Through God We Live

“yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live.” – 1 Cor. 8:6

It is through the Lord Jesus Christ that we live.

Faith Is Accounted For Righteousness

“But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness,” – Rom. 4:5

The person who’s faith is accounted for righteousness is the person who does not lean on his or her own works, but rather, who relies solely on God.

God is the one who justifies the sinner, not the sinner’s actions or accomplishments.

It’s not based on us, but Him.

Clarifying Quality

Beloved, trials have a clarifying quality; what’s really important is revealed. During this time of self-imposed isolation for the greater good, we have been reminded of the things which carry real truth and which have real meaning:

Your relationship with Jesus.

Your family.

Your health.

All the other distractions have been washed away. What is left but Jesus?

As you reflect in prayer today, thank God for clarifying “whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy,” – Phil. 4:8

Yours in Christ,

– Pastor Patrick

Soli Deo Gloria!

Enriched In Everything By Him

“that you were enriched in everything by Him in all utterance and all knowledge,” – 1 Cor. 1:5
Everything is enriched by Jesus.

Everything is improved, enhanced, upgraded, sweetened, and adorned by the Son of Man.

Without Him, everything is dulled, decreased, reduced, and lessened.

Do you know Him?

Why Are Churches Dying?

closed-church

Churches are dying. Some are thriving, but the overwhelming majority are not. Attendance is dwindling. Most are hanging on by a thread. Many will have to shut their doors in as little as one generation.

A lot of this is because we live in a Post-Christian society that embraces the emerging postmodern worldview.

  • Millennials (born ’82-’04) aren’t being reached.
  • Generation X (born ’61-’81) & Y (born ’77-’95) are dropping out.
  • Baby Boomers (born ’46-’64) are ready to pass the torch.
  • The Builders (born ’25-’45) are going home.

Look, people: we are at a tipping point. It is the 4th quarter and we are trailing.

We must re-think, re-tool, and re-frame. We must shift, evolve, and adapt.

If not, we will be mourning church closing after church closing.

“Churches across this country are going out of business, closing their doors, because they’ve lost their relevancy. They chose not to change with the times. They chose to keep people over 60 happy and forget about reaching people under 30. They, like my granddaddy, measured faithfulness by doing things the same way year after year, regardless of the response or the results.” – Edward H. Hammett

Please read that quote again only slower this time.

(I can feel you nodding your head in agreement.)

Traditions are great. But if traditions are only servicing personal preferences, then we need to take a hard look at them.

  • Are we inwardly-focused or outward?
  • If we closed, would the community even notice?
  • Are we a museum for saints or a hospital for sinners?

I know these are tough questions, but they need to be asked and honestly answered.

I’m convinced that people love Jesus, but have lost their love for church. I’m not saying that is correct, I’m just saying that seems to be the trend. The next generation does not see the relevancy church.

How do we reach a new generation for Jesus Christ? How do we help them fall in love with church again?


Ref: Hammett, Edward H. Reaching People under 30 While Keeping People Over 60: Creating Community Across Generations (TCP the Columbia Partnership Leadership Series): TCP Books, 2015.

http://thomrainer.com/2017/08/dying-churches-die/

Please Take Jesus Personally

Lunatic liar lord

How many times have you been told, “now, don’t take this personally, but…”? Well, I want you to take this personally: Jesus is THE ONLY WAY to God.

The postmodern ear may bristle at that, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

Jesus, Himself said that. Not me. Not anyone else. JESUS.

“No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

Either you believe that or you reject it. There is no riding the fence. John Duncan called this argument, “inexorable” (meaning unbending, unyielding, & unstoppable). It is black or white, one way or the other, but it can never be both or neither.

For a much more eloquent argument, look up C.S. Lewis’s “Lunatic, Liar, or Lord” trilemma in Mere Christianity.

Exclusive claim? Oh Yes. The claim is indeed, exclusive,but the invitation to accept it is 100% inclusive and universal (Gal. 3:28)!

So, please take this personally! In fact, it doesn’t get any more personal!

How do YOU answer the very same question that Jesus asked His disciples: Who do YOU say I am? (Matt. 16:15)

– If this post blessed you please like and share!


Ref:

C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity (1952; Harper Collins: 2001) 51-52.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis%27s_trilemma

http://merecslewis.blogspot.com/2010/11/deciding-about-jesus-liar-lunatic-or.html

Christians Are Like Tea Bags

teabag

I heard this saying attributed to either Chip Ingram or Greg Laurie:

“Christians are like TEA BAGS; you don’t know what they’re made of until you put them in hot water.”

Isn’t that about the truth!

Is the heat being turned up in your life?

This is where “the rubber meets the road,” right? Anyone can act nice when everything is going their way, but what seeps out when things aren’t? What comes out of that teabag?

  • Fruit or works (Gal 5)?
  • Fresh water or salt water,
  • Bitter or sweet (James 3:11)?
  • Or… are you like a box of chocolates?

Something you may never have thought of is the fact that teabags are useless without hot water, aren’t they? It’s actually IN the hot water that teabag finds their purpose and usefulness.

