Sunday, August 27, 2017

Monday Morning Church

For most folks, Monday is a hard day to get up and get going. I remember having some jobs in life where it was hard to sleep on Sunday night for dread of having to get up and go to work on Monday morning. If that’s you, you have my sympathy. But let me also give you a word of encouragement –

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. (Php 4:19)

Paul tells us that “God shall supply all your need.” God is always mindful of every need of His children and He has promised to supply all of them.

‘All’ means – all. That includes things like food and clothing, but it also includes grace for living. God is willing to supply you with His strength for you to begin a new week of work. What’s more, God’s supplies aren’t limited.

They are in proportion to His riches in glory. God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can think or ask.

Hudson Taylor, who was a missionary to China during the 1800′s, often said, “When God’s work is done in God’s way for God’s glory, it will not lack for God’s supply.” 

As a disciple of Jesus Christ, our work for Him doesn’t end once Sunday is over. Every day we are to be on mission with Him; even at school or our places of employment.

Rather than trying to just make it through another Monday, let me encourage you to try approaching it with the mindset and anticipation that God has some special things He wants us to accomplish.

Perhaps we will have the opportunity today to say or do something that might greatly help and encourage another person. Perhaps we will have the opportunity to share the gospel. Perhaps God will use us this Monday to turn someone’s life around.


Saturday, August 26, 2017

God's Restoration Plan

God's  Restoration Plan

"And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ--everything in heaven and on earth." (Ephesians 1:10)

From the beginning of time, mankind has searched for peace. He has joined peace movements. He has marched for peace. He has awarded prizes for peace. He has even gone to war for peace. And when you hear of someone being arrested for disturbing the peace, you wonder where they found any to disturb.

There are people today who put bumper stickers on their car that say, "Visualize world peace." Then they cut you off on the freeway.

One day there will be peace. But it won't be brought about by the United Nations. It won't be brought about by any nation. It will be brought about by God Himself. It will happen when the Creator Himself returns, takes possession of what is rightfully His, and hangs a sign over this war-weary planet that says, "Under new management." Christ will return, and He will bring lasting peace.

God's perfect plan, according to Ephesians 1:10, is to "bring everything together under the authority of Christ."

Peter preached in Acts 3:21 that Christ "must remain in Heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets." God is going to make earth into Heaven and Heaven into earth. Just as the wall that separates man and God was torn down as a result of the Cross, so too will the wall that separates Heaven and earth be demolished.

Have you ever seen a completely restored classic car cruise down the street? It catches your eye. You think, That is awesome! That is beautiful! That is incredible! That is because you love to see something restored to its original condition.

God is into restoration. He is into restoring lives. He is into restoring bodies. And He is even into restoring our planet.

Happy Rod Run Day..

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

My Brother/My Sister/Our God

"Am I my brother's keeper",
Cain's insolent and arrogant response to God's question is a sign of his inward, unacknowledged guilt.

This is always the way of guilt—to disclaim responsibility. Cain replies, My brother? What have I to do with my brother? Am I my brother's keeper? Is it my responsibility to know where my brother is? 

The hypocrisy of that is most evident. Though Cain could disclaim responsibility for knowing where his brother was, he did not hesitate to assume the greater responsibility of taking his brother's life.

We have heard much of the same thing in modern times. When Martin Luther King, Jr., was murdered in 1968, many were saying these same things. 

It's not our fault that Dr. King was killed. Why should we suffer for what some fanatic did? It's not our responsibility. Soon some were saying, He ought to have known this would happen.

After all, if you stir up trouble, sooner or later you will pay the price for it. No one can deny the logic and truth of a statement like that.

Yet it is very obviously incomplete. There is nothing in it of facing responsibility and no honest answering of the terrible question from Cain's lips, Am I my brother's keeper?

Two or three decades ago, Dr. Carl Henry wrote a book called 
The Uneasy Conscience of Fundamentalism, which bothered many people when it first came out.

Dr. Henry pointed out that the isolationism that many Christians adopt, which removes us from contact with non-Christians, has also successfully removed us from grappling with some of the pressing social questions of our hour.

We have often been quite content to sing about going to heaven but have shown very little concern for the sick and the poor, the lonely, the old, and the miserable of our world. Isaiah 58 is a ringing condemnation of such an attitude on the part of religious people.

God is infinitely concerned in this area of life, and those who bear His name dare not neglect these areas. Let us be perfectly frank and admit that this is a manifestation of Christian love that we evangelicals have tended greatly to neglect.

