Love, The Greatest Gift

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”  John 13:34-35

This coming week, we will be celebrating Thanksgiving.  We all know what this day is about, giving thanks to God for all the gifts and blessing He has given us.  There is so much for us to be thankful for; our jobs, family, friends, the things we have, etc.  However, I would like to spend a few moments talking about probably the greatest gift we have ever received.

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Categories: Culture

Who is really first

“”Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins?”  Haggai 1:4

As I find myself sitting in the Student Center at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary(NOBTS)  in, you guessed it, New Orleans, I finished my summary of the book of Haggai for the Old Testament Theology class I am taking for my Doctorate in Theology.  I am not attending NOBTS, rather I am getting my degree from another Seminary, however, I joined my son for His trip here as he takes some of his classwork at the seminary, required if you are attending from a hub campus as he is doing.  As I was studying Haggai, God showed me something that I want to share with you that I hope helps you in your Christian walk.  However, before I tell you, I would like to give you some background information that will help you understand my thoughts.

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Categories: Theology

A Tale of Freedom

and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  John 8:32

Jacob woke up from a hard sleep, wondering somewhat where he was.  He looked around to get his bearings, and then began to rub his eyes.  He looked down at his side table, and noticed a book that had not been there when he dozed off the night before.  He sat up, very curious.  Living in a small eight by twelve foot space in the middle of a large open building, his world, where no-one is allowed to leave their life space, and especially enter another’s, makes this rather puzzling.  Should he open it and see what it is?  Was this a trap set by the Ultimate Ruler to determine who was faithful and punish those who were not?  He was confused.  Who could have placed it there?  He stared at the book.  It was enticing him to open it.  He perused the area around his room.  No one was looking.  He reached out and touched it, then quickly pulled his hand back.  Nothing strange.  He looked around again, and slowly turned to the side of his bed and carefully picked up the book.  He lifted the cover and found one sentence on the page.  “Take heart; I have overcome the world.” (Joh 16:33b)

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Categories: Story, Theology

Our Testimonies

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God,”  2 Tim 1:8.

What comes to mind when you think of someone’s testimony?  If you were to ask some people, they would say that it is their story on how they became a believer and follower of Christ.  And they would be correct, sort of.  That is a part of what a testimony is.  But our testimony is anything we have seen or experienced that proclaims the truth.  From a Christian context, it is a declaration of anything that God has done for us or made us aware of.

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Categories: Theology

The Strait Way

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”   Mat 7:13-14

Imagine two roads.  The first is a grand six lane highway with easy access.  The speed limit is sixty-five miles per hour, and it provides a comfortable journey from point A to point B.  The second is a very narrow road, barely two lanes, with difficult access.  The speed limit is twenty five miles per hour, and you have to be careful to avoid driving off the road.  Now, suppose you are told that both roads lead to the same destination.  Which one would you choose?  Most, if not all of us would choose the first road.  Sounds like a no-brainer to me.  As long as both lead to the same place.

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Categories: Theology

On Compassion

“A Society that lacks Compassion, lacks a future”

This is a little different post than I normally write.  It is based on the case of little 10-year-old Sarah Murnaghan, who is dying from cystic fibrosis and needs a lung transplant in order to survive.  Without the transplant, she has a mere few weeks to live.  The doctors and surgeons say that she has a good chance of recovering and living a normal life if they can get the lung.  However, federal policy states anyone under the age of twelve must wait until there are no adults who need lungs before they can be offered one.  When Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius was asked to make an exception so that this little girl could have a chance at life, her response was, in essence, that this was a difficult situation, and that she has requested in the last couple of a days a review of this policy.   However, this review could take up to a year to complete, long after Sarah has passed away.  According to Tom Price, Republican Representative from Georgia, all that is necessary for Sarah to receive an exemption is for Ms. Sebelius to sign an order to make it so.  However, she refuses to do so, because she does not want to get involved with this situation.  Read more…

Categories: Culture

The True God

O Lord GOD, you have only begun to show your servant your greatness and your mighty hand. For what god is there in heaven or on earth who can do such works and mighty acts as yours?”  Deu 3:24

How do we live this Christian life as it is meant to be lived?  Many ask this question, and there can be as many answers as their are those who ask the question.  Most answers given are either incomplete or completely wrong.  There are many books that have been written discussing this topic and presenting various answers to it’s readers.  Sermons, lectures and classes have been offered to help the attendees try to live the Christian life as God intended.  However, most of these things end up being a list of do’s and don’ts.  What too many do not understand is that our actions alone do not allow us to live the true Christian life.  We can do all the right things, but still miss the heart of the matter.  It does not matter what we do, but who we are and who we believe God is. Read more…

Categories: Theology

What is your price?

Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Mat 13:45-46

One day, about a month ago, I was listening to a YouTube video called “The Keith Green Story – Full.”  It told the story of the conversion of one of Contemporary Christian Music’s most beloved ministers.  I will not call him an artist, for I am sure he did not consider himself anything but a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  As I was listening, one thing kept coming to my mind.  He gave all he had and all he was for the work God called him to do.  He never held anything back.  This intrigued me because I have a tendency for no moderation in what I have passion for.  Therefore,  when God made it clear to me that I had not given all to Him, I was surprised, confused and humbled. Read more…

Categories: Culture

As in the Days of Noah

For as were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.”  Mat 24:37

I came across this quote by John Stott, who was an English Christian leader and Anglican cleric noted as a leader of the worldwide Evangelical movement.

Much that we take for granted in a civilized society is based upon the assumption of human sin. Nearly all legislation has grown up because human beings cannot be trusted to settle their own disputes with justice and without self-interest. A promise is not enough; we need a contract. Doors are not enough; we have to lock and bolt them. The payment of fares is not enough; tickets have to be issued, inspected and collected. Law and order are not enough; we need the police to enforce them. All this is due to man’s sin. We cannot trust each other. We need protection against one another. It is a terrible indictment of human nature.” Read more…

Categories: Culture

Time is not forever

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”  Gen 1:1

As I said in the last post, I want to discuss the nature of time.  The meaning and nature of time cannot be ascertained directly from any empirical evidence, therefore we must look at it’s attributes and through examining what we know of time, and what the scriptures tell us, we can determine quite a bit about what time actually is.  Time is part of the creation of all things.   Let’s look at the very first verse in the very first book of the Bible.  In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.  This begs the question, beginning of what?  It cannot be the beginning of God since God has no beginning.  Plus the scriptures  state God was there at the beginning.  It does not say He came into existence at the beginning.

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Categories: Theology