Try to remember this the next time you find yourself in proverbial hot water. Pray for me as I pray for you.

If this blessed you, please Like & Share!


Ref: https://www.facebook.com/moodyradio/posts/848812451813491

ttps://www.goodreads.com/quotes/1944-a-woman-is-like-a-tea-bag-you-never-know

How Can a Loving God Send Anyone to Hell?

Snowball

How can a loving God send anyone to Hell? Why unlimited punishment for a limited behavior? Isn’t Hell cosmic overkill? Too harsh! Not fair!

I’ve heard this objection many times and it seems reasonable… at first.

John Bunyan said, “No sin against God can be little, because it is against the great God of heaven and earth.” Jonathan Edwards said, “The greatness of a sin is determined by the greatness of the being against whom it is committed.”

Erwin Lutzer gives the following scenario:

To throw a snowball at a mailman is one thing; to throw one at a policeman is another. And if you throw a snowball at the President of the United States, you will be arrested. Using that analogy, think of the infinite crime of sinning against an infinite God. Sin is much more serious to God than it is to us.

I’ve never had the opportunity to throw a snowball at the POTUS, but I’m sure if I tried – the Secret Service would tackle me faster than you can say Barry Allen. And that’s just the President! Imagine throwing a snowball at God? Unthinkable.

God doesn’t send anyone to Hell, they send themselves.

Heaven is God giving people want He wants. Hell is God giving people what they want. C.S. Lewis said that the doors of Hell are locked from the inside.

God wants ALL PEOPLE to be saved (1 Tim. 2:4). He takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked (Ezek. 18:23, 32). He patiently wishes that NONE perish (2 Pet. 3:9).

Does a doctor enjoy telling her patient: Hey, you have asthma; smoking is not healthy. You should stop. Does she enjoy it year after year, telling the patient the same diagnosis? You should stop. Here is the medicine. Please take it! Of course not. Is God any different? But He won’t force the medicine on us. He loves us too much for that.

Here is justice in its purest form: You reap what you sow.

Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. – Gal. 6:7-8

You wouldn’t let just anyone come into your home, would you? Would you let in a thief? A murderer? A rapist? No. You have a standard. So does God. Unfortunately we can never meet that standard. So He made it easy on us: we come in with His Son (1 Cor. 6:9-11).

It all comes down to how you respond to Jesus.

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. – John 3:17

The real question is: Why would God send anyone to Heaven?

– If you were blessed by this please like & share!


Ref:

http://www.biblebb.com/files/bunyan/sayings.htm

https://www.monergism.com/jonathan-edwards-we-are-inclined-sin

https://www.moodymedia.org/articles/god-unfair/

Stuff Is Just Stuff, Jesus Is What Matters

stuff 3

You are rich. You live in America, which means:

  • You have more than one phone, TV & car.
  • You make more than $2 a day.
  • You have so much stuff that you don’t know what to do with it all.
  • You have a word that the rest of the world doesn’t comprehend: “left-overs.”

You knew all that.

I’m not here to give you a guilt trip over your stuff. Who am I to talk? I’ve watched “Hoarders” and thought… how close am I to that?! I’m also not here to tell you to sell all your stuff and give it to charity (but you gotta admit: that would be pretty epic).

I’m just trying to get you to see your stuff for what it is: stuff.

Even though you have all those things, and even though (by the world’s standards) you are rich, if you don’t have Jesus, you don’t have diddly-squat.

WITHOUT JESUS – you are completely bankrupt. WITHOUT YESHUA you are as broke as a joke.

Jesus said, “apart from Me, you can do nothing” (John 15:5).

The world’s wealth indicators could be lost in an instant: one fire, one flood, or one thief. If your happiness and sense of accomplishment were tied to those objects, then – there it goes.

If you lose all your stuff and even if you lose your health, but you HAVE JESUS, then – you are rich beyond compare:

32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?  – Rom. 8:32 (also note Rev. 3:21!)

Real wealth is knowing the LORD and being known by Him (1 Cor. 8:3). Real riches are only found in Him (Matt. 6:19-24).

– If this post blessed you please like and share!


Ref:

How Americans compare with the global middle class

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hoarders

Like a Dog Licking Its Master’s Hand

dog licking hand

Jesus commanded us to: Worship the Lord your God, & serve Him only. – Matt. 4:10

In 60 of the 91 occurrences of “worship” in the NT, it is the Greek word proskuneo. It means “to kiss, like a dog licking his master’s hand.” Literally & figuratively, to proskuneo is to fawn over, crouch to, & fall down to kiss the ground before.

Our worship of the Lord is the metaphorical kissing-ground between we (the Bride) and Christ (the Bridegroom).

When my dog, Annie sees me, it doesn’t matter if I’ve been gone for 1 minute or 1 hour – she cannot contain herself! She goes completely spastic: she runs all over the place, she jumps up on me, & yes – she licks my hand. She is so excited, she just about explodes! Just like Olivia Newton John in Grease, Annie is hopelessly devoted to me.

When was the last time we got that excited worshipping our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ? Are we hopelessly devoted?

– If this post blessed you please like and share!


Ref: http://biblehub.com/greek/4352.htm