There you go again…

In response to the baiting agendas of the media Ronald Reagan is famously quoted with the response that begins with ‘There you go again…’. He was a master at being able to disarm a situation while calling it out for what it was. I can’t tell you how often I want to respond to someone on Facebook or other social channels in response to something inappropriately personal that they’ve posted. Unfortunately, social media is too often a revealing space – it regularly amazes me the amount of dirty laundry that people will share and I hurt for people who do this for two reasons:

  1. It’s a cry of pain and my heart goes out to them
  2. It’s not the safest or wisest place to address, much less resolve, conflict or other heartache in their lives

Continue reading “There you go again…”

The Creation Argument

I’m often amazed at what we teach in our churches on the topics of creation and eschatology. We become so dogmatic in our approach that we, in effect, blind those over whom we have influence and limit their ability to think and understand or even interact with the world around them.

But far worse is the realization that a dogmatic approach to these topics diminishes ones understanding of the intent of the creation story in the first place. The creation story drives to a specific purpose in its communication – and arguing against science is not it. Neither is it about defending Biblical ‘science’ – far from it. The core message of the creation story is that the sovereign God of the universe created us so that we could know Him and that He could know us. Kind of His kind. Continue reading “The Creation Argument”

A Glorious Hope

All too often, in my ministry, I minister to people who suffer from the loss of hope.  Hope should be one of the most powerful, energizing and enabling resources we have in the Christian life.  When one loses hope it is the inevitable consequence of losing sight of Christ and focusing instead on earthly conflicts and struggles.

Like faith and love, hope is extolled as a primary and glorious grace of the Christian life. “But now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13). Continue reading “A Glorious Hope”

Assuming the Best

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. 1 John 4:7-8

Recently my son was presented with an impatient and assuming attitude by an adult and his question was “why do adults think teenagers are so bad?”. My response was that most people are not well equipped in their hearts to assume the best about people. I went on to explain that this is  born out of fear or over protection of something and, in his example, their reaction had less to do with what he was doing at the time and was more about issues in their own lives. Continue reading “Assuming the Best”

Biblical Order

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyesî (Judges 21:25). ìLet all things be done decently and in order” (1 Corinthians 14:40).

You and I both have heard countless summations, questions, and explanations as to the trend toward violence, drug and alcohol abuse, and other deviant behaviors that tend to be so prevalent in our society. Frankly, I have not heard much, if anything, coming out of the secular press that approaches the truth regarding the social ills that exist today. Continue reading “Biblical Order”

Purpose

“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations” (Jeremiah 1:5).

Recently, I had a man share with me that he felt that he had no purpose.  More than we might realize that typifies what many people feel today.  One might be very successful in terms of making a living, raising a family, having significance in the community but still feel as if his life is being wasted–having no purpose. Continue reading “Purpose”

Resolving Conflicts

The methods Jesus used in resolving conflicts and those taught in the Old Testament seem to be at variance.  The Jewish traditions defined the resolution of conflicts in terms of equal reciprocity, i. e. an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.  It clearly frowned on escalating the conflict with more severe measures than was originally meted out.

Before writing this message I took a tour through the Old Testament to see if there was any form of encouragement or command requiring a person to forgive his offender.  Although there were abundant references of God’s forgiveness of man, the only time forgiveness was specifically mentioned between persons was when Jacob pleaded with Joseph that he forgive his brothers.  There are illustrations of forgiveness such as Esau and his apparent forgiveness of Jacob.  I have had to conclude that forgiveness of others is primarily New Testament principle linked totally to and enabled by the redemptive work of the cross. Continue reading “Resolving Conflicts”

Rising Out of the Slough of Victim-hood

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Few people who suffer from victim tendencies would like to be free, mainly because of their inability to admit to themselves that their victim-hood is ultimately destructive in their lives or that it exists.   Consequently they are doomed to live out their lives without the freedom they could get from Christ or until they come to the place of realization.  Continue reading “Rising Out of the Slough of Victim-hood”

A Faithful God with Loving Answers

“Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not” (Jeremiah 33:3).

Most of us desire good and Godly things for our lives and we should. God has promised them to us. “Delight thyself also in the Lord and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart”  (Psalm 37:4).

Why is it that when we seek the things of God and believe that God will meet the desires of our hearts that nothing seems to happen. When the heavens seem to be made of brass and God does not hear us. Has he forgotten us? Continue reading “A Faithful God with Loving Answers”

Reaffirming Our Identity

“As he is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17c).

Friday of last week and on Monday of this week, I shared something of my testimony concerning my illness and the insight I gained as a consequence concerning our true identity versus an “illness identity.”  After reading the message, my wife remarked that the principle I had outlined in the message regarding illness would also apply in any area of bondage.  Since then I have received letters in which the writers confirmed that the truth I had shared was applicable to other needs in their lives.

Many of lifeís problems are a consequence of our losing sight of who we are.  It is obvious that I am not speaking of our physical or natural identity but rather of who we are in Christ.  When we are trapped in any form of bondage, it is because we have developed a concept of who we are that is in conflict with who/what the Word says that we are.  This happens because of what we entertain in our though life. Continue reading “Reaffirming Our Identity”