The church was never intended to minister to only one segment of society but is to include all people, all classes, all colors, without distinction. These distinctions are to be ignored in the church.

They must be; otherwise, we are not being faithful to the one who called us and who Himself was the friend of sinners of all kinds. We must be perfectly honest and admit that this has been the weak spot of evangelical life, this failure to move out in obedience to God's command to offer love, friendship, forgiveness, and grace to all people without regard to class, color, background, or heredity.

"Father, open my eyes that I might see the people around me as people whom You created and whom You have placed in my path for a purpose. Teach me that I am my brother's keeper."

Thursday, August 10, 2017

My Social Network

I recently heard of something that happened on Facebook. A girl posted about New Years Day, saying“People always make New Year’s Resolutions, but let’s face it, none of us are going to keep ours.”

How would you respond to a statement like that?

Some people posted back in agreement, and the poster had a lot of likes. But one of the poster’s 375 “friends” had just made a New Year’s Resolution to go back to the gym. She really wanted to keep it, and was a kind of “up” and bubbly person, so that comment really got to her. This girl (we’ll call her Jane) simply posted back “Ew”.

In other words, Jane had read this negative comment, had felt it strike her wrongly, and she posted her feelings about it: “Ew.”

It turns out things had gotten a little tense between the girl and Jane lately. They were in the same math class … no words had been exchanged, just a few dirty looks that probably started with mutual jealousy. The first girl posted back to Jane, “I hear you’re switching high schools. Is it because you don’t have any friends at this school?”

What she didn't realise was Jane’s dad had serious surgery the year before, and they were moving so he could live in a house that didn’t have as many stairs. Switching schools was causing the whole family a tremendous stress.

The point is, this Facebook war mushroomed into something that involved three days of posts, over 160 people from 5 different communities and 3 different schools.

Some would argue it all started with just TWO LITTLE LETTERS: E-W. Ew.

With that story in mind, here's four principles to help us be godly Facebookers.

1. Your online behaviour reflects your offline attitudes

Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”

You can’t say, and you can’t post, what you’re not thinking about.

So before your write something on Facebook, imagine how others might respond to what are you saying. How do think they will feel? Good? Or Bad? If you think there's a chance they will take it negatively, maybe you shouldn't post it.

Posting and texting is just like any other area of life. In Matthew 7:12 Jesus states clearly, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”This 'Golden Rule' sums up almost every other command in the Bible.

2. Avoid online negativity

This principle is like a subcategory of the first. If you say something negative about a person, it often gets back to the source. If you post something negative in public about another person, that’s worse. If you try to encrypt it so that only a few people know what you’re talking about, it will be sniffed out by the source — and probably 20 other people who are so deeply insecure that they think everyone is referring to them.

If you have something you need to say to someone, then go and talk to them face-to-face. And do it with grace and love.

3. Don't return evil for evil

What if someone says something negative about you? Not returning evil for evil is really hard, and yet it is where the rubber meets the road in relying on Christ. You’re going to need practice and patience.

Here are some examples I've seen of people responding to negative comments:

Negative person says: “Where’d you get those ugly jeans?”
Reply: (roll eyes) “I know they're not the best … but I really love all the stuff you wear.”

Negative person says: “I can’t stand so-and-so. He's really annoying.”
Reply: “Actually, he sits beside me in math. He’s really nice once you get to know him.”

Negative person says: “So and so wrote bad stuff about you on the bathroom wall.”
Reply: “You’re kidding! Wow. I always really liked her. I'll try and find a time to chat with her about it.”

It’s very hard to return a mean comment with a nice one because we feel like we are giving that mean person even more power. But the opposite is true.

4. Kill them with kindness

Psalm 25:21-22 says, “If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat, and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink, for you will heap burning coals on his head, and the Lord will reward you."

“Heap burning coals” means that regardless of what people may show on the outside, you will make them burn with regret over what they just said. It’s such a well-known tactic that it has a name: It’s called “killing people with kindness”.

That doesn’t mean the guilt will show up in people right away. Generally, they will look confused or stunned.

But often they’ll go away and think about it. Conversely, if you say something mean back, you are throwing fire at fire. What happens to the fire when you add fire to it? It grows and grows. Will fire ever put out a fire?

In the end, as Christians, we want to follow the lead of Jesus, who said in Matthew 5:44, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Are you ready to do that on Facebook today