Show me your friends and I’ll show you your future

Marc Mero was a professional wrestler, looking for fame and fortune. He had a great time in his career and social life. His mom, his biggest supporter finally convinced him of what matters in life. Now he lives it out as a result of her message to him. Mom’s are our greatest gift aside from the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Don’t waste your gift.

How Should We (Christians) Respond To Gay Marriage? Like Jesus.

Originally posted on Illuminating Truth:

A few days ago the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that gay marriage will now be legalized in all fifty states. I think this was surprising to no one. We all knew it was coming, but the announcement revealed just how polarized our nation has become. Some celebrate it as a great victory for civil rights while others lament it as a sign of our nation’s moral depravity. For bible-believing Christians, the question is, what do we do now? How do we respond and how do we do it like Jesus?

Why We Must Speak

Some argue that we shouldn’t care at all, that we shouldn’t speak. Some think this ruling will not affect us and so we should just be silent and go about our business, keeping our opinions to ourselves but this most certainly does affect us. It is not just that our nation does not hold to biblical Christian values. It is that it is becoming increasingly anti-Christian and hostile to those who hold biblical world views. Already, Christian bakeries have been forced to go out of business because they did not want to participate in a gay wedding. So, it is naive to think that gay marriage will exist in some kind of a vacuum and have no effect on religious rights.

But how it will affect us is not the main reason we must speak about gay marriage. None of this is ultimately about us. Sin is ultimately about God. Marriage is ultimately about God. If our choices only had horizontal results, how they affect others, then I suppose the general rule of thumb would be as long as it makes you happy and doesn’t hurt anyone else, it’s fine. Indeed, this seems to be the general moral philosophy of our day. However, I would say that the other and more important aspect of our choices is a vertical one. Our sin is against God. It dishonors the holiness of God and that is why Christians simply cannot be silent.

Jesus held to every word of scripture. Jesus zealously defended the holiness of God. Jesus never altered His views or message to make it more culturally palatable. Jesus did not fear the scorn and derision of man. He had one authority. He lived to please one Person and so should we (Galatians 1:10).

Why We Must Grieve

To see sin embraced and celebrated this way should break our hearts because we know what sin does and where it leads. Satan is a master deceiver. He promises joy, happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, peace, but he ultimately comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). Many are blinded. Many are in bondage.

Jesus wept over Jerusalem because it was not willing to turn to Him and find peace. Just as he said to Jerusalem, Jesus says to America,“How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! (Luke 13:34). Our nation is in reckless rebellion against God. It grieves the heart of Christ and it should grieve our hearts too.

Why We Must Not Fear

I think a lot of Christians now feel a sense of panic and fear. We fear persecution. We fear for our children and the world they will grow up in, but let’s be reminded of the God we serve. He is not surprised. He is not worried. He didn’t wait for the Supreme Court decision and then think, “Darn, what do I do now?” Our God is sovereign over all. The Lord is in His heaven. Jesus is on His throne.

“Have you not known? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is He who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers, who stretches out the heavens like a curtain and spreads them out like a tent to dwell in. He brings the princes to nothing; He makes the judges of the earth useless (Isaiah 40:21-23).”

Let us lift our gaze to our mighty God. Let us “lift up our voice with strength, lift it up and be not afraid (Isaiah 40:9)” and say to the people, “Behold your God!” He is greater than any ruler. We should not fear man or circumstances, but look to the God who is more powerful and supreme than any supreme court here on earth.

Persecution may come, but if it does, “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Peter 4:12). We must remember that nothing happens to us outside of the will of the loving and sovereign God who works all things for His glory and our good(Romans 8:28). This should also cause us to remember that this world is not our home, but we are “looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Why We Must Preach the Gospel

In many ways, nothing has really changed. The world is still the world. We are still the Church and our calling is still the same, to “go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15). I think we must resolve along with Paul, “to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). We must be careful not to proclaim our own self-righteousness, but Christ’srighteousness. We must fight having an “us and them” mentality, but remember the only thing that distinguishes us from them is the grace of God. We have to cling to the Gospel, the whole Gospel, and be sure that it is the message we send to the world. If we declare sin, let us also be sure to declare grace for “where sin abounded, grace abounded much more (Romans 5:20).” Sin is abounding in our nation, but there is more than enough grace through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

We have been recipients of this amazing grace and now we are called to be “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 2:20). To preach this Gospel is our one task (Acts 20:24) and to be like Christ as we do it should be our greatest ambition. And how did He do it? Think of how He spoke to the woman at the well. He boldly told her her sins without fear of giving offense and also lovingly and freely offered her living water so that she would never thirst again (John 4:6-14). To the woman caught in adultery, He cast no stones, but He did commission her, not to go and keep on sinning, but to “go and sin no more (John 8:11).”

