Keeping Up With the Digital Joneses

Coming away from your device, do you feel better or worse? Keeping up with the digital Joneses, do you feel superior or inferior? It’s hard work, isn’t it? Pretending that everything is perfect.

Read most comment sections and you can see that our society is bending towards overt negativity. This should not surprise anyone who realizes we are nearing the end. The devil is gaining more and more territory. Take a peek at 2 Tim. 3:1-5 and see if anything sounds familiar.

The anonymity of the internet gives us all the false courage to show our true natures and they have proven to be quite snarky. I am generalizing, but you know what I mean.

What is the opposite of a rose? Dirt? I am just as guilty of viewing the world through dirt-colored glasses. Doesn’t seem very Christlike. I don’t suspect Jesus was much like that.

And it’s not the me He wants me to be.

There is only one solution: We’re all in the same sinking boat, we’re all in dire need of rescue, and there is only One with the power to save.

“For God has not destined us for wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ,” – 1 Thes. 5:9

Only through faith in Jesus will we bend away from ourselves. Repent of your sins and turn towards your Heavenly Father. Then those glasses can be rose-colored because there is hope!

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Is God a Cosmic Killjoy?

termites

There’s a line from Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov: “If God does not exist, then everything is permitted.” In other words, we can do whatever we want. The inevitable result is the current culture in which we find ourselves. It’s the “you’re ok/I’m ok, do what you feel, if it makes you happy/do it, love is love” ideology. At its core is a rejection of God because He’s a cosmic killjoy. Of course this is not new news; a reading of Romans 1-3:20 will tell you as much.

Paul gives Man 3 major strikes: they worship the creation not the Creator, exchange the truth for a lie, and exchange natural relations for unnatural ones. The prevailing theme is that there is no fear of God before their eyes (3:18).

No fear, respect, or reverence of God are like termites in your spiritual house. Bite by bite, they will slowly eat the whole thing.

It’s not one big termite munching away. If so, we’d say: “Look at the size of that thing; Kill it!” No, it’s thousands of little ones silently eroding the integrity of the entire structure.

It’s also not all at once. If so, we’d say: “Look, this morning I woke up and half the house is missing! We gotta do something!” No, it’s spread evenly over a long period of time.

And it’s not on the outside where everyone can see it. If so, we’d say: “Look at all those termites all over the place! Disgusting!” No, they’re all on the inside. Undetected. Gnawing on the bones of your house.

Is God a lame cosmic killjoy? Does He not want us to have any fun and sidle us with a bunch of restrictions?

Or could it possibly be that He knows what lies at the end of a path without Him? Could it possibly be that He knows better and is actually looking out for us? Could it possibly be His ways are the best ways and ours lead to destruction? Could it possibly be that it breaks His heart every time one of His creations turn their back on Him?

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” – Prov. 3:5-6

Please do not make the fatal mistake of allowing your heart to be darkened. Not fearing God is the root of our downfall. Fear Him, glorify Him, and do not allow the termites to Swiss-cheese your house.

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True Love For God

“True love for God must be in the heart–or else there is no grace there whatever. If a man does not love God, then he is not a renewed man. Love for God is a mark which is always set upon Christ’s sheep, and never set upon any others.

I have no right, therefore, to believe that I am a regenerated person–unless my heart truly and sincerely loves God. If I have been regenerated, I will not be perfect, but this one thing I can say: “Lord, You know all things. You know that I love You!” When by believing we receive the privilege to become sons of God–we also receive the nature of sons, and with filial love we cry, “Abba, Father!”

There is no exception to this rule! If a man does not sincerely love God–then he is not born of God. As the sun must give forth its light–so must a soul that has been created anew by divine grace, display its nature by earnest affection toward God. You are not born again, unless you love God. Sincere love to God is indispensable!”

– Charles Spurgeon

“If anyone does not love the Lord, he is to be accursed!” – 1 Cor. 16:22

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Secret Service Agents for Christ?

I believe faith is a private matter. We shouldn’t talk about it too much. Believe it or not, these are the exact words I heard from a believer.

