are a vital part of our journey.

Watch for signs!
Normally, we will see signs along the way that we are heading in the right direction. Even on back roads, an experienced guide is able to follow the sun and know which way to travel.

Stay on the road!
God may call us to take detours, or even to settle in a certain place. Most of the time, however, we must travel on the main roads or paths - i.e. the paths God has chosen for us.

Leaving the road may cost us more than we realize!
There is an old saying: "Sin will take you farther than you wanted to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay and cost you more than you wanted to pay!"

Be patient and wait for God's leading and provision. He is The Good Shepherd and will bring you safely to your destination.

Remember, The Good Shepherd leads. Don't try to drag God over to your plans. Seek, find and follow His plans!

Happy Travels with the Master!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017


After long, heated discussions, we often conclude by saying, "We will just have to agree to disagree." This sounds very noble on the surface - but is it the attitude that God wants from us?

Certainly we should give a nod to behaving as grown ups. You may as seen video clips of government officials in other countries resort to physically fighting during sessions of parliament. While we may find it amusing on some level, it is hard to believe that much is resolved by this kind of childish behavior.

However, "agreeing to disagree" does not seem to accomplish much either. This philosophy is designed to bring unity - but its does not really accomplish that. Rather it sends us on our way with an anger that is simmering within us - ready to boil over at the next provocation.

Even in the church, we seem to celebrate many diverse views of God. While we should not go to war over certain minor points, we should to diligently seek the truth, according to God's point of view, with all our hearts.

I am not advocating pressing our own views until we see results. I am advocating personally upping our games in our walk with God. We can see alternative views of God and life - as long as it is still God we are looking at and describing.  It is easy explore our imaginations or desires and create a god to our liking. But those are not really gods. There is only One, True, living God!

Paul teaches us the secret to unity:

1 Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy,
2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Philippians 2:1-2

Today the church is in conflict on many issues, both theologically and politically. This should not be so. But may I suggest that the answer is not in "agreeing to disagree" but for each of us to seek God more diligently so we can all get on the same page - God's page!

The members of an orchestra cannot bring their own piece of music to a concert and "agree to disagree." They must all tune in to the same piece of music and understand it thoroughly. A beautifully played piece of music will be the result.

We must each examine ourselves:
How much time have we spent deeply meditating on God's Word?
How intense is our prayer life?
How strongly do we seek God's point of view?
How willing are we to submit to God's will when we do find it?

How can we claim to know the will of God if we do not know Him intimately? When we all get on the same page, there will be unity of the Spirit. Until then, we can only (sigh) settle for "agreeing to disagree."

Many Blessings!

Thursday, February 2, 2017


How does a Christian know that he or she is pleasing to God?

The Christian must deal with sin. We have many preconceived ideas about what pleases God and those things we define as sins. If we use only our preconceived concepts to guide us, we will fail. Why? Because man is fallen and does not instinctively or intuitively know right from wrong.

How then can we know God's will, or discover what God considers as sin?

The Psalmist leads us toward the answer:

Your word I have hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You.
Psalms 119:11

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.

Psalms 1:1-3

The Word of God is inextricably linked to knowing what pleases God and in correctly identifying sin. We cannot know the will of God apart from a mastery of God's Word. We are clueless when it comes to identifying sins unless we have God's Word hidden in our hearts. 

The entrance of Your words gives light; It gives understanding to the simple.
Psalms 119:130

Without the light of God's Word to guide us, we can only make feeble attempts to please God, using past experiences and preconditioning to guide us. We are completely unenlightened in our attempts to do God's will. We have no light to shine on the sins in our lives and those of the world.

For the man or woman who diligently seeks God and meditates on, and studies His Word, the light will begin to shine on their hearts and minds. New revelations will flow into us which   will move us to bow before our holy God and confess our sins to Him.

We are called to seek God diligently and dig deep into His Word! When we do, we will be equipped for God to flow through us and to be used by Him to minister to a lost and dying world.

Thursday, January 26, 2017


What is the purpose of the church? What should the members of the body of Christ be striving toward?

There is an erroneous doctrine today which teaches us that "connections" or "relationships" are what God wants us to focus on. To be clear, I believe relationships are one important barometer of our spiritual life. However, right relationships do not prove we are close to God and are not what we are to be occupied with. There are plenty of nice, loving unbelievers!

Consider the Words of our Lord Jesus:

35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying,
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “ ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 This is the first and great commandment.
39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
Matthew 22:35-39

Notice something important here. The first commandment is to love the Lord your God. The second is to live your neighbor as yourself.

I don't believe it was by accident that Jesus arranged them in this order or that they are interchangeable. I believe rather that the order is of great importance in determining what Jesus meant.

To put it in simple terms, We cannot properly obey the second commandment - to love our neighbors, until we obey the first - to love God. We cannot truly love our neighbors the way God wants us to unless we first draw close to Him and love Him!

Think of it this way:
We can strive to love our neighbors as our first priority. We may do so without a close walk with God or perhaps any relationship with God.

On the other hand, if we truly love God first, we will be transformed and equipped to properly love our neighbors. None of our neighbors has, or will ever, suffer when we put God first.

We can have good relationships with our neighbors and be far from God.

But we will never have close a close relationship with God and not love our neighbors - it comes with the territory!

Human love is fickle, frail and faulty. Let us make up our minds to walk so close to God so that His supernatural, eternal love can flow through us!