Jesus loved even when it was offensive. He loved when it was costly. He loved when it hurt. He loved perfectly and effectively. On our own, we fall so short of this perfect love, but He lives in us and He will love through us. What an opportunity we now have to be the hands and feet of Jesus, to be light in the darkness. What an opportunity we have to love as He loves and not as the world does. So, let’s do it. Let’s cling fiercely to the truth of His word and proclaim boldly the grace of His Gospel.

American pride – pathway to it’s destruction

via: American pride and idolatry http://www.examiner.com/article/american-pride-and-idolatry

 

Is American pride good?

Can your country become an idol? AmericanPrideMany people around the world take pride in their country and some take it so far as to make their country god in their own hearts, but what does the Bible say in regards to this? Does God want us to praise our country? Let’s examine what God has said through time concerning this sometimes, confusing area.

“Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.” (Proverbs 16:18). Let’s first take a look at pride in and of itself. Pride is condemned in the Bible as it is one of the seven things that God hates and is what caused Lucifer to fall. If pride is bad, why do so many “Christians” take so much pride in their country? Appreciation is good, but pride is not. Today, especially in America, we tend to worship our country, its laws and our forefathers more than the Lord. Anytime a law of America is in jeopardy we are the first to jump up and defend it, but when a law of God is in danger, we tend to just shrug it off as fine. We pledge to our country and stand tall when the flag is waving, but when it comes to prayer we only mouth off recited words while groaning that we have to stand. Our concepts and thoughts are off line and we must bring them back on track and teach the generations ahead the same. Worship and glorify the Lord and only appreciate your country.

“Little children, keep yourselves from idols. Amen.” (1 John 5:21). If your country is the most important part of who you are, then it is your god. We must understand that when we love our country as much as most say they do, then it is our god. We must stop looking at the flag and start looking at the cross. We must stop worshiping and serving our country and start worshipping and serving the Lord. We must stop calling ourselves American and start calling ourselves Christians as our home is not America, but in heaven with God. It’s ok to love your country as long as it’s below God and family.

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5). If you are a Christian and the Lord is God in your life, then you must love Him above everything else in your life. Put God first, family second and everything else after the two. Whatever is first in your life is your god. We should be jumping up quickly to defend the law of God before our countries law. We should praise the name of Jesus above America. We should be quick to pledge our life to the Lord before we pledge to any country. The Lord is God; not your country. We should be quick to obey the Lord’s law before obeying a country’s law that is contradictory to His law.

Pride is what God hates and therefore we should never have pride. Appreciation for your country is ok, but praise and glory should be reserved only for the One who deserves it; Jesus. We should stand strong in the Lord and He will stand strong for our country. God first, family second and everything else can follow. Be quick to pledge to the Lord, look to the cross and keep your focus on Jesus and obey God above all other laws. “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (John 14:15).

Prudence in a prideful society

Mayberry

Mayberry R.F.D

How can one maintain a sense of esteem while avoiding pride?  How can one re-establish his once prudent lifestyle without foolishly losing his self esteem? Must we be boisterous in our lack of virtues in order to operate in this society?

These questions may come to mind from time to time, but they will likely be met with crooked eyes when inserting them into our everyday conversation. Jesus Christ was a walking, breathing example of the answers in motion.  It takes a personal relationship with this person in order to understand the answers.  Submission to something that we have no control over goes against everything that most societies teach their young.  Overcoming that aspect of our up-bringing will take much effort, but it is impossible without the Holy Spirit in our lives.

Pray that God will open your heart to a relationship with Jesus Christ, then allow the Holy Spirit to guide each step as all things start to become new. It is a  lifetime of growth that begins with Jesus Christ, that will overcome the lost virtues that has robbed our society of joy, peace, love, kindness and so many other virtues…