Let’s apply that logic elsewhere: I am a doctor, but I don’t think I should diagnose patients or prescribe medicine. Who am I to tell a sick person that they are sick? I know the choices they are making are unhealthy and will ultimately kill them, but, you know, it might make them uncomfortable or something. Instead I’ll go to the doctor school where all the other doctors are and talk about doctoring. Maybe I can learn more about the history of medicine. Maybe I can talk about vaccines, but never actually use one.

Oy vey.

I could point you in many directions, least of which is the Great Commission (Matt. 28:16-20). Keeping with the doctor motif, how about Mark 2:17? How about lighting a candle and placing it under a basket (Matt. 5:15)? Can’t use the light & salt if you keep it in the pantry, can you? No, you gotta get it out!

If no one is asking you about your faith, ASK WHY NO ONE IS ASKING!

Have I become a Secret Service agent for Christ instead of an Ambassador? Am I so deep undercover that I have forgotten why I am there? This is not our home. We are just sojourning here. So for the breath of a time that we are here, let us spend that breath in a worthwhile fashion: proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ! Not keeping it private.

So, I am going to have to disagree with the first statement: faith should be anything but private. In fact, we should talk about it more. Is there anything else to talk about really?

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Treadmill Christianity

running-treadmill

Get on a treadmill. Push start. Now, I don’t care HOW FAST you run or for HOW LONG  – once you step off that treadmill, you haven’t actually traveled anywhere. Not one inch.

This is what it’s like to TRY and earn your own salvation. It’s Treadmill Christianity.

Here’s why I’m saved. Here’s what makes me right with God. Here’s why I can enter Heaven:

“I’m a good person. I go to church. I was baptized. I read my Bible. I pray, fast, & tithe. I haven’t murdered anyone. I haven’t stolen anything. I try to make the world a better place. I pay my taxes. I follow the traffic laws. I help my elderly neighbor. I don’t smoke, drink, curse, rub, or chew. I give a hoot – I don’t pollute. I always return my shopping cart. I don’t gossip… much. I don’t laugh when someone falls… much. I volunteer at the Misison. I sponsor a child with World Vision. Come to think of it; I’m a very good person.”

I, I, I.

Even a lifetime of practicing these good moral behaviors haven’t gotten you one inch closer to Heaven (Isa. 64:6). Just a gerbil on a wheel; panting & tired. None of those things (in and of themselves) redeem you; only Jesus can do that (Acts 16:31).

If you could get to Heaven because of any deed or religious ritual, then there was NO POINT in having Jesus die on the Cross (Gal. 2:21). If you could get to Heaven because of YOU, then you would be able to boast about it (Eph. 2:9). Seriously, imagine that: Boasting before Yahweh?! “Hey Adonai, look at how good I was! Let me in! I deserve it! I earned my place at the table!”

That feeling rising up in you right now and making you feel defensive? Its called pride and God hates it (Prov. 8:13).

Instead, Jesus says “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matt. 11:28.

Are you wearing yourself out on a spiritual treadmill or resting in Jesus?

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Righteousness & Peace Have Kissed

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“Mercy (hesed) & truth have met together; Righteousness & peace have kissed.” – Psa. 85:10

Where did they meet? In Christ Jesus.

These four virtues, once lost with Adam, are now found in Jesus. All the attributes of God rest perfectly in Him. They lovingly kiss.

When did they kiss? When He poured out His life on Calvary.

We are all guilty. The Law requires justice (TRUTH/RIGHTEOUSNESS). But the Judge wants us to be free (MERCY/PEACE). So He punishes sin (in the person of His Son) and releases the sinner. It is the only way God can judge us and save us at the same time. It is the only way God can be both Just & the Justifier (Rom. 3:26).

Why? Because He loves you so.

“This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us & sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” – 1 John 4:10

Sound too good to be true, but it gets even better: it’s a free gift. All you have to do is accept it in FAITH Rom. 10:9). You can’t earn it. If you could, it would become “payment for services rendered” (Rom. 4:4).  It is HILARIOUSLY WRONG to think we have anything to do with our own salvation. God could never, ever (ever ever ever) be “in debted” to Man (Rom. 11:35).

Its called Good News for a reason!

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Rehearse Your Faith and Reverse Your Fear

Rehearse your fear and reverse your faith.

Rehearse your faith and reverse your fear.

How?

Psa. 34

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